It is not uncommon to hear a company chairman blistering the federal government over taxes and regulation. It is increasingly common. The following video though is different in that the chairman doing the criticism is Keith De Lacy, who was the state treasurer in the Goss Labor government.
De Lacy is scathing over the rise in costs of doing business over the last five years, the massive regulatory burden, the problems with the governments IR regime, and the way that miners who are the only thing keeping Australia’s head above water are treated like the enemy. He states that the political class, the entrenched generational public service, and inner city progressives, are winning.
Keith though is one of the old fashioned Labor men who actually had a real job prior to politics and earned an honest living outside the bureaucracy, union movement, or as a party hack. He understands the real world:
From his start in life as a miner to his transformation to politician and businessman, Keith De Lacy never knew what fate had in store. …
"After 30 years, you begin to think things may never change," Keith says, particularly as he says electoral boundaries were gerrymandered to suit the National Party. "Labor had been 30 years in the wilderness, so it was a momentous occasion," he say. "There was the euphoria, but we didn’t really have time to reflect.”
"The only other time I reflected was the moment I sat in the red leather seat of the State treasurer behind the mahogany table, and thought, ‘what’s a country humble boy doing in a job like this’," Keith says, laughing.
Keith was born in Cairns Base hospital and grew up in the Mareeba-Dimbulah area on a tobacco farm. Before he ventured into politics, he was a tobacco farmer, supplementing his income by working underground in the mines of Wolfram Camp. …
"I had lived about 10 lives before then, but nobody can train for politics – you have to learn on the job," he says. "It’s the people who don’t do well who are usually the ones who think they know everything.” "You are forever learning, improving, understanding and listening.