Molly Robson

Interviewed by
Danielle Miller
Oct 14 2010
Molly Robson
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Molly Robson discusses her family background, including her early life in Sydney, her accounting qualifications and how she relocated to Queensland.
00:01:32 Molly Robson describes how an active interest in the consumer movement led to an understanding of the ideological differences of political parties. She describes how the move to Queensland eventually led to a career in politics. Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Neville Wran
00:03:35 Molly Robson outlines her decision to run for parliament. She explains how prior to her parliamentary career she worked at the Caxton Legal Centre with several members of the Labor Party, including Wayne Goss. She describes how it was Goss who suggested a political career to her on the basis of her interest in social reform. Matt Foley, Wayne Goss
00:05:48 Molly Robson explains the processes that preceded her preselection for the Springwood electorate. She illustrates the challenges of campaigning and the importance of understanding the issues of the constituency. Bill D'Arcy, Bob Gibbs, campaign strategy, Logan, prisons, Springwood, Woodridge
00:09:50 Molly Robson comments on the local Labor Party branches and the decision to amalgamate two branches which led to a revitalisation of the Labor Party in this area.  
00:11:30 Molly Robson discusses the strategies she used during her electoral campaign, and importance of branch members during this period. 1989 election, campaign strategy
00:15:28 Molly Robson explains how Wayne Goss was integral to the success of the 1989 election. She comments on the leadership style of Wayne Goss and briefly comments on the style of Mike Ahern. She discusses the effects of the Fitzgerald Inquiry on the political landscape. 1989 election, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Mike Ahern, Wayne Goss
00:17:40 Molly Robson discusses women in government and the challenges of the male dominated culture. She comments on the role of parliamentary committees in advancing the reforms of the Goss Government. Anne Warner, committee system, EARC, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Lesley Clark, Matt Foley, Rod Welford, women
00:21:28 Molly Robson discusses the additional layer of responsibility for women parliamentarians in pushing for equality. She comments on the history of abortion law reform. abortion, Emily's List, homosexuality, prostitution, women
00:23:12 Molly Robson discusses equality for women with emphasis on the importance of continuing to push for reforms and the risk that younger women are unaware of existing inequalities. Bob Hawke, Quentin Bryce, sexual discrimination, women
00:26:27 Molly Robson discusses the role of caucus secretary and the role of caucus committees within the Goss Government. She discusses the strategies she used for raising contentious issues in caucus. abortion, Goss Government 1989-96, Terry Mackenroth, Tom Burns
00:31:10 Molly Robson discusses election mandates, party policy and the Labor Party conference. She notes her ministerial appointment and how a variety of professional and personal experiences prepared her for the Environment portfolio. She comments on the previous Environment Minister, Patrick Comben. 1989 election, 1992 election, Bob Gibbs, Environment, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Pat Comben
00:36:45 Molly Robson discusses the appointment of her Director General and the difficulties associated with starting in a new department. She discusses the priorities during her time as minister and how she consulted widely to ensure she had the correct picture. She speaks on these priorities; continuation of the National Park estate, air and water pollution and indigenous heritage. Molly Robson comments on the importance of the relationship with the federal government. Craig Emerson, Environment, National Parks, Pat Comben, pollution, Ros Kelly
00:43:39 Molly Robson discusses the strategic planning processes that underpinned state development during the Goss era. She comments on the various strategies employed by the government to encourage business to Queensland. David Hamill, Goss Government 1989-96, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, state development, Terry Mackenroth
00:45:04 Molly Robson comments on the process of cabinet reform during the Goss era. She outlines the preparation involved prior to attending cabinet and the expectations of Wayne Goss during cabinet meetings. She explains the role of the Office of Cabinet in co-ordinating the cabinet submissions. Cabinet Office, Craig Emerson, Kevin Rudd, Wayne Goss
00:48:44 Molly Robson discusses the challenges of getting funding for environmental policy and programs during this time. She explains the role of education as pivotal to protecting the environment. She comments on the dominance of economic rationalism. budget process, economic rationalism, Environment
00:53:29 Molly Robson comments on Queensland environmental policy in comparison to other states and the federal government. She credits Patrick Comben with playing catch up and comments on her ambition to make Queensland a leader on environmental policy. Environment, National Parks, Pat Comben, Ros Kelly
00:55:29 Molly Robson comments on the effects of the Leading State strategy on the Environment portfolio. She explains policies behind the Jobs for the Environment program and speaks on the success of this program. Environment
00:58:53 Molly Robson discusses the development of the environment movement in Queensland and notes some of the challenges and benefits of working with lobby groups. She explains some of the strategies she used to build positive relationships with diverse groups such as developers, environment groups and farmers. Environment, Greens Party, unions
01:02:59 Molly Robson discusses the Goss Government's response to drought and shares her feelings on dam building and water rationing. drought, Jim Soorley, water policy
01:05:00 Molly Robson outlines the challenges to getting the Wet Tropics World Protection Act legislation passed. She comments on some of the issues involved in working with Indigenous stakeholders. Corrective Services Commission, Environment, Great Barrier Reef, Indigenous issues, prisons
01:12:27 Molly Robson discusses the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef with regards to drilling for oil. She explains what the Goss Government implemented in the way of compensation for displaced workers on Fraser Island. Cabinet Office, Craig Emerson, Great Barrier Reef, oil, Pat Comben, World Heritage
01:16:09 Molly Robson discusses the Starkey Station controversy and how this impacted on her during question time. David Barbagallo, Dennis Atkins, Doug Slack, Paul Keating, Rob Borbidge, Ros Kelly, Tony Koch
01:23:30 Molly Robson discusses the professional relationships built during her political career, her approach to these relationships, her reputation and the role of opposition. She explains the need for preparation prior to parliament and discusses the role of ministerial staff with regards to advice, crisis management and the management of the media. media, ministerial staff, Pat Comben, Peter Beattie, Wilderness Society
01:29:20 Molly Robson comments on the role of political advisors, ministerial staff and the links between these staff and the department. ministerial advisers, ministerial staff
01:30:28 Molly Robson recalls how the Koala Motorway went ahead, her objections to it and how it led to her losing her seat. Craig Emerson, David Hamill, Gold Coast Motorway, Kevin Rudd, koala habitat, Peter Coaldrake, public sector reform
01:38:04 Molly Robson discusses the role of education in environment reform and cultural change. She notes the legacy of the Bjelke-Petersen era and the reforms of the Goss Government. She comments on the environmental impacts of population pressures and incremental policy change. Environment, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Pat Comben
01:42:35 Molly Robson speaks on her frustration around abortion law reform and the establishment of Emily's List. abortion, Carmen Lawrence, Emily's List, Joan Kirner, women
01:43:48 Molly Robson discusses Emily's List and abortion law reform. abortion, Anna Bligh, Bonnie Barry, Emily's List, women
01:44:53 Molly Robson comments on her achievements, including species preservation and the introduction of legislation including the Environmental Protection Act, Wet Tropics Legislation, Great Barrier Marine Park Legislation, Nature Preservation and the Moreton Bay Act. She explains her pride at working with Indigenous groups. She comments on the frustrations and challenges of designing and implementing environment policy. Cabinet Office, Environment, Great Barrier Reef, Pat Comben
01:49:40 Molly Robson comments on politicians and politics in general.
01:51:05 Interview ends.