Annastacia Palaszczuk’s reason for dodging damning report on her government
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Annastacia Palaszczuk’s reason for dodging damning report on her government

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has blamed dental surgery for failing to appear to the public after a scathing report was released on widespread failures in state government and public service.

The report “Let the Sunshine In”, led by Peter Coaldrake, Vice-Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology, was released on Wednesday and revealed problems within the Labor government, including “disrespectful, belittling or bullying” behavior by ministers, ministerial staff and senior officers.

Annastacia Palaszczuk's reason for dodging damning report on her government  | The West Australian

But when Ms. Palaszczuk was repeatedly urged to speak up about the alarming findings of the independent review, which she appointed Professor Coaldrake to lead just four months ago, she said she couldn’t because of the two-hour operation that “didn’t work.” could be postponed”.

Camera Icon Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said dental surgery prevented her from speaking about the findings of the Let the Sunshine In report. NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

“This morning, I had a two-hour dental procedure. It could not be delayed,” she said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m working in the office, but unfortunately, I can’t hold a media conference this afternoon.

“I will be available to the media at 9:00 am on Thursday morning.”

Professor Coaldrake said in the report that an “identifiable loss of capacity” in the public service, accelerated by “over-reliance” on outside contractors and consultants, had created a culture of bullying within the government.

“All of these are exacerbated by a culture that is too tolerant of bullying, unwilling to bring old-fashioned views to life, and dominated by the occupational hazard of the short-term political thinking of all governments,” the report said.

“Government officials may feel pressured, sometimes by ministerial staff, sometimes by senior officials, to moderate advice developed with a ‘public interest’ goal in mind, to match a perceived ministerial preference – which may or may not be realistic – or to avoid giving written advice on difficult issues.”

“Personal interactions with some ministers, ministerial staff, and senior officers can be disrespectful, belittle or bully and cause long-term damage to real or sustained careers.”

Camera icon Ms. Palaszczuk said the government would adopt the report’s recommendations. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia

Professor Coaldrake also pointed to the rise of lobbyists in Queensland and their strong influence on politicians.

“In recent times, Queensland has seen the emergence of lobbyists who are undoubtedly politically attached to the governing side of politics with an understanding of the system,” the report said.

“That has helped to achieve results that might not have been possible otherwise.

“The growth of lobbying activity reveals what this Review considers a market failure: the failure of government itself to serve corporate and community interests without the involvement of a paid intermediary.”

Just a day before the final report was released, Ms. Palaszczuk announced stricter lobbyist rules, which the review welcomed. The 101-page report made a total of 14 recommendations, including strengthening lobbying regulations, rejuvenating the “capacity” and “capacity” of the public sector, protecting whistleblowers, and developing and maintaining “appropriate” relationships within government.

Ms. Palaszczuk said the government would accept and implement all of Professor Coal drake’s recommendations.

“I wouldn’t have asked him to do it if I didn’t want reform… we will accept all his recommendations,” Ms. Palaszczuk said.

“They are bold, they are comprehensive, and they are visionary, and they are exactly what I want.

“The report will go to the cabinet on Monday, and we will begin implementing these sweeping reforms, locked in stock.”

But while Ms. Palaszczuk did not speak on Wednesday, opposition leader David Crisafulli criticized the prime minister, saying she oversaw a “rotten culture”.

“A prime minister who has overseen a rotten culture that has provided rotten services to the people of Queensland,” he said.

Camera IconQueensland Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the prime minister had been overseeing a ‘rotten culture’. Liam Kidston Credit: News Corp Australia

“When a culture is rotten by a government, it’s no longer about serving the people; it’s about doing their friends. That’s when the services that the people of Queensland rely on – hospitals, a roof over their heads, and public order – fall into chaos.

“A royal commission must be held to end the integrity inferno burning through this state government.”