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SELWYN JOHNSTON

 

INDEPENDENT 

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(Cairns... Far North Queensland)

 

 

Thank you for visiting my on-line office. 

I appreciate your interest in the issues that effect not only Queenslanders, but all Australians. 

Please let me hear from you about your views on the issues that matter to your Family, your Community and your State.  

Sincerely,

Selwyn Johnston

 

One person, with the support of the community, can make a difference

 

 

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THE HEINER AFFAIR

 

THE DARKEST, THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS AND THE MOST CONTEMPTUOUS ACT

BY ANY QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT...

 

INDEX

Heiner Affair... What was the Role of Kevin Rudd?

Heiner Affair... A Matter of Concern!

      Heiner & Abbott

PLEASE EXPLAIN... MR RUDD! 

PM’s (RUDD) ABUSE APOLOGY IGNORES RAPE SCANDAL

University of Queensland - The Justice Project

WHERE CORRUPTION IS A GROWTH INDUSTRY

 

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..

THE HEINER AFFAIR... WHAT WAS THE ROLE OF KEVIN RUDD?

On Thursday, 16 August 2007, Premier Peter Beattie was presented with a letter signed by former Western Australian Chief Justice (David Malcolm), two retired NSW Chief Judges (Jack Lee, now deceased, and Dr Frank McGrath), two retired NSW Supreme Court Justices (Roddy Meagher and Barry O’Keefe), one of Australia’s foremost QCs (Alec Shand) and a legal academic and barrister (Alastair MacAdam) all seeking the appointment of an Independent Special Prosecutor into an unresolved outrageous injustice now known as the Heiner Affair, which has been poisonously suppurating since the days of the Goss government. 

A copy of this letter was also received by Queensland’s Governor, Chief Justice, Opposition Leader, Bar Association and Law Society. 

It followed the completion of a two-year audit by leading NSW QC, David Rofe, who prepared a 3000-page, nine volume report on the case and concluded there were 67 alleged unaddressed prima facie criminal charges that needed to be urgently addressed. 

At the heart of the matter is the order by the Goss Cabinet of March 5, 1990, to destroy all documents relating to an inquiry by retired magistrate Noel Heiner into the management of the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre. 

Heiner had been appointed by Premier Wayne Goss’s predecessor, Premier Russell Cooper, in late 1989 to investigate serious allegations of the abuse of children in the state youth detention centre, including the rape of a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl by male inmates in May, 1988, during a supervised bush outing, raised by several youth workers. 

Outrageously, this rape is still unresolved. 

Youth centre manager Peter Coyne and deputy Anne Dutney called on their senior union organiser, Kevin Lindeberg, of the Queensland Professional Officers Association, to protect their interests. Lindeberg was to become the whistleblower. 

Coyne and Dutney, not unreasonably, sought to see the specific complaints laid against them, so they could defend themselves before Heiner. This request was denied them. 

Barely a month after the Goss government came to office in December, 1989, it closed down the enquiry and transferred Coyne to other duties. He and Dutney engaged counsel to seek any Heiner material relating to them, while their solicitor placed the Queensland government on notice of the proceedings and instructed the government not to destroy any documents. 

The union joined the dispute on March 1 and Lindeberg was assured by the government that the material was safe - but it wasn’t. Cabinet decided to shred the material on March 5 and it was secretly fed through a shredder on March 23. 

In early March, Lindeberg inadvertently learnt of the secret shredding by a ministerial staffer, challenged it and was removed from the case at the request of the families minister. 

He was sacked by the union six weeks later, one charge being that he had been “inappropriate and over-confrontationalist’’ in “the Coyne case’’. 

After an outcry by union members, he was conditionally reinstated, but informed the union executive the shredding was a potential illegal act involving the entire Goss Cabinet, or the families minister or the departmental CEO. 

In August, he was again dismissed on challenged grounds under an arbitration forced upon him and subject to a divided union vote. 

Since then, Lindeberg has fought for justice. In 1998, he obtained access to the relevant March 5, 1990, Cabinet submission and received advice from senior counsel and Sir Harry Gibbs, a former Chief Justice of the High Court, that it contained sufficient inculpatory evidence to warrant charges under Section 129 of the Queensland Code to be brought against those involved in the shredding decision. 

In last Thursday’s letter to Beattie, the legal authorities “indicate our deep concern about its (the law’s) undermining, as the unresolved Heiner Affair reveals’’. 

