Previous month:
April 2013
Next month:
June 2013

May 2013

Are you not a racist? I'm not and I don't think Eddie is but let's spend a bit of time just to make sure.



Location 999 pretty much summed up how I felt earlier this morning.  I had a look at Location's comment (below), I clicked on the Barrie Cassidy link, I thought about "find and replace" the Eddie bits with Julia and Bruce, 4 and a half years etc versus 1.5 seconds, then decided to give it a miss and put my energies and your time into other things.

Now it's 9.20AM, I've just returned from driving Katarina to work and I listened to the first half hour of the morning show on one of Sydney's 2 commercial radio stations.  All Eddie Maguire, just like it was with their breakfast show.  The tone of the coverage was gleeful, enthusiastic and confident.   It's all about everyone being on the same side, Eddie's not really a racist (we all know that but just in case let me prove how well I know him) but he's really slipped up here for 1.5 seconds when he might have sounded insufficiently not racist.   It's crazy that this issue is taking up all our mind-space.   Eddie's 1.5 second King Kong comment and the opportunity it affords [insert name of commentator] to show off the superiority of their own non-racist views.

Here's Location 999's take from much earlier this morning:


Selective outrage by the Labor Goon Squad. Barry Cassidy 'Collingwood board must act on Eddie McGuire'. But not a word from Barry about Victoria Legal Services Board acting on Slater and Gordon and the false trust ledger record.


NBN Co is an independent company, off-budget, governed by an independent fiduciary board, but everything must be run by Conroy for approval

One day we will come to realise the scale of the ineptitude and wanton incompetence that killed young men in electrified ceiling spaces, burnt down houses and handed billions to favoured friends.  

Now the thinkers behind pink batts, school halls, East Timor/Malaysia/regional border protection et al bring their skills to the asbestos stored in the telecoms pit in your street.   There's a price for watching 5 youtube videos in fast forward all at once and it includes the liberation of asbestos fibres to settle in children's alveoli.

The NBN Co has all the right meetings, governance brochures, policies and processes.   And they're all meaningless, because of this:

According to NBN Co’s constitution, the board can only remove the CEO after “consultation” with the federal government, the company’s owner.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been a strong supporter of Mr Quigley and would be expected to oppose any attempt to replace him. His office declined to comment on the issue. Ms McKenna, Mr Quigley and Senator Conroy hold meetings once a week.

Here's the story in today's AFR from a man who really has pursued the NBN story relentlessly, John McDuling.


McKenna in push to replace NBN chief Quigley




NBN Co chairman Siobhan McKenna approached fellow directors to test support for chief executive Mike Quigley, a move that has created fresh tensions at the top of the $37.4 billion project.

Ms McKenna, who has been on the board of NBN Co for more than three years, asked other directors and senior staff for their views on Mr Quigley weeks after she became the new ­chairman in March.

Ms McKenna, who has pledged to take a more activist approach at NBN Co, considered assuming day-to-day responsibilities for running the company as executive chairman until the federal election in September, a move that would have required Mr Quigley to step aside, sources said.

According to NBN Co’s constitution, the board can only remove the CEO after “consultation” with the federal government, the company’s owner.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been a strong supporter of Mr Quigley and would be expected to oppose any attempt to replace him. His office declined to comment on the issue. Ms McKenna, Mr Quigley and Senator Conroy hold meetings once a week.

Upon assuming the chairmanship, Ms McKenna promised to take a tougher approach in dealing with NBN Co’s senior management team, and to reduce political interference in the largest infrastructure project in Australia’s history, the delivery of universal high-speed internet access.

Meanwhile, back at the street where you live:

Asbestos fears stop NBN work as workplace safety agency investigates

  • From:The Australian 
  • May 30, 2013 12:00AM

FEDERAL workplace safety regulators have ordered work to stop on parts of the National Broadband Network while they escalate an investigation into asbestos safety breaches near homes being connected to the $37.4 billion project.

