“Access can now be purchased, patronage is dispensed, mates and supporters are appointed and retired politicians exploit their connections to obtain ‘success fees’ for deals between business and government,” Mr Fitzgerald said in an address at Brisbane’s Griffith University before the inaugural Tony Fitzgerald lecture. “Neither side of politics is interested in these issues except for short-term political advantage as each enjoys or plots impatiently for its turn at the privileges and opportunities which accompany power.” Mr Fitzgerald spoke out after Premier Anna Bligh said she would mark the 20th anniversary of the release of his landmark report by reviewing the increasingly controversial interaction between politicians and big business in Queensland. This could lead to reform of political fundraising, including the practice by both Labor and the conservatives of selling access to ministers and frontbenchers to business representatives at state conferences and to holding dinners and other functions at a charge of thousands of dollars a plate. “The time has come now for a frank and open public discussion on a number of topical integrity and accountability issues,” Ms Bligh said yesterday.

A brief recent history of lovely din-dins with Barty, Airdy et al:

• HOW much would you pay to dine with the Premier and his merry band of ministers? Tasmanian business and community leaders paid $2000 each to rub shoulders with David Bartlett and his Cabinet on Tuesday night. In what was the first in a series of fundraising events in the lead-up to next year’s election the dinner raised more than $60,000. Labor mates get together. So that’s what Airdy and CPR were massaging at the Henry Jones: A pathetic excuse

Airdy’s lovely din-dins

But according to Premier Bartlett: ‘It’s the nature of the Beast; it’s no big deal’

The Peter Henning Perspective: Working for the Man

Read the Fitzgerald transcript, reports, and COMMENT AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE HERE