|34th Premier of Queensland|
7 December 1989 – 19 February 1996
|Preceded by||Russell Cooper|
|Succeeded by||Rob Borbidge|
|Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly|
22 October 1983 – 1 November 1986
|Preceded by||Rosemary Kyburz|
|Succeeded by||Len Ardill|
|Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly|
1 November 1986 – 13 June 1998
|Preceded by||New seat|
|Succeeded by||John Mickel|
Wayne Keith Goss|
26 February 1951
10 November 2014 (aged 63)|
Wayne Keith Goss (26 February 1951 – 10 November 2014) was Premier of Queensland, Australia, from 7 December 1989 until 19 February 1996, becoming the first Labor Premier in over 32 years. Prior to entering politics, Goss was a solicitor, and after leaving politics he served as Chairman of the Queensland Art Gallery and Chairman of Deloitte Australia.
He was born at Mundubbera, Queensland, and grew up at Inala where he was educated at Inala State High School and the University of Queensland (LLB). He worked as a solicitor and then with the Aboriginal Legal Service before setting up his own practice, but did not become a member of the Australian Labor Party until the dismissal of Gough Whitlam in November 1975.
Along with others, Goss was a key figure in the 1970s-1980s civil liberties fight against the Bjelke-Petersen Government, pursuing legal and political strategies against Bjelke-Petersen. He was elected Leader of the Opposition in March 1988.
Goss led Labor into the 1989 state election against the National Party government of Russell Cooper. The Queensland Nationals were still reeling from revelations of the rampant corruption of longtime premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and polls showed Labor had its best chance of winning power in years. Labor had been in opposition since 1957, and last made a serious bid for government in 1972. Cooper had toppled Bjelke-Petersen's immediate successor, Mike Ahern, in a September party-room coup, two months before the writ was dropped.
Goss seized on National ads arguing that his plans to decriminalise homosexuality would result in gays flooding into Queensland. He replied with ads painting Cooper as a wild-eyed reactionary and a carbon copy of Bjelke-Petersen.
Goss and Labor won a strong majority government at the 1989 election, scoring a 24-seat swing, the worst defeat of a sitting government up until that time in Queensland. This was fueled by a massive Labor wave that swept through Brisbane; Labor won all but five of the capital's 36 seats.
His election win, which ended 32 years of Coalition/National Party rule, was seen as "the end of the Bjelke-Petersen era" and the beginning of a new era, with The Courier-Mail declaring "Goss the Boss". Once installed in office, he presided over the implementation of many of the reforms of the landmark Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption.
The Goss Government introduced several electoral and public sector reforms, the most notable being the elimination of the "Bjelkemander" malapportionment that had helped keep the Queensland Nationals in power. In addition to reforming the state’s electoral laws and boundaries, the Goss Government "introduced merit-based appointments to the Queensland public service, created new National Parks and oversaw a new regime of economic and budgetary management" It also introduced social reforms such as decriminalising homosexuality, appointing Queensland's first female minister in cabinet and first female Governor, abolishing the Queensland Police Special Branch and Imperial honours, and made provision "to buy thousands of extra university places and hire thousands of new teachers". Goss' Chief of Staff as Premier was former diplomat Kevin Rudd, later leader of the federal Labor Party and Prime Minister of Australia, and Goss' 1989 campaign director was Wayne Swan, subsequently Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
Goss won a second term at the 1992 state election, maintaining the same 19-seat majority he won in 1989 over the National Party and the Liberal Party (the two non-Labor parties went out of coalition in 1983, but resumed the coalition after the 1992 election).
