Former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss dead

Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss

Former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss has died.

Mr Goss had been in ill health in recent years and had undergone surgery for brain tumours.

He was 63.

In December 1989, he became Queensland's first Labor premier in 32 years, ending the old National Party's long grip on power that had been dominated by Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

He kept the top job until February 1996, when the Mundingburra by-election caused Labor to lose its majority and power on the floor of parliament.

Mr Goss had been preselected to run against maverick independent Pauline Hanson at the 1998 federal election but his first brain tumour ended that career option.

Former Labor minister Robert Schwarten said Mr Goss died overnight.

Mr Schwarten, who was a backbencher in the Goss government, said the former premier had been in poor health in recent years.

He is survived by his wife Roisin and two adult children Ryan and Caitlin.

Mr Goss, whose former chief of staff was Kevin Rudd, underwent at least four operations for brain tumours over 17 years.

Terry Mackenroth, who was a minister in the Goss government and served as deputy premier and treasurer under Peter Beattie, said he last spoke to Mr Goss a few months ago.

He said he was deeply saddened to hear of the death of the former premier, who would be remembered for his reforms.

"He was a good premier, he brought a great deal of discipline to government and he brought in many reforms that are still in place today," Mr Mackenroth said.

"His reforms put us in good stead for many years to come."

Among his reforms were ending the gerrymander, decriminalising homosexuality and introducing a raft of protection measures to safeguard Queensland's natural environment.

Mr Schwarten said Mr Goss was responsible for sweeping social reforms.

"Within a year it was no longer illegal to be a homosexual, he introduced laws to decriminalise prostitution, he brought in the first gun laws in Queensland," he said

"It was just an enormous list. But the thing he's least remembered for is that he got Queensland into the 20th century in terms of financial accountability."

Wayne Goss speaks during the Opening Gala at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre ahead of the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Pic: Darren England

Wayne Goss speaks during the Opening Gala at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre ahead of the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Pic: Darren England

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