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Campbell Newman David Stuart

Tony Fitzgerald slams 'arrogant' changes to corruption body

TONY Fitzgerald, the man who led the fight against corruption in Queensland, has blasted the Newman government as 'arrogant fools' over its planned changes to the CMC.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission is set to be revamped with less focus on fighting corruption and misconduct and more focus on organised crime, despite the role of police and national agencies in that area.

One of the key changes is , bipartisan approval will no longer be required when selecting a CMC chairperson and other senior appointments.

Labor and independent MPs on the parliamentary committee say the changes trash the legacy of the Fitzgerald inquiry into corruption and should be voted down.

"This debacle will adversely affect Queenslanders and ultimately end in tears for the Government, which has staked our future and its future on the whims of a few inexperienced, arrogant fools who seem unaware of the extent of their own ignorance," Mr Fitzgerald wrote in an email to the ABC.

"Of course, anyone who knows the numbers on the committee doesn't need to see the report to know the outcome.

"A more interesting question is what role the Justice Department played in the preparation of the Committee's report."

Premier Campbell Newman took to 4BC Radio today to defend the changes, saying:  "If you don't like the government then vote them out".

The changes have also been defended by Legal Affairs Committee chair and Ipswich MP Ian Berry.

He told the ABC that the CMC was getting a lot of money and it had to be far more effective in fighting the big issue - organised crime.

He denied it would mean MPs involved in corruption would no longer face scrutiny, saying there would be a role for the CMC in those issues.

Mr Berry said Queensland would follow the NSW model used by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in not having bipartisan choice of the chair.

He said future chairs may be crime fighters with international experience.



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