Leo Hielscher

Interviewed by
Brian Head & Chris Salisbury
Aug 23 2011
Leo Hielscher
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Leo Hielscher discusses his childhood in Eumundi. He attended school in Eumundi, Maryborough, Nambour and finally Brisbane State High School. He discusses state education in Queensland. He relates how World War II interrupted his education and led to his employment with the Queensland public service in 1942.
00:03:06 Leo Hielscher describes his early appointments as junior clerk in the State Government Insurance Office and the Audit Office, interrupted by a period in the Air Force. He outlines some of the audits he was involved in and describes completing an accounting course and a commerce degree. Audit Office, University of Queensland
00:06:36 Leo Hielscher describes his time as an audit inspector travelling around Queensland. He discusses his time in the Education Department before being seconded to the Treasury Department in 1964. Audit Office, Education Department
00:08:21 Leo Hielscher discusses the Treasury Department and the lack of innovation in the department in the 1960s. He was initially employed as Deputy Under Treasurer to work on the budget. He describes the efforts he made to reduce the deficit. Treasury
00:13:55 Leo Hielscher reflects on the staffing and recruitment arrangements in the Treasury Department. He highlights his efforts to recruit graduates to the department. Evan Fells, John Hall, John Leach, Public Service Board, Stephen Rochester, Treasury
00:21:12 Leo Hielscher discusses receiving the Eisenhower Fellowship in 1973. The fellowship allowed him to study in America for six months. He discusses the ideas the trip generated. He discusses the debate over mining royalties. Comalco, Eisenhower Fellowship, Gordon Chalk, mineral leases
00:28:18 Leo Hielscher discusses working with the CoG and the government. He discusses the role of the loan council in funding capital works. He describes seeking a loan from the World Bank. Coordinator General, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, John Stone, Leo Knox, Llew Edwards, Premier's Department, Queensland Rail, Sydney Schubert, Treasury
00:35:57 Leo Hielscher outlines the development of the mining industry, the encouragement given to foreign companies and the use of developer contributions. Bowen, mining, Mitsui & Co, Treasury
00:41:22 Leo Hielscher discusses the modernisation of the Queensland ports system and public versus private ports. Abbot Point, BHP, coal, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, mining, ports, privatisation
00:45:30 Leo Hielscher delves into the nature of public administration in the 1980s.  He discusses the introduction of the operational audit service and the contract system in the public service. He discusses the Savage Report into the public service. Education Department, Ernest Savage, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Mike Ahern, Peter Forster, Public Service Board, Savage Commission of Inquiry, Treasury
00:54:19 Leo Hielscher describes working for Joh Bjelke-Petersen as Treasurer.   Andrew Fraser, Bill Gunn, Coalition, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Mike Ahern, Treasury, Westminster system
00:59:18 Leo Hielscher compares the working styles of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Mike Ahern. budget process, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Mike Ahern, Russ Hinze
01:02:42 Leo Hielscher discusses the relationship between Treasury and other key departments and agencies. He discusses Joh Bjelke-Petersen's trip to Romania. Beryl Young, Coordinator General, Gil Alison, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Ken Crook, Lang Hancock, Maryborough, Sydney Schubert, Treasury
01:13:07 Leo Hielscher discusses the relationship between Treasury and other key departments and public service staffing arrangements. Treasury
01:14:31 Leo Hielscher outlines the formation of the Queensland Treasury Corporation and discusses borrowing arrangements. John Hall, Queensland Treasury Corporation, Treasury
01:18:32 Leo Hielscher reflects on the impetus behind the establishment of the QTC. Mike Ahern, Queensland Treasury Corporation, Treasury
01:20:15 Leo Hielscher outlines his shift from head of Treasury to take up an appointment as the inaugural chairperson of the Queensland Treasury Corporation. He discusses his work in the private sector on company boards and in charities. Bill Gunn, board management, Expo 88, Gabba, Griffith University, Mike Ahern, Queensland Treasury Corporation, Treasury
01:24:00 Leo Hielscher describes the improvement in the economy as the high point of his career. He discusses the Eisenhower Fellowship and the QTC. He emphasises the importance of having a skilled team. Eisenhower Fellowship, Queensland Treasury Corporation
01:25:46 Interview ends