Kate Jennifer Jones (born 10 April 1979) is an Australian politician and Queensland Government minister. She is a member of the Australian Labor Party and was elected in the seat of state electorate of Ashgrove in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland in 2006 which was previously held by former Speaker Jim Fouras (ALP). She was the Minister for Environment, Resource Management and Climate Change until 19 June 2011. She lost the seat to Campbell Newman in 2012, who went on to become premier, before retaking it in 2015. In the Palaszczuk Government, she is the Minister for Education, Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Small Business, and the Minister for Commonwealth Games.
Jones was the youngest woman in the Queensland Parliament and the youngest Minister in the Queensland Government.
Jones attended Kelvin Grove State High School in Kelvin Grove. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Journalism at the Queensland University of Technology while working part-time at The Gap Markets. She is completing her Masters in Environmental Law through the Australian National University.
Jones is a member of the Ashgrove Historical Society, Ashgrove Climate Change Action Group and sits on the management committee of the Enoggera Respite Centre. She is also a member of The Fred Hollows Foundation and World Vision.
Before entering Parliament, Jones worked as a Senior Media Adviser to Queensland Minister for Public Works, Housing and Racing Robert Schwarten and as Media Adviser to former Queensland Treasurer David Hamill.
Jones was elected to state Parliament for the seat of Ashgrove at the 2006 general election to succeed Jim Fouras, who had served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly during the 1990s. After retaining her seat in the 2009 election, she was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability in the new Bligh cabinet, replacing Andrew McNamara.
Jones stood down from cabinet on 19 June 2011 to focus on defending her seat against newly elected LNP leader Campbell Newman at the 2012 state election.
During the campaign Jones used lolly-pink branding rather than Labour's color of red; this tactic was copied from an approach used by Kevin Rudd. Jones' supporters were issued pink T-shirts with the words "Keep Kate".
At that election, Jones was defeated, suffering a 13 percent swing as part of the LNP's massive victory. Newman became Premier.
Jones sought to regain her old seat in the January 2015 state election. She won, defeating Newman on a swing of 10 percentmore than double what she needed. She became the second challenger to unseat a sitting premier in Queensland, the previous time this happened was in 1915.
On 16 February 2015, Jones was sworn in as Minister for Education, Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Small Business and Minister for the Commonwealth Games in the Palaszczuk Ministry.
Kate Jones is married to Paul Cronin (former chief media adviser to Queensland Premiers Anna Bligh and Peter Beattie, and who now heads media relations at Queensland Rail). They have a son, Thomas Anthony Cronin, who was born in 2010.