Bill Hewitt

Interviewed by
Roger Scott, Ann Scott & Suman Ojha
Oct 07 2009
Bill Hewitt
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Bill Hewitt discusses his family background and education. He discusses leaving school after scholarship and his early years in the workforce and training as an accountant.
00:02:56 Bill Hewitt relates how he became involved in the Young Liberals. Ian Bunsley, Young Liberals
00:03:57 Bill Hewitt discusses his involvement in political campaigns. He relates how he was asked to run for the seat of Belmont in 1960. 1961 election, Jim Killen, Leon Trout, Young Liberals
00:05:17 Bill Hewitt recalls his early experiences as an MP and the support he received from Treasurer Thomas Hiley. He discusses his appointment as secretary of the joint parties and Chairperson of Committees in 1975 after serving in the role in a temporary capacity. He talks about his approach to managing the committees. committee system, Cyril George, Jack Duggan, Kevin Hooper, Ted Walsh, Thomas Hiley
00:09:08 Bill Hewitt discusses his transition to the ministry after 14 years in parliament. He discusses what was involved in the portfolio and the government's lack of focus on the environment. Environment, Gordon Chalk, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, pollution, prisons, Russ Hinze, water policy
00:11:32 Bill Hewitt discusses departmental relationships. Administrative Services, Stan Hague
00:12:13 Bill Hewitt recalls the main sources of advice available to him and expands on his responsibilities as the Minister for Administrative Services. Administrative Services
00:13:38 Bill Hewitt delves into the evolution of the relationship between the Liberal and National parties during his career. He talks about the role of the Ginger Group in retaining the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Bill Knox, Don Lane, Ginger Group
00:15:59 Bill Hewitt discusses the formation of the education committee which was the first select committee formed in 50 years. He then delves into other parliamentary structures and specific public policy issues that he was involved with during the Bjelke-Petersen era. capital punishment, Charles Porter, Education Committee, education reform, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, local government, Mike Ahern, Tom Ahern
00:21:01 Bill Hewitt discusses cabinet decision making during the Bjelke-Petersen era. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Ken Tomkins, water infrastructure
00:22:50 Bill Hewitt reflects on the Fitzgerald Inquiry. He discusses the ability of the joint party room to hold the executive to account. He recalls some of the major issues of the time. brothels, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, right to march, Russ Hinze, Wayne Goss
00:24:58 Bill Hewitt discusses the tensions between the Liberals and the Nationals. He highlights the appointment of the chief justice and the debate over the public accounts committee. Attorney General, media, Public Accounts Committee
00:27:19 Bill Hewitt delves into the leaderships styles of the various National Party premiers and Liberal leaders and some of the significant events of the era. He gives his views on the replacement of Mike Ahern as premier.  Bill Knox, Gordon Chalk, Jack Pizzey, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership, Llew Edwards, Mike Ahern, Milan Brych, religion, Terry White
00:36:05 Bill Hewitt discusses his regrets from his time in parliament. He relates an incident regarding the low levels of parliamentary attendance and the repercussions he faced for pointing this out. He discusses his stand against the filling of a senate vacancy where Joh Bjelke-Petersen defied the parliamentary convention, and the police raid on Cedar Bay. Albert Field, Bill Kaus, Colin Lamont, Francis Nicklin
00:41:00 Bill Hewitt delves into the establishment of the select committee examining education policy and the influences on the committee's work. He discusses the role of Lionel Powell. Education Committee, Education Department, education reform, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Lionel Powell, MACOS, Mike Ahern, Rupert Goodman, SEMP, University of Queensland
00:47:01 Bill Hewitt discusses the debate over the establishment of the Public Accounts Committee and the disintegration of the coalition between the Liberal and National parties. Coalition, Ian Prentice, Joh Bjelke-Petersen
00:49:48 Bill Hewitt discusses the crafting of legislation and considers the role of the parliament and parties as a check on the executive. He discusses the introduction of questions without notice. He also talks about estimates debates. committee system, Mike Ahern
00:55:30 Bill Hewitt reflects on the evolution of the role of the speaker and the committee system. Alan Fletcher, committee system, Iwasaki Project, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Speaker, Tom Burns
00:59:02 Interview ends.