since child abuse is headlines again.

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    Something for the past.

    Peter Beattie

    The World Today - Wednesday, 28 May , 2003 00:00:00
    Reporter: Louise Willis
    HAMISH ROBERTSON: The spotlight on the handling of child sex abuse complaints has turned from the former Governor-General to the Queensland Premier.

    Peter Beattie has long been a critic of Dr Peter Hollingworth, and indeed tabled the Anglican Church's Board of Inquiry report in the Queensland Parliament nearly a month ago, which was critical of the former Archbishop of Brisbane.

    Well now Mr Beattie is being accused of protecting jailed paedophile and former Labor MP, Bill D'Arcy.

    As Louise Willis reports from Brisbane, Mr Beattie has angrily denied the claims.

    LOUISE WILLIS: Former Queensland Labor MP Bill D'Arcy is currently serving a lengthy jail term for raping and molesting children while he was a teacher in the 1960s.

    Concerns were first raised in the media about a then unnamed politician in August 1998.

    Bill D'Arcy resigned from Parliament in January 2000, citing a heart condition as his reason.

    D'Arcy was eventually convicted on 18 charges in November 2000, and last year had another six months added to his prison term for indecently dealing with another 12-year-old girl.

    Today, the Queensland Parliament was in uproar when several Opposition MPs accused Premier Peter Beattie of hypocrisy over his call for the Governor-General to resign over his handling of paedophilia complaints.

    OPPOSITION MP: Premier, I refer to an interview on ABC Radio on the 29th November 2000, a transcript of which I now table, given by former Labor Shadow Minister and Member for Whitsunday, Lorraine Bird.

    In this interview, she said, and I quote, "I advised him," that's you Premier, "that I'd had information regarding someone close to him, someone close to his office was about to be named or could have charges pressed against him. I also advised him someone in the position of power that, and he scoffed, he just put his head back and scoffed and laughed at me."

    Premier, why didn't you act immediately to remove a paedophile from your ranks, and aren't you just as guilty as the claim that Dr Hollingworth was in protecting your former paedophile colleague?

    OPPOSITION MP 2: Premier, what's the difference between letting a paedophile loose in a parish and letting one loose in an electorate? And aren't you guilty of the same thing you accused the Governor-General of, and will you be stepping aside as you asked him to do?

    LOUISE WILLIS: But an angry Peter Beattie has defended his actions over Bill D'Arcy, labelling the Opposition's claims the dirtiest, filthiest, piece of muckraking he's ever seen in Parliament. He's also accused the Nationals of opposing his bid to force D'Arcy to resign from Parliament.

    PETER BEATTIE: Mr Speaker, when I became aware of the matters involving Mr D'Arcy, Paul and I, Paul Braddy and I, went and met with Mr D'Arcy, who was accompanied by his solicitor, a well known solicitor called Terry O'Gorman, and during those meetings I made it clear, as I did subsequently, that in my view D'Arcy should go.

    The strongest opponent to me was Rob Borbidge, the leader of the National Party, and the record shows it. You cannot argue against it. It is black and white. Rob Borbidge wanted me to back off and leave D'Arcy in here. Well I didn't.

    Now, D'Arcy went to jail under my Government, Mr Speaker, and not only did he go to jail, Mr Speaker, I got rid of him. I got rid of him. I had no compunction about getting rid of him. But who stood in my way? The leader of the National Party and every one of those people who were in this Parliament at that time, who were part of the Coalition, should hang their head in shame. You were silent when I stood up against Bill D'Arcy to get rid of him. All of you backed Rob Borbidge. Every single one of you did. Oh yes you did. You have got guilt all over your hands.

    LOUISE WILLIS: Mr Beattie also told Parliament he'd become the victim of a political smear campaign.

    PETER BEATTIE: Now, Mr Speaker, I know that these transcripts of these two radio interviews were hawked around yesterday by the National Party, they were hawked around by the former Member for Whitsunday, the former Member for Burdekin, they were given to the media, they have been run out of the office of one of the most senior Liberal ministers in this country. Now, there is a smear campaign going on.

    I'll table a copy, Mr Speaker, of a letter that was letterboxed in the Logan suburb of Regent Park a couple of weeks ago. I'll table it. Mr Speaker, let me tell you this is about politics. It's about trying to destroy our credibility. When they stood up for Bill D'Arcy, we stood up for justice. And, Mr Speaker, I will not be put off fighting paedophilia because the friends of the paedophiles come in here and seek to denigrate me.

