Paul Fennelly

Interviewed by
Brian Head & Chris Salisbury
Mar 21 2014
Paul Fennelly
Time Summary Keywords

Paul Fennelly talks about his upbringing in Brisbane and his university studies in politics, law and industrial relations. He speaks of beginning his working career as a trainee Industrial Officer with the Metal Trades Industry Association in Queensland, before moving to senior roles in different state offices of the Australian Industry Group (AI Group). He notes his current executive role with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).

APPEA, Australian Industry Group, Bert Evans, Industrial Relations, MTIA, University of Queensland

Paul Fennelly explains the industries and sectors that make up the AI Group in different states. He notes that in Queensland the manufacturing industry members were mainly from the traditional agriculture and mining sectors. He also outlines his role representing those industries as a Director of the AI Group.

agricultural industry, Australian Industry Group, Curtis Island, gas, Industrial Relations, manufacturing, mining, MTIA, Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, workplace safety

Paul Fennelly talks about gaining access to the different levels of government as a spokesperson on behalf of various industries. He mentions some of the Queensland government figures that he found attentive to his representations. He compares these activities to his experiences while working for AI Group in Victoria and the different industrial environment in that state.

Australian Industry Group, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Borbidge Government 1996-98, Con Sciacca, Goss Government 1989-96, Industrial Relations, Jim Elder, John Brumby, Kennett Government, Liz Cunningham, manufacturing, MTIA, Peter Beattie, Rob Borbidge, Steve Bracks, Wayne Goss, Workers Compensation legislation

Paul Fennelly gives his impressions of the early Beattie government and its relations with industry and the business sector in Queensland. He comments on that government's strong relations with the university sector, and how these as well as its industry links helped to establish the Smart State agenda. He describes how, after three years with the AI Group in Victoria, he returned to enter the Queensland public service.

Anna Bligh, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Bruce Wilson, business community, education, exports, Glyn Davis, Jim Elder, John Hay, Peter Beattie, Peter Coaldrake, Research and Development, Ross Rolfe, Smart State, State Development Department, Tom Barton, Tony McGrady

Paul Fennelly describes the standing of the Department of State Development in relation to the Beattie Government's overall agenda. He speaks about the department's ministers and their relations with other senior Cabinet members.

Jim Elder, Peter Beattie, Premier's Department, State Development Department, Terry Mackenroth, Tom Barton, Treasury

Paul Fennelly outlines the challenges he faced and alliances he built heading his department after coming into the public service from an industry role. He talks about the central role of the Coordinator General and how he combined this with his position as Director General.

Comalco, Coordinator General, gas, Ross Rolfe, State Development Department

Paul Fennelly describes his department's role in implementing the Beattie Government's Smart State agenda. He gives his impressions of how the strategy was being received by industry and within the government, and how funding for initiatives was procured and dispersed. He reflects on the department's achievements in attracting new industries to Queensland.

agribusiness, aviation, Boeing, confidentiality agreements, exports, industry incentives, Jeff Seeney, Jetstar, manufacturing, Queensland Industry Incentive Scheme, Research and Development, services sector, Smart State, State Development Department, Treasury, Virgin Airlines

Paul Fennelly outlines his department's role in supporting the Research & Development sector and attracting high-technology industries and researchers to Queensland. He comments on the success that university vice-chancellors enjoyed in lobbying the Beattie Government. He states that this 'innovation' agenda was driven by Premier Beattie who enjoyed close links with research industry figures.

biotechnology, Chuck Feeney, Gerard Bradley, Glyn Davis, Innovation, John Hay, medical research, Paul Greenfield, Peter Beattie, Peter Coaldrake, research, Research and Development, Smart State, State Development Department, universities

Paul Fennelly details some of the projects across Queensland that he oversaw as the Coordinator General. He notes that while much of the Smart State agenda saw activity focused on the State's south-east corner, there was huge investment and development projects in other regions. He also outlines some of the role's chief responsibilities.

Coordinator General, Economic Development, employment growth, environment issues, Gladstone, infrastructure, PPP, South East Queensland, State Development Department

Paul Fennelly describes the addition of the Innovation portfolio to the State Development Department under the Beattie Government. He comments on the machinery of government changes following elections generally, and on the changes specifically to State Development while he was Director General.

Chief Scientist, creative industries, Innovation, John Hay, Paul Lucas, Peter Andrews, Peter Beattie, Peter Coaldrake, Queensland University of Technology, Research and Development, Smart State, State Development Department, Tony McGrady, Trade, Treasury, universities

Paul Fennelly talks about his department's role in supporting development projects and investment in Queensland's traditional primary industries, and the department's relations with this sector. He outlines the importance of the role of Coordinator General in determining support for certain projects, but notes that this process may have become overused by state governments.

agricultural industry, aviation, biotechnology, Coordinator General, creative industries, environment issues, industry incentives, Jim Elder, manufacturing, Mines, Energy and Northern Development, mining, Peter Beattie, Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Research and Development, Rio Tinto, services sector, Smart State, State Development Department

Paul Fennelly speaks of his department's interest and activity in the energy sector, in particular the gas export industry. He describes the Beattie Government's eagerness to pursue sources of energy production in addition to coal.

coal, coal seam gas, energy production, Origin Energy, Peter Beattie, resources infrastructure, Santos, State Development Department

Paul Fennelly explains his move out of the State Development Department in 2006 and outlines his final government role as CEO of a new body, Forestry Plantations Queensland. He reflects on the momentum shifts in the government's agenda during the transition from Peter Beattie to Anna Bligh as Premier.

Anna Bligh, asset sales, AWU, Bill Ludwig, Forestry, State Development Department, Treasury

Paul Fennelly comments on the impact of the Smart State strategy on Queensland's economic development. He notes that some of the strategy's impetus for constructive change was lost when the slogan was overused by sections of the State's public service.

aviation, bipartisanship, Chuck Feeney, Peter Beattie, research, Smart State

Paul Fennelly reflects on his time in the public service and on his proudest achievements while head of a central department, noting the strong growth of Queensland's export sector. He gives his impression of the nature of the public service.

aviation, engineering services, exports, mining

Interview ends