Peter Beattie at the Brisbane Institute

On Tuesday evening I had the privilege of seeing Queensland’s Premier speak on his vision for my home state. It was inspiring and thought provoking, and reminded me of why he has managed to survive for so long.

Amongst many interesting comments was the following on the topic of groups (I think it is quoted quite closely): “The strength, calibre and character of the people determines the quality of the outcomes.” With the State election called earlier that day this sentiment takes on even greater meaning…

After listening to Queensland’s Premier spend a substantial portion of his microphone time talking about the importance of personal responsibility, I am left amazed at the ideological convergence of our political parties.

He made a number of interesting assertions and suggestions:

  • Queensland is likely to enjoyed continued massive population growth, placing pressure in infrastructure (health, education and the environment) and our methods of value creation.
  • Queensland should strive to become a regional hub for aviation, biotechnology and sustainable development.
  • We are particularly well-placed to develop and then export technology in clean coal production and processing.
  • China and India will compete with us directly in a range of industries. We need to lift our place in the value chain through innovation. Numeracy and literacy are necessary, but we also need innovation.
  • We should provide infrastructure and policies that support personal responsibility. In this context, on the health front we have dealt with smoking well and the next target needs to be obesity.
  • Building standards will need to change to allow for the reduced frequency but increased intensity of rainfall.

The Brisbane Institute is led by Ray Weekes, an inspiring leader and insightful speaker. Their efforts to build a community of thinkers in Brisbane town is remarkable.