News

Schwarten warned Bligh asset sales could spell disaster

FORMER Rockhampton MP Robert Schwarten said he warned then-Premier Anna Bligh what would happen if she pushed ahead with asset sales.

And his prediction the party would be lucky to end up with a dozen seats proved accurate after the disastrous 2012 election result.

NSW Election: In a tight NSW election, optional preferences could win out

Mr Schwarten spoke to The Morning Bulletin after Anna Bligh's autobiography, Through the Wall, was released yesterday.

A southern media outlet reported the former Premier blamed the 2012 election result on the 2010 health payroll scandal and fights with unions over asset sales.

She also said a fed-up public and uncertainty over leadership at a federal level with Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were negative influences on the campaign.

Mr Schwarten, who was Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication in the Bligh Government, said he took responsibility for the health payroll system after Ms Bligh handled it directly in Treasury.

He said any criticism of the bungled payroll system was an indictment on Ms Bligh's work in Treasury.

"I don't know who she's seeking to blame for that, certainly it didn't do us any favours," Mr Schwarten said.

On asset sales, Mr Schwarten said it was not privatisation itself that caused so much trouble, but the perceived breach of trust among voters and unions.

But Mr Schwarten said it wasn't either of these issues in particular which saw the government defeated.

He said there was a general feeling the government wasn't performing well and had been in office too long.

"Certainly from my perspective it was the worst three years I put in government," he said. "I didn't enjoy my time in the Bligh government."

Mr Schwarten said Ms Bligh, like every Premier, had her strengths and weaknesses.

He said she was "faultless" in handling the 2011 floods and Cyclone Yasi, but surrounded herself with people who agreed with her.

Mr Schwarten said contrary points of view were needed in leadership, but Ms Bligh didn't take advice from those outside her inner circle.

Topics:  anna bligh, australian labor party, politics, robert schwarten




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

MACCAS MAYHEM: Rocky McDonalds can't serve burgers

The Big Mac.

You can have fries with that, but no burgers.

LET'S BUILD THIS THING: Fast tracked car park plan revealed

Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Parking issue could move towards resolution as soon as this year

WATCH: Work about to start on new $1.6M Rocky pound

A total of 67 animals were impounded at the Sunshine Coast Council's Tanawha pound from December until January 3.

Council awards tenders for $1.6 million facility

Latest deals and offers

High St stabbing

High St stabbing

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago