Tag Archives: governor general

Our Politicians Do Not Swear Allegiance To Us

13 Apr

Gillard2

Here’s an interesting factoid that I never thought to check, until this morning.

Ever wondered why it is that, on the occasion that new MP’s, senators, cabinet ministers, and/or Prime Ministers are “sworn in”, your TV may show you moving images of the ceremony, but never the sound-in-full?

From the Australian Constitution Part IV, section 42:

Oath or affirmation of allegiance

Every senator and every member of the House of Representatives shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before the Governor‑General, or some person authorised by him, an oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form set forth in the schedule to this Constitution.

And what does that schedule to the Constitution require?

OATH

I, A.B. , do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law.
SO HELP ME GOD!

AFFIRMATION

I, A.B. , do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law.

(NOTE: The name of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the time being is to be substituted from time to time.)

Just sayin’ ….

“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”

Barnaby On Heiner Affair: “Transparency Thwarted By Absolute Hypocrisy Of So-Called Champions Of Transparency”

23 Jun

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 23 June 2011:

Heiner Affair Still Under Wraps

Today, the Senate dealt with a matter of grave seriousness involving an incident where a girl who was allegedly raped at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1988 by 2 people.

Today, Senator Xenophon proposed a Senate inquiry into this matter which would have given the victim her opportunity to speak out under the rules of Parliamentary privilege.

It was bitterly disappointing to once more see the process of transparency thwarted by the absolute hypocrisy of the so-called champions of transparency and independence, Senator Fielding and the Greens.

The issues pertaining to the events surrounding an occurrence at a corrections centre in Queensland once more have drawn a dark pall over our Chamber as an unholy amalgam was brought together to preclude a lady from a process that the Parliament of this nation should have given to her.

You can leave this Parliament in dignity or you can leave in disgrace. Senators should reflect strongly on which alternative they choose.

I’d like to refer to a speech I gave on this matter in 2007 when I first attempted to table the Rofe report:

I have crossed the floor on the legal rights of David Hicks. I was part of the reason the legal rights of the West Papuan refugees were preserved. But it is only now, when the people in a position of power are threatened, that there are those who state it is smear and muckraking. Fiat justitia ruat caelum: though heaven may fall, justice will be done. This issue has seen the attempt to use the mechanisms available in Queensland, and they have obfuscated, contrived and corrupted the process. Public ventilation of these crimes is crucial in bringing this issue out of its contrived maze and into the light of conclusion. … A proper investigation may dispel these. I seek leave to move that the documents in the Rofe report now be tabled.

Senate Hansard, 19 September 2007

The response was this:

Leave not granted.

There’s a very good reason why this despicable affair remains hushed up.

It would bring down the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

A great mate of the bloke who appointed her.  KRudd.

And mother-in-law of the PM-in-waiting (and the man already planning to steal your super), Bill Shorten.

For more on the Heiner Affair, see here.

UPDATE:

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Family First Senator, and sexual abuse survivor Steve Fielding, has been dumped as the patron of White Balloon Day, an awareness campaign for child sexual abuse victims, on his last day in Parliament, for failing to support a Senate inquiry into sexual abuse.

Greens and government Senators also failed to back Independent Senator Nick Xenophon’s motion for a Senate committee to investigate the alleged pack rape of a 14-year-old girl at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in Queensland in 1988.

An inquiry into the case was shut down by the Queensland Goss government in 1990, with documents controversially shredded. Last year the victim was paid $120,000 in ‘‘hush money.’’ There has been four investigations into the case to date.

Leader of the Nationals in the Senate Barnaby Joyce was outraged Senator Fielding and the Greens did not support the bill.

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