UK News: Premier's Olympian backflip on job title

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After months of arm-twisting Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will add the single word 'Paralympics' to her job title after an open letter from athletes.

Despite quickly adopting the title 'Minister for the Olympics' after Brisbane won the right to host the 2032 Games, Ms Palaszczuk had stonewalled on adding the word 'Paralympics' to the description.

But an open letter from Paralympic athletes urging her to do so led to a rapid about-face.

The Premier's tweet saying she 'was happy' to make the change was sent about half-an-hour after the open letter became public, but that Olympian speed won't necessarily be reflected in the actual amending of her title.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has made an Olympian backflip by announcing she would add the word Paralympics to her second job title © Provided by Daily Mail Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has made an Olympian backflip by announcing she would add the word Paralympics to her second job title Ms Palaszczuk tweeted out her change of mind approximately 30 minutes after the open letter from the Paralympians became public © Provided by Daily Mail Ms Palaszczuk tweeted out her change of mind approximately 30 minutes after the open letter from the Paralympians became public

'Paralympians have asked me to add 'Paralympics' to my title,' the premier tweeted.

'I'm happy to do that and it will be changed by the end of the year.'

Dual gold medallist Paralympian Geoff Trappett tweeted his appreciation for the Premier's about-face © Provided by Daily Mail Dual gold medallist Paralympian Geoff Trappett tweeted his appreciation for the Premier's about-face

Paralympian dual gold-medallist Geoff Trappett tweeted his approval in reply.

'Respectfully asked for by the athletes commission and respectfully enacted. Is it a small thing in the grand scheme?' he tweeted

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Despite the Olympics Minister not setting herself a particularly challenging pace to make the change before midnight on December 31, the move will come as a relief to those whose private lobbying efforts had been previously been in vain.

Paralympics Australia president Jock O'Callaghan said he was dismayed it took an open letter from Paralympians for the Queensland Premier to change her mind © Provided by Daily Mail Paralympics Australia president Jock O'Callaghan said he was dismayed it took an open letter from Paralympians for the Queensland Premier to change her mind

Paralympics Australia president Jock O'Callaghan said it shouldn't have taken the open letter to make the change happen.

'As the leader of the Paralympic movement in this country I'm really quite dismayed that they need to speak out publicly to one of the most senior leaders in the country for recognition in such a simple but symbolic way,' he told the Courier Mail.

Kurt Fearnley, perhaps Australia's best known Paralympian, has been given the job of chairing the National Disability Insurance Agency © Provided by Daily Mail Kurt Fearnley, perhaps Australia's best known Paralympian, has been given the job of chairing the National Disability Insurance Agency

'This is very uncomfortable for them and it simply shouldn't be. I am feeling for the athletes, because they shouldn't have reached the point where they felt they were being ignored, and where they felt like they had no other choice.'

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The open letter, which was published late on Wednesday, argued a change in title would 'reflect the Queensland Government's commitment to promote greater inclusion, diversity, and accessibility in the planning and delivery of these Games'.

Ms Palaszczuk previously insisted that Australian IOC member John Coates had told her to have the shorter job title © Provided by Daily Mail Ms Palaszczuk previously insisted that Australian IOC member John Coates had told her to have the shorter job title

The letter argued adding Paralympics to the ministerial title would 'reflect the importance of both events for Brisbane 2032'.

Ms Palaszczuk created the Minister for the Olympics job for herself in October last year.

She previously rejected the call to include 'Paralympics' in the title by saying that Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates had insisted she call herself 'Minister for the Olympics'.

However, the Australian Olympic Committee told the Courier Mail it had no issue with the change and it was a 'matter for the state government'.

This week it was announced that three-time Paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley will be the new chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency.

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