CPDS Home Contact Professionalism: Chronological Summary

14 July 2003

Hon Mr Peter Beattie, MLA
Premier of Queensland

Coming soon ..... Episode 2 of the 'Queensland Effect'?

At the recent celebration of your government's fifth anniversary, spoilsports pointed out its similarities to the Goss administration - ie a growing chorus of interest groups with grievances and its sagging support in opinion polls.

One observer's view: On the fifth anniversary of Beattie Government there is a feeling that things are not going well. There is a sense of 1995 over again - when the ALP was in power with a popular leader. But all through 1995 key interest groups had problems with the Government. Now in the past few weeks public servants have protested. And the Government is again being attacked by business. Five major projects have failed in a month - which is seen as due to poor state leadership. Beattie is increasingly seen as a do-nothing premier (Fraser A., 'Hot Goss says Labor revisiting its worries of 95', Australian, 4/7/03)

I thus respectfully draw to your attention that my email of 24 July 2001 suggested that the (so called) 'Queensland Effect' could well re-occur in a year or two - and that this phenomenon (ie an unexpected electoral loss by a popular political leader on a protest vote) was largely the result of the limited ability of a politicised system of public administration to produce practical results to back the leader's populist rhetoric. Furthermore:

It is also noteworthy should that: The Growing Case for a Professional Public Service is still growing; and that your Department appears happy to accept that it is no longer possible to pretend that Queensland's Public Service is a professionally credible entity (see letter to DG of 5/12/01).

At the end of Episode 1 of The Queensland Effect a conservative administration which was quite unprepared for government was elected. If Episode 2 has a similar ending, then I suspect that public recognition of the effective failure of our system of government will follow soon thereafter.

John Craig