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KAP warn Labor they need regional flavour

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Darren Cartwright

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has dismissed calls to select a regional MP to replace Leanne Donaldson as agriculture minister, saying she'll pick on merit, not postcode.

Ms Palaszczuk has to replace Ms Donaldson who resigned on Thursday night after admitting to driving an unregistered car and also having an outstanding $8000 rates debt eventually settled by the Queensland Labor party.

Police and Corrective Services Minister Bill Byrne, the agriculture minister last year, has been appointed to retain the portfolio on an interim basis.

Rockhampton-based Mr Byrne's appointment came as controversial former police minister Jo-Ann Miller threw her hat into the ring.

Morayfield MP Mark Ryan, based just north of Brisbane, has been touted as the favourite for the position but it would further increase a strong "city" flavour in cabinet.

The Katter's Australian Party want an MP from outside the state's southeast for the vacant portfolio.

KAP leader Rob Katter warned he and colleague Shane Knuth would have a more harmonious relationship with the minority government if a "regional" member was the new minister.

"It's not a very happy partnership with us if they are going to be plonking someone in there from inner-city Brisbane with no affinity with the bush," Mr Katter told reporters.

But Ms Palasczcuk says she won't be rushed on the decision of who replaces Bundaberg MP Ms Donaldson nor pushed on the grounds of residence.

"It shouldn't be about your postcode, it should be on performance so I'll be looking across the board as to who is the best person for the job," she said.

The premier didn't rule out the return of Ipswich-based Ms Miller who was forced to resign as police minister late last year.

Ms Miller said it was time for her to return to the ministry.

"Quite frankly they need my skills around the cabinet table," she told reporters.

Mr Katter said both he and Mr Knuth were open to filing the post themselves but doubted that was likely.

"That would be something we'd love to entertain but I'm not too sure either side would pick us up," he said.

Ms Donaldson's resignation comes on top of the minority Labor government fending off scathing criticism over its handling of the Queensland Rail staffing fiasco.

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe is under mounting pressure to also step down after QR's chief executive and chairman both resigned last week following driver shortages which led to commuter chaos.

On Friday, two weeks after the staffing issues erupted, 113 services were cancelled before Mr Hinchliffe announced a new weekday timetable.

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