Paul Lucas is stepping down as Deputy Premier of Queensland and will retire from politics at the next election.

The Liberal National Party Opposition says the news is grounds for an immediate election.

But the government says that’s not going to happen.

Melanie Rica reports.


Mr Lucas says now is the right time for him to leave the second most important position in the state government after four years in the job.

Tomorrow will be his last day as Deputy Premier but he will continue to serve as a minister until the election next year.

Paul Lucas< Deputy Premier: "I've tremendously enjoyed the honour and privelege of being a member of parliament and a minister." Mr Lucas, who's 49, was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. But he says his health is not the reason for his decision. Paul Lucas, Deputer Premier: "I'm retiring because after fifteen years I think its time for me to move on and renewal to take place." The Opposition says Mr Lucas should have been sacked years ago for his incompetance, especially as health minister during the payroll debacle. Jeff Seeney, Leader of the Opposition: "Paul Lucas has been the architect of a string of failures in a failed Labour government. I don't think too many Queenslanders will will be sad to see him go today." LNP leader Campbell Newman is calling for an early election. Campbell Newman, LNP Leader: "The Deputy Premier is going to sit there and continue to draw his very large salary and perks until whenever the election is." With the March election drawing closer and opinion polls showing Labour at record lows, many government MPs may be starting to reconsider their future careers. Professor Clive Bean, QUT Political Scientist: "I don't think the opinion polls tend to make most members of parliament rethink their careers. They tend to perhaps rethink them more after the election." As for the future, Paul Lucas says he wants to devote his time to charities. Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: "Paul's made the right decision that I think is clearly right for him and for his family. I wish him and his children well." Melanie Rica, QUT News.