by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B
Former corruption investigator Tony Fitzgerald QC and former premier Wayne Goss recently charged that Queensland’s Beattie and Bligh governments had let the state slide back into its “dark past”.
“Ethics are always tested by incumbency”, explained Fitzgerald. “The longer any side of politics is in power, the more risk cobwebs will settle”, Goss added. Both agreed that standards had slipped during 11 years of Labor government – commencing with Premier Beattie’s election in 1998 and continuing under Bligh’s premiership since 2007.
Two former Beattie ministers jailed, police misconduct revelations and controversial lobbying practices point to a government “enveloped”, as one commentator remarked, “in a smoke haze of corruption allegations”.
Another commentator said the debate over government integrity, ethics and accountability had simmered “for months, if not years”. Meanwhile a Galaxy Poll showed 65% of Queenslanders believed corruption and cronyism were wide-spread in the Bligh government.
The following story about one former Beattie and Bligh Fair Trading Minister illustrates what Goss described as Queensland labor’s “worrying culture”.
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