The Honourable Keith Ernest De Lacy AM

After leaving UQ Gatton, Keith De Lacy share-farmed tobacco with his father before drawing his own farm in an irrigation ballot with the Tinaroo Dam Irrigation Scheme. He sold this to work as an underground miner at lrvinebank in North Queensland before spending eight years in Papua New Guinea, first as an agricultural officer then as Principal of the Highlands Agricultural College in Mt Hagen. On returning to Cairns, he and his wife bought a newsagency and he worked concurrently as an international agricultural consultant for clients such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Asian Development Bank.

In 1983 he was elected Member for Cairns, launching a distinguished 15-year State Parliamentary career. He was Treasurer of Queensland from 1989 to 1996-the whole term of the Goss Government. He retained his strong rural links during this period by being responsible for drought policy, the Rural Adjustment Scheme, and the Queensland Industry Development Corporation (QIDC).

Since retiring from politics in 1998, Keith De Lacy has immersed himself in the corporate world. He is chair of Ergon Energy, Macarthur Coal, and Trinity Funds Management, and a director of the Queensland Investment Corporation, Securities Exchange Guarantee Corporation, and Reef Casino Trust.

His contributions to the community include chairing the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal in Cairns since 1999 and serving as a director of the Cairns International University since the initiative was launched in 1998.

James Cook University honoured him with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa in 1999 for services to the community of North Queensland and to the University, particularly in the establishment of the Cairns campus. He is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.


Gatton Gold Medal


Diploma in Agriculture
Bachelor of Arts