They say that an “unacceptable application of the criminal law by prima facie double standards, by Queensland law-enforcement authorities’’ has been exposed by the successful prosecution of another person, Douglas Ensbey, for destruction of material which may be required as evidence under S129 - but not against members of the “Executive Government and certain civil servants for similar destruction-of-evidence conduct’’. 

“Compelling evidence suggests that the erroneous interpretation of S129 of the Code, used by those authorities to justify the shredding of the Heiner inquiry documents, may have knowingly advantaged Executive Government and certain civil servants,’’ they wrote, noting that the Queensland Court of Appeal case in 2004 exposed the erroneous interpretation. 

They also said they agreed with the late Sir Harry Gibbs, a former Chief Justice of the High Court, who advised that the reported facts (of the Heiner Affair) represent, “at least, a prima facie offence under S129 concerning destruction of evidence’’. 

This may all seem like a dry old argument, but it has enormous relevance right now. 

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd was Goss’s chief of staff at the time of the Heiner Affair and shortly after took on the newly-created position of Director-General of the Cabinet Office. 

According to Queensland academic Scott Prasser: “Rudd was the de facto power behind the throne. He was Wayne Goss’s closest adviser and the Premier’s Mr Fixit. He was the key man’’. 

Last December, Queensland Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson said: “Rudd’s chief credential for Labor leadership is that he knows power and has exercised it at the highest levels of government. He ran the government of Queensland for six years ...’’’ 

The Heiner Affair has been put squarely in the public arena by some of the most respected members of the judiciary and the legal fraternity, people not given to demonstrations of public outrage; but who felt that the shredding of evidence by the Goss executive represented a full frontal attack on the separation of powers, on the judiciary’s function. 

Given that the matter remains unresolved, there is no guarantee it might not happen again. 

These black letter law figures aren’t interested in politics or personalities, but they are gravely concerned about the conduct of the law and, in particular, the manner in which it was applied to a decision of the Queensland government at a time when, as it happens, Rudd held a position of great influence with unhindered access to Cabinet documents. 

With the Australian people soon to decide whether Rudd should be the next Prime Minister, it is time the Heiner Affair was thoroughly investigated and justice applied. 

 

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...

THE CORRESPONDENCE...

The Hon Peter Beattie MLA
Queensland Premier 
Executive Building 
80 George Street 
BRISBANE QLD 4000 

Dear Premier 

THE HEINER AFFAIR - A MATTER OF CONCERN 

We, the undersigned legal practitioners formerly on the Bench, currently at the Bar or in legal practice, seek to re-affirm our sworn duty to uphold the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth of Australia and to indicate our deep concern about its undermining as the unresolved Heiner affair reveals. 

We believe that it is the democratic right of every Australian to expect that the criminal law shall be applied consistently, predictably and equally by law-enforcement authorities throughout the Commonwealth of Australia in materially similar circumstances. We believe that any action by Executive Government which may have breached the law ought not be immune from criminal prosecution where and when the evidence satisfies the relevant provision. 

To do otherwise, we suggest would undermine the rule of law and confidence in government. It would tend to place Executive Government above the law. 

At issue is the order by the Queensland Cabinet of 5 March 1990 to destroy the Heiner Inquiry documents to prevent their use as evidence in an anticipated judicial proceeding, made worse because the Queensland Government knew the evidence concerned abuse of children in a State youth detention centre, including the alleged unresolved pack rape of an indigenous female child by other male inmates. 

The affair exposes an unacceptable application of the criminal law by prima facie double standards by Queensland law-enforcement authorities in initiating a successful proceedings against an Australian citizen, namely Mr. Douglas Ensbey, but not against members of the Executive Government and certain civil servants for similar destruction-of-evidence conduct. Compelling evidence suggests that the erroneous interpretation of section 129 of the Criminal Code (Qld) used by those authorities to justify the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents may have knowingly advantaged Executive Government and certain civil servants. 

This serious inconsistency in the administration of Queensland’s Criminal Code touching on the fundamental principle of respect for the administration of justice by proper preservation of evidence concerns us because this principle is found in all jurisdictions within in the Commonwealth as it sustains the rule of law generally. 

The Queensland Court of Appeal’s binding September 2004 interpretation of section 129 in R v Ensbey; ex parte A-G (Qld) [2004] QCA 335 exposed the erroneous interpretation that the (anticipated/imminent) judicial proceeding had to be on foot before section 129 could be triggered. 

