How Labor governs in Queensland

 'And to the victor, the spoils'
     -- Sir Jack Egerton as he went to serve on 
     the board of QANTAS (then publicly owned) in 1972    
                 Egerton was a former Qld Trades & Labour 
                 Council President & Federal ALP 

[Publisher’s Note:  In the early 1990s the Goss Labor government ‘corporatised’ public assets including ports, power generation and rail. This made it possible to sell off many of these public assets built up over generations by Queensland workers.

Now the Palusczszuk Labor government has appointed the president of the Queensland Council of Unions and Labor Party official, John Battams, to the board of the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

Under a previous Labor government, the board of QIC played the market and Queensland lost out. Thus Government went into debt during the global financial crisis and public monies fell into the sinkhole of risky securitisation derivatives on Wall Street. So why invest workers super entitlements in financial products when they could have used the capital to build up railway infrastructure.

anna bligh sold us out

To top it off the same Labor government sold off Queensland Rail at a time when its revenue could have helped the state’s finances.

“In 2007 Queensland Investment Corporation had invested $27 billion in financial markets to fund ‘future employee and other obligations’. The government expected a return of the 7% but due to the financial crisis instead received 2% – this produced a deficit of $995 million.”- Workers Audit.

What qualifies John Battams to manage public sector debt? No doubt he has done his training and passed the exam in being a director of a company. He has written his essay on ethics for assessment. His membership of the Labor party has given him brownie points. His time as head of the Teachers union helped. His time as the first paid president of the QCU has cemented his chances.

He joins the ranks of sacked Directors-General, private sector moguls and executive wannabees clamoring for jobs on the board with their easy hours and corporate prestige. Forget all that ideological stuff about the importance of the public sector, they are now board-room players.

We publish here the conga line of fellow travellers who want to be like their counterparts in the private sector and maybe one-day be getting share options and fatter directors fees.

We would do well to remember Ernie Lane’s words about the Labor Party in Queensland:

The wiles of Labour politicians – the futility of fearful 
and reactionary Labour leaders have been revealed in this 
record, and the lessons I and others so bitterly learned 
should preclude any further waste of time and enthusiasm 
in vainly endeavouring to make figs blossom and fruit 
on barren trees.
                              — Ernie Lane in Dawn to Dusk
                                - reminiscences of a rebel

Ian Curr
September 2015


Government Press Release

New board appointments to drive Queensland’s GOCs forward

Acting Premier Curtis Pitt has announced a series of board appointments which will position Queensland’s Government-Owned Corporations (GOC) and commercial Statutory Authorities for the future.

Mr Pitt said a quality group of eminently qualified appointments would ensure Queensland’s taxpayer investments remain in good hands.

“All new board members were appointed on merit and selected from a large pool of talented and well-credentialed individuals to bring new focus and innovation to our GOCs,” he said.

“There’s also a strong degree of continuity, with some experienced chairs continuing in their current roles, as well an injection of new blood, including renewable energy expertise.”

Mr Pitt said Queensland’s GOCs facilitated the delivery of crucial services and export dollars for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

“Keeping key assets in public ownership, like our ports and our electricity networks, was one of our major election commitments,” he said.

“With these new appointments, we’re now well placed to ensure our assets keep delivering dividends for all Queenslanders.”

Mr Pitt said the number of female GOC board members in Queensland would nearly double.

“This is line with our election commitment to increase the proportion of female board members on Queensland GOCs to 50 per cent by 2020,” he said.

Continuing GOC Chairs:

– Dr Julie Beeby, Powerlink

– Don Luke, QIC

– Michael Klug, Queensland Rail

New GOC Chairs:

– Gordon Jardine, Energex

– Clive Skarrot, Ergon

– Ralph Craven, Stanwell

– Jim Soorley, CS Energy

– Russell Beer, Far North Queensland Ports Corporation (Ports North)

– Leo Zussino, Gladstone Ports Corporation
[“Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive Leo Zussino will not have his contract renewed in August. Mr Zussino made no secret of his desire to continue in the role for “a few more years,” but the board, under a new State Government, has chosen to replace him in August.” – The Observer]

– Brad Fish, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation

– Leith Boully, SunWater
[ Irrigators have asked Leith Boully to engage with the new minister (Mark Bailey) to keep the changes happening. – ABC Rural 27/4/15]

– Dan Hunt, Seqwater
[The new Minister’s former Director-General of Energy was replaced by industry representative & AGL executive, Paul Simshauser.]

Mr Pitt thanked outgoing Chairs and Directors for their service and also thanked Kerryn Newton for her service as Energex Acting Chair. Ms Newton will remain as a director of Energex.

Mr Pitt also thanked Gary Humphrys for serving as Acting Chair of Ergon, Mr Humphrys will remain a Director for Ergon.

Shareholding Minister Mark Bailey said experienced company director Leith Boully had been appointed Chair of SunWater and former Energy Director-General Dan Hunt appointed Chair of Seqwater.

“Gordon Jardine will become Chair of Energex, Dr Ralph Craven Chair of Stanwell, Clive Skarott Chair of Ergon and former Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley Chair of CS Energy,” Mr Bailey said.

“These Chairs will bring the right skill set and extensive Board experience to our GOCs and position them for a sustainable long term future.

“Successful commercial lawyer Russell Beer has been appointed Chair of Far North Queensland Ports Corporation and highly qualified industry specialist Brad Fish appointed Chair of North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation.

“Experienced ports executive Leo Zussino becomes Chair of Gladstone Ports Corporation acknowledging his role in the development of Queensland’s LNG industry.

“Dr Julie Beeby will remain Chair of Powerlink, Don Luke will continue as Chair of QIC and Michael Klug stay on as Chair of Queensland Rail.”

Additional Board appointments will be announced over the coming weeks.



Chair – Mr James Soorley AM
Director – Ms Julie-Anne Schafer


Chair – Gordon Jardine
Director – Ms Vanessa Sullivan
Director – Mr Robert Shead


Chair – Mr Clive Skarott AM
Director – Dr Lorraine Stephenson
Director – Mr Adam Aspinall


Director – Ms Joanna Brand
Director – Mr Alan Millis


Chair – Dr Ralph Craven
Director – Ms Jacqueline King
Director – Ms Karen Smith-Pomeroy


Chair – Mr Russell Beer
Director – Mr Michael Huelin
Director – Ms Victoria Cuda


Chair – Mr Leo Zussino
[Note: Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive Leo Zussino was moved on by incoming Labor government and now has been appointed Chair under the same government.]
Director – Mr Peter Corones AM
Director – Ms Peta Jamieson
Director – Mr Grant Cassidy


Chair – Mr Bradley Fish
Director – Ms Annabel Dolphin
Director – Mr Craig Walker


Director – Ms Andrea Staines
Director – Mr John Battams


Chair – Ms Leith Boully
Director – Ms Patrice Sherrie
Director – Mr Neville Ide


Director – Mr David Marchant AM
[Note: Mr. David Marchant served as Managing Director of infrastructure services business at Lend Lease Group.]


Chair – Mr Dan Hunt*
[Note that former Energy Director General (recently replaced by industry choice from AGL executive) has been appointed Chair of SEQ Water. WBT bets the new Chair hopes it doesn’t rain too much this summer!]
Director – Ms Samantha Pidgeon

Media Contact: 0419 945 546

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