Llew Edwards

Interviewed by
Roger Scott & Ann Scott
Sep 22 2009
Llew Edwards
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:15 Llew Edwards describes how he became involved in politics in 1972 after a visit to his surgery by Gordon Chalk. Gordon Chalk, Ipswich
00:02:31 Llew Edwards describes his experiences during the 1972 state election. He discusses those politicians who had early experiences with local government and then went into state politics. 1972 election, Ipswich, Kevin Dwyer
00:04:49 Llew Edwards outlines the significant things that happened when he entered politics but before he became a minister. He describes winning his seat in the 1974 election by a large majority. 1974 election, Ipswich
00:05:30 Llew Edwards discusses his appointment as Minister for Health, the reasons for his appointment and the mandate for reform given to him by Gordon Chalk. He outlines the impacts of the restructuring of the federal healthcare system. 1974 election, Arthur Crawford, Gordon Chalk, health, Whitlam Government 1972-75
00:07:50 Llew Edwards discusses his awareness of issues within the coalition. He comments on the deterioration of the conduct of politicians in parliament. backbench, Coalition
00:10:27 Llew Edwards describes how Gordon Chalk was replaced by Bill Knox as leader of the Liberal Party. He notes the feelings of the Liberal Executive towards Knox's leadership. He describes how he was then appointed the leader of the Liberal Party and the way in which he went about acquiring the leadership. Bill Knox, Gordon Chalk, leadership
00:13:20 Llew Edwards outlines his appointment as Minister for Health, the departmental structure and the input from the public service into the policy process. He notes that he inherited the senior public servants in Health and they remained in those positions for the entirety of his five year term. Health Department, Peter Livingstone, relationship with public service, Ross Patrick
00:15:19 Llew Edwards discusses the main issues that he encountered during his time as Health Minister. He describes the situation in Queensland Health at the time when it was entirely funded by the state. He describes the standard of medicine practised as very high but the quality of facilities as extremely poor. He describes the policy commitment to rebuilding hospitals, and the large expenditure to achieve this. Bill Hayden, health, Health Department, hospitals
00:19:43 Llew Edwards discusses the private staff he had during his time in politics. He notes the differences between his experiences and modern politics. He notes the importance of professional advice coming from the heads of departments. He describes the authority he had and the large budget he had to work with as Health Minister. 1974 election, Health Department, ministerial staff, Public Works
00:22:37 Llew Edwards discusses his working relationship with Joh Bjelke-Petersen. He describes Bjelke-Petersen in the cabinet room. He discusses how he dealt with some of the strange requests of Bjelke-Petersen. Gordon Chalk, Joh Bjelke-Petersen
00:27:02 Llew Edwards notes the influences and pressures placed on Joh Bjelke-Petersen to make certain policy changes. He details the three key figures who influenced Bjelke-Petersen – Beryl Young, Allen Callaghan and Robert Sparkes. Allen Callaghan, Beryl Young, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, ministerial staff, Robert Sparkes, Sydney Schubert
00:32:10 Llew Edwards discusses his own close relationship with Robert Sparkes, especially in difficult cabinet situations, and the broader influence of Sparkes. Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Robert Sparkes
00:36:04 Llew Edwards outlines his appointment as Deputy Premier and Treasurer and his relationships with staff within the Treasury Department. He discusses sources of state revenue at this time, including mining royalties and new loan council agreements which rewarded states for their size and population spread. Leo Hielscher, Treasury
00:40:04 Llew Edwards discusses the relationship between the state and federal treasurer.  backbench, Expo 88, Malcolm Fraser, Treasury, Whitlam Government 1972-75
00:45:20 Llew Edwards discusses the political process in Queensland, in particular the power of Cabinet and the lack of committees. He reflects on the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Cabinet, committee system, Fitzgerald Inquiry, ministerial advisers
00:48:29 Llew Edwards outlines the political significance of parliamentary accountability and comments on the development of parliamentary committees. accountability, committee system, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Public Accounts Committee
00:51:38 Llew Edwards explains how he decided to retire from politics after he was defeated in a Liberal leadership challenge. He notes the impact this had on the coalition at the time. Brian Austin, Don Lane, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership, Terry White
00:56:37 Llew Edwards comments on his greatest achievements during his political career. He describes getting the Medibank agreement and 40 new hospitals built. More generally, he notes the pleasure at being part of a democratic system of government. hospitals
00:58:18 Llew Edwards comments on his hopes for the future of Queensland politics. He discusses limiting the levels of government and the process by which each level goes to the polls. Gough Whitlam, republic
01:02:42 Llew Edwards discusses his career after retiring from parliament and notes the importance of life experience for new members of parliament. accountability, transport infrastructure
01:06:19 Llew Edwards discusses Expo '88. He notes the role of both the federal and state governments in Expo. He discusses the resumption of land at the Southbank site. He describes his appointment to the University of Queensland Senate. Bob Hawke, Expo 88, University of Queensland
01:12:45 Llew Edwards reflects on Expo, including the legislation introduced, the tight deadlines and the power he had to achieve completion. He recalls how Expo had initially been rejected in cabinet and the reactions of Bob Hawke to Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Expo bid. Bill Knox, Bob Hawke, Expo 88, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, unions
01:20:13 Llew Edwards discusses the development of Queensland cultural institutions before and after Expo. Alan Fletcher, Art Gallery, Expo 88, Gordon Chalk
01:26:29 Llew Edwards discusses some of his regrets. He states that big central hospitals have resulted in a reduction in the level of personalised care available to patients. health, hospitals
01:29:28 Interview ends.