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Ray Stevens (politician)

Raymond Alexander Stevens (born 1 February 1953) is an Australian politician who is the Leader of Opposition Business in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.

Ray Stevens
MP
Leader of the House of Queensland
In office
30 March 2012 – 16 February 2015
Premier Campbell Newman
Preceded by Judy Spence
Succeeded by Stirling Hinchliffe
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Mermaid Beach
Robina (2006–2009)
Assumed office
9 September 2006
Preceded by Bob Quinn
Personal details
Born (1953-02-01) 1 February 1953 (age 65)
Townsville, Australia
Political party Liberal National Party
Occupation Accountant, small business owner

Born in Townsville, Stevens is married with two children. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Economics from James Cook University and Macquarie University, and was admitted to the Australian Association of Accountants in 1974, being employed by Price Waterhouse in Sydney. He returned to the family station, "Doncaster" in Richmond, before moving to the Gold Coast in 1979. He ran local businesses in the area and was a councillor on Albert Shire Council from 1988 to 1994, serving as Mayor in 1994. After the amalgamation of Albert and Gold Coast, he was mayor of the latter from 1995 to 1997.[1]

Stevens, as member of the Liberal Party, was elected to state parliament in 2006 as the member for Robina, succeeding former state Liberal leader Bob Quinn. At this time he was also appointed as the Shadow Minister for Public Works and Housing from 2006–2009, with a brief stint from 2007–2008 as the Shadow Minister for Information and Communication Technology.[2]

In 2008, Stevens joined the new Liberal National Party with the rest of his party.[1] The redistribution ahead of the 2009 state election renamed his seat to Mermaid Beach; he was re-elected. And from 2009–2010 he was the Shadow Minister for Tourism and Fair trading, before he continued in that role as the Shadow Minister for Tourism and Racing from 2010–2011.[2] From early 2011 until the election in 2012 Stevens was the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Racing.[2]

With the Liberal National Party winning the 2012 Election, Stevens became the Leader of the House of Queensland and in October 2012 the Assistant Minister to the Premier on e-government.[2]

On 11 September 2012, Stevens sparked racism claims after using the term "Jihad Jackie" in Parliament to describe opposition spokeswoman Jackie Trad (herself of Catholic-Lebanese heritage). While Stevens withdrew the remark in Parliament upon urging by house speaker, he staunchly maintained using the word Jihad to describe someone of Arabic heritage, on 11 September, was nothing he needed to apologise for. He subsequently said Trad needed to "harden up" and had a "glass jaw".[3]

At a pre-polling booth on 21 January 2015, Stevens was filmed having a bizarre reaction to a journalist asking him questions about a $100 million sky rail project from Mudgeeraba to Springbrook. Stevens had previously stated he had approval from the Integrity Commissioner, but when the journalist asked Stevens for the Commissioner's advice to be released, Stevens refused to answer. When the journalist did not back down and asked how much he could make from the development, Mr Stevens then began to wave his hands and arms up and down in the journalist's face. "That Mermaid Ray really lost the plot, but without saying a word," Donovan said. "He started doing a dance and gyrating around — this is a Minister of the Crown, we're talking about, let me remind you."[4]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Judy Spence
Leader of the House of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
2012–2015
Succeeded by
Stirling Hinchliffe
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Bob Quinn
Member for Robina
2006–2009
Seat abolished
New seat Member for Mermaid Beach
2009–present
Incumbent