A senior figure in the Fitzgerald inquiry says the premier’s likening of his bikie crackdown to the historic corruption probe is ironic.
Gary Crooke is a former Queensland integrity commissioner and was senior counsel assisting the Fitzgerald inquiry into corruption in the state in the 1980s.
He says Premier Campbell Newman’s claim on Thursday that his crackdown on bikies and sex offenders is in the same vein as Tony Fitzgerald’s war against corruption is ironic.
He says the premier’s new laws targeting bikie gangs and sex offenders introduce unheard-of, draconian penalties.
‘It is an irony because what the Fitzgerald inquiry had to grapple with was a government that was just heedless of any fundamental rights,’ he told ABC radio.
‘If it wanted to do things it would push ahead no matter what.’
Mr Newman told parliament Queensland was facing a similar situation today with criminal gangs, as it was in the 1980s with corruption.
‘We have a similar situation today. Not in government, not in public administration, but with criminal gang activity within our state,’ he told parliament.
‘We are going to fight back. That’s what this is all about.’
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said Queenslanders would one day applaud Mr Newman for being courageous, just like Mr Fitzgerald.
‘They will be saying in 25 years that this premier, this government has the guts and the determination to rid this state of criminal gangs once and for all,’ he told parliament.