Nigel Powell preaches patience

by Chris Griffith
Published 4 July 1993 in The Sun-Herald


my face


Nigel Powell, the former licencing branch detective whose public revelations helped begin the Fitzgerald Inquiry, warned yesterday there was "no quick fix" in the fight to rid institutions of corruption.

Mr Powell, now an education officer with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), was in Brisbane attending a two-day international policing conference at Griffith University.

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the release of the Fitzgerald report into institutionalised corruption in Queensland.

"We have to understand it takes a long period of time to get into a mess, and it takes a long period of time to get out of a mess," Mr Powell said. "I don't think there is such a thing as a short-quick fix to our problems."

Mr Powell said anti-corruption commissions such as the ICAC and Queensland's Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) should be temporary but would be necessary until the more traditional institutions "get their act together".

"Eventually their responsibilities should be handed back to the more traditional institutions - auditor-general, local government inspectors, police, and the parliament," he said.

"In the meantime, they should be given the ability to be as long term as they have to be and it's important they have a long-term focus."

The CJC's parliamentary committee has recommended that it report on the future directions of the CJC including the desirability fo a sunset clause by the beginning of 1995.