Wayne Goss

Interviewed by
Chris Salisbury & Peter Spearritt
Aug 18 2011
Wayne Goss
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:12 Wayne Goss summarises his early life in Inala, where he attended primary school and secondary school, and where his father was a barber and ALP branch president. He talks about working and earning his law degree from the University of Queensland by night, and his initial reluctance to join a Labor Party that he saw as too conservative. He talks about his involvement with a number of community and legal reform groups, and his decision to finally join the ALP after the sacking of Whitlam. Aboriginal Legal Service, Labor Lawyers Association, Whitlam Government 1972-75
00:02:54 Wayne Goss discusses working as a lawyer and setting up his own practice in the 1970s, his misgivings with what he saw as an inward and irrelevant Queensland ALP, and the beacon offered by Gough Whitlam's election. Aboriginal Legal Service, Gough Whitlam, Jack Houston, Whitlam Government 1972-75
00:10:47 Wayne Goss speaks about the lack of change in Queensland during the decades of conservative government and his desire for wide ranging reform, including the public service and the organisation of portfolios. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Criminal Justice Commission, EARC, gerrymander, Public Sector Management Commission
00:15:03 Wayne Goss discusses the new candidates introduced for the 1983 election, his uneasy alignment with the Labor factions, and the lack of success at the 1986 election. 1983 election, 1986 election, campaign strategy, Denis Murphy, factions, Peter Beattie
00:20:39 Wayne Goss tells of taking up the leadership of the Labor Party in 1988, and quickly generating a clear policy direction for the party, and a new campaign structure. campaign strategy, leadership, Wayne Swan
00:22:53 Wayne Goss speaks about bringing in new Labor Party staff, developing policy and campaign strategies, public sector reform and the reformulating of portfolios. Kevin Rudd, Paul Keating, public sector reform, State bank, Tom Burns, Wayne Swan
00:28:11 Wayne Goss discusses reforming the public service, building the public profile of the shadow cabinet, and the importance of regional policies. Fitzgerald Inquiry, Keith De Lacy, public sector reform, regions
00:33:24 Wayne Goss speaks about the challenge of making Queensland a headquarters for economic development, and of implementing reforms during a recession. Cabinet Budget Review Committee, Goss Government 1989-96, mining, Police, tourism
00:38:15 Wayne Goss discusses the Labor government's investment in education and research and the close ties maintained with universities. education, Goss Government 1989-96, research, Smart State, universities
00:41:45 Wayne Goss reflects on the challenges of funding and reforming the health service, including the unsuccessful regional model, and the implementation of the 10 year hospital rebuilding schedule continued by successive governments. health, hospitals, Peter Beattie, tobacco tax
00:47:58 Wayne Goss speaks about the need for constant renewal in the ministry and the upper public service, and the personal and professional toll of being in government. Health Department, Rob Stable
00:51:45 Wayne Goss discusses the rigors of campaigning and the implementation of the Labor government's extensive reform agenda, including the redistribution of portfolios. 1989 election, campaign strategy
00:55:02 Wayne Goss speaks about the workings of cabinet, policy debates and the importance of cabinet and caucus discipline. Cabinet, Matt Foley
00:59:01 Wayne Goss discusses the corruption that thrived under the Bjelke-Petersen Government, the degree to which Bjelke-Petersen himself was involved, and the dangers of one party being in power for a long period. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, corruption, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Terry Lewis
01:02:36 Wayne Goss explains his decision to remove himself from direct contact with the unions, and to formalise the Labor Party's relationship with union bodies through the Queensland Labor Advisory Council. enterprise bargaining, police union, Teachers Union, unions
01:05:29 Wayne Goss speaks about the Labor government's strained relationship with the police and teachers unions in the context of ongoing reforms. enterprise bargaining, Mary Kelly, police union, Teachers Union, unions
01:07:24 Wayne Goss reflects on the sale of the Gladstone Power Station, attempts to sell Suncorp, and the protests surrounding the Gold Coast Motorway which resulted in the loss of Labor seats at the 1995 election. Gladstone Power Station, Gold Coast Motorway, Main Roads, privatisation, Suncorp Metway
01:11:16 Wayne Goss speaks about re-establishing the Gold Coast railway line, infrastructure planning and investment more broadly, and relations with the federal government. COAG, Gold Coast railway, infrastructure, Queensland Rail
01:16:35 Wayne Goss discusses the CJC investigation into parliamentary travel expenses, and the subsequent reforms. corruption, Courier mail, Criminal Justice Commission, Max Bingham
01:20:46 Wayne Goss discusses the Criminal Justice Commission and his misgivings about the appointment of Max Bingham and the functioning of the commission. Criminal Justice Commission, EARC, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Max Bingham, poker machines, Police Commissioner
01:23:54 Wayne Goss reflects on his relationship with Brisbane Lord Mayors, particularly the frequently critical Jim Soorley. Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Jim Soorley, Sallyanne Atkinson
01:27:27 Wayne Goss discusses the organisation of the shadow cabinet and cabinet, and the strategy behind key ministerial appointments like Education as well as Police and Corrections. Cabinet, factions, Paul Braddy, Russell Cooper, Terry Mackenroth
01:31:52 Wayne Goss considers the relationship he and his ministers had with the media, and the cult of personality that accompanies leaders in modern politics. Dennis Atkins, leadership, media
01:35:14 Wayne Goss speaks about the importance of strong leadership and a clear message of change leading up to the 1989 election. 1989 election, leadership, Tom Burns
01:39:04 Wayne Goss explains the challenge of planning and development in south east Queensland, particularly urban development. Springfield, Terry Mackenroth, urban development
01:42:02 Wayne Goss speaks about the major environmental challenges faced by his government, focusing particularly on the end of logging on Fraser Island, and the expansion of National Parks. Environment, Fraser Island, John Sinclair, Mt Coolum, National Parks, Tony Fitzgerald
01:49:16 Wayne Goss recalls his misgivings in the lead-up to the 1995 election, the campaign for the 1996 Mundingburra by-election, and the impact of federal politics. Ken Davies, Mundingburra by-election 1996, Paul Keating
01:53:38 Wayne Goss discusses leaving state politics in 1996, the One Nation phenomenon at the 1998 election, and considering entering federal politics in 1997. 1998 election, One Nation, Peter Beattie
01:58:20 Interview ends.
Further reading: 
 Jamie Walker, Goss: a political biography, UQP, 1995
Bronwyn Stevens and John Wanna (eds), The Goss government: promise and performance of Labor in Queensland, Macmillan Education Australia, Melbourne, 1993