The Centre for Governance and Public Policy Seminar Series:
3 March 2017: Dr Cosmo Howard, Griffith University. The Statistical State
1986 Cabinet Overview
Centre Researcher Dr Tracey Arklay and Deputy Director, Policy Innovation Hub and Centre Adjunct Jennifer Menzies considered more than 2000 submissions to Cabinet in their review of the 1986 Queensland Cabinet Minutes, released on 1 January by the Queensland State Archives
The researchers focused on governance arrangements and policy highlights during the last full year of the Bjelke-Petersen government. On reading the full Cabinet record for 1986 it shows "a Queensland which was a reluctant moderniser and a Cabinet with a limited number of economic interests and an absence of strategy,” they write in their overview. Their review steps back into an era when Queensland’s National Party Government was at its most powerful; a year where emphasis was placed on the state's coal and sugar industries but where a new focus on investment in the tourism industry was also emerging. Although Australia’s economy was struggling, this reality did not seem to be a priority and Arklay and Menzies noted that no strategies were considered by Cabinet to address the downturn at a state level.
In a year when Cabinet met weekly, not stopping even for the election campaign, the Government lacked the administrative capacity to support such a heavy workload and ensure considered decision-making. Compared to contemporary Cabinet practices, the processes around the 1986 Cabinet deliberations were often chaotic.
To see the full overview of the researchers finding here.
ARC Success 2016
Congratulations to Centre members Professor Jason Sharman, Associate Professor Kai He, Associate Professor Richard Hindmarsh, Dr Duncan McDonnell and Dr Annika Werner who were all awarded grants in the latest ARC round. Associate Professor Kai He was awarded a Future Fellowship for the project “Contested Multilateralism 2.0 and Asia Pacific Security”. Associate Professor Richard Hindmarsh was awarded a Discovery grant for the project “Rethinking the Public Inquiry on Science, Technology & Environmental Change”. Dr Duncan McDonnell and Dr Annika Werner were awarded a Discovery grant for the project “Radical Right Populist Parties: Mainstream Partners or Democratic Pariahs?” Dr Duncan McDonnell was also awarded an Indigenous Discovery grant with Associate Professor Michelle Evans, administered through Charles Sturt University. Professor Jason Sharman was awarded a Discovery grant with Associate Professor Andrew Phillips administered through the University of Queensland. It is an outstanding result covering a range of topics and research areas.