The good news is that there is life after politics - the bad news that it might not be what you expected. It is a myth that all former members of Parliament, Ministers and heads of government go onto lucrative careers. Few make it into the Boardrooms or pick up the threads of their trades and profession. Universities and the union movement predictably offer a refuge for many former Labor members. Even fewer find contentment out side of politics particularly so when their career ends in sudden electoral defeat. The transition can be brutal, humbling and disappointing. Hard work brings it's own rewards and on occasion the transition inspiring. Former Federal Attorney General and leading 'silk' Tom Hughes is a stand out example.
Once you have been in ‘the arena’ you rarely leave it behind. Regardless of whether you have an active or passive involvement you will invariably have an opinion on some aspect of ongoing political events. Leaving parliament, I returned to organisational politics and, to this day, maintain a keen interest in public affairs in Australia and internationally. For all of us who have ‘been there done that’ the trap lies in being overtaken by the nostalgia of your own time in office with a preoccupation on the rear vision view mirror of politics. The carping critic who views contemporary politics through the prism of their own time in office runs the risk of becoming a ‘cranky old man’. I have had my moments.
The modern medium of social media - Facebook, twitter, instagrams and social networking, were in their infancy as I was departing the scene. The 24 hour news cycle pioneered by CNN had not translated to Australia and the thought that an MP would text a journalist from inside the sanctity of a party room meeting not believable. The intrusion of media into the lives and activities of elected members, community and business leaders, party and union officials under cover of ‘the public has a right to know’ is a new benchmark which has become accepted as the norm. Where that boundary was pushed further to tapping phones and message banks in the UK only when ‘victims’ outside the political elite came to light did the public draw a line in the sand. It’s a whole new world, not necessarily a better one, that engages the world of politics today and, in many ways, more challenging than in my day.
At the domestic level, I still work on campaign elections - Federal and State - and attend branch and Party functions where time permits. I have remained actively involved in fundraising although as previously observed the ‘begging bowl’ approach is wearing very thin.
I have also maintained an interest in politics and government as Assistant Chairman of the International Democratic Union (IDU).1 I also served on the Expert Panel on Political Parties of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)2 an IGO based in Stockholm Sweden. I am a member of the Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP),3 a forum of political parties of Asia-Oceania countries across the political spectrum. My pro-bono participation representing the Liberal Party and supported by funding through the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program (APPDP) I consider as part of my ‘not for profit’ activity. At the organisational level the Liberal Party to their collective credit has been at the forefront of forging inter-Party links throughout the region for decades.
In my role as Assistant Chairman of the IDU, I have been an active panelist at seminars and workshops designed to promote democracy in East Timor, the Solomons, Indonesia, Fiji and PNG since my election in 2001. Also, I have been an active facilitator, panelist and speaker at successive IDU Youth Forums designed to encourage and assist young MP’s, party officials and activists from Asia, the Pacific, Americas and Eastern Europe. In 2012, I mediated a dispute between two of the conservative groupings in the European Parliament – the European People’s Party Group (EPP)4 and the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR)5 over IDU membership which allowed both to be separately represented in the IDU. This was an important milestone to ensure the diversity of the center right was accommodated in the IDU. During 2013, I completed an inquiry into the activities and future of the International Young Democratic Union (IYDU) recommending extensive reforms and the election of new office bearers. Those recommendations were subsequently accepted at the IDU Executive Meeting Lima Peru 1 November 2013.
I also worked closely with the International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in connection with ICAPP and also formerly as President of the Liberal Party of Australia. The Liberal Party has had a long standing relationship with counterparts in China dating from the Fraser Government. In Australia, both sides of politics have steadfastly stood by the ‘one China’ policy over the decades. For decades, Liberal parliamentarians and party officials actively engaged the CCP. Then, in 2002, with the active support of Prime Minister Howard, I initiated the first ever invitation extended by a major political party in Australia to the CCP to send an official Delegation to a Liberal Party Federal Conference.6 This was a major coup for the Liberal Party not lost on the CCP; later the Chinese would reciprocate by inviting Prime Minister Howard to address CCP cadre schools in Beijing. In time, invitations were extended to the Chinese leadership by the Australian Government of the day to address the Commonwealth Parliament. These are important symbolic gestures that help strengthen bilateral relationships. It also highlighted the fact that, during the Howard Government, Australia maintained a balanced and respectful relationship with the emerging superpower which contrasted sharply with the decline under Labor.
I have maintained an ongoing close working relationship with other regional political parties of all complexions as well as the UK Conservatives, NZ National Party and the US Republican Party (through the Republican Institute USA and Republicans Abroad).
The inter-party engagement and democracy building initiatives through conferences and workshops is largely funded through the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program (APPDP) currently administered by AusAID and presumably DFAT going forward although, there appears to be some doubt about the program surviving. The Abbott Government has decided to return AusAID to DFAT, citing a need for greater alignment between “the aid and diplomatic arms of Australia’s international policy”. Under the Program, funding was provided to the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party and the Australian Greens, to support international activities that will promote democracy.
The objective of the Program was to assist the development of political party systems in partner countries. The program was established in 2005 by the Howard Government. It was a visionary initiative driven by Prime Minister Howard who, as Chairman of the International Democratic Union, saw merit in promoting and engaging between political parties. As a result, the program was part of a coordinated Australian effort to promote effective governance in developing countries, one of the strategic goals of the Australian aid program; specifically:
The program also enabled members of political parties to train officials in developing countries; this part of the program the Liberal Party has enthusiastically engaged. For example, from early on the Liberal Party has provided training on campaigning, democratic practices, integrity and policy development and implementation to political parties in East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.
My activities in ICAPP and IDU are set out in detail in the Archives (see Documents and Images). There is a transparent account of where I have been and the agenda of meetings, conferences, and workshops I participated in.
The Program has not been without criticism which is disappointing and somewhat misinformed.7 Whilst I cannot answer for the Australian Greens and the ALP, I can assure readers that the Australian taxpayer received real value for money from my colleagues and I working with some of our nearest neighbours, and further afield. For Australian Aid agencies who believe these funds were diverted from their allocations, which is not the case, they could make better use of political party contacts in the countries they operate. They have not profited by demonising the program, quite the opposite.
The Liberal Party can be very proud of its international engagement and the role we played in a modest way, in supporting democracy building and freedom in the region. We don’t come with a template for democracy; we don’t lecture and we didn’t demand. We share our experiences and helped where we could consistent with the goals and objectives set out above. I consider the foregoing some of the most important work I ever engaged in.
