How bad was Beattie?


As Rudd is to federal politics, Beattie is to state politics.

All spin, big promises, non-delivery, escalating costs, disaster, exit.

I have put up Henry’s chart about the amazing increase in public debt that occurred under the Beattie/Bligh government.  If we went back further, it would be even clearer that the rot really set in under Beattie and she effectively kicked an hospital pass to Anna Bligh by resigning in 2007. And note in particular that Queensland lost its AAA rating in early 2009.

Just look at the record of Queensland Labor:

  •  The number of public sector workers in Queensland rose from 160,000 to over 200,000 under the Labor government.  Employment in Queensland Health alone rose by two-thirds in a decade, to over 80,000 in total.
  • There was a blowout in the amount spent on public servants of  8.7 per cent a year under Labor.  3.5 per cent was attributed to the number of employees and 5.2 per cent to growth of wages. This was far higher public expenditure growth than the national average.

And of course there were some particular clangers – eg. Dr Death in Bunderberg, the health payroll fiasco and  the disastrous infrastructure projects – Brisconnects and all those tunnels – in which the taxpayer or the quasi-taxpayer, QIC – is on the hook.

Beattie – talk about delusional and pity the guy who was pushed aside so Beattie could stand for Forde.

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58 Responses to How bad was Beattie?

  1. harrys on the boat

    It could’ve been worse, they could have pre-selected Bligh.

  2. Julie Novak

    I can tell you how bad Beattie was from a historical public finance perspective. Basically, as Premier, he moved the state away from its longstanding commitment to keep low taxes, and engaged in a massive social services spending spree. Bligh only finished off the dirty work that Beattie started:

  3. entropy

    Beattie would really, really hate being compared with Rudd.

  4. H B Bear

    Spot on Julie Novak. I still remember when companies would have their bank accounts in Queensland to avoid FID duty. Any Victorian manufacturer that could was moving to Queensland, which was like a pre-Democrat California.

    If Abbott wanted a single narrative to form government (and there is no indication that he does), it would be to restore a competitive Australian Federation and reduce Canberra’s influence on Australian lives.

  5. Dalai Lama

    After Bob Carr, yet another recycled former State premier who Labor is recruiting back into the game.
    And just like Carr, with the same history of failure and destruction.
    Labor truly has no shame.

  6. Dalai Lama

    In the early 90s, Queensland had no debt, the nation’s lowest taxes and was the only State that -if narrowly – avoided the Keating recession.
    Twenty years later, after a massive property and mining boom, it has a credit rating equal to Tasmania, $80 billion of debt and some of the highest taxes.
    What has transpired over that period to have caused this?
    Goss -> Beattie -> Bligh. In other words, Labor.
    And let us not forget Kevin The Messiah.
    What an utterly corrupt, disgraceful mob.

  7. lotocoti

    How bad was Beattie?

    The average voter was sheltered from the awful truth by a very compliant media for a long time.
    Bleattie’s grip only began to slip when his next door neighbour, the state political reporter for one of the TV networks, took up a government sinecure as a reward for faithful service to the Labor party.

  8. James of the Glens

    The Uriah Heep of Qld politics.

  9. entropy

    In many ways Beattie was a bit like Rudd, even though they hate each other. I think the animosity was a result of back in the Goss government where an ambitious Beattie would be actively thwarted by the Ruddster. I reckon one of the reasons he retired as he could see that Rudd would defeat Howard, and he couldn’t be bothered dealing with him. Now if course, he is sick of being out of the spotlight.

    But in an eery parallel to Rudd mark II, after each monumental stuff up, Beattie would front up and say sorry, I promise we will do better. And it always worked.
    It was always funny watching him do his apology act, which had to happen often enough. His cheeks would swell out while he was talking, which I took as a kind of tell that he was bullshitting.

  10. Rabz

    just like Carr, with the same history of failure and destruction.

    Failures of a feather, flocking together.

    Good bye, dunderheads.

  11. entropy

    I think that Forde will definitely go to the ALP this time, and Brisbane too. The LNP will have to work harder on some of the other seats to negate these loses, like Lilley and maybe Rankin (do you know the dude running in rankin set up Sushi Train?)

  12. Tintarella di Luna

    The Uriah Heep of Qld politics.

