Rod Welford

Interviewed by
Chris Salisbury
Feb 04 2011
Rod Welford
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:11 Rod Welford states he was born in Brisbane and outlines his seven years at the University in Queensland. He details his time on the Student Union alongside other young politicians such as Paul Lucas and Anna Bligh. He notes that from a young age he was heavily involved in politics. He discusses his choice to enter the legal profession. Anna Bligh, Paul Lucas, student unionism
00:06:24 Rod Welford discusses his role in the legal profession. He outlines his career from working for private firms to working for the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions. He notes that his role at the DPP was influenced by the findings of the Costigan Royal Commission post 1980. He notes that throughout this time he remained active in the Aspley, Chermside and Southport Labor Party branches.
00:10:29 Rod Welford discusses the opportunity to enter Queensland parliament. He details the discussions between himself and Terry Hampson, the state secretary of the Labor Party, about running for the seat of Stafford in the 1989 election. He discusses the preselection process and his approach to campaigning. He notes the previous Labor candidates in the seat of Stafford including Denis Murphy and Janine Walker. He notes the influence of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and Wayne Goss on the 1989 election.  1989 election, campaign strategy, Denis Murphy, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Janine Walker, Terry Hampson, Wayne Goss
00:16:58 Rod Welford details the feelings after being elected. He notes the process before the election of being on his own trying to gain votes within his electorate. He details trust as the primary issue of the 1989 election and how Wayne Goss used this to his benefit. 1989 election, campaign strategy, Wayne Goss
00:20:30 Rod Welford discusses the energy with which he entered parliament, noting that he saw himself of the same mold as the Whitlam experiment. He notes the challenge of wanting to be liked as a politician and the process of gaining experience as an MP. Gough Whitlam
00:24:17 Rod Welford discusses the work of EARC and the parliamentary review committee. He details the importance of these reforms to government decision making in contrast to past decision making practice in the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the challenge that the recommendations posed for Labor Party policy of one vote one value. EARC, Matt Foley
00:27:55 Rod Welford notes some of the other things he spent his time on in his first term. He discusses his appointment to chair the alternative energy advisory group and his move away from the legal profession towards energy and environmental policy areas. energy production, Jim Elder, poker machines, Sport
00:31:44 Rod Welford discusses his ambitions for a ministry and how he thought he might achieve this. He discusses the different styles of Wayne Goss and Peter Beattie in working with ministers. He recalls the control Goss had over policy decisions. Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss
00:34:37 Rod Welford discusses the different leadership styles of Wayne Goss and Peter Beattie. He recalls falling out with Wayne Goss during the Fitzgerald Inquiry over the World Heritage values of Fraser Island and placing a moratorium on logging until the end of the inquiry. Fraser Island, Pat Comben, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss
00:41:44 Rod Welford notes that he had to wait his turn to enter cabinet. He thought this would happen in 1995 with the support of the Left faction but Tom Barton was given support over him. He notes his disappointment at not seeing Goss operate in cabinet. factions, Tom Barton
00:43:47 Rod Welford discusses the 1992 election when he changed seats from Stafford to Everton. He notes that he also proposed preselection for Kedron at the time which created a stir within the party. He notes the controversy before the 1995 election over public housing plans for Albany Creek which created a very close election. electoral redistribution, Pat Comben, Terry Mackenroth
00:50:29 Rod Welford describes the Labor Party losing power in 1995 and the impact this had on the following years. He notes the differences between Wayne Goss and Peter Beattie in how they sensed the public approval of their policies. He discusses what he observed as the high work ethic of Wayne Goss that informed his decision making. He discusses the stress and responsibility that is placed on a premier and how Wayne Goss and Peter Beattie dealt with these. Goss Government 1989-96, leadership, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss
00:54:55 Rod Welford discusses the leadership of different premiers. He describes the public relations skills of Peter Beattie and notes that Beattie was very consultative, and this marks a significant difference with Wayne Goss. He outlines how he received the Environment, Heritage and Natural Resources portfolio. Environment and Heritage, leadership, Peter Beattie
01:00:16 Rod Welford discusses his portfolio in the first Beattie Government. He notes that he was excited about rejuvenating environment and natural resources policy in Queensland and that his ambitions for becoming premier came and went over a number of years as he became more senior. Anna Bligh, Beattie Government 1998-2007, Environment and Heritage, leadership
