Accountability push ahead of Queensland poll


Twenty two prominent QLD legal and civil society organisations have taken out a full page add in today’s Courier Mail newspaper calling on all parties elected to the new parliament to their election commitment to honour their the principles of accountability and good governance put forward by The Honourable Tony Fitzgerald AC QC.

The letter calls on them to take specific steps to honour their election commitment to govern for the benefit of all Queenslanders and our unique environment by ensuring that:

    • Industry lobbyists and representatives, including those from the resources and property development industries, will no longer enjoy privileged access to the government;
    • individual liberties, proportionality and the separation of powers will be respected and future
    • judicial appointments will be based on objective merit after wide consultation, always respecting confidentiality; and,
    • Queensland’s weakened anti-corruption watchdog, the Crime and Corruption Commission will be fully restored.

After the LNP missed the deadline to respond to the Open Letter, Campbell Newman gave an impromptu commitment to the principles at a televised debate last Friday, have provided no detail on what that means in practice. Responses from all parties that did respond on time are available – here.

“A drop in support for a first term government of the magnitude that polls are suggesting goes beyond any particular policy, to deeper crisis of trust and credibility,” Australia Institute Executive Director, Dr Richard Denniss said.

“Accountability issues, particularly around political donations, appointments and development approvals have been central to this campaign across the state and the political divide.

“A higher standard of governance is essential to a ‘strong economy’,” Dr Denniss said.

On February 9th, Brisbane will host top legal and anti-corruption experts at the Accountability and the Law: Safeguarding Against Corruption in Queensland conference.

The Fitzgerald Principles are:

1. Govern for the peace, welfare and good government of the State;

2.       Make all decisions and take all actions, including public appointments, in the public interest without regard to personal, party political or other immaterial considerations;

3.       Treat all people equally without permitting any person or corporation special access or influence; and

4.       Promptly and accurately inform the public of its reasons for all significant or potentially controversial decisions and actions.

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