Griffith University academics have this week outlined the advice they would offer the incoming Premier of Queensland at a post-election event at South Bank.

The five leading experts responded to the premise: “If I had three minutes with the new Premier”.

Invited media were present at the Griffith Graduate Centre to consider and analyse the advice and insights during a provocative 90-minute discussion.

These included Dennis Atkins (National Affairs Editor, Courier Mail), Simon Holt (Editor-in-Chief, Brisbane Times), Emma McBryde (journalist, APN Newsdesk) and Vanessa Wiltshire (Content Manager, 612 ABC Radio).

The event was facilitated by Professor Anne Tiernan (School of Government and International Relations) who released an Open Letter to the incoming Premier at the event. She urged the new Premier of Queensland to put in place government frameworks that meet the evolving challenges of contemporary political leadership.

She also stressed the importance of competence within the new Premier’s team structure and said trust in political processes and institutions needed to be rebuilt.

Professor Janet Ransley (Head of School of Criminology and Criminal Justice) said the previous government had been distracted by bikies and boot camps, and urged the incoming incumbent to focus on what she called “the real problems such as domestic and alcohol-fuelled violence and services for at-risk communities”.

Aspirational spirit

Continuity in education policy was a central plank of Glenn Finger’s ‘three minutes with the new Premier’. Professor Finger (Dean, Learning and Teaching) highlighted the importance of identifying key policies put in place by the last government which should be maintained.

Looking forward he called for education policy to have a vision for its students that reached beyond the Queensland borders, a vision which prepared students for life as citizens of the world. “We must develop trust and respect for the profession,” he said. “And build an aspirational spirit among our young people.”

Professor Lesley Chenoweth (Head of Campus, Logan) also urged the incoming Premier to look “beyond our patch” for insights and examples of how to deliver effective services to people living on the margins of society and in lower socio-economic parts of Queensland.

She said innovation and best practice from around the world should be referenced and applied where possible in Queensland. “We need to start to build on evidence not ideology.”

She added that the new Premier should start planning for all Queensland to support the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the state immediately.

Deciding on the most effective fiscal policy was the economic focus of Professor Fabrizio Carmignani (Head of Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics).

“Public expenditure, taxes, deficit and debt are just tools that need to be used to achieve the fundamental objectives of economic policy, namely inclusive growth and welfare,” he said. “So, minimizing public spending, deficit, and debt is not necessarily good fiscal policy.”