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You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Media Statement - 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry - 2 July 2019
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Media Statement - 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry - 2 July 2019
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Media Statement - 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry - 2 July 2019

Media Statement - 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry - 2 July 2019

A statement from CCC Chairperson, Alan MacSporran QC.

Tomorrow marks 30 years since Tony Fitzgerald QC provided the Queensland Government with the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct which became known as the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

This was a defining moment in Queensland’s history. Thirty years ago, Queensland was a different place. The tentacles of corruption had spread through parts of the Queensland Police Service and involved some elected officials. Queenslanders could no longer turn a blind eye to the crime and corruption that was happening on our door step.

From 1987 to 1989, Tony Fitzgerald and his dedicated team spent almost two years investigating entrenched corruption and organised crime. After hearing testimony from 339 witnesses and 238 days of public hearings, the 630-page Fitzgerald Inquiry Report signalled that the joke was over.

The Inquiry changed the policing and political landscape in Queensland and across Australia.  Significant prosecutions followed the Inquiry. It led to four ministers being jailed, the conviction of former Police Commissioner Terence Lewis and numerous other convictions. Many others admitted to being involved in corruption.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry recommended an independent agency be created to combat major crime and public sector corruption. In December 1989, the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) commenced its operations under the chairmanship of Sir Max Bingham QC.

Since that time there has been a constant commitment to fight corruption and major crime for the benefit of Queenslanders.

We must never go back to the pre-Fitzgerald days.

The Queensland Police Service has strengthened its systems and processes resulting in a modern and professional crime-fighting agency. I’m confident the brazen corruption and police misconduct of the old days are gone.

However, we face new challenges across the entire public sector. Advancements in technology and the ability to access vast amounts of information present significant corruption risks when confidential information is accessed and misused.

Crime and corruption prosper when individuals put their private interests before the public interest. It’s that simple. The Crime and Corruption Commission’s (CCC) work in the last few years has unfortunately demonstrated that the threat of corruption remains. Whilst it manifests in new ways, we all need to work together to identify and extinguish it.

Building strong cultures of integrity is the single most significant action our public sector leaders at all levels can take to address corruption.

A strong, independent agency dedicated to combating major crime and reducing corruption is crucial.

The CCC is proud to be the custodians of an important part of Queensland’s history and an essential part of its future.

Alan MacSporran QC

CCC Chairperson

 

ENDS

NB: The CCC Chairperson is not available for media interviews.

Last updated: 02 July 2019
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