Russ Hinze

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Russell James Hinze
StateLibQld 1 101488.jpg
Joh Bjelke-Petersen (left) with Russ Hinze, 14 October 1988
Born 19 June 1919
Oxenford, Queensland, Australia
Died 29 June 1991 (aged 72)
Nationality Australian
Occupation Politician
Relatives Kristy Hinze (granddaughter)

The Hon. Russell James "Russ" Hinze (19 June 1919 — 29 June 1991) was a Queensland politician in the 1970s and 1980s. He presided over an era of controversy that included the setting up of the Racing Development Fund, ministerial re-zonings and the licensing of Jupiters Casino. His career in public life spanned almost four decades, first in local government in the 1950s and 1960s, and then in State Government from 1966 to 1988.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Russell James Hinze was born on June 19, 1919 in Oxenford on the Gold Coast of Queensland. His father was a dairy farmer.[1]

Career[edit]

He started his career as a sugar cane cutter.[1] Later, he took up dairy-farming, like his father.[1] After becoming chairman of the South Coast Cooperative Dairy Association, he was elected to the Albert Shire Council in the early 1950s, serving as shire chairman for nine years from 1958 to 1967.

In 1966, Hinze entered the State political arena as the member for South Coast, representing the then Country Party. After eight years as a backbench member of the Coalition Government, he was promoted to Cabinet. In 1971, while still a back bencher, he was part of a plot within the Country Party parliamentary wing to topple Joh Bjelke-Petersen that failed only when Bjelke-Petersen broke a tie in the party-room meeting by voting for himself.[2]

Between 1974 and 1987, he served as the Minister for Local Government and Main Roads. Later, from 1980 to 1987, he served as the Minister for Racing. Finally, from 1980 to 1982, he served as the Minister for Police.[3] These ministerial positions earned him the commonly known title of 'Minister for Everything'[4]

Headstone in Lower Coomera cemetery

In February 1988, Hinze resigned in disgrace from State Parliament after damaging allegations were made against him during the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which was investigating corruption in Queensland during the Bjelke-Petersen era.

Death and personal life[edit]

He died on 29 June 1991, aged 72, before criminal charges relating to alleged corruption could be brought against him, and was buried in Lower Coomera cemetery, Gold Coast. After his death in 1991 Queensland Deputy Premier T.J. Burns remembered him in parliament with the following anecdote: "The best cartoon of him was the one that showed him as a bulldog. I saw him on television describing why he would rather be a bulldog than a mouse, but he was shown as a bulldog with dark glasses and a white cane outside a casino and brothel in the Valley that had a flashing neon light, saying he did not know there were any there."

His granddaughter, Kristy Hinze, is a model.

Legacy[edit]

Hinze Dam was named in honour of the Hinze family who lived in the valley that was flooded by the dam.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bob Katter, An Incredible Race of People: A Passionate History of Australia, Millers Point, New South Wales: Murdoch Books Australia, 2012, p. 300
  2. ^ Watts, Tim. "Joh’s First Leadership Challenge". Blogging the Bookshelf. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  3. ^ Bob Katter, An Incredible Race of People: A Passionate History of Australia, Millers Point, New South Wales: Murdoch Books Australia, 2012, p. 297
  4. ^ Hansard, 16 July 1991, pp. 6, 10, 14
  5. ^ What's in a Name: Hinze Dam (streaming audio). Brisbane, Queensoland: ABC Radio. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Eric Gaven
Member for South Coast
1966–1988
Succeeded by
Judy Gamin