QUEENSLAND'S longest serving premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen has died following a long and brave battle with illness. The 94-year-old died at about 6pm (1800 AEST) in the South Burnett Community Hospital in his home town of Kingaroy, 300km north-west of Brisbane, surrounded by his family.
One of Australia's most controversial political leaders will be honoured with a state funeral in Kingaroy next week and buried on the family property, Bethany.
Sir Joh, Queensland premier from 1968 to 1987, was admitted to hospital on Monday and his family, including wife Lady Flo, maintained a bedside vigil over five days.
The former premier spent much of the last year of his life bedridden and unable to speak as he deteriorated from a condition similar to &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/14900_.html ' target=_blank>Parkinson's disease known as progressive supranuclear palsy.
Sir Joh was one of the most colourful but also divisive leaders in Australian political history, publishes the Daily Telegraph. JOH Bjelke-Petersen's heart beats defiantly on, but the battle to define his political legacy has begun over the airwaves, on the internet and in the press.