We are acquainted with the affair* and specifically note, and concur with, (the late) the Right Honourable Sir Harry Gibbs GCMG, AC, KBE, as President of The Samuel Griffith Society, who advised that the reported facts represent, at least, a prima facie offence under section 129 of the Criminal Code (Qld) concerning destruction of evidence. 

In respect of the erroneous interpretation of section 129 adopted by Queensland authorities, we also concur with the earlier 2003 opinion of former Queensland Supreme and Appeal Court Justice, the Hon James Thomas AM, that while many laws are indeed arguable, section 129 was never open to that interpretation. 

Section 129 of the Criminal Code (Qld) – destruction of evidence – provides that:

“Any person who, knowing that any book, document, or other thing of any kind, is or may be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding, wilfully destroys it or renders it illegible or undecipherable or incapable of identification, with intent thereby to prevent it from being used in evidence, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for three years.” 

It concerns us that such an erroneous view of section 129 was persisted with for well over a decade despite the complainant, supported by eminent lawyers, pointing out the gravity of their error consistently since 1990 when knowing its wording and intent were so unambiguous, with authoritative case law available for citing dating back as far as 1891 in R v Vreones. 

Evidence adduced also reveals that the Queensland Government and Office of Crown Law knew, at the time, that the records would be discoverable under the Rules of the Supreme Court of Queensland once the expected writ/plaint was filed or served. With this knowledge, the Queensland Government ordered the destruction of these public records before the expected writ/plaint was filed or served to prevent their use as evidence. 

Such scandalizing of these disclosure/discovery Rules by the Executive also concerns us. So fundamentally important is respect for these Rules that the Judiciary’s independent constitutional functionality depends on it. 

Under the circumstances, we suggest that any claim of “staleness” or “lack of public interest” which may be mounted now by Queensland authorities not to revisit this matter ought to fail. Neither the facts, the law nor the public interest offer support in that regard. However, should such a claim be mounted, we suggest that it would tend to be self-serving and undermine public confidence in the administration of justice and in government itself knowing that the 2004 Ensbey conviction, taken by the same Queensland Crown, did not occur until some 9 years after the relevant destruction-of-evidence incident. 

This affair encompasses all the essential democratic ideals. The right to a fair trial without interference by government and the right to impartial law-enforcement, to say nothing of respecting the rule of law itself rest at its core. Respecting the doctrine of the separation of powers and our constitutional monarchy system of democratic government are involved. 

We believe that the issues at stake are too compelling to ignore. 

We suggest that if the Heiner affair remains in its current unresolved state, it would give reasonable cause for ordinary citizens, especially Queenslanders, to believe that there is one law for them, and another for Executive Government and civil servants. 

We find such a prospect unacceptable. 

We urge the Queensland Government to appoint an independent Special Prosecutor as recommended by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in its August 2004 Report (Volume Two - Recommendation 3) following its investigation into the affair as part of its national inquiry into “Crime in the community: victims, offenders and fear of crime”. 

Such an independent transparent process we believe will restore public confidence in the administration of justice throughout the Commonwealth of Australia, more especially in Queensland.

 

SIGNED...

The Hon Jack Lee AO QC – Retired Chief Judge at Common Law Supreme Court of New South Wales 

Dr Frank McGrath – Retired Chief Judge Compensation Court of New South Wales 

Alastair MacAdam, Senior Lecturer, Law Faculty, QUT Brisbane, and Barrister-at-law 

The Hon R P Meagher QC - Retired Justice of the Supreme and Appeal Court of New South Wales 

The Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC, Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, former ICAC Commissioner 

Mr Alex Shand QC 

The Hon David K Malcolm AC CitWA, former Chief Justice of Western Australia

 

For further details see Kevin Lindeberg’s article recently published “Upholding the Australian Constitution” 

 

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....

 

PLEASE EXPLAIN... MR RUDD! 

FEDERAL Opposition leader Kevin Rudd may be called to answer questions relating to the destruction of evidence as a police investigation into the rape of a Queensland girl 19 years ago gains new momentum. 

The girl, who we will call Alice, was just 14 at the time and resident at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre, in the care of the Queensland Government, when she was gang raped by other inmates. 

Though some of the rapists confessed, no charges were pressed and the police inquiry at the time was at best belated and perfunctory. 

Alice’s tragic story is but one strand of this horror, the other is the Goss ALP government’s attempt to ignore her plight and bury the incident without trace. 

That attempt began when an investigation, directed by former magistrate Noel Heiner and launched by the Cooper National Party government, was shut down by the Goss government when it came to power. 

The Goss cabinet ordered the shredding of all the documents collected by Heiner and this marked the beginning of the Heiner Affair. 

Rudd was Premier Wayne Goss’s chief of staff at the time and subsequently became the director-general of his cabinet office. 

It was widely held that nothing took place within cabinet without his knowledge, and he has also claimed his experience running Goss’s cabinet has equipped him to be prime minister of Australia. 

Though both Rudd and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie claimed as recently as last week that the shredding of the documents needed no further investigation, it has never been fully examined. 

Both Rudd and Beattie also rejected the view of former chief justice of the High Court, Sir Harry Gibbs and an unprecedented plea from a former West Australian chief justice (David Malcolm), two retired NSW chief judges (Jack Lee, now deceased, and Dr Frank McGrath), two retired NSW Supreme Court justices (Roddy Meagher and Barry O’Keefe), one of Australia’s foremost QCs (Alec Shand) and a legal academic and barrister (Alastair MacAdam) that an independent special prosecutor be appointed to examine the matter. 

The most thorough inquiry to date was conducted by a House of Representatives committee chaired by federal MP Bronwyn Bishop, which recommended that “members of the Queensland cabinet at the time that the decision was made to shred the documents gathered by the Heiner inquiry be charged for an offence pursuant to Section 129 of the Queensland Criminal Code Act 1899. Charges pursuant to sections 132 and 140 of the Queensland Criminal Code Act 1899 may also arise’’. 

Further, a recent two-year audit of the matter by prominent Sydney QC, David Rofe, which ran to 3000 pages contained in nine volumes, concluded there were 67 unaddressed alleged prima facie criminal charges against the cabinet and civil servants that needed to be urgently addressed. Alice still suffers profound psychological problems, exacerbated by repeated charges that she is a liar, but filed a complaint with the Queensland Police Service in March 2006, following the release under Freedom of Information legislation, which included evidence that the rapists had confessed to both a staffer at the youth centre, and the director of the facility, Peter Coyne. 

The documents show that not only was she raped, she was also denied her legal rights by the Queensland police - and those entrusted with her care. 

Alice has been interviewed by members of the Queensland police taskforce Argos, and a senior detective from Argos last Tuesday sought an interview with another person who has maintained an interest in the matter. 

Rudd, who describes himself as a “compassionate Christian’’ has not sought any inquiry into the attacks on the girl and has not offered any explanation of the destruction of the documents, though he had the responsibility for the business of the cabinet. 

Whether the Queensland police are now up to fully investigating such a highly charged political matter, given their studious attempts to ignore it, is questionable. 

As a number of the nation’s most senior legal figures have pointed out, there is a strong precedent for bringing charges against those who ordered and participated in the shredding of the Heiner material, as shown by the case brought against a Baptist pastor Douglas Ensbey. 

Ensbey suspected that a member of a family in his congregation was being abused and, while dealing with the mother, was given pages of notes written by the victim. 

The family said they would deal with the issue and asked for the pages back, but Ensbey had guillotined them, making them difficult to read. 

The victim , aged 20, went to the police and the then alleged assailant immediately confessed. The police, however, concentrated on the sliced pages and charged Ensbey with the destruction of evidence under S129. He was found guilty by a jury in March 2004, convicted and sentenced to two year’s jail (reduced on appeal to six months, wholly suspended). 

The action of the Goss cabinet falls under the same section of the law the police used to pursue Douglas Ensbey. 

Many see parallels in the campaign by crusaders against child abuse to hound former governor-general Peter Hollingworth from office, though it was never alleged he was involved in a crime. 

Former Opposition leader Simon Crean said: “You cannot have people in authority who have covered up for child sex abuse. It is as simple as that’’. 

And it is. But what can be said about an Opposition Leader who may have been complicit in the illegal shredding of evidence? 

If the ALP stands by the standards it applied to Hollingsworth, Rudd should resign and answer the questions that the Queensland ALP has worked hard to avoid for 19 years. 

If he has a shred of decency, he would consider Alice, and her need for release from the hell she has been forced to live in because of this nauseating cover-up.

 

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02

WHERE CORRUPTION IS A GROWTH INDUSTRY...


