Final Months of the Bjelke-Petersen Era

The release of Queensland cabinet documents for 1987 pull back the curtain on the final months of the Bjelke-Petersen era.


JANUARY 12 - First article by Phil Dickie published in The Courier-Mail focusing on two main groups running Queensland's illegal sex industry.

JANUARY 31 - Bjelke-Petersen launches the "Joh for PM" campaign.

APRIL 13 - The Courier-Mail publishes second Dickie article focusing on illegal casinos.

APRIL 18 - The Courier-Mail publishes third Dickie article focusing on prostitution.

MAY 11 - ABC program Four Corners airs special report The Moonlight State looking into organised crime and police corruption in Queensland.

MAY 18 - Queensland cabinet meets in Roma where it's agreed Tony Fitzgerald will head inquiry into corruption. Bjelke-Petersen is in Disneyland at the time.

MAY 27 - Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke calls an early federal election.

JUNE 3 - Bjelke-Petersen backs down from the "Joh for PM" bid, ruling out a run for a federal seat.

JULY 11 - Labor wins the federal election with an increased majority.

JULY 27 - Public hearings of the Fitzgerald Inquiry begin.

AUGUST 31 - Local Government Minister Russ Hinze introduces proposal for special legislation relating to the "world's tallest building" proposal for Brisbane. Minister Mike Ahern would later attribute this cabinet discussion as the "beginning of the end" for Bjelke-Petersen's premiership.

SEPTEMBER 17 - Assistant Police Commissioner Graeme Parker resigns after admitting corruption to Fitzgerald investigators.

SEPTEMBER 21 - Bjelke-Petersen stands aside Police Commissioner Terry Lewis following allegations raised during the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

NOVEMBER 3 - Transport Minister and former Special Branch officer Don Lane named as corrupt during Fitzgerald hearings.

NOVEMBER 5 - There is a public breakdown in the relationship between Bjelke-Petersen and senior ministers at the National Party Conference in Townsville.

NOVEMBER 23 - Bjelke Petersen writes to Governor Sir Walter Campbell, requesting he sack around a quarter of his ministers, which the governor refused. Bjelke-Petersen then demands five of his ministers resign. They refuse.

NOVEMBER 24 - Bjelke-Petersen writes to governor again, requesting three senior ministers - Mike Ahern, Brian Austin and Peter McKechnie - have their commissions withdrawn, this time governor agrees.

NOVEMBER 26 - Bjelke-Petersen refuses to attend meeting of National Party Management Committee, which dumps him as party leader and replaces him with Ahern.

NOVEMBER 30 - Bjelke-Petersen chairs his last cabinet meeting

DECEMBER 1 - Bjelke-Petersen resigns as premier of Queensland.

Source AAP

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