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Fitzgerald Inquiry: 30 Years Later

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Former Police Inspector Barry Krosch

July 2, 2019

Thirty years ago this week, Tony Fitzgerald, QC, handed down his game-changing findings from the “Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct”, ie. the Fitzgerald Report.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry had multiple links to Kingaroy: Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was Premier at the time the Commission was called (although he was out of the country when that happened); the senior police officer attached to the Inquiry, Detective Inspector James O’Sullivan, was born in Kingaroy; his administrative assistant, Detective Sergeant Barry Krosch, was also Kingaroy-born and bred; and an alleged Kingaroy SP bookie, Hec Robertson, was among many people called to give evidence.

So it’s fitting a retrospective looking back at those heady days should be held at Kingaroy Library on the exact anniversary of the publication of the historic report.

Now-retired Barry Krosch will be joined by Griffith University Professor of History Mark Finnane at 10:00am on Wednesday (July 3).

While Barry will talk about the inquiry from a police perspective, Prof Finnane will examine its ramifications.

Barry has recalled that July day back in 1989 when the report was released:

“(I) drove into the city and met with Inspector O’Sullivan. The ‘special operation’ that day was to drive from the city to the Government Printer in South Brisbane,” he said.

There, accompanied by Senior Constable Michael Cook, he collected the much-anticipated Fitzgerald Report which had been printed under armed guard.

Barry’s diary entries record that he armed himself with a Remington pump action shotgun as well as his Smith & Wesson .38 revolver.

“There was a threat of some sort to the reports. It was suggested that they would be hijacked by some forces of evil. If that did happen, the offenders would have had a problem on their hands – a Remington pump action is a force to be reckoned with!” he said.

However, the reports were collected from South Brisbane and driven to the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds, where they were distributed to the assembled national media without incident.

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