    So the picket-fence-toothed charlatan is re-entering politics? — mustn’t want to spend time with his family anymore. The whatever-it-takes machine is really cranked up to the max. 

    Re-inforcing Labor values — Whatever it takes

  13. Dalai Lama

    I think that Forde will definitely go to the ALP this time, and Brisbane too.

    Who said the Australian electorate was not stupid?

  14. Gab

    They going to drag Gough out of retirement too?

  15. candy

    Four weeks to the election – Peter Beattie can’t be caring about Forde, it’s some sort of ego thing or he’s angling for Kevin Rudd’s job.

  16. brc

    I recently had dinner with a family with who, I would not normally mix. They were all kiwi migrants,NAND to a person all worked for qld health. Which is not surprising.

    Some grumbling was to be heard about “how things are different now” and some low-level newman666 type comments. By then I led the conversation through a series of discussions about the failures in qld health – e payroll systems debacle has cost his reds of millions and is still not fixed. Then there was the case of the Tahitian prince who embezzled 12 million, all from QlD health. We all agreed that much if this waste, had it been avoided, would pay for a whole extra regional hospital and staff for a decade.

    In the end the participants of the conversation found themselves agreeing that the current reduction in the qld health budget were a direct result of poor management in the past, and that no senior minister or otherwise ever had to lose their job, or even front an enquiry about it. This was an uncomfortable truth for dedicated union members who are used to spouting propaganda provided by their unions, but these are just ordinary working people, not ideological warriors. It doesn’t take long for them to join the dots.

    We left it at that, but I could have easily repeated the conversation for the climate smart programs, the desalination and pipeline projects, the list goes on and on.

    While many see the tunnels as a giant waste I actually disagree. Sure, the projections and returns were stupid, but in 20 years time those tunnels will be little rivers of gold under the city and were desperately needed.

    Anyway- my point is that if you talk to people in simple terms and don’t mention parties or politicians by name, the facts are so obvious that rational people can see it for what it is. A once fine, powerhouse state reduced to a debt ridden taxation hole full of public servants doing busywork. But so many new people have arrived that they just expect things to be like the socialist toilets such as Victoria, and don’t realize that once upon a time, things used to hum along. Ther were less football stadiums and crap like that, but everything got along just fine.

  17. Pete of Perth

    ABC morning show having orgasms over Beattie’s attempt.

  18. tomix

    If the poll in Forde becomes a referendum on Beattie’s record as Premier, then there’s still hope.

    Clem Jones had at least as high a profile as Beattie in Brisbane, but was unsuccessful in

    Griffith in 1974 and Fadden in 1977, both winnable. The last former Premier to make the attempt

    in Qld. was E.G. Theodore, unsuccessful in Herbert in 1925.

  19. Driftforge

    Beattie will be Opposition Leader within six months.

  20. Colmac

    Like Barry Cassidy, Peter Beattie is capable of polishing a turd to a shining brilliance.

  21. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    I agree Judith – I agree, I agree, I agree.

    “As Rudd is to federal politics, Beattie is to state politics.

    All spin, big promises, non-delivery, escalating costs, disaster, exit.”

    and also with Julie Novak

    “I can tell you how bad Beattie was from a historical public finance perspective. Basically, as Premier, he moved the state away from …”

    but I can see sense in what Labor has done here.

    I commented in the Open Forum:

    Forde is the second most vulnerable LNP seat in QLD and I don’t know precisely what the new housing there contains – possibly young NZ expat families; 30 somethings who know everything, have heard all about the women hating dangerous religious nutter but don’t remember Beattie; and some public housing. It is certainly working class, younger, short on public transport, filling their cars 2-3 times a week to commute to work in Brisbane and so on.

    You never know – Beattie’s be a master at pressing the flesh in shopping centres and campaigning here, charming the young mothers, would be a walk in the park for him.

    There is little to be gained from high dungeon about the dreadful performance of a 60 year old before he departed the scene six years ago. One can dislike him for good reason however his intended audience includes whole slabs who either don’t know or don’t remember him. A lot of housing in Forde didn’t exist even three years ago.