Recent news suggests the program will be scrapped in its present form. A journalist reported gleefully in the Canberra Times ‘Political parties stripped of millions in junket cash’.8 It was never millions and the work was done on our own time pro bono - hardly a junket. If you support democracy building and freedom it comes at a cost. Most Liberal Democracies in Europe and the US have similar programs9 - it’s a feature of a sophisticated democracy. The critics and knockers will no doubt be well pleased with tearing down a most effective overseas aid program. Those same people who complain loudly about ‘the race to the bottom’ in Australian politics are contributing to the undermining of effective programs that help Australia take our place in the region, unless you subscribe to the theory that DFAT alone can deliver that outcome.
Meanwhile, I continue to engage on a range of activities in my own time and at my own expense. It is important to remain part of the conversation when it comes to regional affairs in this the ‘Asian Century’.
Post-parliamentary politics, I formally retired from the legal profession to pursue ‘potential’ commercial interests. To be frank, I wasn’t sure whether that would be a corner store or something further up the food chain. Michael Hannon gave me a second hand computer and a croc skin which adorns the wall in my Darwin office, Wayne Thomas and Doug Phillips helped out with a second-hand ute which they later sold when I wasn’t looking. Dick David helped with some fuel, Tony and Joe Randazzo assisted me to set up an office, the Liveris family gave me a watch to mark my retirement which I treasure, Jim Noonan and Mal Sciacca gave me a leg up and Dick Griffiths organised a testimonial. For a period, a number of restaurateurs (except Charlie)10, refused payment when I dined in. I thought this a very generous and unexpected gesture, it all helped. Nick Paspaley showed a special interest and post politics we have remained close personal friends. Outside the Territory, the late John ‘Fatty’ Roberts of Multiplex, engaged my services as did Martin Albrecht at Thiess. Long term supporters assisted where they could. I remain enormously grateful to all who helped me transition – it wasn’t a walk in the park. If I have forgotten anyone I apologize. The first thing you have to come to terms with in leaving Parliament seeking that next career is that you are an ‘ex’ something, as though it’s tattooed on your forehead. Take your pick – ‘ex’ MP, ‘ex’ Minister, ‘ex’ Chief Minister. I used to cringe at the introduction; media revel in it. Nowadays, I tend to be described as ‘Liberal heavyweight’ or ‘Liberal Party elder’ - conjures up images of a fat ageing man, (my daughter Madeleine would say ‘on the money’). As former Canadian Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff discovered following his electoral wipeout:11
‘Nothing so ex as an ex-politician’
Like most, regardless of political colour, I was, to put it politely ‘without means’. I have always marvelled at those members of parliament who leave politics with more money and assets than when they came to the job. I well recall a large mortgage over Zealandia Crescent Larrakeyah, an overdraft and ‘maxed out’ credit cards – that was not how I went into Parliament in 1990. It’s not as though I could have maintained a legal practice when a Minister to supplement my income. In any event, I have always had very strong views about MP’s holding down part-time jobs and doing business. The electorate is entitled to an MP’s undivided attention particularly when the old parliamentary pension scheme was still in play. At times, this point of view caused friction with some colleagues.12 Most MP’s leave the arena ‘broke’ and service in Parliament does not guarantee a glorious business or professional career.
The facts speak for themselves – look around at the majority of former Premiers, Ministers, and MP’s post-Parliament. Some find refuge in academic institutions (particularly and especially from ‘the left’ where they are enthusiastically embraced), some Labor members get picked up by the Union Movement, others try to build an opportunity through the ‘not for profit’ sector and a handful make it into the Boardroom. Many descend into a deep depression as they struggle to find new meaning and income. This is particularly so when their departure was neither planned nor contemplated. The electorate doesn’t much care and scant regard is paid to the harsh reality that MP’s don’t get annual leave, accrued long service leave or a termination payment of any consequence. Electoral defeat is summary dismissal at its worse. I have long believed that unless you are a former Prime Minister, the manner of leaving will define your political afterlife.
On my first commercial venture post politics, I lost over $100,000. This was not a great beginning, however as before, I dusted myself off and persevered. My confidence was shaken, my financial position perilous and I was overcome with a sense of urgency to find a new income stream. Worse I was consumed by a sense of self-doubt and lack of confidence. I had seen it all before; ‘ex’ politician transformed into failed businessman.
The law remained an option. Old colleagues urged a return to the Victorian Bar but, on balance, I had been out of the game too long and the return would have been painful and difficult. I was also mindful of John Reeve’s experience after only two years in the Federal Parliament. To be blunt, a return to the Bar required an interstate move and I had no desire to leave the Territory. I initially made inquiry of the Law Society in the NT and there was no impediment to rejoining the private profession; officers were most helpful. I discussed with Colin McDonald joining the local Bar and he was very encouraging. Our friendship went back a long way to the Victorian Bar, before that as Judges Associates and our respective time at NALAAS. However, Darwin is a village and my main protagonists were in the legal profession. I had no desire to rub shoulders with them or I suspect them with me.
Opportunity beckoned to take advantage of an extensive network throughout Asia. I was forty-nine years old and the clock was ticking. If lucky I had one more career left. As Australia’s first Minister for Asian Relations and Trade and Chief Minister, I had built a formidable network. Today, it is wider and more interconnected than when I was in office – it has become an inter-generational network including the children and siblings of those I once dealt with when in Government. Josephine and I discussed at length what to do and agreed if I could make a modest success on the commercial front we could quit our debt, complete our children’s schooling, build a ‘nest egg’ for our retirement and otherwise have a quiet life. How wrong we were. My business career turned into a roller coaster complete with the ‘big dipper’ when we nearly lost it all in the GFC. Hanging on by the tips of my fingers I emerged from the rubble battered, bruised and wiser. As in politics, in business if you haven’t had some bark knocked off you on the journey you haven’t done real business. In a nutshell, having successfully launched myself onto the corporate scene I went from strategist to co-investor to investor. Equity participation has been the key to my business longevity which endures. When you have ‘skin in the game’ it concentrates the mind and you also attract like-minded investors.
My detailed corporate career is set out at Biography on the website and otherwise can be viewed on my Linkedin profile Website. The executive summary of my corporate journey starts with my departure from the NT Legislative Assembly in early 2000 which coincided with Australia on the cusp of the mining boom at the turn of the century. China had ‘flagged’ an interest in entering the LNG market and in company with my colleague the Premier of Western Australia Richard Court I forged a partnership to ensure the NT went for the ride (our leverage was that we had the better connections and contacts in China at that time, now largely lost). Our gas fields and prospects were ‘green field’ but in this business, the long term prospects ultimately prevail. The WA NT partnership had been cut short by my departure from office and, given Denis Burke showed little enthusiasm for the project, I decided to soldier on regardless. I detail this episode below.