Workplace safety authority Comcare told The Australian last night that it had issued stop-work orders at several sites and expected to issue more as it examined "poor standards" over asbestos hazards.


Many companies in Australia understand the dangers that Peter Garrett sang of before he got the roofing insulation gig.   Most house-renovating chippies don't blunder into liberating asbestos.  How could the NBN company with its billions stuff it up so badly?

The scale of the waste, disregard for lives and spin are beyond immediate comprehension.  Give it a decade or so I'd say.


Mark Dreyfus QC continues his slide - defending the indefensible and siding with the unspeakable

I'm told that the staff and attitudes in the office of the Attorney General during Robert McClelland's time as AG were open and easy to deal with.   Much of that persisted during Ms Roxon's reign.   Now the diminution in the stature of the office with the martinet Dreyfus makes even routine interactions unpleasant and unproductive.   He really has chosen some terribly bad company, in particular the world's 3rd highest paid politician Julia Gillard who isn't in it for personal gain at all, really.

Government dumps funding increase plan after Liberals withdraw support

This report was published by News Ltd late last night, Philip Hudson is the author

THE controversial plan to increase taxpayer funding for politicians by $58 million has been shelved after a voter backlash.

The Gillard Government has abandoned plans to put the legislation to a vote on Thursday in Parliament after the Liberals withdrew their support.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus was trying to resurrect the deal, which he said had been negotiated over "many months'' with the Coalition.

"We relied on very firm commitments from the Coalition,'' he told ABC'sLateline.

''This is a political compromise."

Mr Dreyfus is still hoping it might be voted on next week but admitted Labor "won't be proceeding'' if the Opposition walks away from the changes which have sparked voter anger.

Independent MP Tony Windsor said it ''puts a smear and a slur on all of us'' and Labor Senator John Faulkner said he was "ashamed".

Various Liberal and Labor MPs said it was a toxic decision for MPs to give themselves more money after a Budget that cut spending and put up taxed by $43 billion.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has avoided giving any public support for the plan and is being heavily lobbied by MPs to abandon it because it contradicted his claim there was a "Budget emergency".

Victorian Liberal Russell Broadbent said a large number of Coalition MPs opposed it and were disappointed by it.

The Opposition will discuss the policy in its shadow cabinet on Monday and party room on Tuesday.

Some Labor MPs said the timing of the deal was another example of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's poor judgment. "This is just putrid and has been handled badly,'' one senior Labor MP said.

We don't build communities and generate ideas by all the extra spending.  It's used to fund social media data-mining techniques and to import US IT-evangelists to bombard us with targetted Facebook posts.

Politics is fundamentally about people getting together to advance the ideas that unite them.   It's the physical togetherness, in branch meetings, in shopping centres, railway stations and in particular on polling days when earnest people look you in the eye and ask you to take their "how-to-vote" card.

Beyond filling the urn and the ladies bringing a plate, that doesn't cost very much.  I don't know that we're a lot better off for all the extra spending that finances the smarties' Porsches.

But that is the crowd that Gillard and Dreyfus have aligned themselves with.  The highly paid "ideas people".  Once the invoices are paid and the fees repatriated, do we ever look back and ask what we actually have to show for the dough?

Gillard who is not in it for the money

All Conroy NBN connections are free, some are more free than others

The Australian newspaper today reports on the NBN Company's false, misleading and deceptive shareholder minister Stephen Conroy.

'Free' hook-up call just a lie: Turnbull

  • From:The Australian 
  • May 30, 2013 12:00AM

THE Coalition has accused senior Labor ministers of a "flagrant falsehood" by claiming that connection to the National Broadband Network is free, and is demanding the competition watchdog force NBN Co to change the way it reports on its construction rollout.

The Australian also has obtained a letter that Mr Turnbull has written to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims, in which he takes aim at the Prime Minister and other ministers for claiming NBN connections are free.

Mr Turnbull's letter cites a brochure printed and authorised by Labor MP Jenny Macklin as well as Ms Gillard's Facebook page.

