Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she’s open to love but isn’t looking either. Picture: AAP/Darren England
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she’s open to love but isn’t looking either. Picture: AAP/Darren England

Premier: ‘It’s impossible to date’

Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed she's open to finding love but as Premier it's almost impossible.

Palaszczuk has opened up, speaking candidly about ­infertility, the toll of IVF, losing a baby at 11 weeks' gestation, endometriosis and what it's like finding a date when you are the Premier.

"Meeting somebody," Palaszczuk laughs, during an exclusive interview in the lead up to her 50th birthday this week.

"Well it's almost impossible really. If the right person came along, I would be open to it, but well, a couple of months ago I did meet someone who I thought was quite nice and he seemed to think I was also, so he asked if we could perhaps catch up and I had to look in my diary and say 'maybe in about three weeks'."

She laughs again. "But I'm not going to settle, and I'm certainly not looking."

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard copped it from Liberal senator Bill Heffernan in 2007 over having no children. Picture: AAP/Brendan Esposito
Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard copped it from Liberal senator Bill Heffernan in 2007 over having no children. Picture: AAP/Brendan Esposito

When a female - or indeed male - politician is of a certain age, single and childless there is often talk, and it is often unpleasant, see then-Liberal senator Bill Heffernan's 2007 "deliberately barren" comment on Julia Gillard's childless state.

But Palaszczuk wants to dispel the myth that singledom or a lack of children equals ­unhappiness.

"It's simply not true that we all need a partner to be fulfilled. It's lovely when it's the right person of course, but it is very possible to be single and very happy."

For a time, it looked like one-time Labor staffer Shaun Drabsch might have been "the right person".

Drabsch and Palaszczuk began their ­relationship before the 2015 state election, but parted ways in February last year.

At the time Drabsch was working as an infrastructure ­advisory director for financial services giant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with ex-partner Shaun Drabsch and her dog Winton in 2017. Picture: Jamie Hanson
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with ex-partner Shaun Drabsch and her dog Winton in 2017. Picture: Jamie Hanson

PwC acted for Adani in the mining giant's ­application for a loan under the ­Commonwealth's Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).

Palaszczuk insisted she had not known about her then-partner's involvement in the PwC bid to secure a loan from the NAIF for the Galilee Basin mine, but the damage was done.

There were whispers of conflict of interest and while Palaszczuk won't say it was those whispers that ended the relationship; that she chose the political over the personal, she will note: "I don't think it helped."

Drabsch now lives in Darwin where he is the chief executive at the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation for the Northern ­Territory Government.

"There was a lot of outside pressure on our ­relationship, but ultimately I don't think we were well suited, we were, instead, very good friends."