On leaving Parliament I reactivated an old shelf company and established the wholly owned APAC Group of Companies. I assumed the grand title of Executive Chairman – at the beginning, the company didn’t have a single asset or revenue stream. I offered a service of providing specialist advice to those operating in the Asia Pacific region. Business took off and over time I extended my reach to North Asia. I worked on the historic North West Shelf LNG transaction with CNOOC China in effect picking up the threads of what I had brought to the table with Richard Court. I was no longer Chief Minister but Shell and Woodside considered me critical to advancing their dealings. In the process, I dealt directly with the Chinese leadership and State Council.13 This was a big project culminating in the historic $AUD25 billion sale of LNG to China from the North West Shelf. I also undertook extensive assignments in Indonesia including for Newmont Mining and Thiess. The latter culminated in my appointment to the PT Thiess Indonesia Advisory Board and subsequently my appointment to the Thiess Advisory Board by Leighton Holdings Limited in 2012. Thiess are among the largest civil engineering companies and mine contractors in Australia and Indonesia.14
My Thiess ‘journey’ has now eclipsed thirteen years. I am very proud of the association and have served alongside four CEO’s in that period. I also won assignments with Chinese companies operating in Australia including the Bank of China and the China Construction Bank. I served as a non-executive independent director of City Pacific Limited in the period prior to its liquidation. This was difficult and at times challenging assignment. When the time comes to analyse events surrounding the ‘run’ and ultimate freezing of many mortgage funds a dispassionate assessment of the role of the Rudd Government’s bank guarantee will part debunk the mythology of how well Labor managed the GFC. Little doubt the banks were quietly cheering the demise of mortgage funds who were among their main competitors for deposits and developer finance.
When my term as a Director of City Pacific Limited drew to a close I was recruited and appointed Chairman of the diversified Group Mayfair Limited (UK) in Australia now comprising Anne Street Partners Financial Group (formerly the Anne Street Partners Capital Fund), QNV Constructions15 and their respective subsidiaries headquartered in Sydney. Anne Street Partners16 is a financial planning practice specializing in tailored financial plans and advice specializing in wealth creation and providing for retirement. It is among Australia’s largest independent financial planning practices operating CBD offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin and New Castle. It is not a franchise operation. Anne Street Partners Capital Fund completed a final return to investors having never missed a single interest payment which was a remarkable achievement for a mortgage fund that emerged from the wreckage of the GFC. The financial licence of Anne Street Partners Capital Fund has been sold. The owner of Anne Street in Australia, Mayfair Limited, is ultimately controlled by interests associated with Lord Ashcroft PC KCMG, UK businessman, philanthropist, and entrepreneur.17
My commercial activity in Australia led to appointments to London-based UK listed Impellam Group plc18 including elevation in 2013 to Deputy Chairman and the Chairmanship of the Australian subsidiaries Medacs and Comensura.
Impellam Group plc conducts business primarily in the UK and North America, with smaller operations in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and mainland Europe. The Group employs close to 6,000 people, including 2,200 managers and consultants and more than 3,500 support services workers, across a network of 230 branch and regional offices. The Group operates more than 15 specialty brands across a broad range of staffing sectors which are complemented by businesses in the outsourced support services sector. Impellam Group is ranked 19th on the Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2012 Top Global Staffing Companies List. We continue to grow the business aggressively and, in 2013, returned £19.8 million to shareholders in dividends. The return of cash to shareholders remains a key objective for the Group. Impellam is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in the UK.
I also served as a non-executive director of the UK company Political Holdings Limited (PHL) the holding company for Lord Ashcroft’s investments in politically focused companies. Under this umbrella Lord Ashcroft holds stakes in Conservative Home19, Bite Back Media Limited20 and Political World Communications LLC publisher of Campaigns & Elections USA21 based in Washington USA. Political Holdings also formerly owned Total Politics22 subsequently on-sold to UK public company Dodds plc in which I subsequently built a personal shareholding. Dods (Group) plc23 is a political information, publishing, events and communications business operating in both the UK and Europe. The company specialises in services designed for organisations wishing to understand and engage with Parliament, the Civil Service, the wider public sector and the public affairs community. Dods delivers a range of services including information, training, events and integrated communications. Dods (Group) plc is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in the UK.
I also served as a Director of Anne Street Partners Limited (UK entity as distinct from the Australian entity). This company is also associated with Lord Ashcroft and part of his extensive interests worldwide which includes financial institutions in the America’s. All this activity is very engaging and interesting but unfortunately entails regular travel abroad to Europe and the United States and the novelty of overseas travel has long worn off.
Notwithstanding my engagement by Michael Ashcroft, I have ongoing separate independent commercial interests principally with an old friend and entrepreneur Tony Trevisan in Perth. I chair ‘start up’ ASX-listed Regalpoint Resources Limited24 and, until January 2014, sat on the Advisory Board of mine haulage manufacturer Powertrans25 in Brisbane, prior to its sale to Bis Industries owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). Further, I am a founding Director and shareholder of indigenous mining company Dhupuma Resources based in Arnhem Land together with Gumatj elder Galarrwuy Yunupingu. Dhupuma has as it’s core objective facilitating the equity participation of Aboriginal interests in mining ventures in Arnhemland on commercial terms. The company worked in conjunction with the Gumatj Corporation and it’s subsidiaries providing employment opportunities in the resource sector for local Aboriginal people. Galarrwuy and I dissolved our business partnership in April 2016 on amicable terms after 7 years.
I am founding President and Chairman and of the Sino APAC Joint Venture with interests associated with Hebei Baoshen Municipal Engineering Construction Company Ltd (Baoshen) owned by an Australian Chinese entrepreneur building roads and tollways in China. Thsi relationship dates from the Trade Development Zone in Darwin. Baoshen entered into a joint venture with our company which trades in Australia as the APAC Group of Companies (Decket Pty Limited) to assist in governance, bidding for future projects, share expertise and provide capital. We have discussed the possibility of an IPO which would attract Chinese and Australian investors. The APAC Group is headquartered in Darwin. By coming together with Baoshen we created the entity the Sino APAC Joint Venture which at this stage is Australia based. We are not a contracting party but rather sit alongside Baoshen. The SINO APAC Joint Venture partner Baoshen has completed the first project in Hebei Province – the Shijiazhuang Zhengding New District Engineering Construction BT Investment Project. The contracting party on behalf of Hebei is the Shijiazhuang New District Management Committee (河北石家庄正定新区管理委员). Baoshen undertook to construct the infrastructure for a new city called Zhengdingxinqu or Zhengding New Area which is located on the outskirts of the city of Shijazhuang in Hebei Province covering an area of 135 square kilometres. The first part of the project undertaken by Baoshen has been completed. The company has completed Beijing Nan Street, Shanghai Nai Street, Yingxu Xi Street, Chongqin Xi Street and Longxing Da Road - a total roadway length of 20 km and the Zhouhan River Dredge Project. Under the streets, there are multi-use tunnels among the longest and biggest currently in China. The enterprise continues to slowly build momentum despite a difficult start. Asa civil contractor Baoshen has had its challenges, however, have successfully completed the first stage of the project and are currently competing for others in Beijing and also Guangdong Province in southern China.
