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Friday, February 4, 2011

Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has been there for Queensland and earned the respect of a nation. She made herself available 24/7 through the devastating floods and is now helping out with the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi. So could her ancestors account for her strength of character? She is a descendant of William Bligh, famous for Mutiny on the Bounty and the fourth Governor of New South Wales. The man who was placed in a small boat with a few faithful men and navigated his way across vast oceans to arrive safely back in England.

Anna grew up on the Gold Coast and her parents separated when she was 13. She attended Catholic schools until Year 9 and considered becoming a nun. One of her aunts is a nun and another entered a convent but the church's rule regarding divorce meant that her mother could no longer take holy communion and she and her mother moved away from the church. She also has a private life - married to Greg Withers, a senior public servant and mother of their two sons.

The Premier wanted to clear up a few rumors that were going around about the levy Julia Gillard will introduce to help pay for the damage. In Australia, the Commonwealth pays 75 per cent of the costs of natural disasters that occur in ANY state while the state pays the remaining 25 per cent. The federal government's levy will go towards their 75 per cent contribution.

"This is a large scale disaster, what the Commonwealth is saying to Australians is they need a bit of help to make sure that we can do the job" she said. The cost of the Queensland recovery boggles the mind.