Russell James Hinze (19 June 1919 – 29 June 1991) was a politician in Queensland, Australia, 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 the Queensland Legislative Assembly from 1966 to 1988. His exit from Parliament occurred amid allegations that he had received corrupt payments.

Russ Hinze
StateLibQld 1 101488.jpg
Joh Bjelke-Petersen (left) with Russ Hinze, 14 October 1988
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for South Coast
In office
28 May 1966 – 25 May 1988
Preceded byEric Gaven
Succeeded byJudy Gamin
Personal details
Born
Russell James Hinze

(1919-06-19)19 June 1919
Oxenford, Queensland, Australia
Died29 June 1991(1991-06-29) (aged 72)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Resting placeLower Coomera Cemetery
NationalityAustralian
Political partyNational Party
Other political
affiliations
Country Party
Spouse(s)Ruth Elizabeth Byth (married 1947 divorced 1981), Faye McQuillan (married 1981)
RelationsKristy Hinze (granddaughter)
OccupationCompany director, Horse breeder

Early lifeEdit

 
A young Russ Hinze and his mother at the old weir, Oxenford

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

He started his career as a sugar cane cutter.[1] Later, he took up dairy-farming, like his father.[1]

PoliticsEdit

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 backbencher, 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. Between 1980 and 1987, he served as the Minister for Racing. Between 1980 and 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 May 1988, Hinze resigned from Queensland Parliament after damaging allegations were made against him during the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which was investigating corruption in Queensland during the Bjelke-Petersen era.[5]

Later lifeEdit

In December 1989 Hinze was charged on eight counts of having received corrupt payments of $520,000. However, he died from bowel cancer on 29 June 1991 aged 72 at the Allamanda Private Hospital in Southport, before the case went to trial. He was buried in Lower Coomera cemetery on the Gold Coast.[5]

After his death in 1991 Queensland Deputy Premier Tom 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."

Although the charges against Hinze were never proven in court, in 1990 another court case arising from the Fitzgerald enquiry convicted businessman George Herscu of paying Hinze $100,000 to enable a shopping centre development to go ahead. Herscu claimed he had paid Hinze to purchase racehorses for Herscu.[5][6]

LegacyEdit

Hinze Dam was named in honour of local pioneers Carl and Johanna Hinze (grandparents of Russ Hinze) who lived in the valley that was flooded by the dam.[7][8]

His granddaughter, Kristy Hinze, is a model.

ReferencesEdit

  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 9 July 2014.
  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. ^ a b c Stevenson, Brian F. (2014). "Hinze, Russell James (Russ) (1919–1991)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Disgraced tycoon George Herscu, 85, dies". The Australian. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  7. ^ What's in a Name: Hinze Dam. Brisbane, Queensland: ABC Radio. 5 June 2012. Archived from the original (streaming audio) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  8. ^ Thomson, Alister (25 July 2016). "Hinze dam at Advancetown reaches middle age". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 1 June 2019.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit

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