Late 2013 I agreed with Tony and Thea Cochrane of V8 Supercars fame to be founding Chairman of International Entertainment Consulting (iEC), a position I held until late 2015 when I elected to retire following the very successful Rolling Stones Concert in Adelaide. As I outlined in my Chapter, The ‘Chief’, I developed a lasting connection and relationship with Cochrane dating from the V8 Supercar event at Hidden Valley. Tony Cochrane was at the forefront of building V8 Supercars into an international business from the ground up. In 2012 he realised the sale of a 60% stake in the Supercar business to Archer Capital for $300 million. The establishment of iEC is Tony and Thea’s first ‘outing’ since Tony stepped down as the Chairman of the V8s but consistent with his past experience in entertainment and show business. Our first iEC ‘gig’ was the opening of the refurbished Adelaide Oval featuring the Rolling Stone’s in March this year subsequently postponed until later 2014. We also toured the Imperial War Museum War collection to coincide with the commemoration of WWI. iEC a number of major exhibitions in the pipeline including the Rolling Stones memorabilia, a first ever. As part of my gradual slow down heading towards retirement, I resigned as Chairman in late 2014.
In May 2012, I was appointed by the Queensland State Government as Chairman of public power utility ENERGEX Limited.26 Based in Queensland, ENERGEX Limited is one of the largest electricity corporations in Australia. ENERGEX distributes electricity to more than 1.3 million residential, industrial and commercial customers across a population base of around 3.1 million. During my time, it had an asset base of approximately $AUD9 billion and 3200 employees. The company is a ‘poles and wires’ (distribution) business having previously sold its retail arm. I chose to retire as Chairman following the election of the Palaszczuk Labour Government in 2014. The reform of the power sector foreshadowed by Labor on their election has come to little although plans appear underway now to merge the power assets. This is bad news for regional and remote Queensland. On a brighter note companies like ENERGEX have a unique opportunity to ‘give back’. The taxpayers own the company and have a reasonable expectation that the wider community will benefit and share in the profits. There wasn’t much we could do about the tariffs (see reference below to the scandalous solar panel feed-in scheme), however, there was the capacity to support and help the community. Being a good corporate citizen is all part of public ownership. Our workers not only respond in the most difficult and dangerous of circumstances to restore and maintain power, they are actively engaged in community activity. As a brand ENERGEX is priceless. Some examples of community support follow. On my watch 287 Rural Fire brigades throughout South East Queensland received 1100 pieces of equipment totalling over $2.5 million dollars. 381 community groups received grants from our Community Fund including - Meals on Wheels, 17 Hospices, 5 St Vincent de Paul Society and Samaritan Residences, state and private schools and lifesaving clubs. Many environmental groups and 97 township and local community programs were recipients of support. The Careflight Night Goggle Program initially funded by ENERGEX is now a state-wide $20 million dollar investment. The Volunteer Marine Rescue Service has been able to purchase $200,000 worth of sea and land rescue equipment over three years. One of the most impressive projects remains the Energex PA Research Foundation Sun Cancer Project. Under the supervision of Professor Ian Fraser AC, this was the first program in the world working directly with field staff and the medical community in the Sun Cancer space. This was a standout example of ENERGEX supporting a very worthwhile body of research with substantial funds that has a direct impact outside of our distribution area and goes directly to looking to the welfare of our workers, especially those ENERGEX employees who are constantly outdoors. I was delighted when ENERGEX embraced the Duke of Edinburgh Awards introduced mid-way through my term. Year two of the project started to show the rewards for hundreds of South East Queensland young people through the PCYC relationship. The 2014 visitation of the HRH Prince Edward was talked about as ENERGEX’s best recent event and it proved to be a great team building exercise including all field and office staff that attended that evening. In the Queensland arts and cultural area we maintained the allocation of Grant monies to all major Queensland Arts and Cultural groups, developing scholarships for dance, music and theatre. The production ‘Black Diggers’ which I championed was a proud moment for all who lament the way indigenous servicemen and women were treated. I spoke about this travesty early in my Parliamentary career by promoting pulblication of a book on the subject (see Adjournment Debate Speech also reproduced on this website under Archive documents Seventh Assembly First Session 11/28/1995 Parliamentary Record No:18 28 November 1995). Our most recent partnership during my term was with the Queensland Museum, the restoration of the WW I tank ‘Mephisto’ currently on display at the Australian War Memorial (to be returned to QLD). As a former member of the 8/13 Mounted Rifles during the course of my Army reserve career, this was an important project and a fine note to conclude my Chairmanship of ENERGEX. None of this would have been possible without the full, unwavering support of CEO Terry Effney and the Community Partnership Committee.
The APAC Group is now an investment vehicle for the Stone family and no longer undertakes to consult assignments for multinational entities. Our Sino APAC Joint Venture stake is an example of our active investments. In a decade, APAC had been well and truly transformed beyond my expectations. I still foresee plenty of ‘blue sky’ ahead with the various interests that occupy my time from Europe to the USA and the Caribbean. It hasn’t all been ‘beer and skittles’ and I have a bottom draw overflowing with worthless scrip. I take my chances and work the averages. I now control working capital and with ‘skin in the game,’ it sharpens the mind.
As in politics, successful business involves a fair dose of luck involved – the reality is the harder you work the luckier you get. One also discovers that apart from the ‘movers and shakers’ there are the ‘fakers’ and I have had my share of experience with such individuals, one in particular. Extreme narcissism bordering on a psychiatric condition is a common trait of the ‘fakers’ I have met. Fortunately, search engines like Google are effective in unearthing the facts about many of these ‘con men’. Rule number one is to discard the Rich List. A friend working in the insolvency area tells me that he has four indicators he looks for - the EA looks like Miss Universe, the lifestyle is over the top, a narcissistic personality is dominant and the luxury cars adorning the driveway have bald tyres. According to him, nine times out of ten, the subject is broke whether he knows it or not - many of these charlatans live in denial and have scant regard for the people they destroy in their ‘get rich quick’ schemes as they promise their gullible backers rivers of gold. The victims get in so deep they keep believing because they have to in the hope of recovering something - its called ‘the bug in the blue light’ syndrome.
