John Harrison comments in the Brisbane Times (16.10.16) on recent admissions by former Premier Campbell Newman of the mistakes his government made while in office. These echo earlier comments from Opposition Leader and former Treasurer, Tim Nicholls, regretting his role in Newman Government mis-steps.
‘Peter Beattie and Campbell Newman have a lot in common. Not least their honesty in the face of error. Who can ever forget Beattie’s famous split watermelon grin with palms upturned saying: “We got it wrong, and we will fix it.”
‘… Campbell Newman also returned to the spotlight with a mea culpa of his own in the weekend press. TV pictures of Parliament showed a cheeky Kate Jones waving the “I got it wrong” headlines with a full page picture of the former premier.
‘Mr Newman has claimed that the appointment of Tim Carmody as Chief Justice was his greatest error. Not so, for as we have seen, our legal system is robust enough to survive almost any misadventure.
‘The most egregious error was the closure of the Barrett Centre for Adolescent Mental Health. No apology or acknowledgement from the LNP Opposition when the logical solution of co-location with existing psychiatric services on the Prince Charles Hospital site was announced last week.
‘… It is conventional wisdom that Newman lost the election because the people voted against asset sales. There’s no compelling evidence for this. Nor is the narrative that they tried to do too much too quickly persuasive. Tracking polls by the unions showed Mr Newman was on track to lose Ashgrove three months after his election.
‘They lost office because they were a bunch of clowns passing as a reforming government, and they were unparalleled in the practice of p—ing people off. Pink jump suits are simply vindictive, and serve no purpose in rehabilitating the incarcerated. Changing political donation laws is just dodgy. This was recognised by their own Operation Boring, late in the term, where controversial policies were back-flipped and combative ministers chilled.’