Tony McGrady

Interviewed by
Danielle Miller
Dec 07 2011
Tony McGrady
Time Summary Keywords

Tony McGrady details his early childhood in Liverpool, UK. He describes his move to Australia and his choice to move to Mount Isa. He discusses work conditions before and after the 1964 Mount Isa Mines dispute, including industrial relations issues.


Tony McGrady discusses his move into politics. He describes competing for the seat of Kennedy in the 1972 election, his move into the Mount Isa local council in 1973, his election as mayor and the subsequent move into State politics in 1989.

1989 election, Bob Katter, local government, Mt Isa, Wayne Goss, Wayne Swan

Tony McGrady describes his experience of the differences between the British and Australian Labor Parties. He describes the feeling after the 1989 election. He details his first role as Caucus chair. 

1989 election, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87

Tony McGrady discusses the feelings within caucus after the 1989 election. He details the importance of ministerial staff. 

1989 election, Matt Foley, ministerial staff, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss

Tony McGrady discusses campaigning for the 1989 election and his approaches to campaigning in subsequent elections. He discusses moving into the Goss cabinet.

1989 election, campaign strategy, Goss Government 1989-96

Tony McGrady discusses the achievements of the Goss government for rural Queenslanders. He also notes some of the failures, such as closing court houses. He discusses the creation of the Carpentaria Minerals Province as one of his greatest achievements. He details the creation of the Century Mine and his support of the project.

Tom Burns

Tony McGrady discusses some of the benefits that Labor governments provided to rural Queensland, such as the patient transit scheme and education. He discusses the cattle and mining industries as the cornerstones of the Queensland economy.

Goss Government 1989-96, mining, Peter Beattie, regions

Tony McGrady discusses Peter Beattie as a politician and the vision of the Smart State. He discusses the Smart State strategy and his involvement. 

Peter Beattie, Peter Coaldrake, Smart State

Tony McGrady discusses the roots of the Smart State in the Goss government's policies. He discusses what the Smart State encompassed, including education, government, and employment.

Smart State

Tony McGrady outlines his first ministry of Resource Industries. He describes work changing the energy sector. He discusses the importance of the relationship with the director general.

Bob Atkinson, directors general, energy production, relationship with public service, Resource Industries, Robert Flew

Tony McGrady discusses the role of ministerial advisors. He discusses the challenges of politics and family life.

ministerial advisers, work life balance

Tony McGrady discusses working with different interest groups such as mines, environmental groups and traditional owners. He discusses the Mount Isa Mineral Province, the Ernest Henry Mine and the overall reactions to the projects.

mining, Mt Isa

Tony McGrady discusses his experience as minister when a coal seam gas regime for Queensland was proposed. He details his experience of the second Moura mine disaster and the introduction of mine safety legislation.

coal seam gas, mining

Tony McGrady discusses uranium mining in Queensland and his support of it. He notes the ALP conference where the three mines policy was abandoned.

mining, uranium mining

Tony McGrady describes his move into the police portfolio and his achievements, such as changes to legislation relating to pedophilia.


Tony McGrady discusses private and publicly funded prisons.

prisons, privatisation

Tony McGrady discusses his role in the Innovation portfolio. He discusses the impact of One Nation on negotiations with international investors when he was a minister.

Innovation, Linda Lavarch, One Nation, Pauline Hanson

Tony McGrady discusses the Smart State strategy and the task of changing the perception of Queensland.

Chuck Feeney, Peter Beattie, Smart State, Wayne Goss

Tony McGrady discusses his role as Speaker and also the personal health challenges that he faced at the time. He provides his opinion on the recent changes to the role of the Speaker in Queensland parliament.


Tony McGrady discusses his regrets, including not investigating the public funding of organisations. He discusses more of his achievements, including setting up a residential college in Mount Isa. 

Mt Isa

Interview ends