David Watson

Interviewed by
Roger Scott & Maree Stanley
Sep 13 2011
David Watson
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 David Watson discusses his involvement with student politics and later with US politics when he was working on his doctoral studies. He explains how he joined the Liberal Party at the beginning of the 1980s as a response to the political climate of the time.
00:02:40 David Watson reflects on the influences of his family and discusses his early political background.
00:04:45 David Watson discusses the differences between federal and state politics and explains how his financial background made him best suited to the federal level. He argues that there is very little difference between the mechanics of federal and state politics.
00:07:42 David Watson discusses running for the federal seat of Forde, the 1984 federal election campaign and his career following his subsequent loss of the federal seat in 1987.  He explains how he had entertained the idea of returning to federal government but after discussing the possibility of this with his family decided to go for the state seat of Moggill. electoral redistribution
00:11:54 David Watson discusses the differences in the Labor Party between the state and federal levels. He notes his own political ideology. Matt Foley
00:14:38 David Watson describes the public service reforms made by the Goss Government and gives his opinion on these reforms with regards to public service appointments. He comments on his relationship with Wayne Goss and makes general comments on Goss's leadership style. leadership, Peter Coaldrake, Public Sector Management Commission, Wayne Goss
00:18:03 David Watson discusses campaign strategies, in particular those in the 1996 election. He explains the formal strategies used to prime the public against the Goss Government and explains how they campaigned to show that the National and Liberal parties could work together. Bob Tucker, campaign strategy, Coalition, Joan Sheldon, Rob Borbidge
00:23:37 David Watson discusses the Mundingburra by-election. He details the public service hit list and comments on appointments of directors general. He discusses his role as parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer and recalls the privatisation of Suncorp. Doug McTaggart, Gerard Bradley, Joan Sheldon, Ken Davies, Mundingburra by-election 1996, privatisation, Rob Borbidge, Suncorp Metway
00:31:45 David Watson describes his review of the gaming industry and his move to Minister for Public Works and Housing. He discusses the low morale of the department and some of the strategies he used to boost morale. He recalls how the Opposition spokesperson for Housing, Terry Mackenroth, pulled him aside to say that as it was his first week of being the minister he could have a weeks grace during question time. He recalls the early expectations of the department. Joan Sheldon, Ken Davies, Mal Grierson, Terry Mackenroth, Terry Ryan
00:38:40 David Watson discusses early reforms he made to the purchase of public housing. He explains the various reactions by the Opposition, the department and other MPs. housing, Terry Mackenroth, Terry Ryan, White Shoe Brigade
00:43:26 David Watson discusses the consultation process during public housing reforms. He relates how the package was leaked to the press but this worked in the department's favour. Cabinet, housing, Terry Mackenroth
00:49:48 David Watson discusses the positive reaction of the tenants union to the housing reforms. He attributes this to prior consultation and good communication. housing
00:50:58 David Watson describes some of the challenges to the public consultation process. He comments on the reshuffling of portfolios and the relevance of placing some portfolios with others. Courier mail, gambling, Q Build
00:54:22 David Watson discusses leaving office in 1998 after Peter Beattie was elected, citing some of the possible causes of the electoral defeat. He comments on electoral rules, the rise of One Nation and the timing of the election. David Russell, Denver Beanland, electoral redistribution, One Nation, Rob Borbidge
00:58:49 David Watson discusses the rise of One Nation. He describes the National and Liberal party split over the issue of One Nation and the Vote One policy from the Labor Party as being a very good tactic. Liz Cunningham, One Nation
01:02:24 David Watson describes his professional relationship with Joan Sheldon. He discusses the remaining nine members of the Liberal Party who held onto their seats. He explains how Peter Beattie was able to use the media to his best advantage. 2001 election, Joan Sheldon, media, Peter Beattie, Rob Borbidge, State bank, Terry Bolger
01:09:20 David Watson discusses the leadership of the Liberal Party during the Beattie era and the role of ideology and individual members of the party. leadership
01:10:31 David Watson describes what he thinks was his greatest achievement during his time as a politician, the poker machine review. He describes the review process and the interest groups that were involved and the reactions of these groups. Bruce Davidson, David Hamill, gambling, Joan Sheldon, Keith De Lacy, poker machines
01:14:13 David Watson discusses the reaction to the poker machine white paper and the subsequent process which enabled him to get agreement. gambling, Joan Sheldon, poker machines, Rob Borbidge
01:18:37 David Watson describes his regret after losing the seat of Forde. He notes the difficulties of holding a federal seat with a young family. Andrew Peacock, Joh for Canberra, John Howard
01:23:11 Interview ends.