Queensland government slips deeper into turmoil

August 27, 1997

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The Queensland Coalition government is sinking, with a motion of no confidence in Liberal attorney-general Denver Beanland rocking state parliament, and revelations of an alleged police and judicial cover-up of paedophile activity.

On August 20, Gladstone independent MLA Liz Cunningham supported a Labor opposition motion of no confidence in Beanland, after the previous night rejecting an ALP resolution of no confidence in the government as a whole.

That motion, if carried, would have brought down the government and sent the state to an early election.

Cunningham's backing for the vote against Beanland follows a devastating Supreme Court decision to order the closure of the government's Connolly Ryan inquiry into the operations of the Criminal Justice Commission because of political "bias" by former judge and Liberal MP Peter Connolly.

The Connolly Ryan inquiry had been set up by Beanland and the government as part of their witch-hunt against the independence of the CJC in pursuing official corruption.

Premier Rob Borbidge has since declared he will back Beanland to continue as attorney-general, despite his having lost the confidence of parliament.

As Courier-Mail commentator Peter Morley pointed out in the August 23 edition, "its open defiance of the Legislative Assembly is doing little for the government's chances of re-election ..."

The paper also reported calls by senior Liberal Party officials for Beanland to be dumped in the interests of the survival of the government.

Adding to the turmoil facing the government are allegations of a continuing cover-up of child sex abuse networks, including even reports of the filming of a "snuff" movie, in which a Filipino boy was allegedly assaulted and murdered on the banks of the Brisbane River, and accusations of organised paedophile activity, covered up by senior police, in the Whitsunday Islands region.

The furore surrounding these allegations has added to the atmosphere of crisis enveloping the Borbidge government.

Despite having failed to produce alternative policies to tackle the key issues of unemployment and social decay in Queensland, the Labor opposition is waiting for its chance to bring down this hapless Coalition regime.

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