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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

Tony Fitzgerald Collection 1984 - 2009: treasure collection of the John Oxley Library

By Libby Fielding, Specialist Librarian, State library of Queensland | 25 October 2021

In May 1987 Tony Fitzgerald QC was appointed by acting Premier Bill Gunn to lead a Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct, aka the Fitzgerald Inquiry following a series of articles published in The Courier-Mail and a Four Corners television report naming Queensland as ‘The Moonlight State.’

Over a two-year period which involved 238 public sitting days, testimony from 339 witnesses, the resignation of the Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the conviction of former Police Commissioner Terry Lewis and three former ministers, the inquiry conducted a comprehensive investigation of entrenched, systemic police corruption and abuse of political power in Queensland.

 Tony Fitzgerald uncovering corruption in Queensland: A pineapple filled with toads and snakes

Pineapple cartoon showing Tony Fitzgerald uncovering corruption in Queensland, 1989, Acc 27051 Tony Fitzgerald Collection 1984-2009, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image no: 27051-0002-0001

Fitzgerald’s report was handed to Queensland Premier Mike Ahern on 7 July 1989 at a widely publicised media event.  

The Tony Fitzgerald Collection is a significant collection of items donated by Tony Fitzgerald, primarily relating to the events associated with the Commission of Inquiry. The material largely consists of newspaper clippings, original newspaper and magazine articles, courtroom sketches, cartoons and Fitzgerald’s personal papers.

The collection also reflects political life in Queensland in the years leading up to and following the Inquiry.

Queues for Expo 88 and the Fitzgerald Inquiry [cartoon], 3190 Alan Moir Cartoons John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Neg: 193629


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