Queensland corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald says he is expecting abuse and a political roasting for criticising state government moves to water down the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
During the late 1980s, the former judge headed an inquiry which exposed high level corruption in Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s government, leading to the CMC’s establishment.
Now in retirement, Mr Fitzgerald has criticised Queensland’s LNP government for renaming the CMC, and removing the need for a bipartisan parliamentary committee to appoint its commissioners.
He declined to expand on his comments, made in a submission to a parliamentary committee this week, but said he expected a political backlash.
“I’ve got a pretty firm policy about saying what I think needs to be said and sitting back and letting the abuse drip by,” Mr Fitzgerald told AAP on Saturday.
“I imagine there’ll be the odd political riposte.”
The Newman government is restructuring the CMC and renaming it the Crime and Corruption Commission, which would focus on the “Mr Bigs” of crime rather than minor allegations of public service wrongdoing.
In his submission, Mr Fitzgerald said the commission had prevented “crooked politicians and police again running the state”, adding the CMC was “a reasonably effective brake on the misuse of power” which had “curtailed criminal activities”.
He said both major parties resented the CMC when it exposed corruption within their ranks, and had taken steps to dilute its effectiveness.
“Like all organisations which has a significant workload of difficult work, it makes mistakes,” he wrote.
“However, its mistakes do not explain the irrational vendetta which has continued for a quarter of a century.”
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said that while Mr Fitzgerald was entitled to his opinions, the new corruption body would “do what he always wanted it (to) do, which is independently tackle serious crime and corruption”.