The conviction of Gordon Nuttall, a senior member of Peter Beattie’s Government, reinforces the sense that Queensland Labor under Beattie was ready to tolerate appalling standards in ministers and in ministerial conduct.

While the Shepherdson Inquiry happened on Beattie’s watch, most of the events it covered were not his responsibility, and Beattie made a point of attacking his own party on the issue, winning him the 2001 election.

But it was Nuttall — who as Health Minister has presided over the Jayant Patel tragedy — who misled the Queensland Parliament during an Estimates hearing in 2005, but faced no repercussions under Queensland laws aimed at preventing the misleading of Parliament. In fact, Beattie had the laws removed.

Beattie tolerated — indeed, promoted — ministers like Merri Rose who were clearly out of their depth. Other Ministers specifically told Beattie they needed assistance because of their struggle to cope with their portfolios and were ignored. At least one Parliamentary Secretary was the subject of repeated complaints about sexual harassment, but Beattie’s only response was to remove him. Beattie also criticised ministerial staff who complained about bullying and harassment from politicians. His response was to let taxpayers foot the bill via compensation payouts from Queensland Parliament to damaged staff.

All this might look like bad luck — nothing has ever been sheeted home to Beattie himself — but Beattie’s poor judgement and bad management of his Ministers has been on display for several years, and Nuttall is only the latest example.

It is imperative for Queensland Labor that Anna Bligh demonstrates greater control over the party’s factions than Beattie ever did, and better judgement about how Ministers should handle all of their responsibilities.

And Peter Beattie? He continues to live the good life in Los Angeles at taxpayer expense. A fair reward.