Casting back to 2000, some sixteen years, on had anyone told me I would make it onto Boards in the City of London I would have found that fanciful. For these appointments, I am indebted to Michael Ashcroft who as a friend, colleague, and confidant afforded me opportunities beyond my expectations. I greatly value his friendship and loyalty. Closer to home, working with our Australian management team led by my Group CEO Michael Adamson, has been key to our ongoing success.
Following the election of the Newman LNP Government in QLD, I accepted an invitation to Chair ENERGEX Limited, a Queensland Government GOC.27 I was keen to help the new conservative Government where I could. I was not alone in this motivation; there was much to be done as successive QLD Labor Governments had trashed the finances and economy of the State. I knew it wouldn’t pay much and to be frank seriously underestimated the time required.
To everyone I ever prevailed upon to accept appointment to a GOC or Statutory Authority whilst in Government, I unreservedly apologise. I had no idea what I was asking of you for such little remuneration. I didn’t stop often enough to say ‘thank you’ and praise your contribution. That said, it is just as well that we have citizens such as those who comprise the ENERGEX Board who are prepared to serve. In many ways successful and experienced business people can make a real difference to the wider community by accepting these appointments. In the case of utilities – power, water, sewerage, ports, and rail – the private sector can bring to the table expertise, efficiency and common sense that deliver real dividends to the community. That is not to diminish the dedication and commitment of staff in these agencies who have often had to work with meddling shareholder Governments with one arm tied behind their collective backs.
The stand out example of a meddling shareholder has to be the introduction by the QLD Labor Government of the Solar Bonus Scheme28 – an act of complete stupidity matched only by hair brained schemes to generate power by windmills and tidal movement. No doubt Labor was motivated by a desire to curry favour with the lunatic fringe of Australian politics the Greens. Preference deals were important to the return of the Bligh Government in the election that saw Labor re-elected to office. Put simply those who could afford it installed solar panels on their home roof to generate power and duly sold back into the grid (at times off peak which added to the absurdity of the arrangement). What a deal - some of these householders thereafter did not pay for power as the revenue equalled or exceeded their power bills from the retailer. Meanwhile, the poor people who couldn’t afford solar panels found themselves subsidising the well-off; it’s called regressive taxation[^Regressive taxation]. Such a scheme deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Inequitable in every sense designed to win Green preferences and make a failed Labor Government look good with ‘environmental credentials’. For years to come, Queenslanders will be subsidising the power bills of a few to the detriment of the many. QLD Labor should stand up and apologise for what they have done. I was not prepared to serve a Labor Government in the event of their election and resigned as set out above.
These kinds of challenges to one side, I can only encourage private sector participants to make themselves available to make a contribution through GOC’s and other entities concerned with our cultural well-being namely museums, the arts, universities, education, and training. Your reward is in Heaven.
On leaving parliamentary politics I was determined to maintain an ongoing public contribution through not for profit activity; a fair trade in all the circumstances for an indexed Parliamentary pension. There are many former members from both sides of politics who commit enthusiastically to such activity. I applaud them all. The alliance of conservative and Labor former MP’s can be a formidable force in dealing with Governments. The Australian Children’s Television Foundation29 founded by the Fraser Government is a good example.
At various time fellow directors included Hazel Hawke, Joan Kirner, Terri Bracks, Dame Margaret Guilfoyle30 and Lorraine Elliott all under the very capable Chairmanship of Janet Holmes a Court, a truly great Australian. I joined the Board at the invitation of Janet and founding Executive Director Patricia Edgar AM. It was one of the most worthwhile ‘not for profit’ activities I have engaged. I knew and respected Patrician Edgar from my time as Education Minister and had been a very committed supporter of the ACTF. For over nine years, I served as an independent director, later Commonwealth Government representative and chaired the Audit & Risk Committee (1999-2007). Together with others, including our very capable CEO Jenny Buckland, I played a key role in securing support for and establishing ABC 3 known as the ‘kid’s channel.’31 Our first commitment of support came from the Howard Government before it’s defeat.
I was also a long term Executive member of the Defence Reserve Support Council32 dating from October 2000 when I served as Vice Chairman to James Packer and later former Queensland Governor Leanne Forde AC before appointment as Chairman in 2005 and subsequently retired 2008. My introduction to the DRSC came from Major General Daryl Low Choy the Assistant Chief of the Defence Force (Reserves) a visionary reservist who re-activated the concept of employer and business support for Reserves and my appointment against the odds as I was considered ‘too political’. The DRSC on ‘my watch’ achieved important and lasting reforms that have benefited reservists best described as part time ADF personnel rather than ‘in reserve’.33 In some branches of Army, Navy and Air Force the reserve is the main game without which the ADF could not function. This is particularly so in the Navy.34
I am National Patron of the Australian Dragon Boat Federation, a sport I helped pioneer in Australia. I confess my involvement with the Dragon Boats has been minimal but it hasn’t been through lack of trying. In Government, I strongly supported the sport and facilitated a championship event between Sabah and the Northern Territory. Post politics I was invited to become the Patron of the IDBF. This brought me into contact with a remarkable Australian, Jon aka JT Taylor who was a founding member of Australian Dragon Boat Federation. He served as Administration Director, and then President, until his retirement in April 2008. Jon was the Chairman of the 2007 IDBF World Championships Organising Committee. He subsequently passed away on 17 Dec 2008. The Jon Taylor Memorial Award commemorates his contribution. Archives Documents has an Obituary commemorating Jon Taylor’s life and his contribution to the sport of Dragon Boat racing.
I served three years as the National President of the Order of Australia Association35 retiring in 2012 having completed the set three year term and hosted, for the first time, the National Convention in Darwin. I have since served on the Australian Honours Council. I am in awe of the many accomplished Australians who nominated for awards. Nowadays, I serve as the National Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia.36 My deputy is the former NSW Labor Minister Sandra Nori and my predecessor former Howard Minister Larry Anthony. ‘The Dukes’ are a very worthy charity and, contrary to public perception, not about exclusive private schools. The Award has a wide reach including young people with profound disabilities, indigenous kids and youth at risk. For some time now I have been a member of The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta37; a lay Order of the Catholic Church.38 I actively support the Order’s work with itinerants in Australia through the ‘Coats for the Homeless’37 and the ambulance service and a Carmelite Orphanage in East Timor. Our membership spans the political spectrum; in South Australia former Labor Minister Greg Crafter heads the Association; numerous other former ALP members and ministers are to be found in our ranks.
