Mike Ahern

Interviewed by
Rae Wear & Chris Salisbury
Jun 16 2011
Mike Ahern
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Mike Ahern discusses his early experience as one of the younger members of parliament. He explains how he became a member at 25 and the impact that his age had on colleagues. Francis Nicklin, Joe Baker
00:03:51 Mike Ahern speaks on cross party friendships and explains how not all members of parliament shared his view that these relationships were beneficial. Jack Pizzey, Joh Bjelke-Petersen
00:05:33 Mike Ahern comments on the professional impact his university education had on his colleagues. James Cook University, Neville Hewitt, women
00:08:09 Mike Ahern discusses the role of committees in parliamentary accountability. He talks specifically about the select committee on crimes of violence, committee on privileges, select committee on education and the role of technology in advancing the delivery of distance education. Bill Hewitt, Bill Knox, capital punishment, Education Committee, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, MACOS, Rona Joyner, SEMP, Sex education, STOP and CARE
00:14:06 Mike Ahern speaks on the impact of the select committee on education and about the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education. Caroline Barker, Lindsay Barker, Lionel Powell
00:16:32 Mike Ahern comments on the unicameral system in Queensland and the Westminster parliamentary system. accountability, unicameral parliament, Westminster system
00:20:16 Mike Ahern reflects on the length of time it took for him to become a minister. He discusses his time as Minister for Primary Industries and how he was appointed Minister for Technology. Don Young, Fisheries, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership, technology parks
00:26:00 Mike Ahern outlines the development of the technology portfolio, specifically the establishment of technology parks. He also comments on the budgetary process of getting funding for projects. budget process, international relations, Leo Hielscher, QCAT, QIMR, technology parks, tobacco tax, Treasury
00:30:54 Mike Ahern speaks on the introduction of the tobacco tax. random breath testing, tobacco tax
00:32:39 Mike Ahern comments on the Joh for Canberra campaign, and in particular the impacts this had on the Queensland National Party. Bill Gunn, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Joh for Canberra, Robert Sparkes, World's Tallest Building
00:36:40 Mike Ahern reflects on the impact of World Expo '88 on Queensland. Expo 88, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, stamp duties
00:38:08 Mike Ahern discusses the affects of the Fitzgerald Inquiry on his term as premier and his famous promise to implement the recommendations from the inquiry 'lock, stock and barrel'. He speaks about his professional life after politics. Criminal Justice Commission, drug trafficking, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Goss Government 1989-96, media, Peter Beattie, Trade Commissioner
00:45:44 Mike Ahern speaks about the Westminster system and on the electoral zoning system. Canada, Westminster system
00:55:19 Mike Ahern discusses the impact of technology on the Lands Department. Brian Austin, exports, Land Titles Office, Lands, technology
00:57:54 Mike Ahern discusses the Savage Report and comments on the politicisation of the public service. frank and fearless advice, Joan Kirner, public sector reform
01:01:04 Mike Ahern considers succession planning and reflects on the recruitment strategies needed to get good people into politics and the public service. merit based selection, public sector reform
01:03:07 Mike Ahern discusses the impacts of his political career on his children. Kaye Paterson, Peter Costello, superannuation legislation
01:05:04 Mike Ahern comments on the issue of daylight saving in Queensland and the lead up to the contestation of his leadership of the National Party. daylight saving, Fitzgerald Inquiry
01:07:02 Mike Ahern speaks about the anniversary of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the need for further reforms. Fitzgerald Inquiry, Gordon Nuttall
01:08:55 Mike Ahern comments on the One Nation Party and the use of minority parities as a wake up call for the major parties. Bob Katter, One Nation, Pauline Hanson
01:11:20 Mike Ahern speaks about the Queensland Community Foundation. board management, Doug McTaggart, Public Trustee, Queensland Investment Corporation
01:14:42 Mike Ahern discusses regrets from his time in politics.
01:17:22 Mike Ahern discusses the fisheries industry and the move towards sound resource management. He comments on state spending on hospitals and about financial waste in the hospital system. Fisheries, hospitals, medical research
01:22:45 Mike Ahern comments on the roles and responsibilities of ministers, past and present. He discusses the press and Margaret Thatcher. Expo 88, Leo Hielscher, media, Queensland Investment Corporation
01:27:24 Mike Ahern discusses some of the people he has met during his career. Andrew Peacock, Bob Hawke, Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating
01:29:00 Mike Ahern speaks on the various state development strategies in Queensland. coal, mining, Peter Beattie, Quality Queensland, Smart State, state development
01:32:59 Interview ends.
Further reading: 
Paul Reynolds, Lock, stock & barrel: a political biography of Mike Ahern, UQP, 2002
Denis Murphy, Roger Joyce, Margaret Cribb and Rae Wear (eds), The premiers of Queensland, UQP, 2003