Before the 1995 election the Goss Government announced a plan to clear sensitive bushland for an alternative to one of south-east Queensland's major roadways. This prompted the Greens Party to do something it had never done before: it recommended that its supporters not give their second preference, on voting ballots, to Labor. Partly as a result of this, as well as the increasing unpopularity of Goss's management style (widely thought to be authoritarian) and growing anger at the federal Labor government, Labor was severely punished at the polls. Notably, it lost several seats in Brisbane's Bayside area, known as 'the koala seats' because of the passion stirred up by a belief that the new road would destroy the habitat of koalas. While Labor lost the popular vote to the Rob Borbidge-led Coalition, Labor managed to win 31 out of 40 seats in Brisbane while most of the Coalition's majority was wasted on large majorities in National heartland. This seemingly allowed Labor to salvage a knife-edge majority of one seat.
After the 1995 election, Labor's majority hung on the Townsville seat of Mundingburra, which had been won by Labor's Ken Davies by only 12 votes over the Coalition's Frank Tanti. However, several irregularities were discovered, the most serious being that several servicemen serving in Rwanda didn't have their votes counted. Following a declaration by the Supreme Court of Queensland, sitting as a Court of Disputed Returns, a by-election was ordered for February 1996, which Tanti won. This outcome brought about a hung Parliament; the balance of power was held by Gladstone Independent Liz Cunningham. Cunningham announced that she was going to support the Coalition on the floor of Parliament, leaving Goss with no alternative but to resign as Premier on 19 February 1996.
Goss' defeat proved to be a harbinger of federal Labor's massive defeat in the federal election held a month later. Federal Labor suffered particularly heavy losses in Queensland at the subsequent federal election; it was cut down to only two seats there, its worst result in the state since being reduced to only one seat in 1975. Goss later said that Queensland voters had turned so violently on then-Prime Minister Paul Keating that they had been "sitting on their verandas with baseball bats" waiting for the writs to drop, a phrase that has since entered the Australian political lexicon.
Parliament after losing office as Premier
After resigning as Premier and Leader of the Labor Party on 19 February 1996, Goss returned to the back benches of the Opposition under new Opposition Leader Peter Beattie and assumed something of an "elder statesman" role. He had begun the process of seeking preselection as the Labor candidate for the federal seat of Oxley in the 1998 election. However, a diagnosis of a brain tumour (subsequently partially removed without any problems) forced him to scale back his activities. Despite support from both sides of Parliament—evidenced when the House gave him a standing ovation on his return from surgery—Goss retired from politics at the 1998 Queensland state election.
At the time, rumours circulated that the Labor Party's Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley had offered Goss a front-bench position if he had won Oxley in the 1998 Federal election; however no proof has been offered of this suggestion.
After his retirement from politics, Goss served in a variety of community and business roles. He did an MBA at the University of Queensland after losing office as Premier; Goss was also awarded honorary doctorates (DUniv) by QUT and Griffith University.
Goss was Chairman of the Queensland Art Gallery for 3 terms from 1999 until 2008, a period which included the development of the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), and served a term as a Director of the Brisbane Broncos NRL rugby league team.
In business, Goss served as National Chairman of the Australian section of Deloitte from 2005–2013. Goss was also Chairman of engineering firm Ausenco from 2002 until 2013. From 2003 to 2007, Goss was on the board of Ingeus Limited, the company founded by Thérèse Rein, the wife of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, his former chief-of-staff. Further, Goss was Chairman of FreeTV Australia, the lobby group representing the free-to-air television companies in Australia, from 2008 until 2011.
He lived in Brisbane with his wife, Roisin (née Hirschfeld). Roisin's father was Konrad Hirschfeld (a Rhodes Scholar in 1927) and her grandfather Eugen Hirschfeld (a member of the first University of Queensland Senate in 1910). Wayne and Roisin Goss had two children, Ryan and Caitlin, both of whom attended the University of Queensland and were awarded Rhodes Scholarships to attend the University of Oxford in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
Death, funeral and legacy
Goss battled a series of brain tumours for 17 years, undergoing four operations to remove them. He died aged 63 at his home in Brisbane on 10 November 2014, with his wife and children present. Instead of a state funeral, a private funeral was held, and a public memorial service was organized by the family at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Over a thousand mourners attended the service, some accommodated in overflow rooms.