Former crime buster Tony Fitzgerald injected a long overdue note of reality when he marked the 20th anniversary of his report on Queensland corruption with a warning that the State was at risk of ``sliding back’’ into its dark past. 

Queensland has long been imbedded in the mire of corruption, and will remain so while much of the media wastes its time on self-congratulatory programs rather than exploration of the grim truth. 

As Mr Justice Barry O’Keefe, a former NSW Supreme Court Justice who was Commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption from 1994 to 1999, told a packed audience at a public sector conference on Wednesday, much work needs to be done. 

“Here in Queensland, there is of course the involvement of what was formerly the Criminal Justice Commission, now the Crime and Misconduct Commission, in the Heiner affair in which, by direction of Cabinet, documents relevant to an inquiry and to possible criminal and other proceedings were destroyed,’’ he told a crowd of 250 or more to sharp intakes of breath. 

“The opinion has been expressed by a former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the now late Sir Harry Gibbs, that these activities involved in prima facie a criminal offence. 

“A like view has been expressed by a leading silk in Queensland and a recent and lengthy submission by David Rofe QC, a very senior practitioner at the NSW Bar, has raised serious questions as to the actions involved in the destruction of the documents in question. 

“Regrettably, this matter does not appear to have been taken up by the anti-corruption body to which it has been referred, notwithstanding the eminent opinions that have been expressed and the writing of a letter by a number of former judges (of which, I was one) and eminent practitioners seeking to have the matter made the subject of an investigation and the appointment of an independent special prosecutor in order to restore public confidence in the administration of justice, especially in Queensland.’’ 

Among those present were chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority of New Zealand Justice Lowell Goddard; Philip Moss, Commissioner, Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity; Alan Barrett, principal policy officer, West Australian Public Sector Commission, and a number of representatives from the Corruption and Crime Commission of Queensland. Francis Lee, the director of investigations of the ICAC in Hong Kong, was also there. Justice O’Keefe, who noted that, in NSW, ICAC’s budget has been cut by 44 per cent in real terms since he ran the organisation, is one of a number of the nation’s most senior judicial figures who have pressed for an inquiry into the Heiner affair. 

Senior journalist Bruce Grundy, who lost his job with Queensland University because he refused to stop looking at corruption within the Queensland Government, says the rewriting of history in the corruption State has been shameful. 

In a note to ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien last week, he asked why the media failed to keep Labor politicians accountable in the wake of Fitzgerald, and specifically referred to the shutting down of the Cooke inquiry into union scams and rorts and the fraudulent ripping off of superannuation funds; the shutting down of the Heiner inquiry, which heard evidence of child abuse at the John Oxley youth detention centre, and the subsequent illegal shredding by the Goss Labor Cabinet and its friends of documents known to be required for legal action. 

Grundy said these illegal actions were excused by the great and wonderful new watchdog on the basis of a fraudulent and scurrilously disingenuous interpretation of the law. 

When a citizen later went down on the same offence, to overcome being seen too widely as a laughing stock, the watchdog employed the ``noble cause’’ excuse (now regarded as reprehensible) to continue the charade relating to the shredding. 

The cover-up of the shredding offence at the heart of the Heiner affair has grown over the years to involve several dozen high-ranking officials, including the current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Governor General, Quentin Bryce. 

Distressingly, even senior media figures have downplayed the original gang rape of a ward of the State, with my colleague, The Daily Telegraph’s Malcolm Farr, last month describing the victim on his blog as a “girl who was groped’’ though two of the boys who assaulted her admitted to rape the day after the attack. 

Queensland Police have constantly ignored their statements and have claimed the victim consented to the attack _ despite all evidence to the contrary and the fact that the victim was 14 and too young to consent at the time. 

Queensland continues to fight her efforts to win any compensation and its Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee broke its own establishing legislation, by failing to act in a bipartisan fashion when it continued the cover-up of this crime. 

In the Sunshine State, vote rigging, favours for mates and rorts continue to be the order of the day. 

Prime Minister Rudd, the favourite son who was at the epicentre of this disgraceful state of affairs, now piously holds a press conference at the door of his local parish church each Sunday. 

As Justice O’Keefe reminded his audience: ``A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds.’’ 

The nauseating hypocrisy displayed by Mr Rudd is the true measure of progress in the fight against corruption in the 20 years since Fitzgerald. 

