Thursday, January 04, 2007

Queensland's brave new world

I confess to mostly enjoying being back in Brisbane which has much changed since I fled the Bjelke Petersen regime in 1976. There is good food, cinema, even a Museum of Modern Art with artifacts which intriguingly look like piles of empty cans. I wonder whether after the environmental apocalypse, archaeologists will dig up the Brisbane dump and assume that it was one of our key cultural centres. After experiencing another round of disposable Christmas consumerism myself, maybe that's true after all.
Meanwhile out on the islands, blacks are still being killed by Queensland police who are still exonerated without trial. Maybe the policeman who the coroner said was responsible for the latest death on Palm Island was innocent after all. If it were up to the Queensland Police Union , he won't face charges.
It seems at least the Queensland Police Union hasn't changed at all. I remember them rooting for the former Police Commissioner, Terry Lewis, who later went to jail for corruption. The relevant thirty year old, cabinet papers were released with the New Year. They showed that Joh Bjelke Petersen didn't even ask cabinet when he promoted Lewis and ignored the protests about corruption. I remember one yougn reporter asking at Lewis' first news conference,"Mr Lewis, can you tell us about the rumours that you were the bagman for the police who run the brothels at the National Hotel?"
Next question please.
Lewis is long gone, but the memories and perhaps the police practices, linger on!