    We received 10,000 on the Gold Coast from Christchurch alone after the first earthquakes in late 2010 (to the great benefit of local Club rugby 🙂 ) and a lot of them headed up into that area. They have no idea how QLD was motoring along before he and Blie$ stuffed the joint, and I suspect they are more indoctrinated soft centre than hard right after spending their formative years under that Helen Clarke chap.

    I see brc makes similar pertinent points above.

    Working through these events and their likely impacts demands a detached, objective assessment of the what, how, when, were and why rather than an astonished “How could they do that!”

  22. Rabz

    that Helen Clarke chap.

    Thet’s Hulun Cluck, Muck.

  23. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    I should add the Courier Mail, the local ABC news readerettes, Channels 7, 9 and 10 will, to a man, respond to Beattie’s reappearance with “Welcome back old friend.”

  24. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Yes, well spotted.

    Rabz, rightly demanding the highest standards of accuracy of contribution here, to be sure. 🙂

  25. Gab

    The ALP24 is cock0a-hoop over Beattie’s return.

  26. Gab

    Des Hardman in happier times, in the good old days. 12th July.

  27. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “Des Hardman in happier times …”

    There may yet be an upside early downside for Teflon Pete on Day 1 of his campaign.

    I’ve seen not a word about why Hardman suddenly became No-man – one trusts he and his backers express their disappointment publicly, loudly.

  28. stackja

    Is Beattie’s shredder still working?

  29. Gab

    Mick, I suspect he’ll be removed to the same secure location as Mark Latham.

  30. Gab

    Hey, weren’t unemployment figures for July released today?

  31. Token

    The average voter was sheltered from the awful truth by a very compliant media for a long time.

    They are stuck with reduced services now the bill for that spend-a-thon has come due.

    As I mentioned on the OT the Qld ALP have made his track record and in particular the state debt a Federal Issue. They should be taking Rudd & Beatty to the mattresses now.

  32. Gab

    Captain’s Pick 2.0

    Rudd is just like gillard.

  33. Token

    Des Hardman in happier times, in the good old days.

    The face of Kevin Kardashian’s commitment to removing the influence of the Faceless Men from the ALP and giving power back to the grassroots.

  34. Token

    Hey, weren’t unemployment figures for July released today?

    You bet, and the ALP pull a McTavish gaffemachine type one day stunt to distract from them.

    Looks like 10,000 of the 1 million jobs Emperor Rimmer “personally” created have been lost.

    THE economy shed 10,000 mainly full-time jobs in July, undermining Labor’s economic credentials at crucial time in the election campaign.

  35. Gab

    True, Token, Why it was only a week or two ago Rudd said the people “would not be parachuted in by the faceless men in the Party”.

  36. Giffy

    The hide of the Beatties.
    Apart from what Peter Beattie did to Queensland:
    Didn’t they give their dog away, when Beattie took the overseas job he said he’d never take?
    Wasn’t an announcement made that it should be a Lesson to All not to drink and drive, when the Premier’s wife was caught? She did us a favour? Alerting us?
    Didn’t the Beatties discover how popular they weren’t, when Heather Beattie failed in her attempt to get into government?
    The insufferable Peter Beattie, with his endless fake apologies, has returned.

  37. Dr Faustus

    Beattie fits perfectly into Team Rudd. Policy-blind, a master of spin, confected folksy man-in-the-street honesty and a Titan of unplanned heavy spending. And a governance compost heap, unwittingly fostering a nurturing environment for incompetence, sleaze and deals for maaates.

    That he hates Rudd at a personal level hardly sets him apart from the rest of the parliamentary ALP.

  38. Token

    True, Token, Why it was only a week or two ago Rudd said the people “would not be parachuted in by the faceless men in the Party”.

    Considering it is a marginal seat I’m surpised a “talented” Labor women was not inserted.

  39. Andrew of Randwick

    Perhaps readers can educate me.
    Why do you use Net Debt/GDP ratios instead of Gross Debt for explanations of Government finances?
    1) Gross Debt is what has to be paid back – balance sheet
    2) Gross Debt is what you pay interest upon – cashflow
    3) Each individual investment made with Gross Debt has to generate a ROC greater than COF or the government is slowly going broke.
    Now I know that governments may have offsetting assets but:
    a) Unless the asset is cash then there are some downside risks to accurate valuations
    b) Bonds held by governments could vary – 20% depending upon all sorts of things
    c) Property, Plant & Equipment could vary up to say -100%. For example, who wants a desalination plant that does not run, who wants a road that no one uses? And in a forced sale (when things go pair shaped) carrying valuations would be found to be fallacious.
    d) Governments do not hold much (a) and (b) because what would be the point.
    NB: And I guess I am assuming that a Government is not borrowing to pay recurrent expenses – the old grow the pie saviour.