    HAMISH ROBERTSON: That was Premier Peter Beattie amid uproar in the Queensland Parliament. Louise Willis reporting in Brisbane.

    Former Labor MP says Peter Beattie ignored warnings about paedophile MP
    The World Today - Thursday, 29 May , 2003 12:29:02
    Reporter: Louise Willis
    HAMISH ROBERTSON: The former Queensland Labor MP Lorraine Bird has revealed that she warned the Labor Premier, Peter Beattie as far back as 1997 that someone in his Caucus was a child abuser. The Premier has been accused of failing to act when he first learned of the activities of the now-jailed paedophile Bill D'Arcy, who was also a former Labor MP.

    Mr Beattie says the claims are part of a Liberal Party smear campaign, as payback for tabling the Anglican Church abuse report critical of former Governor-General, Dr Peter Hollingworth.

    And in Brisbane today, the Premier adamantly denied he heard the allegations about D'Arcy and still did nothing, as Louise Willis now reports.

    LOUISE WILLIS: The former State Labor MP Lorraine Bird says she was ostracised by her party when she raised claims of paedophile rings operating in Queensland in 1997. And she says around that time she told then Opposition Leader, Peter Beattie this piece of information:

    LORRAINE BIRD: I just told him that I had information that someone within the ALP Caucus was a child abuser and charges would be forthcoming.

    Oh well, he just put his head back and just roared with laughter. You know, and I just said well that's my information, I just thought you should know, and he just said "righteo, okay" and off I went.

    LOUISE WILLIS: But now Premier Peter Beattie is adamant he learned about the activities of convicted child rapist Bill D'Arcy only moments before everyone else did.

    PETER BEATTIE: I knew when it was revealed publicly, and that was revealed in 1998. It became a matter of public record in the Courier Mail. I was told the night before at a function at the Greek Club that the Courier Mail was running a story. That's when became aware of it, and that was on in August 1998.

    LOUISE WILLIS: He is adamant he was never warned in any way by Lorraine Bird that someone in his Caucus was a child abuser.

    PETER BEATTIE: Let me make it clear, Lorraine Bird made no mention of anyone in Caucus to me, and indeed, can I just show you… tell you the proof for all of this. All the material that Lorraine raised with me was sent to the Children's Commissioner and the CJC [Criminal Justice Commission] and Kimmons [phonetic] did a report (he's a former judge) – all the material.

    If Lorraine Bird had had any information relating to any member of Caucus or anyone else, then it would have been sent to the CJC and properly investigated.

    LOUISE WILLIS: Now former Queensland Police Commissioner Jim O'Sullivan has weighed into the argument, defending his friend, Peter Beattie. Mr O'Sullivan supervised the investigation into Bill D'Arcy and says there is no way the Premier could have known about the complaint earlier than he says.

    JIM O'SULLIVAN: Well, I know the Premier well, he's a friend of mine. I thought it was quite sad that those sorts of things would be aired and alleged against him because, knowing him as I do, and knowing the position I was in at the time, I was in a position to know if any politician had been making any allegations or trying to interfere in the investigation. I would have known about it.

    LOUISE WILLIS: Former Queensland Police Commissioner Jim O'Sullivan.

    The spotlight in this row has now been turned onto the Queensland Opposition which first raised these claims against the Premier in the Parliament yesterday. Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg has been accused of being a pawn for his Federal colleagues in raising the claims, something he denies.

    But there's been no let-up today in his attack on the Premier in Parliament.

    LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: A check of the Hansard record will enunciate many, Mr Speaker, inconsistencies in the way that this Premier handled this issue. Not only that, Mr Speaker, I also table transcripts of this place where on 143 occasions, this Premier relied upon the vote of the now-convicted paedophile, Bill D'Arcy, to support his minority government. 143 three-votes. No less than 143 votes.

    SPEAKER: Order, order!

    PETER BEATTIE: Now I've had a quick look through this. It seems to me, and I may be being unkind, it seems to me that there is some material missing. And that material relates to the pairs that took place.

    The National party were prepared to give Bill D'Arcy a pair. If he was so bad, why did you give him a pair? Game, set and match.

    HAMISH ROBERTSON: That was the Queensland Premier Peter Beattie in State Parliament in Brisbane this morning.

    Beattie’s double standards on D’Arcy
    Mr Lawrence Springborg MP

    Beattie’s double standards on D’Arcy

    The Premier had displayed a gross set of double standards in allowing Bill D’Arcy to continue as Deputy-Speaker of the Parliament for nearly a year after allegations of his paedophilia were raised, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said today.