I have set out this activity in some detail not to draw attention to myself but rather to highlight the way in which former MP’s can and do make such a valuable and lasting contribution to these very worthy causes. There are many examples outside of my involvement. In QLD, the work of former Premier Mike Ahearn is legendary in particular his contribution as the inaugural Chairman of the QLD Community Foundation.39 Recently, as the Chairman of Energex attending a RACQ Careflight sponsorship evening I was delighted to discover that former Deputy Labor Premier Jim Elder has been chairman of Careflight QLD for twenty years. Former Premier Rob Borbidge is also very involved in the not for profit sector as is former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, founder of ‘Beyond Blue’. Australia abounds with many examples of political figures who ‘give back’. The public would do well to put aside the bad press and public perceptions that engulf members of Parliament and give credit where credit is due. Politics is a noble profession and in many cases those who gave of themselves in public office continue to do so well into their twilight years.
That’s not to say that former members should not carefully consider which roles to take on. I make the distinction between those volunteer (in effect ‘not for profit’) organisations controlled by Government and those that are non-Government. I surrendered my appointments on the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Defence Reserve Support Council after the election of the Rudd Labor Government. I subsequently declined all overtures to accept appointments from that side of the political aisle and am critical of those of my tribe that have, particularly diplomatic postings. As I explained to Mike Kelly at the time, I am a ‘spear thrower’ for the other side and it was inconsistent of me to work in the interests of a Labor Government. It was my belief the new Federal Government should have be free to pick someone of their persuasion unencumbered by my re-appointment. Kelly was very gracious, I think a bit bemused and gave me a great send off.
In time, Peter Garrett wrote to me, long after I had left the ACTF as his representative. He never sought to meet with me or gauge my view on his substantial shareholding in the ACTF thus confirming my view that it was best to go. In both cases it was a clean but necessary break. Lest readers think mine a churlish attitude, the simple fact is, I am not in the business of making my political opponents look good. I happily dedicate myself to charitable causes but reserve the right to serve or decline when it comes to volunteer activity controlled by Government.
Consistent with our family ethos of community service, it is our long term plan to establish the Stone Foundation as a modest charitable trust to advance causes that are worthy of support, particularly in the NT. ‘Not for profit’ and the volunteer sector are part of the critical social infrastructure - the glue that binds the community together. In the NT Legislative Assembly I never missed an opportunity to speak in support of volunteers.
Finally, I thank my family who having indulged my ‘political’ career and continued to put up with an equally busy schedule in the ‘not for profit’ sector. Speaking at my farewell dinner as Chairman of the DRSC I noted:
“My family is here tonight; my wife Josephine, son Jack and daughter Madeleine. Like many of you family opportunities are compromised and missed when one takes up these roles. In my case it’s been over twenty years of being away from home, traveling and at times missing important events that can never be recaptured. That said if you sit on your hands and shun involvement mediocrity becomes the norm. I hope that by being here tonight that my family understands that I haven’t been wasting my time or theirs and that I have been quietly working towards a better Australia”.
I was an active Reservist dating from 1969; not all of it efficient service which makes me fairly typical of most Australians who undertake reserve service. On my honourable discharge from the Royal Australian Army I served in the Citizen Military Forces styled the CMF (nowadays the Army Reserve) re-enlisting in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve in 1983. Serving in the RAN brought many different experiences.
In late 1981, the Navy was advertising for Reserve lawyers at the Victorian Bar when I decided to apply; it was an interesting approach where they offered training as seamen rather than as direct entry legal officers with the rank of Lieutenant. It was also a welcome distraction from the daily grind of a ‘baby’ barrister. I joined with a mixed group as not all were lawyers. I started out as a Probationary Sub-Lieutenant Seaman in February 1983. We mustered at HMAS Lonsdale (Melbourne Port Division) for all the initial training with occasional stints at HMAS Cerberus. Officer training followed first at Lonsdale and concluded at HMAS Creswell the Royal Australian Naval College Jervis Bay. Once we graduated from the RAN Reserve Officer Orientation Course we were confirmed in our ranks. Sea rescues in Jervis Bay – full of tiger sharks they told us - and abseiling down a cliff face remain etched in my memory fourty years on. I still wonder how I got through that experience. Later courses, apart from sea time learning the skills of a watch keeper, included NBCD at HMAS Cerberus, morse code, gunnery, further NBCD and first aid at HMAS Lonsdale. I spent the mandatory week in Russell Canberra - the closest I have come to Alice in Wonderland. For a period, I served as the Divisional Officer (DO) of Dive Team 6 at HMAS Lonsdale where I learned that rank doesn’t count for much when working with a small group of professionals, where life and death decisions are made on diving assignments. I followed the legendary Paul Willee into the role. Later our paths would cross as legal officers.
Dive Team 6 were, in the main, an interesting bunch of dedicated reservists led by the late Chief Petty Officer ‘Buster’ Brown who in their otherwise busy lives were professional divers with Melbourne Ports, Police and Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade. They taught me to dive their way; took me on interesting excursions including one of the last survey dives of the HMAS Cerberus at Black Rock in Port Phillip Bay, before the inevitable structural collapse.40 I also learned to catch crayfish in the waters of Bass Strait. Inspired by the experience Josie and I later undertook a recreational diving qualification - one of the best things we have ever done as a couple. At sea in Attack Class Patrol Boats in Bass Strait41 on more than one occasion I was certain we were going down. The experience leaves you with a huge regard and admiration for those who complete the Sydney Hobart yacht race. I have never seen or experienced seas like those in Bass Strait since. One particular experience crossing Bass Strait saw us anchor at Deal Island of Tasmania with crew going ashore in the driving rain and wind to seek refuge on land; I remember hugging the beach. If you have never been seasick you haven’t been sick. The one thing I discovered about throwing up at sea is that when one starts all around it becomes infectious. Something you never shake out of your memory (or nostrils for a period) is the ships captain wiping the navigators vomit off the chart with his hands so we could check the course in pounding seas. Later, when I transferred to the legal pane,l I had a much more sympathetic and better understanding as to why the boson ‘snotted’ the young ‘subbie’ navigator in the midst of such situations. ‘Hot bunking’ below decks would inevitably give rise to conflict. I saw ‘the accommodation’ on board and experienced it firsthand.
