|00:00:12||Jim Soorley summarises his early life in the Tweed region of northern New South Wales. He describes joining the local seminary after finishing school and being ordained as a priest before going to the United States. He discusses leaving the priesthood and some of his work experiences in America and back in Australia. He outlines his decision to run for the position of Brisbane's Lord Mayor.||Brisbane Lord Mayor, Sallyanne Atkinson|
|00:02:29||Jim Soorley discusses Sallyanne Atkinson's popularity as Lord Mayor, and his preselection as Labor Mayoral candidate for the Brisbane City Council election. He discusses gaining preferences from the Greens in the election.||Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Drew Hutton, Greens Party, Sallyanne Atkinson|
|00:04:29||Jim Soorley describes his first days as Lord Mayor of Brisbane and being briefed on BCC operations. He outlines the make-up of the council staff at the time.||Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Sallyanne Atkinson, women|
|00:07:39||Jim Soorley discusses the calibre of Councillors when he became Lord Mayor. He notes the standard of politicians at all levels of government.||Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, local government|
|00:10:00||Jim Soorley discusses the Brisbane City Council's relationship and interactions with the Goss Government. He describes compiling his first Council budget.||Brisbane City Council, budget process, Kangaroo Point, Tom Burns, Wayne Goss|
|00:14:09||Jim Soorley details the Brisbane City Council's involvement in the redevelopment of the Expo '88 site at South Bank in Brisbane, and about collaborating with the state government on this project.||Brisbane City Council, Expo 88|
|00:16:15||Jim Soorley discusses the planning of Brisbane's busway network.||Brisbane City Council, Goss Government 1989-96, Kevin Rudd, Maureen Hayes, transport infrastructure|
|00:19:30||Jim Soorley discusses negotiating with Brisbane's firefighters over working conditions. He describes restructuring Councillors' and Council employees' superannuation schemes.||Brisbane City Council, Campbell Newman, local government, unions|
|00:25:17||Jim Soorley discusses relations between the BCC and the Borbidge Government.||Borbidge Government 1996-98, Brisbane City Council, Opposition, Peter Beattie, Rob Borbidge|
|00:26:54||Jim Soorley discusses the Brisbane City Council's involvement in water policy. He notes early working relations with the Beattie Government and collaborating with other Councils in South-east Queensland.||1998 election, Beattie Government 1998-2007, local government, Peter Beattie, water infrastructure, water policy|
|00:33:20||Jim Soorley discusses an episode of water security for Brisbane and South-east Queensland.||Brisbane City Council, Peter Beattie, Townsville, water infrastructure, water policy|
|00:37:52||Jim Soorley details plans for introducing recyced water to Toowoomba and the Darling Downs farming areas.||Peter Beattie, Toowoomba, Toowoomba City Council, water infrastructure, water policy, Wayne Goss|
|00:39:52||Jim Soorley details issues of media relations and dealing with the Courier mail newspaper while he was Lord Mayor.||Brisbane Lord Mayor, Chris Mitchell, Courier mail, Des Houghton, media|
|00:42:40||Jim Soorley discusses recruiting new senior staff to the Brisbane City Council.||Brisbane City Council, John McHugh, Jude Munro|
|00:44:20||Jim Soorley discusses Brisbane's City Hall and how the Brisbane City Council used and maintained it. He notes other facilities and buildings that the Council invested in. He also notes the Council's involvement in utilising the Brisbane River.||Brisbane City Council, Brisbane River|
|00:56:30||Jim Soorley describes the BCC's relations with the Beattie Government, and his own working relationship with Peter Beattie. He details initiatives that the Council and state government collaborated on to different extents. He notes the Council's involvement in the sale of Brisbane Airport and Council's acquisition of land.||Beattie Government 1998-2007, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane River, Campbell Newman, Peter Beattie, transport infrastructure|
|01:07:04||Jim Soorley discusses the Beattie Government's Council amalgamations agenda. He discusses the intersection of different levels of government, and how there is often unneccesary overlap. He notes leadership at the different levels of government, and the leadership styles of different Lord Mayors. He notes the appointment of his successor when he retired as Lord Mayor.||Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Clem Jones, factions, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership, Local council amalgamations, Maureen Hayes|
|01:14:52||Jim Soorley describes his impressions of the Beattie Government's Smart State strategy, and how it impacted upon Brisbane and the BCC. He notes the beginnings of government interest in research investment in medical institutes and universities.||Brisbane City Council, Chuck Feeney, John Hay, Ken Fletcher, QIMR, research, Smart State, University of Queensland|
|01:20:08||Jim Soorley discusses the Brisbane City Council's involvement in promoting Brisbane through marketing, media and publications.||Brisbane City Council, Main Roads, media, Paul Keating, Qantas, Smart State|
|01:26:05||Jim Soorley details the Brisbane City Council's efforts to retain Brisbane's heritage values, especially in relation to housing planning and construction.||Brisbane City Council, Campbell Newman, Clem Jones, development, heritage|
|01:30:25||Jim Soorley discusses the January 2011 floods in Brisbane, and how prepared the city was for such an event.||floods 2011, Toowoomba, water infrastructure|
|01:34:42||Jim Soorley offers his impression of his leadership of the Brisbane City Council and his standing as Lord Mayor of Brisbane. He discusses what his legacy to Brisbane might be. He notes the Council's plans for a cross-city tunnel while he was Lord Mayor, and other infrastructure planning ideas.||Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, Clem 7 tunnel, Peter Beattie, transport infrastructure|
Jim Soorley served as popularly elected Labor Lord Mayor of the Brisbane City Council from 1991-2003. His Council introduced the City Cat ferries on the Brisbane River, expanded the city's busway network and reformed the superannuation entitlements of BCC Councillors and staff.
Jim Soorley was born in Murwillumbah, northern New South Wales, in 1951 and educated at the Tweed River High School before attending St John’s College Woodlawn, a Catholic boarding school near Lismore. After school he joined the local Marist Fathers seminary and ordained as a Catholic priest; during his seminary training he attended Macquarie University in Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree. His ministry work took him to the United States where he completed a Master of Arts at Loyola University in Chicago. While there he left the priesthood and later returned to Australia, establishing a recruitment consultancy agency in Brisbane.
In 1990 he decided to rejoin the Labor Party and run as a mayoral candidate in the Brisbane City Council election against the well-known incumbent, Sallyanne Atkinson. In March the following year he defeated Atkinson and became Lord Mayor of Brisbane, a post he held for the next 12 years being re-elected on a further three occasions. Presiding over the most populace local government authority in Australia, he undertook reform of the Council’s finances and restructured the defined superannuation benefit provisions of firstly BCC Councillors and then the Council’s 7000-odd staff, saving the City hundreds of millions of dollars.
While Lord Mayor he oversaw Council expenditure on cultural spaces, facilities and activities including the redevelopment of the Brisbane Powerhouse and inaugurating the River Festival, sometimes in partnership with the state government. His Council reconfigured Brisbane’s public transport system by introducing City Cat ferries and expanded the busway network in conjunction with the state government.
He resigned his position in May 2003, having become Brisbane’s second-longest serving Lord Mayor after Clem Jones. He has worked as a business consultant and been a regular columnist in the Sunday Mail newspaper.
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