In marking Goss' death, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described Goss as Queensland's "greatest postwar Premier"; former Premier Peter Beattie described Goss as "Labor’s best premier since TJ Ryan in 1915"; former Premier Anna Bligh stated that "Wayne Goss was the father of modern Queensland". Former Liberal National Premier Campbell Newman described Goss's "amazing contribution to Queensland".
- "Weekly Hansard," (PDF). Queensland, Legislative Assembly. 20 February 1996. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Wayne Goss". Queensland Speaks. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Disruptive influences - Griffith Review". Griffith Review. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Deller's Digital Transfers (29 November 2014), Nationals Campaign Queensland 1989, archived from the original on 17 April 2018, retrieved 16 April 2018
- "Four Corners - 03/03/2008: Program Transcript". www.abc.net.au. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "20 Moments that Shaped Modern Queensland". Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Hurst, Daniel (15 November 2011). "Labor spruiks achievements - all six of them". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "20 things you need to know about Kevin Rudd". The Age. 3 December 2006. Archived from the original on 26 August 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Swan, Wayne (2015). "About Wayne". Wayne Swan MP. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Moore, Tony (6 December 2013). "Koala habitat at risk from new highway". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Green, Antony (2010). "2010 election preview: Queensland". ABC News. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Sounding a dud note - Opinion - theage.com.au". www.theage.com.au. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Cater, Nick (1 May 2015). The Howard Factor: A decade that changed a nation. Melbourne University Publishing. ISBN 9780522865141.
- "Senator Evans asked the opposition...: 8 Nov 2011: Senate debates (OpenAustralia.org)". www.openaustralia.org.au. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "Transcripts: Wayne Goss". Talking Heads with Peter Thompson. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 May 2005. Archived from the original on 19 July 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Hansard (29th November 1997)" (PDF). p. 4825 (Interruption). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Could former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss have changed Labor history?". news.com.au. 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 9 April 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- Welford, Rob (12 October 2007). "Gallery chairman to retire after third term". Media Statements. Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Wayne Goss resigns" (PDF). Brisbane Broncos. 14 February 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. 1 January 2001. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014.
- Moore, Tony (10 November 2015). "Queensland arts growth proves Wayne Goss' international legacy". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Ausenco chairman resigns". Mining Australia. 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Wilson, Peter (21 April 2011). "Therese Rein the $1.4bn queen of British welfare". The Australian. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- "Free TV mourns Wayne Goss". 10 November 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "IQ2: If we keep populating we will perish". abc.net.au. 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- "Business taskforce to help flood recovery effort". 19 January 2011. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018 – via www.abc.net.au.
- "Way Goss farewelled". The Australian. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "2009 Rhodes Scholar maintains family winning streak". University of Queensland. 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "UQ pays tribute to Wayne Goss". University of Queensland. 1 January 2015. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Former Queensland premier Wayne Goss dies". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Goss family turns down state funeral, in keeping with former Queensland premier's wishes". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 November 2014. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Atfield, Cameron (21 November 2014). "Wayne Goss farewelled at GOMA". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Flags at half mast as Wayne Goss farewelled at public memorial". The Australian. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/25601913/goss-to-be-honoured-in-qld-parliament/[permanent dead link]
- "Federal Politics Live: November 24, 2014". 24 November 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Former Queensland premier Wayne Goss dead aged 63". The Courier-Mail. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Wayne Goss remembered: Colleagues and past foes pay tribute to former Queensland premier". The Courier-Mail. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Wayne Goss remembered as courageous Queensland reformer". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Floyd, A.G. (2008) Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia. Inkata Press. ISBN 978-0-9589436-7-3. page 243.
- Walker, Jamie (1995). Goss : a political biography. St Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 9780702227202.
|Parliament of Queensland|
| Member for Salisbury
|New district|| Member for Logan
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Labor Party in Queensland
| Leader of the Opposition in Queensland
| Premier of Queensland