“It Is Australia’s Version Of Watergate”

26 Jun

Journalist Piers Akerman is a certainly a polarising figure. But love or loathe him, one cannot deny that he has been a tireless campaigner in seeking to bring those responsible for the infamous Heiner Affair to account.

As has Senator Barnaby Joyce.

Akerman spoke with Barnaby this week about what has become Australia’s version of the Watergate scandal that brought down US President Nixon:

Fielding ignominiously leaves the Senate at the end of the month — and there is speculation that he may be feted by Labor with a government position in return for his support in blocking the inquiry [into the continuing coverup by the QLD and now Federal ALP Government’s of the pack rape of an aboriginal child in custody, implicating current Governor-General Quentin Bryce and the man who put her there, Kevin Rudd]. Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce said Fielding had acted reprehensibly.

“The Greens are untrustworthy, but Fielding has a job … or thinks he has a job,” the blunt-talking Queenslander said. “The victim really wants to be able to speak publicly but she has been paid $120,000 by the Queensland government to shut up. For me it is quite simple: It is Australia’s version of Watergate.

“This is a blunt and blatant form of cover-up in a deal with the Greens and now, apparently, Steve Fielding. What did the Labor Party say to him?

“Hetty Johnson rang me almost in tears after she had sacked him as chief of White Balloon Day. How could anyone vote against an inquiry into the rape of an Aboriginal girl?”

Joyce accused the Greens and Fielding of being party with Labor to an “organised cover-up”.

“If they think there is nothing there, let the inquiry proceed,” he said. “In life, some things worry you, this worries me to the core of my being. A girl has been raped and there has never been an open and public inquiry. Labor has never disclosed why it doesn’t want an inquiry.”

The Senate, he said, may be peculiar, there may be people with pretty extreme views, but no one ever thought they’d be complicit in outrageously dishonorable activities.

The action this week was dishonorable, he said. Even the Clerk of the Senate, Dr Rosemary Laing, said in a written advice on a submission received on this matter that “there is no doubt the subject matter is very serious”. Which surely begs another important question.

If the Clerk of the Senate, having read a submission, regards the matter as “very serious”, has the Senate acted improperly in attempting to have it swept under the carpet?

Further, the submission which she comments upon publicly has not been released, which must be a parliamentary first. Joyce’s description of this as Australia’s Watergate is most appropriate: It was not the crime that sank US President Richard Nixon, it was the cover-up.

This crime has a victim, a girl, then 14, raped in 1988. The perpetrators haven’t been charged. She received hush money from the Queensland government last year, effectively gagging her from speaking out. She needs to have her voice heard.

This is not about an old crime. It is about an ongoing and disgusting cover-up by shameless politicians and their hypocritical supporters in a ghastly denial of justice.

See Barnaby Joyce’s “outraged” press release on this matter – “Barnaby: Transparency Thwarted By Absolute Hypocrisy Of So-Called Champions Of Transparency”

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5 Responses to ““It Is Australia’s Version Of Watergate””

  1. Lefttothink June 26, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    While i agree that this is a disgusting affair this article distorts many things.

    While it is true that the victim received a payout and in turn signed a confidentiality agreement, it is hardly fair to say this was a hush up payment. It was an exgratia payment to a victim of abuse. If she didn’t want to be quiet she could have rejected the payment. Although in reality anyone would have signed it! And I don’t begrudge for doing it.

    And where was barnaby, the white knigh, 4 or 5 years ago when the coalition could have rammed this through! Too busy with work choices? Call me cynical but this is politically convenient. The coalition can now stand up with indignation and claim the ALP (and others) stopped democracy and failed to let this poor victim have her say!

    For the record she should have her say but barnaby and others should have taken the opportunity to hear it when they had the chance, not wait till it is politically convienent to watch it lose and the cry foul!

    • The Blissful Ignoramus June 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      Your argument is demonstrably specious.

      It appears you have not even bothered to check the related link/s before commenting. If you had bothered to check, you would see that Senator Joyce has been trying to have this matter heard for years … including when the Howard Government was still in power.

  2. Whacked June 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Shows you my ignorance that I have never heard about this… different States?
    I am utterly disgusted that this has transpired.

  3. Jenny June 30, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Those who have lived in Queensland know that this matter has dogged Queensland politics since 1989/90 but the Goss/Rudd regime so corrupted the system that it could not break through the cotrie of mates keeping a lid on it.

    Queensland’s unicameral system of government became an insurrmountable barrier and the CJC/CMC’s handling of the Lindeberg complaint aided in trying to bury it. Lindeberg persisted, and that is on the public record.

    It was only when it went to the Federal Parliament, firstly to the Senate in 1994 and on subsequent occasions that its unprecedented corruption started to surface.

    This is about a systemic continuing cover-up, and the incredible Fielding vote thwarted the Senate from finally lifting the lid. There can be no criticism of Barnaby in his efforts.

    If those who think that they managed to kill it off by the 32-32 vote on 23 June 2011, then they are sadly mistaken, in fact, their position now looks and is morally bankrupt.

    In fact so repugnant was the vote, that unless the Greens change their mind, they stand condemned as being as morally bankrupt as Fielding showed himself to be, and, in so exposing themselves, it gives the Greens less right to keep the Gillard Government in power to contnue on its ruinous road.

    The Heiner Affair may end up being the necessary trigger for a double dissolution of Federal Parliament. Left in its current state with the Heiner Affair being thwarted because of the Greens’ vote, we will have a political party without any moral authority directing our nation’s future.

    We may all have a differences on political philosophy but there is a general consensus that morality/ethical conduct can still exists on either side of politics.

    The Greens are now exposed over the Heiner Affair.

    More power to Barnaby’s arm. This matter must and will be resolved.

    “The tide of truth” is fast coming in and ‘Canute’ Brown will not be able to stop it.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus June 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Very well spoken, Jenny.

      My focus here with this blog is (obviously) on issues more directly relating to debt. However, I would greatly appreciate it if yourself – and any other readers who more closely follow the Heiner Affair issue – would keep me informed of any pertinent news or developments, with a view to their publication here.

      Many thanks in advance.

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