When I later came to represent sailors, I was able to put things in context and mitigate the penalty accordingly. I made many good friends in the Navy; those I went onto serve with included Graham Furlonger, Joe Lukaitis.42 Dario Tomat and David Goble. Three years on I transferred to Navy legal and served with David Gallop, Don Brooker, Phil Rice, Jack Winneke, Sophie York, Tom Stodulka, Warrick Teasdale, Hugh Scott McKenzie and Jack Rush among many. My various Directors of Navy Legal (DNLS) were CAPTAIN Keith Butterworth, Alan Thompson, Martin Toohey, Helen Marks, Tom Stodulka, Rob McLaughlin, Geoff Earley, Dale Stephens and Scott Ritchie. Later Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Don Chalmers defended my right to remain an active reservist as Chief Minister. I remain enormously grateful for his intervention against the ‘green’ hierarchy.
After our move to Alice Springs I was left wondering about whether I should remain with Navy. NORFORCE became aware of my presence in the Alice and approached me to transfer from Navy back to Army. Following a Selection Board I was offered a Commission in the Royal Australian Infantry as Lieutenant. Navy persuaded me not to accept the offer of inter-service transfer and remain with the RAN. In retrospect I am glad I took the advice. In 1995 I was the first Australian Naval Officer to attend the Lauterpacht Centre of International Law Cambridge as a Visiting Fellow; an assignment I managed to undertake while in Parliament. It was simple proposition - I could go if I paid my own way.
I earned my Commission as a seaman officer (RLEX) and have since been promoted through the ranks to Commander, Legal Officer (Head of Royal Australian Navy Reserve Panel Northern WA & NT). I have thoroughly enjoyed my Navy career; the key to a successful career as a Navy Legal Officer is to accept that no job is too small or none too big. Sometimes helping a sailor get their will squared away as they head off on deployment is as important as representing them in an Inquiry or a trial. RLO’s who feel some work is beneath their status should ask themselves why they are in uniform. There’s much to be done and sometimes that might be no more than being a sympathetic ear.
My reserve service equipped me to take on my subsequent roles as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Defence Reserve Support Council.43 In that capacity, I worked alongside Majors General Greg Garde, Neil Wilson and Greg Melick. On our watch we initiated important recommendations that translated into legislation including the Office of Reserve Protection;44 and improved conditions of service. As a reservist you develop a refined sense of humour; at times it seems there are more reasons to give it away than stay but grasp the importance of what you do in supporting others particularly on deployment. We are not ‘in reserve’ – we are part time employees undertaking roles formerly assigned to full timers such are the changed work practices and economic efficiencies demanded in this modern era. As with medical specialists, doctors, dentists and psychologists the ADF’s very best lawyers will in the main be those who are in the mainstream practising their craft every day. My only regret is that I was never able to deploy as my age, current occupation and lack of fitness ruled me out. The deployment of reservists all came too late for my generation, a disappointing fact that Warwick Teasdale and I have mused about over a drink or two. The ADF’s change of policy dating from East Timor and the Solomon islands came twenty years too late for my generation of reservists. That to one side, as I approach my twilight years in uniform I look back on my service with great deal of affection, wonderful memories and a sense of achievement.
In my view, it is very important that all aspiring Navy Legal Officers spend time at sea as is currently the case. The practice of the law in the Navy is largely about a common sense approach having regard to the extreme circumstances and conditions that can prevail. Over the past ten years there have been three attempts to establish a military court as a replacement for the system of courts-martial - including Defence Force magistrate trials - that have been around since 1985. As a Royal Australian Navy Legal Officer, I have lived through all the turbulence surrounding a Australian Military Court, including reading preparatory background briefings, getting ready. Notwithstanding, I am still in uniform and should not express the opinion that I found the article last year by Associate Professor David Letts45 of the ANU, very informed and brimming with the common sense of an experienced Navy Legal officer.46
I believe all Australians should be obliged to undertake Reserve service, alternatively, community based non-military service. A mandated gap year for all would make Australia a more secure Nation. No doubt an unpopular thought but a policy worth prosecuting. In a civilian capacity stemming from my Reserve service I was appointed the Inaugural Chairman of the Centre for Military and Security Law at the Australian National University Law School; there remains much to do on the front.
I am proudly the recipient of the Reserve Force Medal,47 the Australian Defence Medal48 and Centenary Medal.49 Notwithstanding I have in the Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest civilian award, I proudly wear my Reserve Force Medal.
My son Jack has followed me into the Reserve - Royal Australian Infantry Corps 25/49 RQR 11 Brigade based at Enoggera Barracks (also known as Gallipoli Barracks); now in his sixth year of Army Reserve service, he has made his father very, very proud.
I retired from the Royal Australian Navy on 25 September 2015 - the day I turned 65. I was dined out on 15 April 2016. The photographs and details are available under Images and Documents - simply search Dining Out in the Shane Stone Archives. I am most appreciative of the organisation of this most memorable night to QLD Panel Leader CMDR Hugh Scott-McKenzie RANR and Sarah Scott-McKenzie. I was delighted that Josephine! Jack and Madeleine were present on the night.
I have been married to Josephine for thirty seven years. We have two children, Jack and Madeleine. Josie has been unstinting in her support for my public career to the detriment of her own. I have publicly acknowledged her support most notably in my Maiden Speech 1990,50 the Address in Reply in 1994,51 on the occasion of our Testimonial Dinner 1999 and on my retirement as the Chairman of the Defence Reserve Support Council in 2008 (see Archives Documents).52 My brother Terry is deceased (see Articles) and my sister Sue lives in Adelaide. My mother Pam Stone OAM lives in Albury NSW (see Article).
