(Image: Private Media)
(Image: Private Media)

This is part two of our series on Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers. Part one draws on his 2013 book Glory Daze to examine the measure of the man, identify his strengths and see if he has learned from his mistakes.


The good news about Jim Chalmers is this: he has deep government experience. That is abundantly clear in reading his 2013 book, Glory Daze. Chalmers has sat in committee meetings, cabinet meetings and IMF meetings. He knows it matters how a minister manages staff, how hard that minister works and how they relate to the department. His experience is not limited to opposition, where a good week involves managing one media person to get one quote in the press.

One advantage the Labor Party has is a steady flow of people with considerable government experience into its parliamentary ranks. Hacks, apparatchiks -- call them what you will, they are more useful to governing stably (if unimaginatively) than what the other side has: a steady flow of former small business owners and former police officers running on a platform of taking common sense to Canberra (among whom a sense of how Canberra works is uncommon). This matters to getting things done.