Martin Tenni

Interviewed by
Robin Sullivan
Sep 14 2011
Martin Tenni
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Martin Tenni discusses his childhood and education. He was born in Cairns in 1934. He completed his primary schooling in Freshwater and then intermediate in Cairns but had to leave school after the death of his father. He was employed by a hardware company, he transferred to Mareeba and eventually bought his own hardware company. He describes expanding the business and the decision to stand for the Council. He rose to become the Shire Chairperson before it was suggested that he run for state government. He describes his campaign and election. local government
00:04:18 Martin Tenni discusses his father's interest in politics.
00:04:35 Martin Tenni notes his decision to join the National Party while serving as Shire Chairperson. He notes the various committees he was a part of when he was elected to parliament. He also states that he served as both a state MP and finished his term on the Mareeba Shire Council and highlights the enormous time commitment his responsibilities involved. Cairns, local government
00:06:37 Martin Tenni discusses his reasons for supporting the National Party. He espouses his views on free trade and globalisation. agricultural industry
00:08:19 Martin Tenni discusses Joh Bjelke-Petersen and reflects on his management style. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, budget process, Cabinet, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership
00:10:32 Martin Tenni describes his time as a backbencher and coming into conflict with his own government. He discusses his efforts to improve the infrastructure and facilities in his own electorate. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Cairns, Joh Bjelke-Petersen
00:12:29 Martin Tenni explains why he thinks he won a long term Labor seat. He segues into the Fitzgerald Inquiry's investigation of him. campaign strategy, Fitzgerald Inquiry
00:13:53 Martin Tenni discusses the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the way in which the inquiry operated. He describes how he was investigated after being named by Don Lane. He states that his anger about the inquiry precipitated his decision to retire from parliament. Don Lane, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Heiner Enquiry
00:15:34 Martin Tenni describes how he came to be appointed to the ministry. He states that he was appointed after Bjelke-Petersen fired Mike Ahern and others from the ministry in 1983. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Ivan Gibbs, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Mike Ahern, Mines, Energy and Northern Development, Water Resources and Maritime Services
00:18:12 Martin Tenni notes the issues involved in his first portfolio of Environment, Evaluations and Administrative Services and his style as a minister. He focuses on the changes he implemented in relation to property evaluations. Environment
00:21:38 Martin Tenni discusses his time as Minister for Water Resources and Maritime Services. He highlights the efforts he put into obtaining adequate financing for the department. budget process, sugar, water infrastructure, Water Resources and Maritime Services
00:23:26 Martin Tenni discusses the financing of infrastructure projects. He states that financing came from state and federal funding as opposed to private investment. He then discusses some water projects. Cabinet, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, water infrastructure
00:26:03 Martin Tenni discusses the Treasurers he worked with during the Bjelke-Petersen years. He highlights the challenges of decentralisation when distributing funds. Gordon Chalk, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Llew Edwards
00:28:03 Martin Tenni delves into the challenges of decentralisation and raising issues of importance. He notes those in cabinet who would support north Queensland issues. Cabinet, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Lionel Powell, Mike Ahern, North Queensland, Peter McKechnie
00:29:20 Martin Tenni discusses the key issues he dealt with during his time at mines and energy. Environment, Greens Party, Mines, Energy and Northern Development, pollution
00:33:01 Martin Tenni delves into the environmental issues he dealt with during his ministerial career. He describes the threats he received over the Cape Tribulation Road. Asia, drug trafficking, Environment, North Queensland, personal vilification, Police
00:37:24 Martin Tenni discusses the selection of directors general as well as his relationships with the directors general he worked with during his ministerial career. He discusses the staffing of his ministerial office and the duties of his office staff. directors general, Kevin Wolfe, ministerial staff, relationship with public service
00:40:12 Martin Tenni reflects on his decision to retire from parliament. He cites health reasons as a contributing factor in his decision. work life balance
00:43:04 Martin Tenni discusses his regrets from his time in politics. He highlights the lack of training for new ministers. He states that the Fitzgerald Inquiry was a significant factor in his decision to retire. Cabinet, Fitzgerald Inquiry, infrastructure, local government
00:45:15 Martin Tenni compares the leadership styles of Bjelke-Petersen, Mike Ahern and Russell Cooper. He details the vote to replace Mike Ahern with Russell Cooper. Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership, Mike Ahern, Russell Cooper
00:47:30 Martin Tenni discusses his life after leaving parliament. He describes planting and farming a mango orchard at Mareeba. He also discusses building the sugar industry, and his move into real estate. agricultural industry, sugar
00:51:02 Martin Tenni discusses being acting minister for various portfolios. Don Lane, Peter McKechnie
00:52:12 Interview ends.