01:06:33 Rod Welford describes the challenge of the two competing areas of environment and natural resources that made up his portfolio. He notes the importance of this combined portfolio that allowed natural resources practitioners to see the area from a sustainable development perspective, to see the stewardship of natural resources for long-term financial gain. He notes that some senior public servants in natural resources did not like this approach and moved from the department while others were keen to take up the challenge. Environment and Heritage
01:10:22 Rod Welford describes how he imported his own Director General, Barry Carbon, from the Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency. He describes the dramatic impact that the introduction of the EPA had on the rest of the department.  Barry Carbon
01:15:52 Rod Welford describes the process of setting up a new agency. He notes that the agency gave the Environment portfolio a heavier footing when comparing it with other areas within government that often relied solely on economic development. He goes on to note that some employees of the department possibly pursued environmental protection matters a little too vigorously. Environmental Protection Agency
01:20:36 Rod Welford discusses his move to Attorney General when the Beattie Government returned for a second term. He describes one community cabinet in Roma when six hundred farmers turned out in protest and Peter Beattie showed his support of vegetation laws but did back off on some of the harsher laws.  Attorney General, Community Cabinets
01:24:39 Rod Welford discusses his move to Attorney General. He notes that he and the Director General had a difficult relationship.  Attorney General, relationship with public service
01:28:40 Rod Welford recalls events at Christmas party which were referred to the CMC. He describes the later appointment of Rachel Hunter from the Public Service Commission as Director General of the department. Attorney General, Crime and Misconduct Commission, Justice, Rachel Hunter
01:32:31 Rod Welford outlines the educational exemption to the anti-discrimination legislation. He notes the large protest against these changes primarily from Christian schools. He also describes some of the other changes to legislation to acknowledge transgender and same sex relationships. He describes some of the people that he formed strong bonds with through these policy changes. anti-discrimination, Catholic schools
01:39:18 Rod Welford describes his working relationship with Peter Beattie. He discusses their serious falling out when he refused the Health portfolio.  Bligh Government 2007-12, Peter Beattie
01:42:42 Rod Welford discusses his limited relationship with the CMC. Crime and Misconduct Commission
01:45:50 Rod Welford discusses the transition when Anna Bligh became Deputy Premier and he took over her portfolios of Education and Arts. He notes that his relationship with Director General Ken Smith was testing. He describes that much of this tension stemmed from his style of leadership that wanted to engage with senior staff. He lists some of the key creations at the Education Department while he was the Minister and conflict with the QTU. Arts, Education Department, Ken Smith, Rachel Hunter, Teachers Union
01:52:08 Rod Welford outlines the key aspects he oversaw in the Arts, in particular implementing design aspects into the policy area. Arts
01:55:15 Rod Welford discusses the importance of the relationship between minister, director general and departmental staff. He notes the importance of leadership and setting an agenda, and his process of Ministerial Issues Briefings. Barry Carbon, directors general, leadership, Peter Beattie, Rachel Hunter, relationship with public service
02:03:20 Rod Welford discusses his relationship with stakeholders in his portfolios. He notes that Julia Gillard adopted his model of good education. He outlines his four c's of education - competence, creativity, character and citizenship. community organisations, education reform, private schools
02:13:18 Rod Welford discusses Smart State strategy and education. He notes that the strategy was largely aimed at tertiary education, with a key symbol of biotechnology.  biosciences, biotechnology, education, Peter Beattie, Smart State
02:17:47 Rod Welford discusses the Smart State strategy, promotion, budget and follow through.  Anna Bligh, Peter Beattie, Smart State, state development
02:21:52 Rod Welford outlines the Goss Government precedent for the Smart State strategy. He notes that economic growth in the early years of the Beattie Government helped new policy agendas. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Smart State
02:28:47 Rod Welford discusses the problems with government spending and the lack of solutions. He describes the more commercial approach to government spending since the Hilmer Report. He comments on the differences between government utilities that generate money and those that rely on money from Treasury. Hilmer Report, Matt Foley
02:35:21 Rod Welford comments on public asset sales. He states that governments have taken on too much which has stretched the budget too far. budget process
02:41:22 Rod Welford highlights the high expectations that people have of governments. He describes the crises that many ministers face everyday.
02:47:02 Rod Welford discusses his retirement from politics and his move into the environment and design sector.
02:52:48 Rod Welford reflects on his time in politics.
02:54:57 Rod Welford outlines what he believes were his important contributions to Queensland politics. 
02:57:34 Interview ends.