Jun 1, 2012

The minister, the speech and the troubled arts department

Queensland Arts Minister Ros Bates fired her top arts bureaucrat for a speech she plagiarised from Labor. But Bates was in the chamber when the speech she copied was first read out. Ben Eltham reports on the turmoil up north.

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

Queensland Arts Minister Ros Bates has fired her top bureaucrat, deputy director general Shane Rowlands, blaming her for a speech she plagiarised from a Labor opponent. But Bates was in the chamber when the speech she copied was first read out.

Rowlands has taken the fall for a speech that Bates delivered to Queensland Parliament on May 17, in which she recycled whole paragraphs of a speech from the former Labor arts minister Rachel Nolan.

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15 thoughts on “The minister, the speech and the troubled arts department

  1. ithurtstosneeze

    Pretty cruel outcome for what’s otherwise a storm in the china stemming from a ‘gotcha’ stunt.

    The speech was materially identical. So what?

    The bill was a routine procedural thing aimed at clearing away some quango’s administrative cobwebs, not a reintroduction of capital punishment. It didn’t warrant a statement of ‘vision’ by way of introduction, but a bare outline of facts, which is what it got.

    Mild shame the speech was same as the predecessor’s, but short of reframing in the passive voice, swapping in some synonyms, or presenting it via improv theatre, it really couldn’t – and didn’t need to – read any differently.

    You’d hope the briefing officers made it abundantly clear the accompanying speaking notes were recycled. The Minister could then have prefaced her comments accordingly. So someone’s dropped the ball, but even still, on the Richter scale of embarrassment, it’s pretty mild – akin to a muffled burp in polite company, when by the fallout you’d think she’d gone in to the House and, egged on by the Department, reprised this dude:

    The better response surely would have been to blow off the original reportage (which the Minister at least was reported as having done), not reach for the pitchforks.

  2. Hackett Terry

    Look, the Newman Government was elected with such a majority the people of Queensland have given it carte blanche to do what ever it wants.. so stop complaining…… majority , and this case an almost 100% majority rule…. until the people of Queensland elect another party .. if ever ha ha ha … just shut up all you wingers…

  3. Andrew Chalmers

    Oh poor Bates. Leave the poor woman alone. She’s only been in the job a few months and her teen-ankle staffers probably don’t know that they need to write the speeches for the minister yet.

    God knows the advisor to the (relatively) new NSW arts minister still has training wheels on. It takes time to know how to play with the big kids.

  4. arnold ziffel

    It’s laughable that they just recycled the same text.
    In NSW government we were dealing with new Ministers last year, and it didn’t take much effort to amend things here and there.

  5. PK93

    Hackett Terry, are you parody or self-parody?

  6. peter w

    well in the Queensland Public Service we can look forward to what Newman did to the Brisbane City Council, increasing ordinary hours from 36 1/4 to 38 hours , dropping Super payments from 12% to 9% , Newman will work to gut the Public Service and sell it off to private interests. Also the selling of Govt Buildings to private interests and renting back the floor space just does not work or add up for that mattter, it just goes to show Newman is like the rest of them , a liar , and caught out telling them , Queensland deserves what it gets

  7. Lord Barry Bonkton

    We in Qld want a new election before they sell everything and break any more promises Mr New-liar and we want it Now !

  8. Clements Simon

    So Ros Bates is incompetent. At least she is known for something now that will not be forgotten,
    gross incompetence.

  9. John64

    I want some cake.

  10. Liamj

    What precious flowers they must grow in Qld LNP, that a mildly ironic accident should result in an unjust sacking rather than a rueful chuckle at their own slipup.

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