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Tony Fitzgerald lecture

29 July, 2009

Tony Fitzgerald delivered his lecture last night marking the 20th anniversary of his report. The Courier Mail has produced an edited transcript of his speech and The Australian has commented here.

It would seem that Mr. Fitzgerald did not paint former Premier, Peter Beattie, in the best light:

“By the end of the Coalition’s term in power in 1998, the political situation in Queensland was volatile, Wayne Goss had departed from politics, the Labor Party was led by Peter Beattie and much of the principled willingness to confront Queensland’s dark past had been lost and with it the momentum for reform. I had always known that I might have to leave Queensland to work elsewhere as a consequence of my inquiry, and in 1998 I accepted that that time had come, resigned and took up a position in NSW.”

And further:

“Under Beattie, Labor decided that there were votes to be obtained from Bjelke-Petersen’s remaining adherents in glossing over repressive and corrupt misconduct. Tacitly at least, Queenslanders were encouraged to forget the repression and corruption which had occurred and the social upheaval which had been involved in eradicating those injustices.”

In 1996 Beattie submitted his thesis The Window of Opportunity: The Fitzgerald Experiment and the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission 1987-1992. In 2001 Peter Beattie submitted to the Queensland Legislative Assembly the Crime and Misconduct Bill which merged the functions of the CJC and the Queensland Crime Commission into the Crime and Misconduct Commission. The Bill enabled ‘walk through’ cabinet documents to be repressed and for Departments to investigate misconduct in-house. Retired Supreme Court Judge, Bill Carter told The Australian:

“Police corruption will not be arrested until all such misconduct allegations are handled by the CMC, not the ethical standards branch of the police service”.

This report also highlighted the fact that the inquiry by police investigating the police investigating the police surrounding the death of Mulrunji has not been finalised. I think I got that right?

With the benefit of Mr. Fitzgerald’s lecture it would seem that he and Mr. Beattie may have been looking out of different windows.

Peter Beattie has responded:

“My government was one of the most honest that Queensland has ever had”.

Which sounds a lot like – “Corruption is not an issue in the Queensland Police Service”.

Update. Bernard Keane thinks Fitzgerald’s outburst is over the top. Something smells at Larvatus Prodeo

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 July, 2009 10:54 am

    the trap that is easy to fall into is to compare one’s efforts to the past and remark about how good things are now. Beattie may believe he reigned with integrity, but if he is comparing himself to Joh, it is a very low benchmark indeed, and one we probably would not begrudge him.


  1. Will the cock crow a third time Mr. Beattie? « OzPolitik
  2. Integrity and Accountability in Queensland « OzPolitik

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