Ahern account sparks praise and questions
YOUR Editorial (Sep, 16) was so right to say that former Queensland premier Mike Ahern (pictured) set in train a series of events that helped make Queensland what it is today and has rightfully earned an exalted place in the history of the state.
He led with integrity and compassion and respect for others while having a clear vision for the future. And above all he put the interests of the state before his own personal interests.
He acted with great courage against corrupt conduct by committing his government to the Fitzgerald reform, lock, stock and barrel. And he is still serving the state in a selfless way, particularly in the charitable sector.
He deserves to be exalted so he can inspire future generations of politicians to follow his lead. David Muir, Indooroopilly HOW many years has Mike Ahern had to trot out the Joh/ AIDS/Aborigine story? Is he feeling irrelevant? The antiJoh bandwagon is more like a full-blown orchestra, with the most strident musicians being the ones whose achievements for Queensland pale in comparison with Joh’s.
Do they know that his relatives are still alive? There must be something more important, but Joh is an easy target. Claims, innuendos, accusations – you name it – all bunkum and meaningless. Peter Corran, Manly West MIKE Ahern’s “recollections” of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen come through the prism of his own well-documented fallingout with his predecessor. As such, they should be treated with the same caution as, say, any aspersions on Kevin Rudd by his successor Julia Gillard.
Sir Joh never claimed to be perfect. But he was a leader of enormous courage, industry and vision whose monumental achievements for Queensland have been publicly acknowledged, even by Peter Beattie.
Where others gave us mounting debt, he gave us regular surpluses, as well as keeping the environmental extremists in check.
How about a little gratitude instead of constant sniping and negativity whenever his name comes up. Brenton Minge, Cannon Hill MIKE Ahern stated that his cabinet colleague Brian Austin did not deserve to be sent to jail for rorting his expenses.
But when compared with today’s politicians who are regularly caught abusing their expenses, the punishment unfortunately, more often that not, is only public embarrassment and the request to repay the money.
Ministers need to be held to the highest standards particularly where public funds are concerned. Surely the age of entitlement where taxpayers are billed for frivolous expenses has to stop. Milvio DiBartolomeo, Wellington Pt