Peter Beattie

Interviewed by
Danielle Miller & Peter Spearritt
May 28 2010
Peter Beattie
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:25 Peter Beattie discusses his decision to resign as Labor State Secretary and run for preselection in the 1989 state election, placing this in the context of a push to expand the party beyond the unions to include groups such as women and white collar workers. 1989 election, Denis Murphy, unions, Wayne Goss, women
00:04:03 Peter Beattie speaks about the reforms to the Labor Party in the 1980s, the recognition that a strong public service was required to deliver the party's new policy directions, and the importance of key senior public servants during the Bjelke-Petersen era. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Denis Murphy, Gordon Chalk, Leo Hielscher
00:07:54 Peter Beattie talks about his first years in parliament, and the challenge of chairing the PCJC during the CJC investigation into parliamentary travel allowances. 1989 election, corruption, Criminal Justice Commission, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Goss Government 1989-96, Max Bingham, Terry Mackenroth, Wayne Goss
00:11:23 Peter Beattie reflects on the ructions caused by the Criminal Justice Commission's inquiry into parliamentary travel, and the lack of support provided by the Premier. Criminal Justice Commission, Goss Government 1989-96, Max Bingham, Wayne Goss
00:13:13 Peter Beattie speaks about his continuing unpopularity following his involvement with the Criminal Justice Commission's inquiry into parliamentary travel, and his move into the ministry following the 1995 election. Criminal Justice Commission, Goss Government 1989-96, Health Department
00:15:19 Peter Beattie talks about taking up the Health ministry, his reforms to the structure of the health service, and the difficulty of finding the right director general to head up a department. Borbidge Government 1996-98, Dick Persson, directors general, Goss Government 1989-96, Health Department, housing, Rob Stable, Tom Burns
00:20:40 Peter Beattie discusses the removal of highly competent Goss Government public servants by the Borbidge Government, and their replacement with less able Bjelke-Petersen era stalwarts. Borbidge Government 1996-98, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Goss Government 1989-96, Hit List
00:23:43 Peter Beattie speaks about the rise of One Nation, his resolve that they not receive Labor preferences, and the impact this had on Labor's electoral outcomes. 1998 election, Beattie Government 1998-2007, One Nation, Pauline Hanson
00:25:49 Peter Beattie talks about the shadow cabinet's preparation for office while in opposition, and their development of a suite of new reform policies gathered together under the  agenda-setting concept of the Smart State. 1998 election, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Glyn Davis, Smart State
00:33:42 Peter Beattie speaks about his first term as premier, and the creation of the first cabinet. He discusses subsequent cabinets, and the challenge of dealing with ministers of varying abilities. Anna Bligh, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Goss Government 1989-96
00:36:49 Peter Beattie discusses the importance of renewal in the cabinet, and the need to ensure that under-performing ministers move on. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Dean Wells, Gordon Nuttall
00:39:57 Peter Beattie talks about recruiting the personal staff who provided ongoing advice and support through his career, emphasising his merit-based approach and his disdain for the party factions. factions, Goss Government 1989-96, Rob Whiddon, Steve Bishop
00:45:12 Peter Beattie discusses his approach to dealing with lobby groups and donations in the context of the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87
00:46:47 Peter Beattie considers the major crises faced during his premiership, reflecting that his government avoided the scandals of the Bjelke-Petersen era by emphasising honesty. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Gordon Nuttall
00:49:18 Peter Beattie talks about taxes and revenue, focusing particularly on the negotiations surrounding the introduction of the GST, and the revenue generated by gambling. Australian Democrats, Beattie Government 1998-2007, gambling, GST, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, taxation
00:52:06 Peter Beattie discusses his decision to retire from politics, his work to foster talent within the party in order to transition the leadership of the party, and initial resistance to his selection of a female successor. Anna Bligh, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Bligh Government 2007-12, leadership, Local council amalgamations, Smart State, Terry Mackenroth, women
00:56:45 Peter Beattie reflects on his policy initiatives, identifying the Smart State suite of policies as his greatest achievement, and reiterating his belief in the importance of research and innovation in Queensland's future. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Chuck Feeney, coal seam gas, Rudd Government 2007-10, Smart State, universities, University of Queensland
01:04:07 Peter Beattie discusses the work his government did to establish Queensland as a base for major companies like Virgin, and the impact that increased airline competition had on travel and the Queensland economy. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Qantas, Ross Rolfe, State Development Department, tourism, Virgin Airlines
01:07:06 Peter Beattie talks about his negotiations to overcome the mining industry's initial reluctance to fund research into clean coal, and his push to research alternative energy sources. coal, geothermal energy, mining
01:11:29 Peter Beattie speaks about his relationship with the media, particularly the Courier mail and The Australian. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Chris Mitchell, Courier mail, media, Sean Lahey, The Australian
01:14:06 Peter Beattie talks about managing the opening of major developments, including the Goodwill Bridge and GOMA. Art Gallery, Beattie Government 1998-2007, GOMA, Goodwill Bridge, Robert Schwarten
01:16:37 Peter Beattie talks about the need to placate the Queensland electorate by giving even the most radical policy the appearance of conservatism, including reforms to anti-discrimination legislation. anti-discrimination, Beattie Government 1998-2007, churches, Goss Government 1989-96, homosexuality, Jim Soorley, women
01:21:46 Peter Beattie discusses the issue of daylight savings in Queensland and its lack of relevance in an increasingly globalised economy, and talks about conscience votes on contentious issues. Beattie Government 1998-2007, daylight saving, John Bathersby
01:24:22 Peter Beattie speaks about reform to the Labor Party and consensus building as a premier, and discusses the issue of the republic. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Denis Murphy, republic, women
01:28:35 Interview ends
Further reading: 
Peter Beattie, In the arena, Boolarong Publications, 1990
Peter Beattie, Making a difference, reflections on life, leadership and politics, Harper Collins, 2005