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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12797

Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (13:55): I rise to pay my respects to retiring Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, as he today retires after 44 years in the Queensland Police Service—many of those years spent in the bush—and 12 years as Queensland Police Commissioner.

Bob Atkinson can be very proud that he reduced the crime rate during his tenure. But perhaps even more significant was his strong commitment to turning the integrity and honesty of the police force around after the horrible findings of the Fitzgerald inquiry. I grew up in the sleazy old 'moonlight state', with Russ Hinze and Terry Lewis and the special branch. Hopefully, those days are long behind us—as they were under Commissioner Atkinson. Like so many other police officers at that time, Bob Atkinson was disgusted by the extensive corruption that the Fitzgerald inquiry exposed. Bob sought to run a Police Service that was driven by honesty and transparency. This resulted in an increase in accountability, the promotional system, a belief in higher education, support for women and multiculturalism. Bob also worked hard to reduce Queensland's road toll by focusing on the impact that speed has on road accidents. This resulted in the road toll falling below 300 lives in 2010 and again in 2011, and I understand we are on track for a similar result this year, which has not happened for 50 years.

Bob initially came to prominence investigating the murder of Noosa schoolgirl Sian Kingi in 1987. He said that that case, the Daniel Morcombe case, the 2011 floods and Cyclone Yasi are events that he will recall forever. He has seen Queensland grow and evolve as a state over more than four decades— (Time expired)