Meaghan Scanlon, the female leader being mistaken for Jacinda Ardern is just 27

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Meet Australia’s youngest cabinet minister, 27, who gets mistaken for Jacinda Ardern: Lawyer forms a Labor power couple with her influential boyfriend who’s almost TWICE her age

  • Australia’s youngest cabinet minister is regularly mistaken for Jacinda Ardern
  • Meaghan Scanlon, 27, has been named as a new Queensland Labor minister
  • She was photographed with New Zealand Prime Minister on Gold Coast in 2018
  • Her boyfriend Mark Bailey, 52, is also cabinet minister with transport portfolio 

Australia’s youngest cabinet minister is regularly mistaken for Jacinda Ardern and has a powerful boyfriend in politics almost twice her age.

Meaghan Scanlon, a 27-year-old Queensland Labor MP, even posted a picture of herself on Facebook with New Zealand‘s Labour Prime Minister when she visited the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018. 

‘Jacinda is a role model and inspires so many young women who want to make a difference globally,’ she said last month.

Even some men had trouble telling them apart, at least politically, with Gladstone’s deputy mayor Kahn Goodluck, who lives 600km north of the Gold Coast, praising them ideologically.

Meaghan Scanlon, a 27-year-old Queensland Labor MP, even posted a picture of herself on Facebook with New Zealand’s Labour Prime Minister when she visited the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018

‘Two great women leaders proving that compassion, empathy and caring can and should be part of government decision making,’ he said.

‘Looking after people. Providing inspiration for young women and young men to look up to. Keep up the great work Meaghan. All the best.’

At just 27 Ms Scanlon, a former lawyer, is set to be sworn in this week as Australia’s youngest cabinet minister after one term in state parliament.

The member for Gaven holds Labor’s only seat on the Gold Coast and is dating fellow Labor cabinet minister Mark Bailey, a 52-year-old former drama teacher from Brisbane who holds the transport portfolio.

They confirmed their two-year relationship in 2018 and both hail from Labor’s dominant Left faction.

The member for Gaven holds Labor's only seat on the Gold Coast and is dating fellow Labor cabinet minister Mark Bailey (centre), a 52-year-old former drama teacher from Brisbane who holds the transport portfolio. They are pictured with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate (left)

The member for Gaven holds Labor's only seat on the Gold Coast and is dating fellow Labor cabinet minister Mark Bailey (centre), a 52-year-old former drama teacher from Brisbane who holds the transport portfolio. They are pictured with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate (left)

The member for Gaven holds Labor’s only seat on the Gold Coast and is dating fellow Labor cabinet minister Mark Bailey (centre), a 52-year-old former drama teacher from Brisbane who holds the transport portfolio. They are pictured with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate (left)

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced a cabinet reshuffle after becoming Australia’s first-ever female leader to win three elections, but was yet to name all the portfolios on Wednesday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced a cabinet reshuffle after becoming Australia's first-ever female leader to win three elections, but was yet to name all the portfolios on Wednesday. Meaghan  Scanlon is pictured left with the Premier in October 2020

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced a cabinet reshuffle after becoming Australia's first-ever female leader to win three elections, but was yet to name all the portfolios on Wednesday. Meaghan  Scanlon is pictured left with the Premier in October 2020

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced a cabinet reshuffle after becoming Australia’s first-ever female leader to win three elections, but was yet to name all the portfolios on Wednesday. Meaghan  Scanlon is pictured left with the Premier in October 2020

Ms Scanlon was expected to take the tourism portfolio, after serving as an assistant minister in that area, following the retirement of former tourism minister Kate Jones. 

Townsville MP and former school principal Scott Stewart, from the Right faction, and Leanne Linard, from the small Old Guard faction, are also being promoted to cabinet. 

On the other side of politics, former television journalist David Crisafulli is the favourite to succeed former solicitor Deb Frecklington as the leader of Queensland’s Liberal National Party Opposition.

Labor was last month re-elected for a third straight term, picking up from the LNP the coastal retiree electorates of Hervey Bay, Caloundra, Pumicestone, Nicklin and Bundaberg as older voters backed Ms Palaszczuk for closing Queensland to Sydney residents. 

Deputy Premier Steven Miles has been shifted from the health portfolio to state development, infrastructure, local government and planning.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath will take over health. 

At just 27 Ms Scanlon, a former lawyer, is set to be sworn in this week as Australia's youngest cabinet minister. She is pictured with her boyfriend Mark Bailey (left) and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate

At just 27 Ms Scanlon, a former lawyer, is set to be sworn in this week as Australia's youngest cabinet minister. She is pictured with her boyfriend Mark Bailey (left) and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate

At just 27 Ms Scanlon, a former lawyer, is set to be sworn in this week as Australia’s youngest cabinet minister. She is pictured with her boyfriend Mark Bailey (left) and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate

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