Strict rules earnt Goss reverence

OLD DAYS: Former Rockhampton MP Robert Schwarten with Wayne Goss, who was Queensland Premier at the time of the photograph, examining a model of the CQ Community Sports Centre while Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce looks on.
OLD DAYS: Former Rockhampton MP Robert Schwarten with Wayne Goss, who was Queensland Premier at the time of the photograph, examining a model of the CQ Community Sports Centre while Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce looks on. Archives

IT comes as no surprise that Wayne Goss was once called 'The Headmaster'.

Former Rockhampton Member Robert Schwarten yesterday reminisced about his past colleague after hearing news the former Queensland Premier had lost his battle with brain tumours.

Mr Schwarten said he nicknamed Goss 'The Headmaster' because of his strict, disciplinary ways.

"He was a man who knew what he wanted," Mr Schwarten said.

"He had no time for fools."

Goss led the Australian Labor Party into power in Queensland for the first time in three decades in 1989.

"Nothing ever replaced the euphoric feeling in those first two years," Mr Schwarten said.

He said most of those who were with Goss in that first term led significant political careers, including former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie. Schwarten said back then, being homosexual was illegal in Queensland and there was a lot of corruption in the police force.

Schwarten worked in the office of Tom Burns, who was deputy premier at the time, in between holding a seat in Queensland parliament. "That was a great experience being in the engine room of the deputy premier at the time of Goss," he said.

After winning government, Mr Goss instituted Fitzgerald Inquiry recommended reforms and decriminalised homosexuality.

Wayne Goss

February 26, 1951 - November 10, 2014

Born in Mundubbera

Raised in Inala

34th Queensland Premier

In office: December 7, 1989 - February 19, 1996

Topics:  queensland politics robert schwarten wayne goss

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