The Queensland Speaks Symposium, held on 3 November 2011 at the University of Queensland, gathered together about 30 thinkers and practitioners involved in Queensland’s political history.

Part 4 Premiers, Leadership and Change

In this session interview extracts from five premiers – Mike Ahern, Russell Cooper, Wayne Goss, Rob Borbidge and Peter Beattie – from Queensland Speaks are played to give an insight into each of their premierships. This is followed by a reflection by commentators Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University and Dr Rae Wear from the University of Queensland on the Queensland leadership style and changing trends. Questions from the audience on changing media reporting and the role of journalists follow.

Note that due to the symposium format, on occasion part of a question or comment from the audience may be temporarily inaudible and that the audio has been recorded through a single microphone.

Rae Wear & Paul Williams
Labor politician Peter Beattie discusses his career in politics, beginning as Labor Party Secretary, and ending with an almost decade-long stint as Queensland Premier, 1998-2007. He focuses on his agenda to modernise and reform Queensland's government and economy through the Smart State policy and a committment to equal opportunity initiatives.
Peter Beattie
National Party politician Rob Borbidge discusses his rise through the party, his experiences of the Bjelke-Petersen and Goss Government eras and his time as the Premier of Queensland, 1996-98. He delves into Queensland's political culture and the One Nation Party.
Rob Borbidge
Labor Party Premier Wayne Goss (1951-2014) talks about his political career and leading the Queensland government from 1989-96. He addresses the challenges of winning office after 32 years in Opposition, the impacts of the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption, and the challenges of political and public service reform.
Wayne Goss
National Party politician Russell Cooper was Queensland Premier for 73 days in 1989 after successfully challenging Mike Ahern. As Minister for Corrective Services he brought about sweeping changes to prisons and oversaw gun reform.
Russell Cooper
In 1987 Mike Ahern successfully challenged Joh Bjelke-Petersen to become leader of the National Party and Premier of Queensland. He reflects on the reforms following the Fitzgerald Inquiry into corruption, the role of parliamentary committees and the impact of technology on state development.
Mike Ahern
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