  40. Gab

    Woman? Nah,it’s just more old white men for Labor.

  41. Aaron

    Considering it is a marginal seat I’m surpised a “talented” Labor women was not inserted.

    You’ve gotta be kidding, Labor only pre-selects women in safe seats. They know the abortion-hungry shrill harridans of Emily’s List won’t win any votes in real Australia.

  42. cynical1

    “Like Barry Cassidy, Peter Beattie is capable of polishing a turd to a shining brilliance”.

    Yes, but the stink stays around.

    Traveston dam, desal plant, amalgamation, the dopey grin that
    says “Sorry” and promises not to stuff up again.

    What a fucking crew.

    Rudd, Carr, and now Beattie brought back to life.

    Next time use silver bullets or wooden stakes…

  43. Michel Lasouris

    What happened to Rudd’s plan to ensure the locals selected their prospective Candidate?
    Oh I see… not just yet. It’s inconvenient

  44. .

    I agree Andrew

    Long term assets with no saleable value or income earnign capacity cannot negate short term liabilities…or interest rate liability.

    We have 425 bn of general Government debt. The interest bill every year could pay for the ADF.

  45. egg_


    That’s a keeper! 🙂

  46. egg_

    Beattie will be Opposition Leader within six months.

    Yup, KRudd’s just the unwitting? trojan horse to the election.

  47. truth

    Peter Beattie didn’t just trash QLD’s economy .

    He’s just another Labor ‘whatever-it-takes’ fixer in the mode of the NSW Inc that Bob Carr was rewarded by Labor for presiding over in NSW.

    Beattie is just the long-time self-styled ‘media tart’ —the supreme pathological narcissist and full-on sinister Labor head-kicker posing as everyman’s Ginger Meggs—the weasel who presided over the corruption and criminality of QLD Labor Inc, and trashed the lives of law-abiding QLD citizens in order to cover it up.

    Apart from rank incompetence overall, Beattie oversaw [ and apparently saw nothing he didn’t like in] what Anthony Morris QC described as ‘The Black Death of Queensland Health’ and the Patel affair—– and presided over electoral lawbreaking that saw minions take the rap and go to jail as scapegoats for his lawless party—and over the corruption of QLD’s justice system including law enforcement, the legal system , the separation of powers and the office of State Governor in the cover-up..

    Beattie was the architect and gatekeeper of the cover-up for many years of the illegal destruction of evidence by the QLD Goss/Rudd Labor government , to protect alleged paedophiles accused of preying on children at John Oxley Youth Centre.

    As well as other Labor comrades, Beattie was protecting Rudd himself who was right at the epicentre of the decision-making when the decision was made to act illegally in order to dispense with any chance of justice for ordinary citizens including children—- to prevent scrutiny of allegations of paedophilia against their AWU comrades.

    Rudd was described by the Sunday-Mail as having been the one who virtually ran the State single-handedly at the time of the offence, and was known to monster and intimidate cabinet ministers and public servants alike—so it’s not conceivable that Rudd was unaware of the decision to break the law—- before and after the fact.

    So apparently on side was Beattie [ or maybe afraid of what might come out]with what a reasonable person would say was a butcher —Dr Patel—that he made Patel a gift of a taxpayer-funded business-class ticket to do a runner , in the hope that the dangerous beans might not be spilt, and Patel , and thereby Beattie himself, might escape accountability for the trail of deaths and mangled bodies he left behind.

    When that was all to no avail and an inquiry ensued, the inquiry met the fate of almost every inquiry under QLD Labor Inc that couldn’t be ‘fixed’, and that started to reveal the truth—Beattie shut it down, and then allowed the Statute to time out.

    Enabling all of this was the neutering by Labor of the CJC watchdog in all its iterations, turning it from the people’s watchdog into Labor’s very own lapdog.

