Jim O'Sullivan

Interviewed by
Ann Scott & Roger Scott
Dec 11 2010
Jim O'Sullivan
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Jim O'Sullivan recalls his decision to join the QPS in 1959, his training at the Petrie Terrace Barracks, his first posting in Mitchell, and sharing a train carriage with then-premier Vincent Gair. He describes his early life, his marriage and family and his transfer to Goondiwindi in 1961. Police, Vincent Gair
00:03:54 Jim O'Sullivan describes joining the Criminal Investigation Branch in 1965 and being transferred to Innisfail about 1976, where he combated illegal activities, such as SP Bookmaking thought to involve senior police officers. He goes on to comment that his actions were unpopular with some in the Queensland Police Service. corruption, gambling, Police
00:06:24 Jim O'Sullivan summarises his postings before being asked to join the Fitzgerald Inquiry in 1987. He discusses the environment that permitted corruption to flourish, and the difficulty of finding police to work with the inquiry who were untouched by the corruption. corruption, Crime and Misconduct Commission, Criminal Justice Commission, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Police, Tony Fitzgerald
00:10:50 Jim O'Sullivan discusses the establishment of the Fitzgerald Inquiry following media exposure of the corruption, the initial difficulty of assembling evidence, and political pressure to end the inquiry. Bill Gunn, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, corruption, Courier mail, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Four Corners, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, media, Police, Tony Fitzgerald
00:13:55 Jim O'Sullivan discusses the difficulties of dealing with corruption in the pre-Fitzgerald era, and the pressure placed on him by the Queensland Police Service during the inquiry. He goes on to argue that the inquiry did not put an end to corruption, but rather made it easer to deal with. corruption, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Police, Tony Fitzgerald
00:19:40 Jim O'Sullivan discusses his role following the Fitzgerald Inquiry. He discusses the appointment of Victorian Noel Newnham as Police Commissioner. He describes Noel Newnham's resignation as Police Commissioner, his own appointment as the new Commissioner, and the implementation of the Fitzgerald reforms. corruption, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Noel Newnham, Police, Police Commissioner
00:24:12 Jim O'Sullivan discusses his relationship with Police Minister Paul Braddy, and the difficulties of dealing with intrusive ministerial staffers during the Goss era. He discusses the 1995 change of government, his difficult relationship with the Borbidge Government, and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Police Union and the then opposition coalition party. Borbidge Government 1996-98, Goss Government 1989-96, Memorandum of Understanding, ministerial staff, Mundingburra by-election 1996, Paul Braddy, Police, Police Commissioner, police union, Rob Borbidge, Russell Cooper
00:27:38 Jim O'Sullivan recalls confronting the Police Minister over proposed changes to Queensland Police Service appointments. He discusses the CJC inquiry into the Memorandum of Understanding between the Police Union and the coalition party, and the slew of inquires that resulted. Borbidge Government 1996-98, Carruthers Inquiry, Carter Inquiry, Connolly-Ryan Inquiry, corruption, Criminal Justice Commission, Frank Clair, Max Bingham, Memorandum of Understanding, Police, police union, Russell Cooper
00:32:01 Jim O'Sullivan outlines the dedicated implementation of reform under the Goss Government, particularly the introduction of merit-based appointments, and the Borbidge Government's less enthusiastic promulgation of the reform agenda. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Borbidge Government 1996-98, Connolly-Ryan Inquiry, Goss Government 1989-96, merit based selection, Police, police union, Russell Cooper
00:35:25 Jim O'Sullivan discusses the incoming Beattie Government Police Minister, Tom Barton, and his decision to retire as Police Commissioner in 2000 rather than renew his contract. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Police, Police Commissioner, Tom Barton
00:37:15 Jim O'Sullivan comments on Terry Lewis and Raymond Whitrod as Police Commissioners. corruption, Francis Bischof, Police, Police Commissioner, police union, Raymond Whitrod, Terry Lewis
00:41:40 Jim O'Sullivan discusses the influence that the Police Union wielded during the Bjelke-Petersen era, and its circumvention by the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Police, police union
00:43:28 Jim O'Sullivan reflects on the positives and negatives of his career, naming his appointment of Dick Warry to head up a civilianised Queensland Police Service corporate section as his best decision, and the impact on his family as the greatest cost. Dick Warry, Paul Braddy, Police
00:46:53 Jim O'Sullivan outlines his career after resigning as Police Commissioner, and his decision to keep his distance from the QPS. He discusses the continuing modernisation of the police force throughout Australasia, the increased mobility of public servants and the importance of merit based appointments. Goss Government 1989-96, merit based selection, Police
00:50:20 Jim O'Sullivan reflects on the difficulty of maintaining the separation of powers between the police service and the government, particularly in the pre-Fitzgerald era. Crime and Misconduct Commission, Police
00:52:55 Interview ends