Both sides corrupt says Fitzgerald

By: Natasha Bita The Australian.

CORRUPTION crusader Tony Fitzgerald took aim at both sides of politics in Queensland yesterday, accusing Labor of having their snouts in the trough and branding the merged Liberal National Party an ``implausible hybrid of convenience''.
Queensland was in the ``mainstream of political malpractice'', he said.
Mr Fitzgerald's inquiry into political corruption in the late 1980s led to the downfall of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's National Party government, ending three decades of Coalition rule.
He said yesterday the Liberals were still paying a heavy price for their deeply flawed relationship with the National Party.
``It became largely a party of opportunistic urban Nationals,'' he said. ``Although both include decent people, the two parties, Liberal and National, are now united in an implausible hybrid of convenience which the National Party continues to dominate.''
Mr Fitzgerald was speaking at the launch of A Prescription for Change, a biography of former state Liberal leader and pharmaceutical entrepreneur Terry White by The Australian's chief Queensland reporter, Tony Koch. Mr Fitzgerald described Mr White as a ``man of honour'' who had ``paid a very high price for his integrity''.
But LNP president Bruce McIver said Mr Fitzgerald did not understand the LNP, created by a merger of the conservative parties two years ago.
``Mr Fitzgerald is talking about history there -- I don't think he really understands where we're at today,'' he said.
``We have to make sure we provide a genuine alternative to Labor in this state. That is what Mr Fitzgerald would want anyway -- a strong opposition.''
Mr McIver denied the LNP was tainted by the corruption exposed in the Fitzgerald inquiry.
``I don't think the LNP has any corruption taint at all,'' he said.