    So Peter Beattie, was for years the keeper of the biggest cover-up in Australian political history—the cover-up that’s ongoing and leaves Australia with the precedent that there’s one law for Labor and a different one for all the rest of us—on record and supported by the MSM, that there’s no equality before the law— that the MSM will facilitate and enable the rewarding of the party and its leaders who have placed themselves above the law.

    The precedent has also been set by Beattie and Rudd and their supporters in the MSM, that Labor and Labor alone has permission and the licence to cover up paedophilia with impunity, and obliterate any chance for justice by ordinary citizens who get in Labor’s way—even if they’re helpless marginalized Aboriginal children.

    Everyone else, of course, has to front up to the Royal Commission, and be pilloried by Labor.

    During that time, when no assault on the QLD justice system was too heinous to mount in the protection of his lawbreaking Labor government comrades—some of whom were still in his own cabinet—Beattie and his comrades had an ordinary citizen, Douglas Ensbey charged and convicted for the same crime, but an infinitely less serious breach than that which he was covering up for his powerful Labor colleagues.

    Not content with the sentence meted out to ordinary citizen Ensbey, and the destruction of his reputation, life and livelihood—– Beattie and his government, [no doubt to display their nauseatingly fake compassion for victims of paedophiles and those who cover for the abusers ]— appealed in the QLD court of appeal claiming that his [ Ensbey’s] crime was a serious assault on the administration of justice and he deserved to go to jail [ in tacit admission that Labor’s cabinet ministers should suffer a similar fate].

    So as well as being given all of this licence for lawbreaking by the ‘journalists’ of Australia’s MSM, Labor has been given the exclusive licence to destroy evidence that they have been notified is required to be preserved for foreshadowed legal proceedings —exclusive so far that is, until it’s tested by some other alleged lawbreaker claiming that he should have exactly the same licence , if Australia really operates under a rule of law.

  48. Skuter

    Andrew of Randwick, it is not you who needs educating. Your education seems very sound to me…
    I agree with everything you say above!

  49. What ever it takes

    It’s got to be 10 years ago, Premier Pete came upon hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in a SEQEB fund doing nothing according to him, quickly grabbing it to put to better use.
    Sadly soon after electricity poles started to fall down due to lack of funds to carry out maintaince of said poles, so charges were increased to fund routine maintaince again, and that was before we were promised that power prices wouldn’t increase after he sold it off, we used to have free Ambulances also, the joys of living under visionary leaders, Pete would make a great TV game show host, allowing him to give away buckets of other people’s money and flash that BIG genuine smile.

  50. tomix

    That he hates Rudd at a apersonal level hardly sets him apart from the rest of the ALP</em

    IIRC, Beachball appeared to become slightly unhinged after rudd's elevation to leader in Dec. 2006,

    and appeared to be persecuting Greg Rudd as a proxy.

    Beattie showed no signs of desisting, and was replaced in September 2007. imho his only positives were

    a refusal to consider daylight saving and rejection of fluoridation. Bligh introduced compulsory

    fluoridation in Dec, 2007.

  51. Splatacrobat

    He left in a hell of a hurry, without warning. Whoever or whatever spooked him at the time must have gone away.

    Re Beattie from the other open forum.

    He announced his retirement soon after the Merri Rose affair. Reading between the lines Heather may have also read between the lines and given him an ultimatum to leave town till the dirty little secret died down .

    But you can never keep a good narcissist down as Christopher Pyne said so well today “Here are some choice words from Christopher Pyne:

    “We’ve already got one narcissistic egomaniac from Queensland in parliament, and that’s Kevin Rudd.”

    Beattie left Queensland bankrupt when he resigned as premier, Pyne says.

    “The truth is Peter Beattie and Kevin Rudd despise each other.”

  52. Popular Front

    They going to drag Gough out of retirement too?

    Go over to Pickering and check out his latest cartoon, visually in part a blast from the past.

  53. Yon Toad

    Think Beattie – think Atherton. Think Atherton – think peanuts. Think Beattie….

  54. Derp

    Beattie will be Opposition Leader within six months.


  55. Shock news – the ABC has realised that not everyone in Brisbane is going to vote for Peter Beattie.

    In fact, some of them think he’s a corrupt shitheel.

    Fancy that.

    Must do those vox pops a bit more carefully next time.

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