Well-known face tipped to land big State Govt job

The partner of a communications firm that landed a lucrative contract to help the State Government with its COVID-19 recovery plan is tipped to become the director-general for Tourism and Sport.

The Government would neither confirm nor deny this week that John Lee would be appointed, with announcements for the various positions expected to be made as early as today.

But multiple sources have told The Courier-Mail the Newgate Communications partner was tipped for the position which, following the Cabinet reshuffle, will report to new Tourism, Industry Development and Innovation and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

Mr Lee is a respected Australian sports administrator, as a director of the North Queensland Cowboys and Netball Australia.

John Lee is tipped to become Tourism and Sport director-general.
John Lee is tipped to become Tourism and Sport director-general.


He also led the Stadium Taskforce in 2018 which reviewed the pricing and practices of Stadiums Queensland.

Newgate Communications landed two contracts with the Department of Premier and Cabinet totalling $190,000 earlier this year to provide services for the Government's COVID-19 response and recovery task force.

Mr Lee was appointed Special Adviser to the Government's COVID-19 Taskforce in March.

One source said Mr Lee's credentials were "impressive", having also held senior leadership positions in the New South Wales Government, while it's understood he's a trusted adviser to the Premier.

Meanwhile The Courier-Mail can reveal ministerial staffers were sent home to work via email last week as they waited to find out which Minister they would be working for, following last month's election.

A government spokesman said it was "normal practice following an election for all staff to be appropriately matched to the new ministerial structure."

"Staff have been working from home and are being progressively contacted as new arrangements are put in place," he said.

However one source said: "More communication would have been better."

"A lot of people are starting to get very anxious about how long it's taking," another source said.

"It didn't take this long after the 2017 election."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week announced her new Cabinet, which included eight assistant ministers.



Originally published as Well-known face tipped to land big State Govt job