    “The real issue in this is not what he knew, but how he reacted to, what were at the time, very serious allegations,” Mr Springborg said.

    “Whether or not the allegations, that were proved, were true is not the issue. The issue is how did Mr Beattie react,” Mr Springborg said.

    “Mr Beattie made absolutely no moves to strip Mr D’Arcy of his job as Deputy-Speaker and Chairman of Committees, yet he demanded the (former) Governor General step down.

    “Mr Beattie has a displayed a gross set of double standards.

    “He allowed Mr D’Arcy to continue in two of the most important positions in Parliament for nearly a year after he was charged.” October 29, 1998 D’Arcy charged on 47 counts of child sex offences

    August 17, 1999 D’Arcy steps down as Deputy-Speaker and Chairman of Committees while two inquires are underway (NetBet Affair – internet gambling – not child sex allegations) January 7, 2000 D’Arcy resigns as Member of Parliament citing ill health

    Media inquiries: Greg Jackson 0419 713 246

    Premier hit over D'Arcy actions
    2nd September 1998, Peter Morley, state political editor:

    Labor MP Bill D'Arcy's heart condition partially influenced Premier Peter Beattie's call for him to resign after reports that police were expected to charge the backbencher with child-sex offences.
    Mr Beattie's concern about Mr D'Arcy's welfare led to claims last night by Opposition Leader Rob Borbidge that Queenslanders should question the Premier's credibility.
    Mr Beattie revealed earlier yesterday that he had raised Mr D'Arcy's condition when the two met on Sunday when the Premier suggested he resign in the interests of himself, his family and the Government.
    "I have been aware for some time that Mr D'Arcy has in fact had a heart condition, which is one of the reasons why I felt on Sunday when I raised this issue with him that these were one of the matters that he would need to take into account when he considered what his future was," Mr Beattie said.
    It was the first time the Premier has identified Mr D'Arcy as the person expected to be charged by police over (child sex) allegations that the backbencher has strenuously denied.
    Mr Beattie also referred to "Bill and his family" and discussions he had with "Bill" before telling journalists that he withdrew the references he should not have made.
    Before the press conference concluded, the Premier again said: "I stress to you that I withdraw the references to his name that I mentioned earlier. I had no intention of doing that."
    Later, the Premier's Department contacted journalists to get a "feel" for how they would report the matter.
    Media outlets, including The Courier-Mail, have been criticised by the Premier for identifying Mr D'Arcy, ignoring presumption of innocence and "disgraceful" reporting.
    Within the next fortnight police expect to conclude their investigations into allegations against Mr D'Arcy.
    Mr Beattie repeated that he wanted the matter resolved as soon as possible so that his Government could get on with its job.
    Mr Borbidge said the Labor administration represented an "accident scene" because of the Premier's credibility.
    "On Sunday, Mr Beattie told everybody it was partly because of the family that he felt the MP should resign his seat," Mr Borbidge said. "This was rejected by the MP's solicitor, who said the family wanted the MP to stay on and fight on.
    "But now, apparently, the MP has fairly quickly developed a heart ailment which means he should not keep sitting in Parliament. Where was the heart ailment at the time of the last election?"

    The Courier Mail

    Premier in escape act
    Matthew Franklin
    FEW Queenslanders fully understand this, but Premier Peter Beattie has just managed the biggest escape act since Harry Houdini.