"Connection is not free," Mr Turnbull writes in the letter. "To be connected a consumer must enter into an agreement with a retail service provider for the latter to provide service. This, without exception, entails financial commitments that typically include initial fees and/or monthly service charges incurred over a contractually specified period."

But a spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy labelled Mr Turnbull's claims "a desperate distraction tactic" to hide the contention that homes would have to pay thousands of dollars to get a fibre connection under the Liberals' NBN plan. "Our statement that connection is free is not new. NBN Co (has been saying so on its) website for some time now," the spokesman said.

"We have been upfront from the start; we are delivering the NBN to all households with no connection cost for a standard installation because we believe everyone deserves access to fast, reliable broadband, not just those who can afford up to $5000."

The ACCC is unlikely to respond to Mr Turnbull's claims of misleading practices as political statements are not covered by the Competition and Consumer Act.

Here's how the ACCC once dealt with companies that offered free stuff that on closer examination of the bill turned out to be not so free

Accc free handsets


The ACCC will probably make allowances for the sheltered workshop leadership in the Gillard shareholder ministry.

It's almost as if there is a real world of laws, external factors like the cost of capital, environmental concerns like deadly asbestos fibres and generally accepted principles like telling the truth.

Then there is the extreme Conroy/Gillard/Swan et al fantasyland where a $50 billion NBN makes sense and it's free.

Those of us who practiced in selling phone calls, faxes, email services and moving pictures on computers remember well The Dude from One Tel.   One Tel's business plan involved re-selling services for less than it cost OneTel to purchase them.   OneTel didn't do that for very long.

Here are, respectively, OneTel's and NBN's dudes - both are hipsters (red Bonds 36 in Conroy's case) who are poor at arithmetic.           

Onetel dude Conroy dude

And here is our report of Gillard's NBN-for-free ads, our report to the ACCC, the ACCC's reply to us and our general mood that surely to God someone will pull the plug on this mob soon.

Mark Latham rang up the Legal Services Commissioner Michael McGarvie and apparently Julia's in the clear

Stand down the investigators!

Yesterday we reported (thanks to reader Ann) about Mark Latham and that time he rang up the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner Michael McGarvie.

Centuries of the common law and development of the legal profession were distilled by Latham into a few hundred words.   The finding of his research is that whatever Ms Gillard did; she did nothing wrong.

I was unsettled by Latham's incomplete and selective treatise on Legal Professional Privilege and I didn't want it to go unchallenged.

For completeness, here's Latham's stylised question and the hypothetical response from the Legal Services Commissioner (Victoria) Michael McGarvie - Latham's the writer:

In dealing with the various allegations against the Prime Minister in the Slater & Gordon matter, it is prudent to check the facts with the relevant legal and government authorities. Accordingly, I contacted the Legal Services Commissioner in Victoria, Michael McGarvie (the official who regulates lawyers and deals with ethical complaints against the legal profession) for comment on the obligations of lawyers in dealing with clients who may have broken the law.

While he would not reflect on the specifics of the Julia Gillard/Slater & Gordon matter, he was willing to answer the following hypothetical question: If a lawyer acts for a client and provides advice for the establishment of some kind of financial instrument but then years later believes that the client, in their use of the instrument, may have broken the law, such as in defrauding money, what are the lawyer’s obligations to report this matter to the police?

McGarvie answered: “The lawyer has a duty of confidentiality to the client, meaning that he or she is under no obligation to report the client to the police. The lawyer has a permanent obligation not to disclose material relating to a person for whom they have acted."

Latham's report of McGarvie's opinion is a breathtakingly incomplete treatise on the range of considerations confronting the ethical legal practitioner.    His approach is analogous to a "Dial A Verdict" service, where you ring up a public servant, describe the "facts" and receive a binding judgement.   Applying the Latham dictum to medicine you'd just ring up, pass on what the bloke at the fruit shop said about this bloke whose sister told a mate that she's a bit weary and instant diagnosis over the phone.

It's just not that simple.   Mr McGarvie's statements aren't correct for all circumstances.   If they were his prescription would be contrary to the interests of justice.   This sentence, quoted by Latham, is clearly bunkum as a one-size-fits-all guiding principle, "The lawyer has a permanent obligation not to disclose material relating to a person for whom they have acted".   While it's an over-simplification, if Mahommed Atta had disclosed his plans to fly planes into the World Trade Centre to a lawyer, how happy would we be with a legal system that precluded the lawyer from disclosing that insight to authorities?  

Latham is a cartoon character, Michael McGarvie is an important bureaucrat and you and I are confused.   The following papers might be useful reading for us all!

This scholarly work provides some Australian insights - Shrinking Scope of Legal Professional Privilege - Douglas Meagher QC


Here are some of the excerpts from Mr Meagher's work that might challenge Mr McGarvie:

As early as 1856 the Courts have enunciated the principles relating to the exception (of Legal Professional Privilege, or client confidentiality).  In Gartside v Outram (1856) 26 LJ Ch 113 Wood VC at p. 114 said:

"The true doctrine is that there is no confidence as to the disclosure of iniquity.  You cannot make me the confidant of a crime or a fraud, and be entitled to close up lips upon any secret which you have the audacity to disclose to me relating to any fraudulent intention on your part: such a confidence cannot exist . ....

And this Australian and more recent contribution to our Common Law:

The existence of the exception to the privilege was firmly established in Australia following the obiter dictum in Varawa v Howard Smith & Co (1910) 10 CLR 382. At page 385 Griffith CJ said:

"The rule was laid down very distinctly by Lord Halsbury LC in Bullivant v The Attorney General for Victoria:

'I think the broad propositions may be very simply stated:  for the perfect administration of justice, and for the protection of confidence which exists between a solicitor and his client, it has been established as a principle of public policy that those confidential communications shall not be subject to production.  But to that, of course, this limitation has been put, and justly put, that no Court can be called upon to protect communications which are in themselves parts of a criminal or unlawful proceeding.'

The rule is very well illustrated in the case of R. v Cox & Railton in which the communication stated and put in evidence was a communication made by a solicitor to his client for the purpose of enabling him to carry out an unlawful enterprise."

And here is Douglas Meagher QC's ultimate finding of fact.

This says nothing about the duty to report;  but once the privilege is removed, the shield vanishes and the ordinary duty cast on all citizens to report a threatened crime applies to the lawyer as well.

The foregoing relates to a threatened crime - for which in the case of the AWU Scandal and the failure by Gillard and her partners at Slater and Gordon to report we can substitute the word "continuing".    Gillard's failure to bring to the attention of authorities the existence of the AWU-WRA gave her boyfriend 8 months lead in selling the Fitzroy house and taking out money from various illicit accounts.

The Victorian Crimes Act codifies many of the provisions of the Common Law, the offence of misprision of a felony (the common law offence of failing as a citizen to report a serious crime) is not more in Victoria.   However failing to report a serious crime in circumstances where you receive a benefit as a result of the failure to report is a serious crime.   The threshold so far as the points of proof are concerned is quite low, any person who has information which might be of material assistance in securing a prosecution....

Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 326

Concealing offences for benefit


326. Concealing offences for benefit

(1) Where a person has committed a serious indictable offence, any other
person who, knowing or believing that the offence, or some other serious
indictable offence, has been committed and that he has information which might
be of material assistance in securing the prosecution or conviction of an
offender for it, accepts any benefit for not disclosing that information shall
be guilty of a summary offence and liable to level 8 imprisonment (1 year

There are many references online (and on this blog) to Legal Professional Privilege and the obligation of a lawyer.   It's really common sense - do you want your justice system to give special immunities to crooks?   Nor do I.  Nor do most of us.

Finally this paper is a bottler.   It's replete with real life experiences involving Powers of Attorney, conflicts of interest, crooked clients and the odd crooked lawyer like Gillard.

Here's the cover:

Turning a blind eye
And it includes these prescient words from McHugh J, often quoted on this blog:

Mchugh 1
Mchugh 2

Muso from Perth is a lovely man. Beautiful memories and some lovely people in this piece. Thank you.

Muso has sent me videos that feature yours truly in the past and I have said thanks but haven't posted them.   This one's quite lovely - great mates here and I thank Muso for some lovely memories.

Here's Muso's email to me accompanying the video - prepared I think in anticipation of another knockback:

"Do not feel self-conscious Mike!"

Formal complaint to the Legal Services Board of Victoria seeking the re-statement of the Trust Account Ledger entry for the AWU WRA's $67,722.30 cheque

You may recall that yesterday that Legal Services Board of Victoria advised me that its CEO apprehended a potential conflict of interest in dealing with my complaint.

I'm grateful to the Chair and General Counsel of the Board for their invitation to lodge a revised complaint and for their advice as to its form.

Just for the record, I wrote to Slater and Gordon's managing director on 8 May, 2012 and again on Wednesday, 22 May 2012.   I have not received a reply to either note.

For the completeness of your records, here is my letter to the Board of today's date:

Download Complaint legal services board, 29 May, 2013

The Law Institute Journal of Victoria of February, 1996 records Bernard Murphy's resignation as a partner from Slater and Gordon. It's silent on Ms Gillard.

Thanks to reader KC for this important piece of history.

A search yesterday of the monthly Law Institute Journals for the period from July 1995 to December 1996 turned up the notice of resignation of Bernard Murphy from Slater & Gordon, which was published in the Journal of February 1996. See attached. 

No similar notice was found for Julia Gillard over the same period.

Law institute journal


This mob's announcements are a product of the sick joke factory

This mob has no shame.

Look at Ms Gillard's treatment of anyone who reports on the apparent misappropriation of $1,000,000 odd in The AWU Scandal.   Hardly the actions of someone interested in the interests of justice.

Look at Bill Shorten's treatment of Bob Kernohan, who waited 9 years for basic termination of employment entitlements to be paid after being bashed and threatened to be killed.

And why all that mistreatment?   Read the announcement carefully and consider which "victim" groups are most likely to be further advantaged by this "enhancement". 






Minister for Emergency Management

Special Minister of State

Minister for the Public Service and Integrity




29 May 2013

PROTECTion for vulnerable witnessES and VICTIMS


Legislation to protect vulnerable witnesses and victims in Commonwealth criminal proceedings was introduced into Parliament today.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC said the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill will extend support to witnesses in Commonwealth criminal proceedings who are vulnerable either due to the nature of the offence, or to a particular characteristic, such as age, cultural background, or a disability. 

Protections available will include the ability to give evidence by closed‑circuit television, video recording or video link, and to have a support person accompany the witness when giving evidence. 

The protections will apply automatically to victims of human trafficking, slavery and slavery‑like offences, including forced marriage, in recognition of the extreme forms of trauma and exploitation they have experienced.

“Prosecutions for human trafficking and slavery rely heavily on witness testimony, so it is vital that we have measures to assist victims to give their best possible evidence to the court.

“The Bill will minimise the risk of re-traumatisation these victims face when giving evidence by providing appropriate support and protection,” said Mr Dreyfus.

The Bill will also allow all individual victims of Commonwealth offences to make a victim impact statement, outlining the harm they have experienced as a result of the offence. 

The Bill also makes some changes to the investigation and prosecution for people-smuggling offences.  It removes wrist X-rays as a prescribed age determination procedure, and ensures that the onus of proof in establishing age in people-smuggling prosecutions lies with the prosecution. 

This will ensure that legislation reflects the current practice of agencies not to use wrist X-rays to determine a person’s age, and that a person’s age is a matter for judicial determination, similar to other matters required to be proved at trial.