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Thursday, 28 May 1987
Page: 3587

Mr ROBERT BROWN(10.20) —I have been detailing some of the strange developments and events in Queensland. I am up to item 27 which I have identified as `the former Press Secretary'. Allen Callaghan, a former Australian Broadcasting Association journalist, joined Premier Joh as Press Secretary in 1971 and departed in 1979. Despite strong opposition from the Public Service, Callaghan was appointed to the newly created position of Deputy Co-ordinator of Culture, National Parks and Recreation. Five years later, in 1984, he was promoted to head the Department and was appointed a member of the Queensland Day Committee. His wife Judith was the Committee's Executive Officer.

Unfortunately, Allen and Judith Callaghan were corrupted by whatever it is that pervades some areas of public life in Queensland. In November 1986 Judith Callaghan was released from gaol after serving three months of a two and a half year sentence for misappropriating more than $44,000 of public money. Most of the money had been acquired from the Queensland Film Corporation while her husband was Chairman.

In April 1987 Allen Callaghan was gaoled for four years for dishonestly applying $43,574 of public funds to his own use between October 1979 and October 1985. Callaghan has pleaded guilty to 124 charges. As head of the Arts, National Parks and Sport Department, he had been earning over $1,000 a week. The Crown Prosecutor said that the expenses which Mr Callaghan had claimed `could only be described as extravagance, luxury and self-indulgence'.

Item 28 concerns a Minister. The National Times in 1986 said that Queensland Government Minister Russ Hinze had been labelled by some as `conflict of interest personified' in a State where conflict of interest had become institutionalised. It said:

As Local Government Minister, he is also a developer. As Main Roads Minister, he doubles up as a major gravel supplier. As Racing Minister, he owns more than 100 race horses. In response to criticism he says `Too bloody bad'.

Russ Hinze's companies have had remarkable luck in raising loans. In addition to a loan from the Moscow Narodny Bank, loans have also come from the International Pacific Corporation and the Euro-Asian Bank which also lent $3m to a Bjelke-Petersen company. The Hinze racehorse stud company, Waverley Park, has been able to bypass financial institutions. The Lesley Corporation's Coral Gardens Waterways Estate in the Albert Shire where Hinze lives stalled in 1981. As Minister for Local Government, Hinze approved the rezoning of a further 80 hectares, and land sales resumed. In 1984 the Lesley Corporation lent Waverley Park $35,000.

Eddie Kornhauser, the developer of the $120m Paradise Centre in Surfers Paradise, lent Waverley Park $50,000. Kornhauser said that the loan carried a commercial rate of interest but he was not sure when it had to be repaid. He said:

Hinze said at the time it would be if he retired from parliament or something.

An $80,000 loan in 1981 from a company called Cowrie Corporation was written off in 1984. The newspaper Times on Sunday has been unable to establish the identity of the Cowrie Corporation.