Kevin Rudd.

Chief of Staff to Wayne Goss.

Was Kevin Rudd as Chief of Staff to Premier Wayne Goss a powerful force within the government and cabinet? Or was he merely a minor, pumped up fringe player?

What is his knowlege and or involvement of the illegal destruction of the Heiner evidence taken from sexual abuse victims while under state care?

What does kevin Rudd know about the illegal shredding of the Heiner documents?

We must examine Kevin Rudd's role as Chief of Staff to former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss. Tim Grau's article in the Courier Mail in 2007 indicate that Rudd was a powerful force in the Goss government's circles. Extracts appear below and the full article can be read here. Was Kevin Rudd a powerful force beside Wayne Goss?

Rudd was hands-on. While Goss ultimately made the final decisions, the passage of anything leading to that decision had Rudd's fingerprints all over it. Some would say he was performing his job as chief of staff to the letter. Others weren't so sure. One senior policy adviser who worked under Rudd at the time, and who declined to be named, says: "Rudd was a master at using his special position as having 'just talked to the premier'. His favourite phrase was, 'I've just had a word with the premier and what we're doing is X'. That was the end of it. Nobody knew how to take this, whether it was literal or metaphorical."

He was also gathering a reputation for being fearsome and intimidating. It was in the first six months of government that he acquired his now notorious nickname, Dr Death. Professor Brian Head, director of the University of Queensland's Institute for Social Science Research, initially worked as a policy executive director for the premier's department after being personally interviewed and hired by Rudd. He quickly became aware of the nickname. "People have told me different renditions of that name, that it was related to the 'death stare' he had," he says. "The death stare indicated that what you'd said was completely ridiculous and would you like to step outside and commit hara-kiri."

Peter Coaldrake, now vice-chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, was chairman of Goss's Public Sector Management Commission in the early 1990s. "The nicknames were just banter, it was of no consequence," says Coaldrake. "But he was employed to be tough. The chief of staff to the premier is not a light role. It's a critical gatekeeping role, the vetting of quality, what's going on, who's seeing who, and Kevin was on top of all of those matters."

Wiltshire has another perspective: "He was in such a powerful position in the bureaucracy that I don't think anybody really took him on. I never saw a confrontation and I don't know that a situation would have arisen where somebody would have really challenged him. A bit of robust debate is probably a new experience for Kevin.

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