New Premier must rebuild trust in process

Professor Anne Tiernan has been following the early exchanges on the Queensland election trail.
Professor Anne Tiernan has drafted an Open Letter to the incoming Premier of Queensland.

A Griffith University political scientist has called on the incoming Queensland Premier to put in place government frameworks that allow her or him to meet the evolving challenges of contemporary political leadership.

In an Open Letter to the new Premier, Professor Anne Tiernan the School of Government and International Relations, has set out a blueprint for more efficient and productive business of government in Queensland.

“A key lesson from the election campaign and Saturday’s result is the need to rebuild confidence and trust in our political processes and institutions,” she writes.

“We urge you (Premier) to grasp the opportunity of this transition phase to put in place frameworks that will support you in navigating the many rigours of public leadership.”

The letter offers key insights drawn from research and experience and which place an emphasis on what Professor Tiernan calls ‘The Four P’s — People, Process, Policy, Politics’.

“The job of Premier exceeds the capacity of any individual,” she writes. “However, the routines and processes of government provide a way to marshal the resources available to exercise political power and maximise capacity.

“The more effort you put into establishing structure at the outset of your tenure, the more likely you can establish governing rhythms and political momentum to achieve your policy goals.”

In the Open Letter, Professor Tiernan discusses how the levers of powers can be held to optimum effect.

“A Premier must learn to operate the machinery of government and to do this they need to understand the personal, political and institutional resources available to them.”

Referring to political research carried out at Griffith University for more than a generation, she maps the way to a coherent governing style with strong Cabinet processes, delegated authority to Ministers, budget processes and legislative routines among the key factors identified.

“The skill of governing is to know when to push out work and when to pull back issues as required. A lesson from the 2015 election result is the need to rebuild confidence and trust in our political processes and institutions.”

Read an Open Letter to the 39th Premier of Queensland on The Machinery of Government website.