Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the last of Australia's loathed COVID-era state leaders, has declared her resignation after nearly a decade in office.
Fighting back tears, she explained, "I've given it my all, and it's time for renewal."
Palaszczuk, who secured her third election victory in 2020, gained drew criticism for her stringent COVID-19 measures, including harsh border closures.
Reflecting on her divisive tenure during the pandemic, she stated:
"I think, during those Covid times, of all those lives that were saved," acknowledging the toll her leadership took on personal freedoms.
Comparing her experience to a marathon, Palaszczuk highlighted the challenges of nearly nine years in office, noting that a week in politics felt short, but her tenure seemed like an "eternity."
Her decision to step down follows a trend among COVID-era leaders, including WA Premier Mark McGowan and Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, who cited exhaustion and the all-consuming nature of the role.
Andrews put Melbourne through a total of six lockdowns in total, granting the city the title of the most locked-down city in the world, restricting the public to a five-kilometre travel limit and a nightly curfew.
The harsh measures earned Andrews nicknames 'Chairman Dan' and 'Dictator Dan'.
The Andrews government was also lambasted over vaccine mandates and hotel quarantine mismanagement.
Meanwhile, NSW saw a change in leadership with Dominic Perrottet succeeding Gladys Berejiklian amid corruption investigations.