2 August 2009 

 

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31

PM’s ABUSE APOLOGY IGNORES RAPE SCANDAL... 


THE hypocrisy of the Rudd Government’s announcement that it would apologise to Australians robbed of their innocence in state and church institutions is beyond breathtaking. 

Possible recipients should consider its worth, in light of the failure of Prime Minister Rudd’s stage-managed Sorry Day stunt to achieve any changes in the sorry state of Aboriginal affairs. 

While a putative apology has been welcomed by representatives of the 500,000 or so Australians placed in some sort of care through the 1900s, it does not marry with Mr Rudd’s personal denial of the unresolved Heiner Affair, which had at its heart the plight of those in care. 

It does nothing to address the massive abuse of power that has thwarted the carriage of justice against the Goss Cabinet members and the public servants who assisted them in destroying documents relating to the illegal treatment of Queensland state wards and known to be wanted as evidence. 

Those documents, from an inquiry being conducted by the late former magistrate Noel Heiner, involved sexual attacks including pack rape at Queensland’s John Oxley juvenile detention centre. 

Mr Rudd was then the powerful chief of staff to Premier Wayne Goss. In recent years, Mr Rudd has offered conflicting and incredible versions of his knowledge of the criminal destruction of the files. 

The entire Goss Cabinet was aware of the criminal nature of the act. The Cabinet submission, which would almost certainly have been vetted and approved by Mr Rudd, details the triggering elements for sections 129 and 132 of the Queensland Criminal Code, which deal with the offences of destruction of evidence and conspiracy to defeat justice. 

Mr Rudd, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, Governor General Quentin Bryce and others should be aware that the Queensland Studies Authority has now approved for use in the education system a text book for Year 11 and Year 12 students that encourages pupils to “research what has become known as the Heiner Affair” and “select pages from Australian websites and, as a group discuss the issues addressed”. 

The text, Business Communication and Technologies in a Changing World, Macmillan Education Australia, is one of a number of academic books worldwide that cite the Heiner Affair as one of the world’s major political scandals. 

Speaking of scandals, Mr Rudd had the rug pulled from under his feet with the overdue collapse of the Federal Police case against the Australian Wheat Board over payments made under the auspices of the United Nations’ corrupt oil-for-wheat program, which he claimed on January 19, 2006, was “the biggest corruption scandal in Australia’s history” and “one of the biggest corruption scandals that we have ever seen around the world”. 

Mr Rudd even accused former PM John Howard of lying about the AWB affair, declaring in 2006: “Documents demonstrate that we have an Australian prime minister who is a liar and I use the term precisely and intentionally.” 

He never produced proof of that outrageous smear, nor an apology. 

The veracity of the Heiner Affair, however, has been solidly supported and is the subject of a nine-volume 3000-page report by David Rofe QC which alleges there are 68 prima facie criminal charges capable of being brought against officials caught up in the scandal, including Mr Rudd. 

Queensland students will find that a raft of the nation’s most highly respected retired superior court judges, including several chief justices and underpinned by earlier support from former Chief Justice of Australia Sir Harry Gibbs, issued a statement in August, 2007, urging former premier Peter Beattie to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. 

They claimed it struck at the very heart of the rule of law in Australia. He and Ms Bligh rejected their request. 

Further, the students will find that Ms Bligh, who in recent months has proclaimed her desire for openness in government, stated (according to Hansard, August 25, 1998) her determination to ensure that no one will ever discover what happened under the Goss government because “we have restored the tradition the Premier eats the attendance register; you can take us to the Court of International Justice and attendance register will remain in the bowels of the former Labor Premiers”. 

They will also discover that as recently as January 7 this year, the Labor-dominated parliamentary crime and misconduct committee voted not to refer evidence relating to the Heiner Affair to an acting parliamentary commission for independent examination and advice. 

This decision breached Section 295 of the Crime and Misconduct Act and undermined the bipartisanship of the Fitzgerald reform process in the fight against corruption in Queensland. 

Add to that his record of deliberately avoiding the truth when inconvenient - think false claims about the Sunrise Anzac Day ceremony or his meetings with disgraced former WA Premier Brian Burke, to mention just two cases - and it becomes clear Mr Rudd’s credibility is as shredded as the Heiner documents. 

Recipients of any apology from Mr Rudd should give careful consideration before becoming stage props at yet another Labor stunt. 


Monday, August 31, 2009 

 

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