Rudd unfit to be PM: ex-advisor

Sunshine Coast Mental Health expert John Mendoza.
Sunshine Coast Mental Health expert John Mendoza. John Mccutcheon

A SENIOR advisor to Kevin Rudd during his prime ministership has revealed he resigned in part because of the "utterly dysfunctional and chaotic" leadership.

John Mendoza, former chairman of the National Advisory Council on Mental Health, has spoken publicly for the first time about quitting the senior adviser role.

Mr Mendoza, citing the former prime minister as a key factor, said he and many others were led by Mr Rudd "up the garden path in terms of acting on mental health".

The Caloundra-based adjunct professor said the chaos of Mr Rudd's dysfunctional government had set the party on a road to self destruction under his leadership.

The dramatic resignation by Mr Mendoza as Mr Rudd's most senior mental health advisor - one week before Julia Gillard mounted a leadership coup in June 2010 - is seen by many as one of the nails in the coffin for the failed prime minister.

"This man is not fit for prime minister," Mr Mendoza said.

"Finally the Australian public is starting to get an insight into (his dysfunctional leadership).

"I'd say those in the government, especially all the senior ministers, have been extraordinarily loyal to Kevin Rudd not to disclose (his shortcomings) until this point."

After Mr Rudd was disposed of from the top job, Mr Mendoza, who has a long history of public service, said "those working to support the government agenda were very pleased to see a change of leader".

"The government had become utterly dysfunctional and chaotic - and something had to give," Mr Mendoza said.

"I think (Mr Rudd's lack of inaction on mental health policy) and the mining tax shemozzle did play a part in the removal of Rudd but it was part of a much broader dysfunction in the Rudd Government."

Mr Mendoza said his work for the prime minister's office under Mr Rudd's leadership sent him on a whirlwind tour around the country in 2009 to prepare a report for Mr Rudd "in a ridiculous time frame".

"This was the pattern of behaviour, this consistent pattern of chaos was something I'd never experienced as a public servant, let alone at the head of a peak body," Mr Mendoza said.

Mr Mendoza would not be drawn on who he thought should win a leadership spill between Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard. On the issue of mental health, Mr Mendoza said "there is no comparison".

"Kevin Rudd set us up for profound disappointment."



John Mendoza (@johno0910) posted the following comments on Twitter yesterday:

Finally Australian people are hearing the truth behind the removal of Rudd. He was out of control with everyone trying to hold govt together

Kevin (not from heaven) Rudd should seek asylum in Hollywood where his skills would be hot

Topics:  john mendoza kevin rudd queensland election 2012

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