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Stanhope for Treasurer?

By Kerces 16 February 2006 16

Jon Stanhope is set to be our new Treasurer after Ted Quinlan retires in March. Or so says the dashing Ben Doherty, the Canberra Times’s Legislative Assembly reporter.

So the question would be: will Mr Stanhope take this on as a third major role, given he is already the Chief Minister and the Attorney General? Three roles which should probably go to three different people because of the workload involved in each?

Word has it the legal profession is keenly watching Mr Stanhope’s next move. In the interest of helping Mr Stanhope find a new Chief Law Officer I have put together a short list of the government MLAs and their various qualifications, as gleaned from their quite-hard-to-find biographies:

Corbell — B Arts (Communication) at UC and media advisor to a federal MP (also has a porky in his biog — I’d suggest you check Ms Dundas’s age when she was elected Simon).

Gallagher — B Arts (Political Science and Sociology) at ANU and union official.

Hargreaves — B Arts at Deakin Uni, Justice of the Peace since 1991 and public servant (a possibility with his JP work, also legend has it his luncheoning habits are suited to liaison with the legal profession).

Berry — Union official (and is speaker so unlikely to move, or be moved).

Gentleman — work related studies in industrial relations, information technology, communications and law and worked as a motor mechanic, postman, public servant, real estate agent, security officer, project marketing, small business owner and project officer (“work related” legal studies sounding a little informal for the AG position but possibly the best of a bad lot).

MacDonald — trained as primary school teacher and worked in that capacity and as a union official (and claims living in Chifley for six years as her headline achievement).

Porter — volunteer and CEO of Volunteering Australia (so no-one’s ever willingly paid her for her work).

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16 Responses to
Stanhope for Treasurer?
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Mal 11:51 pm 25 Feb 06

One of the early Federal Labor Government (the Watson Govt?), I think, actually had to ask a conservative opposition member to be AG, because they had no lawyers of their own.

Oh, weren’t those the days! A government without lawyers (sigh).

boneym 1:12 pm 21 Feb 06

Aren’t they doing something in SA or WA where there is a non-elected Cabinet member who is not an MP? Some vague memory I have…

johnboy 6:58 pm 17 Feb 06

I can’t speak for the ACT here, but the convention is that they have to be members of the parliament so they can be questioned in the parliament.

Also the Prime Minister by convention is the person who commands a majority in the parliament. They don’t have to be in there but it certainly helps. To the point it would be almost impossible to survive without being in the house.

you have to remember that the westminster system evolved out of the english civil war, that might be archaic but as a settlement between executive government and parliament the conditions that forged it have proved to be rather timeless.

(although over the last couple of decades with the development of political classes in both major parties that settlement would appear to be breaking down)

caf 6:09 pm 17 Feb 06

Mmm, fair point, although I was mostly responding to bonfire’s post.

What exactly are the responsibilities of the A-G?

Oh and this touches on another thing I’ve often wondered – is there anything actually written that says that the members of the executive have to be members of the legislature too, or is this just one of those unwritten rules?

johnboy 2:47 pm 17 Feb 06

Which is not to say a non-lawyer couldn’t legally be the attorney-general just that they would struggle to do it at all well.

the title is significant, the Attorney-General is not a “Minister for Law” (although they do perform many of those functions)

johnboy 2:45 pm 17 Feb 06

AG is different Caf, in the history of the westminster tradition finding a lawyer in a parliament has never been a problem before.

caf 2:16 pm 17 Feb 06

It’s my understanding that under our system of government “Administration” is delegated to career administrators ie public servants like departmental secretaries; the role of ministers is instead to set policy (hopefully in accordance with public wishes).

bonfire 12:13 pm 17 Feb 06

interesting. i have posted here before that the background of many alp candidates makes them unsuited for actually running a govt. apart from gentleman (and if he or she has done anything in this term it hasnt registered on my radar) i dont regard any of them as having ANY qualifications to administer any of the real portfoliios like finance or health.

perhaps if there were less union hacks and factional playes or ex-ministers staffers, the alp woudl have a better record of administration.

i can see a complete rerun of the follet years.

peopel often forget why carnell was elected. its clear the local alp has.

erewego 12:03 pm 17 Feb 06

u really are keen on that arent u Indi!
I like the idea of Stanhope taking on all remaining portfolios and having the rest of the Assembly dismissed – and more saving people in his undies! and get rid of the whole ACT public service, too. if people want bypasses, they can build em themselves. cmon itll be a laff! s’only Canberra, afterall

Indi 11:23 am 17 Feb 06

I like the prospect of a left leaning rocket scientist in control of the public purse…we could have our very own ‘mini me’ space program (~~)..closes eyes and starts praying…

Indi 11:23 am 17 Feb 06

I like the prospecte of left leaning rocket scientist in control of the public purse…we could have our very own ‘mini me’ space program (~~)..closes eyes and starts praying…

Indi 11:22 am 17 Feb 06

I like the prospecte of left leaning rocket scientist in control of the public purse…we could have our very own ‘mini me’ space program ~~)

johnboy 9:49 am 17 Feb 06

well the arts community gets to bitch about him never turning up to anything he isn’t speaking at, and that makes them quite happy in their way.

simto 9:44 am 17 Feb 06

Isn’t Stanhope Arts Minister as well? Or doesn’t that count as a major role?

johnboy 9:19 am 17 Feb 06

Well there’s always rocket scientist Mike or bright young thing andrew barr to throw into the mix.

not sure about them as AG.

I don’t know everything Ben Doherty knows, but the information he’s quoting for his assertion strikes me as shaky.

valques 9:03 am 17 Feb 06

stanhope’s delusional enough to think he can do it
like Stalin he believes reality can be brought to conform with his own internal vision…

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