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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Mulherin remembered as man “with heart as big as Queensland”

Former Queensland deputy opposition leader and minister, Tim Mulherin has died, aged 63, after a long battle with cancer.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has remembered Mr Mulherin fondly in a statement released this afternoon.

“It is with great sadness I learned of the passing of my good friend, Tim Mulherin,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Tim served as the Member for Mackay from 1995 to 2015 and as Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2012 to 2015.

“It was after that 2012 election, when Labor was reduced to just seven members, Tim turned to me at that first sitting of parliament and said ‘We’ll have hides as thick as rhinos by the end of this’.

“That was true. But underneath that thick skin was a heart as big as Queensland.”

Mr Mulherin was elected to State Parliament in 1995 and served as the member for Mackay for 20 years until he retired in 2015 citing health and family reasons.

He served then-Premier Peter Beattie as Primary Industries and Fisheries minister before going on to hold Rural and Agriculture portfolios from 2007 to 2012.

“Tim was the youngest of six children with a family tree that seemed to spread everywhere. Family was everything to Tim,” the Premier said today.

“His nickname was ‘Cuz’ because wherever Tim went he found a relative or the relative of someone else he knew from Mackay. He also believed a stranger was just a friend he hadn’t met yet.”

She said Mr Mulherin had a “deep and abiding love” for workers and their families.

“He understood the dignity of having a job, paying the bills and having a roof over your head. He fought for those families every day of his political life and long after.”

“His heart never left those regional centres and the people and industries that make them thrive.”

Ms Palaszczuk said she was “profoundly grateful” to have spent time with Tim on her most recent visit to Mackay.

“I valued his guidance, strength, good humour and friendship,” the Premier said.

“I offer my condolences to Erin and their three sons, Declan, Liam and Rory. His pride and love for them was boundless and on constant display. Anyone who visited was considered part of the family and Tim would cook up a feast.”

“Above all, Tim Mulherin was a gentleman.

“I have lost a friend and Queensland has lost a champion,” she said.

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