Peter Wellington describes his shift from local to State politics and his decision to stand as an Independent. He states that he had been a member of the Liberal Nationals but had fallen out with the Nationals. He refers to his background as a solicitor and local councillor.
|1998 election, Independent, local government|
Peter Wellington details the advantages and disadvantages of being an Independent, including access to resources.
Peter Wellington describes the campaign strategies he used to win elections. He emphasises the importance of community links and his reliance on campaign volunteers. He reflects on his initial election to State parliament in 1998.
|1998 election, campaign strategy, One Nation|
Peter Wellington describes the key issues for him in the early years of his political career. He refers to the Montville Links project and describes his approach to legislating.
|1998 election, state development|
Peter Wellington offers his impressions on the 1998 election and the failures of the Borbidge Government. He describes his thinking behind the decision to support the formation of the Beattie Government. He briefly describes his negotiations with Beattie and the legislative agenda of the first Beattie Government.
|1998 election, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Borbidge Government 1996-98, Liz Cunningham, One Nation, Peter Beattie|
Peter Wellington provides further details about the negotiations that followed the 1998 election. He states that Beattie was the only leader who responded in writing to his concerns.
|Citizen Initiated Referenda, Community Cabinets, Peter Beattie|
Peter Wellington describes his first term in parliament and the tension in the Legislative Assembly. He describes his position as a conservative Independent with a social conscience. He describes his support for hospices and providing adequate pain management for the terminally ill. He also talks about double jeopardy laws.
|health, Independent, law reform|
Peter Wellington talks about the additional resources available to him and Independent Liz Cunningham as part of the agreement after the 1998 election. He reflects on his relationship with the Beattie Government.
|1998 election, Anna Bligh, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Independent, Liz Cunningham, State Development Department|
Peter Wellington explains the importance of community cabinets. He argues that it required ministers to understand issues of importance to constituents. He describes the anger in the community that contributed to the election of One Nation candidates at the 1998 election.
|1998 election, Community Cabinets, One Nation, Pauline Hanson, Peter Beattie|
Peter Wellington reflects on the behaviour of parliamentarians when he first entered parliament and his support for a code of conduct for MPs. He links the issue to the anger in the community and the support for One Nation. He also reflects on the Beattie years and describes Peter Beattie's great interpersonal skills. He predicted that Bligh would lose the 2012 election.
|2012 election, Anna Bligh, code of conduct, parliamentary behaviour, Pauline Hanson, Peter Beattie|
Peter Wellington considers the Smart State strategy. He describes his dislike of the Smart State number plates. He suggests that while it was a genuine policy, the brand overtook the policy. He discusses Beattie's leadership style.
|leadership, Peter Beattie, Smart State|
Peter Wellington outlines the various reasons people might have for getting into politics. He states that some people want to promote certain policies and some want power. He describes the difference between safe and more marginal seats. He emphasises his links to the community.
Peter Wellington details his links to the community. He describes himself as an available and accessible local member.
Peter Wellington discusses the difficulties of being an Independent in the Queensland parliament. He talks about the skills he developed as a police officer and solicitor and how they have helped him in his political career. He details the resources available to him. He emphasises the importance of the parliamentary library. He uses the example of the civil union debate to highlight the challenges of being in a political party as opposed to being an Independent.
|Civil Partnerships Bill, homosexuality, Independent|
Peter Wellington describes the pressure placed on him by the Mining Council during his first term. He discusses his relationships with the major parties. He states that the conservative parties have not forgiven him for running as an Independent. He describes the politics of the 2012 election.
|2012 election, mining|
Peter Wellington describes his greatest achievement as the efforts to push for greater respite services. He also discusses some of the other key areas where he has pushed for reform. He highlights the rights of the terminally ill and the important reform to double jeopardy laws as two important areas.
|disability services, health, law reform|
Peter Wellington discusses his involvement in the push to extend the parking facilities at the Nambour Hospital. He describes his disappointment at the failure of the government to provide the parking.
Peter Wellington entered State parliament after the 1998 election as the Independent member for Nicklin. Following that election’s inconclusive result, his vote of support enabled the Peter Beattie-led Labor Party to form a minority government and end Rob Borbidge’s term as Premier.
Peter Wellington was born in Numurkah, Victoria, on 21 August 1957. After his family’s relocation to the Sunshine Coast hinterland he attended the Noosa District State High School, leaving at age 16 to become a police cadet. He later studied at the Queensland University of Technology and graduated with a Law degree, retiring from the police force to practice as a solicitor in Nambour. He also completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at QUT. He has at different times been a member of the Liberal and National parties, and in 1994 was elected to the Maroochy Shire Council spending a year as Chairman of the Council’s Finance Department. Standing in the 1998 Queensland State election as an Independent candidate for the National-held seat of Nicklin, he defeated the incumbent member and Speaker of Parliament, Neil Turner. He has held the seat as an Independent in every election since, including at the Queensland State election of March 2012.
When it became clear after the 1998 election that no side had won a majority of seats, the newly-elected Wellington and fellow Independent member, Liz Cunningham, were approached by the leaders of the major parties seeking their support to form government. Wellington, swayed by the likely instability of a conservative coalition of Nationals, Liberals, Independents and freshly-elected One Nation Party members, opted to back Peter Beattie to form a minority ALP government. Wellington came to an agreement with Beattie that saw the new Independent member promise his support on confidence motions and budget debates in return for increased parliamentary resources for the Independents and a pledge by the government to responsibly manage the State’s finances. Wellington’s support in parliament was only required for six months, as Beattie’s government won a by-election for the seat of Mulgrave in December 1998 that gave it a one-seat majority.
Wellington made unintended headlines in mid-2001 when he suffered serious injuries after a bulldozer accident on his farm property in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. His reappearance in the parliamentary chamber some several months later was greeted by a standing round of applause from all sides.
Wellington has played an active part in the operations of the State’s parliament, serving on numerous parliamentary committees including Scrutiny of Legislation Committees, the Ethics Committee, the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee and the Select Committee on the Consequences of Changing Political Status. He has notably given his vote in support of a variety of contentious pieces of legislation in Parliament, including the vote on the Civil Partnerships Bill in November 2011.
Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, 2012
The copyright holder of this material grants users permission to access the material on this website for the following purposes only: research and study, education, other non-commercial and non-public uses.