    After Wednesday's guilty verdict against former Labor MP Bill D'Arcy for child rape, Beattie, already struggling with an electoral-rorting inquiry into the Labor Party, should have been devastated.
    Instead he was punching the air, convinced he had minimised the collateral political damage caused by harbouring a sex fiend in his caucus.
    "It could have been much, much worse," Beattie told his staff yesterday.
    If things had turned out differently, Beattie probably would have been forced to call a general election yesterday – an election he would have lost.
    Consider the history. Last year, Treasurer David Hamill poleaxed his own government by giving the state's first Internet gaming licence to Gocorp, which included D'Arcy and two other Labor figures as shareholders.
    The resulting favours-for-mates scandal outraged Queenslanders and dismayed Beattie, who could hardly believe his Treasurer's political stupidity.
    But the full horror of Hamill's mistake could not have been publicly appreciated at the time. This was because Hamill knew when he gave Gocorp the licence that D'Arcy was facing rape charges.
    Even worse, the bureaucrats who run probity checks on casino operators to ensure they're squeaky clean also found that pending child rape charges were no impediment to D'Arcy being given what was effectively a licence to print money.
    After his arrest, the law prevented publication of D'Arcy's name as the state MP facing sex charges. But everyone on George Street knew D'Arcy was the man. This newspaper had actually published D'Arcy's name before his arrest.
    An infuriated Beattie was forced into clean-up mode. He sidelined Hamill and created retrospective legislation to deny D'Arcy and the two other Labor figures profit from the Gocorp venture.
    Beattie rode out the Gocorp storm.
    But as 1999 ended, pressure mounted as he realised that some time in the New Year, D'Arcy could be committed for trial, meaning his name could be published.
    Terrified by the prospect of a perception that he was harbouring a paedophile, Beattie spent weeks pressuring D'Arcy to quit.
    Eventually (although Beattie has not confirmed this) he is understood to have threatened to back a Private Members Bill foreshadowed by Independent MP Peter Wellington to freeze D'Arcy's $660,000 superannuation payout. D'Arcy, a man fond of a dollar, saw the light and quit.
    D'Arcy's shameful debauchery and Hamill's unbelievable stupidity had potential to demolish the Government. But Beattie managed to defuse the bomb, ironically created by two members of the dinosaur-like Old Guard faction.
    Imagine if D'Arcy was still an MP when convicted on Wednesday.
    It might have run something like this:
    • D'Arcy would have been required to quit Parliament upon conviction, forcing a by-election and denying Beattie his one-seat parliamentary majority.
    • Beattie would have had to explain why he allowed his Treasurer to grant a gaming licence to a person he knew was an alleged child rapist.
    • D'Arcy, meanwhile, would have collected both his $660,000 in superannuation plus continuing profits from Gocorp.
    • And all this would have happened while the Labor Party continued to face the Criminal Justice Commission's ongoing probe into alleged electoral rorting.
    About a year ago, this is the nightmare scenario that Beattie faced.
    But Labor still faces serious questions.
    Surely the sex-fiend allegations had been raised among Labor Party bosses at some stage. Even putting aside the sex crimes, D'Arcy was known to colleagues as the Phantom because he was one of the laziest men to set foot in the Legislative Assembly. And that's saying something.
    Here was a man who did nothing for his battling constituents while living in luxury outside the electorate and neglecting his parliamentary duties while garnering information he used in complex business dealings to create personal riches.
    In short, this man is a despicable grub. Labor Party people, including D'Arcy's close friend and fishing pal Bill Ludwig, the Australian Workers Union faction heavy, ought to examine their strange concepts of loyalty.

    Herald Sun

    D'Arcy cops blast for sex charge
    By Ainsley Pavey

    CONVICTED paedophile Bill D'Arcy was accused of showing a total lack of remorse today when he was sentenced to six more months jail on a child sex charge.

    Brisbane District Court Judge Kerry O'Brien told the former Queensland Labor MP he deserved an extra jail term for his persistent unlawful sexual conduct as a teacher.
    "It was not a mere aberration," Judge O"Brien said at the sentencing hearing. It was conduct you have engaged in with some persistence in the past.
    "It must be seen as serious because of the age of the victim and a total lack of remorse."
    The judge's comments followed an outburst by the 63-year-old from the dock last week after he was found guilty of one count of indecent dealing with a girl aged under 17 between July 6, 1969, and May 28, 1972.
    D'Arcy asked God to forgive his victim and told the court he would defend his innocence until his "dying breath" after a jury found him guilty last week on one of three child sex charges.
    "Justice has been aborted in this witch hunt," D'Arcy said from the dock after the verdict.
    "I will not quit the fight. I forgive the victim involved and God's got to forgive them as well."
    Judge O'Brien ignored calls by D'Arcy's lawyers for a concurrent sentence, which would result in no more jail time.
    D'Arcy received a 10-year sentence two years ago for 18 child sex charges, including three of rape.
    Those charges related to his time at a tiny one teacher school in outback Queensland from 1962 to 1965.
    After appealing on the grounds he suffered from a heart condition, D'Arcy's sentence was cut from 14 years to 10 years.
    In the latest case, the defence argued D'Arcy remained in poor health and called for leniency as the charges were comparatively minor.
    But Judge O'Brien disagreed, saying the offences were at least five years apart and at completely different locations.
    D'Arcy was convicted of the least serious of the three charges which involved grabbing the breasts and undoing the bra of his 12-year-old victim while she sat on his lap.
    He was headmaster and one of only two teachers at a tiny school on Brisbane's southern outskirts at the time.
    As he was led away by prison staff, D'Arcy whispered the words "I love you" to his wife of 34 years, Lois, and one of his two daughters.
    His victim, who is now 43, left the court with friends and the detective involved in the case.

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