Queensland corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald says voters should reject the major parties for their failure to improve political standards.

The man who headed a landmark Queensland corruption inquiry in the 1980s is urging voters to reject the major parties at next year’s state election.

Tony Fitzgerald, a trenchant critic of Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party government, has broadened his attack to include the Labor opposition.

While the former judge has previously criticised the Beattie and Bligh governments, he says Labor appeared to be waiting to assume power without making commitments to improving transparency or apologising for the corrupt conduct of former ministers on its own side.

“It’s difficult to perceive what legitimate reason a party seeking election in a democracy could have for declining to make commitments,” he said in notes distributed at Griffith University School of Criminology’s biennial lecture named in his honour.

Mr Fitzgerald said neither major party wanted political standards to become an electoral issue, and urged voters to show their disapproval.

“Neither will willingly reform the flawed political process which they control and from which they each benefit,” his prepared speech said.

“If Queenslanders want a free, fair, tolerant society, good governance and honest public administration, a sufficient number of voters must make it clear that they will decline to vote for any party which does not first satisfy them that it will exercise power only for the public benefit.”

He urged both parties to pledge measures ensuring all government decisions were made without regard for “personal, political or other considerations”.

“All people to be treated equally with no person given special treatment or superior access or influence; and all public appointments to be made on merit,” his speech said.

But instead of relying on his prepared speech, Mr Fitzgerald issued an off-the-cuff address on Wednesday night in Brisbane to criticise The Courier-Mail newspaper.