Tributes to former premier, Mike Ahern

FORMER Queensland Premier Mike Ahern has passed away at the age of 81, prompting tributes from local leaders.
Born into a dairy farming family in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Mr Ahern ventured into politics following his father’s Country Party involvement.
Becoming the youngest MP elected in Queensland at just 25, he earned the moniker “Conondale Kid.”
Glasshouse MP Andrew Powell said while Mr Ahern “may not have had the profile of a Joh, a Goss or a Beattie his legacy in many ways was just as profound, if not more so”.
“Born to a Conondale dairy farming family, his fingerprints are all over the Sunshine Coast and the seat of Glass House – but few would know it. However, it was his leadership of the state at such a pivotal time, for which he will be most remembered.
“Receiving the Fitzgerald report and agreeing to implement its recommendations “lock, stock and barrel” demonstrated a politician committed to reform and unafraid of the personal or political consequences.
“He was a gentleman. A man of integrity. And has been an example for those of us who have followed.”
Sunshine Coast mayor, Mark Jamieson, said Mr Ahern’s time as premier was steeped in “courage and resolve”.
Mr Jamieson recognised Mr Ahern’s contribution during the Fitzgerald Inquiry, stating that he “was a transformational leader during the Fitzgerald Inquiry into official corruption, standing tall and inspiring change that would set his state on a much brighter path.”
Mr Jamieson said his legacy extended beyond politics, as he remained an advocate for his region. “He had been a champion for the Sunshine Coast region, serving as State Member for Landsborough (now the seat of Caloundra) from 1968 to 1980,” he said. After retiring from politics, Mr Ahern pursued business and community projects.
He became a successful businessman and was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to politics, trade relations, education and charities, which also saw him receive a Queensland Greats Award in 2010.