Queensland verging on a one-party state, says corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald
The former judge says the Newman government is in danger of replicating the scandals he uncovered in the Bjelke-Petersen era
theguardian.com, Saturday 23 November 2013 11.28 AEST
Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald says Queensland is effectively a one-party state, with a government that doesn\’t understand true democracy is about more than just having the numbers.
Fitzgerald warned that Campbell Newman\’s government was using its massive parliamentary majority to denigrate opponents, extend its influence by making partisan appointments to public office and foster disdain for critics, especially the judiciary and independent media.
In an opinion piece for Fairfax Media, the former judge says the political environment looks very much like it did when he headed a landmark corruption inquiry 25 years ago.
Those were the days when then premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen would say \”don\’t you worry about that\” when he came under media scrutiny.
\”For what it\’s worth, my impression is that most Queenslanders don\’t want to revisit the dark days of political caprice and corruption and \’don\’t you worry about that\’,\” Fitzgerald wrote.
\”Not for the first time, Queensland is at the forefront.
\”It is again effectively a one-party state controlled by a group who seemingly don\’t know, or don\’t care, that the use and abuse of a large parliamentary majority is not true democracy irrespective of what they claim \’the people want\’.\”
\”To me, it seems much more likely that \’the people want\’ to live, and have their children and grandchildren live, in an orderly but free, ethical, tolerant society which is governed in accordance with established democratic principles which have evolved over centuries.\”