Campbell Newman
Campbell Newman

Fitzgerald slams News Corp for acting as Govt cheer squad

ANTI-corruption advocate Tony Fitzgerald has turned into Nostradamus with a string of predictions about the conduct of the Newman Government in the lead-up to the next state election, due in March next year.

And Mr Fitzgerald, author of the ground-breaking 1988 Fitzgerald Report into corruption in Queensland, emerged from retirement at Peregian Beach to attack the role he says News Corp plays in supporting the government.

Speaking from his beachside home yesterday, Mr Fitzgerald was unaffected by the personal attacks that have ramped up in recent days.

The quiet chat the government held with him recently has done nothing to mollify his concern about the quality of governance in Queensland.

In a release, he has predicted that before the election, the judges of the Supreme Court Trial Division and Court of Appeal would continue to carry out their duties in accordance with their oaths of office.

And he suggests the Newman government would suspend its open attacks on the judiciary and hope that the public forgot the damage that it had inflicted on the state's courts and anti-corruption commission.

Mr Fitzgerald said the government generally would "be more circumspect in rewarding its supporters but it will continue its steps to return the judicial gene pool to its previous male-only, 'people-like-us' composition".

But he says that while toning down the rhetoric, it would persist with its "law-and-order" populism.

"Its previous belligerence will be replaced by something unintelligible but soothing such as 'its total focus on its strong plan to make Queensland the safest place in Australia to live, work, and raise a family'," Mr Fitzgerald said.

News Corp, though, he said in the release, would continue to act as "chief government propagandist, cheerleader and attack dog while masquerading as a news provider".

The criticism comes as Fairfax MP and Palmer United Party federal leader Clive Palmer called for the reintroduction of an Upper House in Queensland to restore checks and balances to state politics.


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