I followed then Prime Minister John Howard on the latter’s election as Chairman of the IDU. It had become the custom for the Party President of the serving Chairman to serve as the Assistant Chairman. I currently share the role with co Assistant Chairman the Right Honourable William Hague MP PC Foreign Secretary UK (the latter having previously served as Chairman) Website IDU ↩
The EPP is a centre-right organisation made up of MEPs elected from the lists of member parties of the European People’s Party (EPP) made up of representatives of parties in member states of the European Union elected in their country to represent them in the European Parliament. The group comprises politicians of Christian democratic and conservative orientation ↩
The AECR is a centre-right organisation made up of MEPs elected from the lists of member parties of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) in member states of the European Union elected in their country to represent them in the European Parliament. The AECR a eurosceptic European political party which promotes broader conservative and economically liberal principles than the EPP ↩
A delegation from the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was led by Vice Minister Zhang Jin Jung. Later ALP Senator Peter Cook in a Senate Adjournment Debate (4-03-2003 page. 9015) would lament the fact that the Liberal Party had stolen the march on Labor ↩
Australian Financial Review ‘How AusAID pays for Labor official’s salary agenda’ 15 November 2012. See also DevPolicyBlog ‘The Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program: it covers nobody in glory’ 15 November 2013 Website link ↩
For example the Westminsiter Foundation in the UK and the Republican Institute in the US ↩
Charlie’s at 29 Knuckey Street was a legendary Darwin café restaurant that endured for 41 years. Owned and operated by Charlie and Loretta Cagnetti the restaurants history is worthy of a book in its own right; it would be a best seller. NT News ‘End of Era for Charlie’ 1 September 2006 (see also Archives Documents) ↩
Ignatieff, M ‘Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics’ Harvard University Press 22 November 2013 ISBN: 9780674725997 ↩
The Member for Greatorex Dr. Richard Lim was a GP and successful business investor. As a backbencher with no immediate Ministerial prospects he not unreasonable believed he should have been able to continue in his medical practice. The Member for Goyder Peter Maley discovered that the public can be critical when he sought to keep his legal practice. I also did not endear myself with colleagues by attempts, not always successful of stopping MLA’s from employing family members in their electorate offices. I took a dim view of ‘double dipping’. The Member for Milner Phil Mitchell was particularly aggrieved by my attitude ↩
The Chinese Cabinet chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency ↩
The company was founded 80 years ago by the Thiess brothers. In May 1958 they became the first Australian company to be awarded a major contract on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. Thiess have continued to deliver essential infrastructure projects ranging from highways and airports, to dams and ports, to hospitals and commercial buildings. They have also played a vital role in Australia’s resource sector particularly coal. Thiess is Australia’s largest contract miner with a significant presence in Indonesia and one of the first international contractors to be awarded a major mining contract in India. In 1983 Thiess became part of Leighton Holdings Limited – Australia’s largest project development and contracting group Website ↩
Lord Ashcroft PC KCMG is an international businessman, philanthropist and politician. For over 40 years he has been a successful entrepreneur in both the UK and the US. He is an active investor in new companies and ideas Website ↩
The main focus of Regalpoint Resources is uranium exploration and mining in Australia. The Company currently has rights to a number of Exploration licenses at various stages of the granting process. The licenses are spread over the States of Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory Website ↩
Australian-owned Powertrans was established in 2001. The company designs and manufactures a range of innovative haulage systems that offer the mining industry higher-productivity alternatives to conventional large mining trucks. Powertrans specializes in powered trailers for surface and underground mining applications Website ↩
A QLD Government owned corporation where the shareholder Ministers are the Treasurer and Minister for Energy ↩
The scheme was introduced by the Bligh Labor Government in 2008 with 20 years to run. The scheme initially paid a tariff of 44 cents per kilowatt hour ↩
The Hon Dame Margaret Guilfoyle DBE former Finance Minister in the Fraser Liberal Government and architect of the federal funding of the ACTF ↩
These milestone achievements included The Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act, 2001 and the ongoing review and reform of that legislation; the Defence Legislation (Enhancement of Reserves and Modernisation) Act 2001; the introduction of the Employer Support Payments Scheme; Public Sector Defence Leave Policy; Guidelines to protect student Reservists; a credible, effective and professional public communications strategy; direct input into crafting the terms and conditions of employment of Reservists; ensuring that when it came to medals and awards Reservists have not been over looked in the process; input to submissions to the Remuneration Tribunal insofar as their deliberations impact on members of the DRSC council membership; placing superannuation for Reservists squarely on the Agenda; at the coal face through State, Territory and Regional Committees engaging the Australian Public – employers, reservists and their families; addressing anomalies in medical and health care for Reservists; the Reserve Forces Foreign Services Agreement on foot with the United Kingdom and Canada; the inclusion of New Zealand in the deliberations of the DRSC consistent with the arrangement in place with Ministerial Council meetings; Australian active participation in NATO, US and UK conferences promoting Australia as a bench mark of what can be achieved; promoting and supporting those most effective Defence initiatives Executive Stretch and Boss Lift; actively engaging the challenge of cross accreditation, at times a frustrating and disappointing undertaking ↩
Final Report to the National Council of the Defence Reserves Support Council by Chairman 4 October, 2008 Brisbane ↩
Queensland Community Foundation (QCF) was established in 1997 by a small group of Queenslanders committed to philanthropic giving. The founding architects – former Premier, The Hon Mike Ahern, Bryan Grehan and Tim Feely – brought together community, business, education and government leaders to establish the foundation under the trusteeship of the Public Trustee ↩
HMVS Cerberus (Her Majesty’s Victorian Ship) is a breastwork monitor that served in the Victoria Naval Forces, the Commonwealth Naval Forces (CNF), and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) between 1871 and 1924. It was sold for scrap in 1924 used as a breakwater off Half Moon Bay Black Rock and was a popular site for scuba diving until a structural collapse in 1993; notwithstanding the RAN no longer had responsibility they monitored what remained of the vessel ↩
Small coastal defence vessels built for the RAN operated between 1967 and 1985 were at times unstable and not good in rough weather as I discovered (replaced by Freemantle Class vessels); most of my time spent on the Bayonet subsequently scuttled in Bass Strait ↩
Joe Lukiatis was a solicitor who became the most successful of our group attaining the rank of Captain in the seaman executive branch; Joe and I joined and were commissioned in the RANR on the same day ↩
Ibid footnote 33 ↩
Australian Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 ↩
David Letts is Associate Professor and Co-Director Centre for Military and Security Law ANU. David was Fleet Legal Officer from late 1999 until early 2002 and then served as the Chief Legal Adviser to the UNTAET/UNMISET Force Commander in East Timor for seven months; from late 2002 until mid-2004 he was the Director of Studies at the ADF’s Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and in the second half of 2004 he was the Chief of International Law for the Multi-National Force in Baghdad, Iraq ↩
Sydney Morning Herald Letts D ‘ADF ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Defence’s disciplinary regime remains intact. There’s no need for the Coalition to create a military court’ 29 November 2013 ↩
See Address-in-Reply (Maiden Speech) Northern Territory of Australia Legislative Assembly Sixth Assembly First Session Parliamentary Record (Hansard) Shane L. Stone Tuesday 4 December 1990 p.43 ‘’I am very pleased that my wife Josephine is present in the Chamber today. Over the years, she has shared my efforts, excitements and disappointments with a special loyalty and commitment’’ ↩
Seventh Assembly First Session 23 August 1994 Parliamentary Record No: 2 Topic: Address-in-Reply Subject: Address-In-Reply Date: 25 August 1994 ↩
At our Testimonial dinner I made a very short speech which included the statement: ‘’I want to say thank you to my wife and family with putting up with lots’ ↩
Next: Chapter 18: Epilogue