Lesley Clark

Interviewed by
Robin Sullivan
Sep 13 2011
Lesley Clark with Wayne Goss
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Lesley Clark discusses her childhood and education. She was born in 1948 and grew up in England in a working class family. She completed tertiary studies at the University of Sheffield after spending a year in Botswana as a volunteer. She came to Australia in 1971.
00:01:23 Lesley Clark explains her decision to study psychology.
00:02:21 Lesley Clark discusses her decision to move to Australia with her first husband. She discusses undertaking a PhD at the University of Queensland focusing on Indigenous learning styles. She then worked for Education Queensland in their guidance program.
00:04:20 Lesley Clark discusses the development of her interest in politics from her time in England. She followed her second husband to Cairns and it was while in Cairns she became active in the environmental movement. She describes being approached to run for a seat on the Mulgrave Shire Council as part of a nonaligned team. She was elected to the Council in 1975. Cairns
00:08:17 Lesley Clark discusses her time as a local councillor on the Mulgrave Shire Council. She talks about the connection to the community she developed during her time in local government. She also highlights the importance of causes as an avenue for women to become involved in politics. She argues that in this period it was easier for women to get elected to state parliament if the candidate already had a profile from a period in local government. She then discusses her transition to state politics after having joined the Labor Party in 1987. Joan Kirner, women
00:13:09 Lesley Clark discusses her desire to extend the role of council beyond 'roads, rates and rubbish'. She highlights her achievements in environmental and social welfare areas during her time in local government. She discusses her decision to join the Labor Party. Cairns, Environment, local government
00:19:47 Lesley Clark discusses her transition to state politics. She states that David Barbagallo approached her to run for parliament. David Barbagallo, Wayne Swan
00:20:47 Lesley Clark discusses her political identity and her interactions with various Labor factions. She states that after her re-election she decided to remain aloof from the factions. Eventually she joined the more moderate left. She highlights the importance of factions in forging a career in the Labor Party. Anna Bligh, factions, Rod Welford, Stephen Robertson, Wayne Goss
00:24:48 Lesley Clark describes her career trajectory. She discusses the political culture of Barron River and the reasons she won in 1989. She lost in 1995 in the swing against the Goss Government. She highlights the role of the conservation movement in her defeat. 1989 election, campaign strategy, Environment, Goss Government 1989-96, Greens Party, housing, Martin Tenni, public sector reform
00:29:11 Lesley Clark discusses her decision to contest the 1998 election. One Nation obtained considerable support but she managed to win the seat. She highlights her reliance on Green preferences and her fraught relationship with the Greens. 1998 election, 2001 election, Beattie Government 1998-2007, campaign strategy, Drew Hutton, Greens Party, Lyn Warwick, One Nation, Peter Beattie, Peter Wellington, Warren Pitt
00:34:11 Lesley Clark discusses the tension between development and the environment in North Queensland. From 1981 when she became involved with the Wildlife Preservation Society she came into conflict with Martin Tenni over environmental and Indigenous issues. She describes Martin Tenni's political activism after leaving politics and relates her decision to take a less visible role, serving as campaign director for the seat in the state election in 2006 and the federal election in 2009. campaign strategy, Martin Tenni
00:38:31 Lesley Clark contrasts the political styles of Wayne Goss and Peter Beattie. She describes Goss as the right person for the time. Community Cabinets, Gold Coast Motorway, leadership, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss
00:40:59 Lesley Clark discusses relationships within the public service under Goss and Beattie. She emphasises the importance of personality and reflects on the roles of Kevin Rudd and Ken Smith. She discusses the public service reforms introduced by the Goss Government. Anna Bligh, Cabinet Office, Gulag, Ken Smith, Kevin Rudd, Peter Beattie, public sector reform, Wayne Goss
00:44:29 Lesley Clark discusses her role in various parliamentary committees. She discusses the unpopularity and electoral impacts of council amalgamations. She highlights the slow nature of political change. EARC, Electoral Commission, Freedom of Information, Jason O'Brien, Local council amalgamations, Matt Foley
00:48:25 Lesley Clark describes the belief in far North Queensland that the area did not get the attention it deserved, but she states the attitude did not reflect reality. She talks about the vulnerability of an economy based on agriculture and tourism and the tension between representing the electorate and the party. agricultural industry, Bob Norman, crossing the floor, Environment, James Cook University, North Queensland, Rod Welford, Terry Mackenroth, tourism, Warren Entsch
00:52:52 Lesley Clark discusses the role of ministerial advisors. Goss Government 1989-96, Mike Kaiser, ministerial advisers
00:54:00 Lesley Clark discusses her participation on parliamentary committees and the review of the committee system in which she was involved. She outlines her involvement with the committee exploring democracy and young people. committee system, David Solomon, EARC, Opposition, unicameral parliament, Westminster system
00:59:01 Lesley Clark describes her time as a parliamentary secretary in Health and then in Premier and Cabinet. She discusses the Smart Women, Smart State Strategy. She also discusses some of the local issues she was involved with, such as land zoning and environmental issues. She talks about the difficulties associated with dealing with public disenchantment. Environment, Health Department, IT, James Cook University, Keith De Lacy, Peter Beattie, Smart State, Steve Bredhauer, Wendy Edmond, women
01:10:49 Lesley Clark discusses her experiences as a woman in parliament. She reflects on the campaign to achieve affirmative action in the Labor Party. She discusses the implementation of penalties for failing to reach quotas. She talks about the approaches of other countries and parties. 2001 election, affirmative action, Anne Warner, Emily's List, factions, Vi Jordan, Wayne Goss, Wayne Swan, women
01:23:42 Interview ends.