Monica Gould

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Monica Mary Gould (born 5 May 1957) is a former Australian politician. She was an Australian Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Council between September 1993 and November 2006, representing Doutta Galla Province.

Gould was born in Melbourne, and finished her secondary studies at a technical college in the suburb of Macleod. She became involved in the Manufacturing Grocers Association trade union, which later merged with the National Union of Workers. In 1980, she became its General Vice-President - a position which she held until her election to parliament. She was also a member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions executive between 1991 and 1993.[1]

In 1993, Gould decided to make a move into politics, and succeeded in securing Labor pre-selection for a by-election in the seat of Doutta Galla Province. In her first term, which was only three years, because of the circumstances of her election, she was a member of the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee. She was re-elected in 1996, and was subsequently appointed Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Aged Care. Gould also became a member of both the Law Reform and Legislative Council Privileges Committees.[1]

In the months leading up to the 1999 election, Gould was again promoted - this time to the position of Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council. She was also made responsible for the Housing portfolio. In late 1999, the Labor Party won government, defeating Premier Jeff Kennett's Liberal government. Gould continued on as Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, and continued her rise, becoming the Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister Assisting the Minister for WorkCover.[1]

However, it was in this role that Gould was to run into difficulties. She struggled to mediate a high-profile dispute between power company Yallourn Energy and its staff, forcing Premier Steve Bracks to intervene, and became caught up in a bitter demarcation dispute between her old union, the National Union of Workers, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.[citation needed] She also caused concern in the business community when she raised the idea of automatically deducting union dues from public sector payrolls - a prospect which was quickly quashed by Bracks.[citation needed] By February 2002, Bracks had had enough, and Gould was demoted, along with fellow controversial ministers Christine Campbell and Mary Delahunty. At that she was appointed to the new position of Minister for Education Services and Youth Affairs.[1]

During the remainder of the year, Gould continued in this position, though she became embroiled in a serious factional dispute through her membership of the party's federal executive, caused by her allegiance to Labor Party powerbroker Greg Sword.[citation needed] However, after the 2002 election, both Gould and Campbell were dumped from the ministry altogether, and Gould also lost her position as Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, being replaced by John Lenders. She was subsequently appointed as the first ever woman President of the Legislative Council, though as it is a somewhat ceremonial position, this marked a significant demotion. She retired from Parliament at the 2006 election.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Monica Gould". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 8 February 2010.