Bob Quinn (Australian politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bob Quinn
Leader of the Queensland Liberal Party
Elections: 2004
In office
28 February 2001 – 7 August 2006
DeputyJoan Sheldon (2001-2004)
Bruce Flegg (2004-2006)
Preceded byDavid Watson
Succeeded byBruce Flegg
Shadow Treasurer of Queensland
In office
27 September 2005 – 8 August 2006
LeaderLawrence Springborg
Preceded byJeff Seeney
Succeeded byMichael Caltabiano
In office
22 April 2003 – 8 March 2004
LeaderLawrence Springborg
Preceded byJeff Seeney
Succeeded byJeff Seeney
Shadow Minister for Education
In office
2 July 1998 – 17 February 2001
LeaderRob Borbidge
Preceded byStephen Bredhauer
Succeeded byKev Lingard
In office
1 November 1992 – 19 February 1996
LeaderRob Borbidge
Preceded byKev Lingard
Succeeded byStephen Bredhauer
Deputy Leader of the
Queensland Liberal Party
In office
23 June 1998 – 28 February 2001
LeaderDavid Watson
Preceded byDenver Beanland
Succeeded byJoan Sheldon
Minister for Education
of Queensland
In office
26 February 1996 – 26 June 1998
PremierRob Borbidge
Preceded byDavid Hamill
Succeeded byDean Wells
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Robina
Merrimac (1992–2001)
South Coast (1989–1992)
In office
2 December 1989 – 9 September 2006
Preceded byJudy Gamin
Succeeded byRay Stevens
Personal details
Robert Joseph Quinn

(1947-09-09) 9 September 1947 (age 75)
Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party
OccupationSchool Teacher

Robert Joseph Quinn (born 9 September 1947 in Murwillumbah, NSW) is an Australian Liberal Party politician in the Queensland parliament. He was leader of the Queensland Liberal Party from 2001 until being ousted on 7 August 2006 by Bruce Flegg.[1]

Quinn was a schoolteacher before entering politics.

Political career[edit]

He was elected to Parliament in 1989 after winning the seat of South Coast.[2] The booming population of the Gold Coast saw Quinn's electorate undergo several redistributions and name changes. He was the member for Merrimac from 1992 to 2001[2] and the member for Robina from 2001 till his retirement from politics in 2006.[2]

The Liberal Party victory in the Mundingburra by-election in February 1996 brought about a hung parliament in Queensland. Independent Liz Cunningham held the balance of power and chose to support the Borbidge led National-Liberal Coalition in forming government. Quinn subsequently became Minister for Education.

The Labor Party, led by Peter Beattie, won office in the June 1998 state election, which ended the Coalition agreement between the two parties. Dr David Watson took over the Liberal Leadership from Joan Sheldon and Quinn became Deputy Leader of the Party.

Leader of the Liberals (2001–06)[edit]

In the 2001 state election, Labor dealt a massive blow to the reformed Coalition, with the Liberal Party winning only three seats in the 89 member Parliament. Watson resigned as leader and with Sheldon being the only other Liberal MP, Quinn became the Liberal Leader by default. Again, the Coalition agreement was torn up after the defeat.

The Liberals negotiated a new Coalition agreement with the Nationals and their new leader, Lawrence Springborg in April 2003. As leader of the junior party, Quinn became Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Treasurer. He forged a close working relationship with Springborg and made efforts to repair the damaged relationship between the two parties.

During the 2004 election campaign, Quinn worked closely with Springborg, but was criticised by some Liberals for being too subservient to the Nationals Leader. The Coalition again suffered a massive defeat at the hands of the ALP, with the Liberal Party gaining just two additional seats, lifting its representation to five. When the Coalition agreement automatically expired following the election loss, the two parties opted not to renew it. This decision meant that the Liberals lost their status as members of the Official Opposition (this place being taken by the National Party alone).

After the election, Quinn gained some prominence in the wake of the failures of the Government-owned electricity corporation Energex in South East Queensland. The scandal surrounding Dr Jayant Patel also caused considerable damage to the Beattie Government in 2005. The Liberal Party won the two Labor held seats of Chatsworth and Redcliffe in by-elections in August 2005, bringing the Liberal parliamentary representation to seven seats. However, former Brisbane City councillor Michael Caltabiano, who was elected as the Member for Chatsworth, was touted in the media as a likely challenger to Quinn's leadership.

Quinn and his party dismissed suggestions from Lawrence Springborg that the two conservative parties merge as impractical, but the parties did announce the renewal of their Coalition agreement on 28 September 2005, but without Quinn becoming Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

In February 2005, Bob Quinn criticised then-Premier Peter Beattie for failing to support a scheme which would mandate the addition of fluoride to drinking water in Queensland to improve children's dental health.[3]

In November 2005, Independent Gympie MP Elisa Roberts accused Quinn of attempting to bribe her. Roberts alleged Quinn offered her $60,000 to join the Liberal Party before the next state election, due in February 2007. Three separate investigations conducted by the Queensland Electoral Commission, the Crime and Misconduct Commission and the Queensland Police all found insufficient evidence to prove the bribery allegations, thus clearing Quinn of any wrongdoing.

On 7 August 2006, Quinn was ousted by a vote in the Liberal Party party room, culminating with the unanimous election of Bruce Flegg as his replacement.[4] On 11 August 2006 he announced that he would not contest the next state election.[5]

Quinn was also an unsuccessful candidate in 2007 for the Senate vacancy caused by the resignation of former deputy state leader and Quinn's former state parliamentary colleague Santo Santoro.

Quinn is a member of the Local Government Reform Commission.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Quinn to quit politics. 11/08/2006. ABC News Online". 11 August 2006. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Fluoride debate intensifies". ABC. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Party changes renew Qld election speculation". ABC News. 8 August 2006.
  5. ^ Queensland 2006/07 State Election - ABC News (Australia)
  6. ^ "Mergers fuel bush anger". Courier Mail. 10 May 2007.
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by Member for South Coast
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Merrimac
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Robina
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Parliamentary Leader of the Liberal Party in Queensland
Succeeded by