In May 1987 after the media reported possible police corruption involving illegal gambling and corruption the Acting Premier appointed Tony Fitzgerald QC to lead what became known as the “Fitzgerald Inquiry”.
Initially expected to last about 6 weeks, the Inquiry spent about two years conducting a comprehensive investigation of long term systemic political corruption and abuse of power in Queensland, and focused public attention on integrity and accountability in public office.
The Inquiry changed the policing and political landscape in Queensland and across Australia. Significant prosecutions followed leading to several government ministers being jailed and numerous convictions of police, including the former Police Commissioner. The former Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was charged with perjury for evidence given at the Inquiry though the trial was aborted due to a hung jury.
The 630 page Fitzgerald Report was submitted on 3 July 1989. It made over 100 recommendations covering the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) Electoral and Administrative Review Commission, and reform of the Queensland Police Force.
The CJC was tasked with investigating police and public sector misconduct as well as investigating organised crime. It has evolved into the Crime and Corruption Commission which focuses on reducing the incidence of major crime and corruption in Queensland.
The Inquiry was ordered the day after a television report, entitled “The Moonlight State “ was broadcast. The original broadcast is available to be viewed at (see warning below):
*Warning: The broadcast which commences with a warning that the program contains scenes or language which may disturb or offend some viewers, including nudity and drug use, provides a background to the events to which the discussion on 10 July 2019 will relate.
THE FUTURE OF CORRUPTION : THE FITZGERALD INQUIRY 30 YEARS ON...
The Award winning journalist Paul Barclay will address this question by interviewing a panel of experts as part of his Australian Broadcasting Commission’s “Big Ideas” program.
The panel will include: