Tag Archives: heiner affair

Barnaby: “Senate Block Smells Of Cover-up”

7 Jul

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

‘That’s outrageous” the feigned emotive cry that echoes around the chamber. ”Shame” is another quintessential superlative.

I have never seen anyone buckle under these taunts. So I am going to combine the two and say it was an outrageous shame that one of the final acts of former Senator Steve Fielding was combining with the Greens and the Labor Party to block a motion by Nick Xenophon which would have allowed an Aboriginal lady to speak publicly about the events surrounding her rape, when she was only 14, at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1988.

Another chance to give the person her day of some sorts in a public examination of her plight has been removed. She wants the issue ventilated. She has received $120,000 by the Queensland Government as some sort of compensation but is that where justice stops? What about the perpetrators, what about the evidence that was destroyed? An inquiry would have allowed her to speak under parliamentary privilege.

This is our Watergate and in the last month the Parliament has once more participated in the cover-up.

The paradox is that there is a general belief in the community that the Greens would be the first party to vote for an inquiry which would allow a rape victim to have her case more thoroughly investigated.

But the Greens, Fielding and Labor voted as a block so that the vote was tied with Nationals and Liberals supporting Xenophon’s motion.

Unfortunately a tied vote is a lost vote in the Senate.

What discussions did Labor, the Greens and Fielding have to give reason to and co-ordinate this cover-up? A senate inquiry would assist to put this matter to the test of examination and such bring a form of transparency that has been severely lacking on this matter.

The media has been scared by those who have good reason to keep this under wraps by claiming that it’s just a conspiracy theory. Well if it is, then an inquiry would be the best way to dispense with this illusion. If that was the case then I suppose the supporters of this inquiry would look foolish. I would be very much at ease to be proved wrong in my suspicions and would happily accept the derision as the boil would be lanced.

In the absence of an inquiry there will be no resolution so we are not going to relent on the pursuit of this issue. The Greens and Labor have not solved their problem by not allowing this lady her inquiry, they have merely delayed the outcome and increased the serious question marks that are held as to their motivation.

We know the evidence pertaining to the rape at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre was shredded by the Queensland Government.

We know that those involved in the pursuit of justice on this matter, such as Kevin Lindeberg, have had to deal with afflictions such as family breakdowns, yet they have never relented after years of having their character and motivations besmirched by both politicians and at times the media.

The only defence that is put up against the more thorough ventilation of this issue is that of technicalities of process.

The events themselves are not in dispute. In 1988, a group of juveniles raped a 14-year-old girl at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre while two supervisors watched. No one has been brought to account for their actions in this affair, neither the perpetrators nor those whose duty it was to oversee and protect the young girl.

No one denies that information pertaining to this rape was shredded. No one denies that in the final week of the previous Senate a vote, to more properly deal with this issue and to give this victim some process of justice was organised so that an inquiry would not be conducted.

Labor, the Greens and others have to understand that an issue that is still alive so long after 1988 is not going to go away and the more that transparency is denied the more that questions will be asked about why.

A very bad taste is left from this cover-up and disparaging statements about this type of conduct in other nations now also rests with us.

Barnaby is right.

This is arguably the most disgraceful abuse of our system of governance ever seen in this country (my words).

Former Senator Fielding, and the Labor and Greens Senators all, should be rounded up and purged from our Parliament.

And IMO … jailed.

It seems that the last remaining shreds of moral integrity in our so-called “house of review“, reside with Senator’s Xenophon and Joyce.

Don’t forget to read Barnaby’s “outraged” press release on this –

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

“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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