Real constitutional reform after Fitzgerald: Still waiting for Godot

Prasser, Scott and Aroney, Nicholas T. (2009) Real constitutional reform after Fitzgerald: Still waiting for Godot. Griffith Law Review, 18 3: 596-620.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
UQ190860_Complete.pdf HERDC combined - not publicly available application/pdf 528.85KB 5
UQ190860_OA.pdf Full text (open access) application/pdf 337.34KB 0
Author Prasser, Scott
Aroney, Nicholas T.
Title Real constitutional reform after Fitzgerald: Still waiting for Godot
Journal name Griffith Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-3441
Publication date 2009
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 18
Issue 3
Start page 596
End page 620
Total pages 25
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Taylor & Francis Australasia
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The Fitzgerald Inquiry, although initially focused upon matters such as maladministration and corruption, placed significant emphasis on the reform of Queensland's political and public administration system as a whole. It is therefore in relation to its practical impact within the context of that system that the Fitzgerald Report ought to be assesses. However, despite widespread support for the report's recommendations, recent events in Queensland concerning such matters as corruption, maladministration, lobbying, cronyism and secrecy suggest that the report has failed to deliver on its most basic objectives. This article argues that although the Fitzgerald Report drew attention to and sought to address systemic problems of various kinds, it has largely failed in its intentions because the changes that it proposed could not be sustained in the context of Queensland's existing constitutional framework and particular system of Westminster democracy, especially its high level of executive domination operating in the context of a unicameral parliament. The fact that so many of the Fitzgerald reforms were left to be sorted out by post-commission agencies working in such an environment means real reform has failed to flourish. Consequently, the Fitzgerald Report has met the same fate as so many other public inquiries into corruption in Australia, resulting in only minimal change to the way government is actually conducted. While as a result of the Fitzgerald Inquiry there has been widespread institutional restructuring in Queensland, the way of doing business in that state has hardly changed at all.

Any Government may use its dominance in the Parliament and its control of public resources to stifle and neuter effective criticism by the Opposition.
A Government can use its control of Parliament and public administration to manipulate, exploit and misinform the community, or to hide matters from it.

- Fitzgerald Commission Report

Mr Godot told me to tell you he won't come this evening but surely tomorrow.
- Waiting for Godot
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special Issue: "Fitzgerald Report Twenty Years On"

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 15:56:41 EST by Vivianne Mulder on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law