CPDS Home Contact Professionalism: Chronological Summary


Ms Grace Grace
General Secretary
Queensland Council of Unions

Political 'Mates' are a Major Factor in Queensland's Chronically Poor Public Administration

I noted with interest your reported argument that it doesn't matter if GOC boards in Queensland are stacked with ALP appointees because (a) they are 'credible and experienced' and (b) the Prime Minister does something similar at the national level.

My interpretation of report: The ties that bind Labor mates are tight. The falling out between ex Energex chairman and Premier has triggered a significant political crisis. ALP appointees dot the boards of the 20 GOCs that control electricity, ports, water supplies etc. Lines of influences are based on personal loyalties and factional alliances. Influence is exerted discretely. Nissen's links with former Treasurer De Lacy are an example - and account for the latter's complaints about lack of loyalty when Nissen was forced to resign from Energex. The whole issue of the influence of Labor mates has been opened - especially those linked to Treasurer Mackenroth. Energex director Grace Grace described situation as a 'beat up' because, if it was OK for PM to load federal bodies with Liberal appointees, there was nothing wrong with Premier selecting 'credible, experienced people' for his boards. (Walker J. 'Secrets out on who has whose ear in the state', Courier Mail, 5/10/04)

Based on study of similar issues over many years, I can not agree with your suggestion. The problem is that:

The credibility and key positions unjustifiably given to 'political mates' in Queensland is a significant factor in Queensland's chronically poor standards of public administration. The fact that the federal government may now have degenerated to Queensland's level (see The Decay of Australian Public Administration) does not solve Queensland's problem.


John Craig