Bob Quinn

Interviewed by
Roger Scott & John Ford
Mar 27 2012
Bob Quinn
Time Summary Keywords

Bob Quinn states that he joined the Liberal Party in 1972 in response to the federal Whitlam Government when he was a school teacher on the Gold Coast. He describes his increasing involvement with the party and the occasion he organised a Liberal Party campaign against Rob Borbidge under the three-cornered contest policy.

Peter White, Rob Borbidge

Bob Quinn discusses his working class background. He describes attending state schools at Southport, before going to teacher's college on a bonded scholarship. He explains why he joined the Liberal Party, and his work as a bookmaker's clerk while teaching.

school teacher

Bob Quinn discusses the relationship between the Liberal and National parties after the breakdown of the Coalition. He discusses the debate over parliamentary committees.

Brian Austin, Coalition, committee system, Peter White, Russ Hinze

Bob Quinn describes his decision to run in the 1988 by-election for the seat of South Coast following Russ Hinze's retirement. He describes losing the by-election to the National Party's Judy Gamin, followed by his success at the 1989 election. He discusses the composition of the electorate and the various boundary changes.

electoral redistribution, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Russ Hinze

Bob Quinn discusses the beginning of his parliamentary career. He emphasises the importance of mentoring in the absence of formal induction processes. He reflects on leadership change in the Liberal Party and the re-formation of the Coalition with the Nationals. He discusses the 1995 election and the return to government under Rob Borbidge and Joan Sheldon.

Angus Innes, Coalition, Denver Beanland, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Liz Cunningham, Mundingburra by-election 1996, Terry White

Bob Quinn reflects on his period as a Shadow Minister during the Goss government when he became Shadow Minister for Education. He states that his desire to improve education in Queensland was one factor that influenced his decision to stand for parliament.

Education Department

Bob Quinn discusses the formation of the parliamentary committee system and his involvement in the EARC parliamentary oversight committee.  He discusses the EARC reforms.

committee system, EARC, Fitzgerald Inquiry

Bob Quinn discusses the allocation of portfolios after the re-formation of the Coalition and the reasons why the Liberals were given responsibility for education.

Coalition, Education Department, Joan Sheldon, Rob Borbidge

Bob Quinn details his dealings with the public service during his time as a Shadow Minister.

Frank Peach, relationship with public service

Bob Quinn explains how the Coalition came to power in 1996 and the steps he took to prepare for government.

Liz Cunningham, Mundingburra by-election 1996

Bob Quinn discusses his approach to staffing his office.

ministerial staff

Bob Quinn explains his decision to retain Frank Peach as the Director General of Education. He states that ministers had a lot of control over the appointment of directors general for their departments. He describes allowing Peach to take responsibility for hiring and firing in the department. He discusses political appointments to the public service.

Education Department, Frank Peach, Hit List, relationship with public service

Bob Quinn discusses staffing in the public service during the Borbidge years.

Borbidge Government 1996-98, relationship with public service

Bob Quinn discusses his goals as Minister for Education. He highlights the constraints placed on the department by Treasury and his support for the self-management of schools. He describes how the devolution of power was then reversed by the incoming Beattie government.

Education Department, education reform, strikes, Treasury

Bob Quinn discusses his support for the Smart State agenda.

Peter Beattie, Smart State

Bob Quinn discusses the beginnings of the Smart State strategy during the Borbidge years.

Smart State, University of Queensland

Bob Quinn claims the best decision from his ministerial career was the choice to keep the Director General. He reflects on his relationship with Treasurer Joan Sheldon and her support for education.

Education Department, Frank Peach, Joan Sheldon

Bob Quinn discusses his regrets from his time in politics. He states that some people wanted him to take on the leadership after Joan Sheldon resigned the leadership of the Liberals.

David Watson, Joan Sheldon

Bob Quinn relates the challenges of minority government and problems they had pushing through their education reforms. He discusses the industrial disputes he dealt with during his time as a minister.

education reform, minority government, Steve Bredhauer, strikes

Interview ends.