ACT News


Gallagher promises a more decisive 2013

Katy Gallagher says she has been too consultative and not decisive enough in her first 18 months as Chief Minister.

But Ms Gallagher has promised to take more control over the decisions her government makes in 2013.

In an end of year interview with The Canberra Times, the Chief Minister said she felt more established as a leader since forming government after the  territory election in October.

 ‘‘Perhaps prior to the election people saw me more as a caretaker Chief Minister and I think the election resolved that,” she said.

‘‘I’m in the job in my own right, I bring to it my own style, whether that’s right or wrong.’’

Ms Gallagher said the Canberra Hospital data-doctoring crisis had forced her to do some soul-searching in 2012.


The Chief Minister turned to her political colleagues during the saga, including her predecessor and mentor Jon Stanhope.

But she told The Canberra Times she would be more decisive, and less inclined to seek advice, as she became a more self-assured leader.

"I think now that I’m sort of in this job in my own right, and my confidence grows, I’ll be perhaps more decisive and less consultative," she said.

"But it is a balance and it’s not normally my style."

The Chief Minister said that for all the criticism directed at her during the health crisis, there was a lot that she did achieve after replacing Mr Stanhope as leader.

That included pursuing the government’s "open and transparent agenda" and, embarking on the tax reforms that became the key battleground for the October 20 election. "I think I’m probably not as exciting as Jon was as a leader but I do get things done," she said.

"I don’t think I can change too much.

"You certainly learn things in the job and one year in you know a bit more.

"I think that’s probably one of the jobs in politics – you should never stop learning and looking at how you apply that to the work you do.

"If you stop learning, if you think you've got all the answers, then that’s usually a time when you should probably be heading out of politics."

Ms Gallagher said the Canberra Liberals would keep pressuring the government over its management of the emergency department, but she believed no further political damage could be inflicted on her leadership by the saga.