CPDS Home Contact Professionalism: Chronological Summary

15 March, 2001

Copy of letter to Members of the Legislative Assembly

Queensland's Challenge

Congratulations on your re-election [election] to the Legislative Assembly - and best wishes as you face up the very challenging tasks that now confront Queensland's new Parliament.

As you will be well aware, recent political concern in Queensland has been about such issues as electoral rorting, and political instability.

Unfortunately these political troubles have been only the 'tip of an iceberg' - ie an indicator of many profound practical challenges below the surface. Furthermore Queensland has had few apolitical sources to make the public aware of the 'iceberg' and to develop viable public or economic policies for dealing it. For this reason, and others, the focus in the recent election has been on the popularity of personalities rather than on how to achieve the practical outcomes and stability that the community desperately wants.

Some evidence about the hidden part of the 'ice-berg' is detailed in Queensland's Challenge, of which a summary is attached. Queensland's Challenge addresses severe current problems in: society generally; economic competitiveness and strategy; the political system; the Public Service; and public finance.

Queensland's Challenge also shows that many interest groups have started to point out serious difficulties, and to say that they expect tough changes and real performance. Moreover it points out that the practical ability to achieve constructive goals, as compared with just spending money on them, has not been demonstrated recently by government in Queensland - a failing that the (so called) 'Smart State' programs typify.

Thus the comfortable option of doing nothing more than promised before the election (see Franklin M. 'Beattie swears by election promises', Courier Mail, 23/2/01) is simply not available. Unless the effectiveness of government is dramatically improved, Queensland's predicament could get much worse very quickly.

Good luck!

[Signed John Craig]

PS. - The image of Queensland's Premier lying, relaxed and happy on a bed of weeds on the front cover of The Bulletin of 27 February perfectly illustrates our state's present predicament. [The Bulletin's front cover was entitled 'Labor in clover'. Unfortunately 'the flowers are Singapore daisies, a pest that pops up everywhere' (Williams B. 'Garden pest spotted', Courier Mail, 23/2/01)]