United Government


The first phase of this historic and tragic flood was the preparation and the waiting, the second phase was its arrival, the third encompassed the damage and tragedy it left in it’s wake.

The next will be the clean up and the long term re-building and planning of Queensland: its cities, its infrastructure, how it can better live with the whims and force of nature and how better to manage and harness those forces

This is not the job of any single person nor is it the job of any single political party. We all have a role to play.

Over the holiday period I read an excellent book by American historian Dorothy Kearns Goodwin. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and how he brought the rivals he beat for the Presidency in 1860 into his cabinet. The book is called “Team of Rivals”.

Abe knew he needed the best brains sitting around the same table to deal with the vast problems his country was confronting .

That thought went through my mind last night.

We do not have enough politicians of quality and talent in one Party to put our state back together again but, between all the parties and incorporating some from outside politics, we do.

Be assured, we have an historic opportunity to make an even BETTER Queensland.

I wonder if Anna Bligh and John Paul Langbroek dare go where Abraham Lincoln did? We did it during the war - and this is going to be a war of sorts.

There is another comparison here. Before the Civil War Lincoln was seen as an amiable man, articulate, dedicated but awkward. Few outside his closest associates thought he could be President and he was the outsider in the field.

Prior to the devastating events in Qld in recent weeks Anna Bligh was perceived (rightly) as a bad Premier leading a dreadful Govt.

She has since emerged as a woman and leader of strength, eloquence, clear-sightedness and empathy with a great love for her state and her people.  This has been Anna Bligh absent the party that has become such a millstone around her neck.  It has been an extraordinary transformation.

This is not the first time we have seen such things.
Without WW2 Churchill would have disappeared without trace, Harry Truman would’ve been thrown out in 1948. Each rose above their past and public expectations. As did John Curtin.

Anna Bligh has done the same.

What would you rather see? A return to the political rabble that our Govt has become having daily fights with an Opposition looking for every chance to criticize? Or a united Govt headed by Anna Bligh leading an equal number of people (the best) from both sides? Which would be better for our state?

I would envisage a special cabinet position created as Minister for Brisbane which Campbell Neman would hold in association with his current role as Lord Mayor.

As Robert Menzies once said: As in cricket, not all the good players are on the same side.

And right about now we need all the best players we can get.

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