My mum and dad had some of the best mates you could ask for - these photos from Rockdale CYO late 1950s tell the story
A beautiful photo of Heidi, Charlie and the new addition to the Jason Morrison tribe Oliver, one week old today

Our Right to Feel Safe.

I started on the radio in 2008.    Each month I was on the air I felt a growing unease amongst my listeners - and fear of becoming a victim of crime was at the heart of it.

It showed up in community outrage about piddling sentences and crazy bail and parole laws that saw too man serious offenders on the street.   It was reflected in government policies that prohibited police or other agencies from talking about gangs.   According to the Bligh Government there were no gangs - just occassional groups of "like-minded-individuals".

In early 2010 we decided to do something about it.  We hosted a forum with the Attorney General, Police Minister, Police Commissioner, Opposition Leader, Police Union, judges, magistrates and sundry other concerned people.   They had nowhere to go - and I was surprised by the vehemence and anger in the crowd.   A feeling that they simply weren't safe was very real for the people at the forum.

In the last 24 hours I've been asked for the details of the event by a government-agency in Queensland.   Rather than just send the stuff off to that agency, I thought I'd post it all here for anyone who's interested to come and have a look.

I get the sense that the time is ripe for something similar in Sydney right now - where the State Government's Attorney General seems to be more of a social worker than first law officer.

Here's a link to the petition we handed to the Attorney GeneralCameron Dick.

Here's 4BC's website from the event, archived at the Wayback Machine.


And this young mum was undoubtedly the star of the show.   Nicky was sitting quietly in the audience, then asked for the microphone to make her impromptu speech.  I've seldom heard so powerful a presentation in so brief a time.   The chastened Attorney General Cameron Dick spoke directly after Nicky.

Our right to feel safe

Feel Safe

rightDid you miss the 4BC Our Right to Feel Safe forum, listen to the highlights here.


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Jock Tamsons Bairns

We need a society that addresses and adheres to PC matters - where PC stands for "Publicly Concerned".

I do get the feeling things are starting to change for the better.


Unfortunately, the judiciary and immigration policy have been cast as untouchable by all major parties for at least 30 years.
Only recently have we seen just how boldly the institute of propaganda (ABC) has joined this elite group.

Time now to receive my cat of nine tails re-education. Here comes Tanya in leather now.


"THE Gillard government has become a Labor refugee camp for out-of-work premiers and ex-Labor government and union officials.

Former Queensland attorney-general Cameron Dick was appointed to the chair of the Safety.

Former Queensland premier Anna Bligh was appointed to the board of Medibank Private three days earlier.
ex-Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser was appointed to Australian Sports Commission board.
Mr Fraser also joined the board of the new Moorebank Intermodal Company"


That young mother speaks on behalf of all the decent law abiding citizens who have fewer protections and rights in their own country. I applaud and admire her. This is the reason I disregard the laughter of friends who tell me I'm wasting my time witnessing court proceedings with bill. They tell me to get a life. That I'm never going to make a difference. That nothing will happen regarding Thompson and particularly the Gillard creature. But that is their world. It is not the world I wish to inhabit and pass on to my divine little grand-daughter. I tell them to guard the vote they are so careless with because there are forces at play to remove that freedom. Laughter ensues and I grow stronger. Apathy is the enemy and people do not take responsibility for their country. We are all a part of the thread of our society and we can make a difference. Wasn't it Ghandi who said words to the effect of "be the change you want to see in the world" that young mother is the change and it has to come. We want our country back


The public should not have to rely on the government to protect them.....because they can't. The public have to stop thinking that government is their mummy and daddy, they need to protect themselves. This is hard as generally the law abiding public have been disarmed. Its an offence to even carry a knife without a lawful excuse and self defence is not considered a lawful excuse. Of course criminals don't care about the law and are armed. What I would like to see the next time a crim is breaking into a pensioners home or a home with young children is for home owner to tell them he's getting his shotgun! I would call 000 after I had secured the safety of my children and family. Lets give the law abiding people the ability to protect themselves! Keep up your good work, you have a great site.

Old Rooster

From your lips to God's ears I trust Jock.
Nicky gave voice in a raw and powerful way what many if not most people in the community are thinking and feeling. We don't need politicians and ministers who listen and feel our concern we need action that implements solutions.
On a slightly different tack, is it time that criminal law was made a federal responsibility? Inasmuch as I deplore the overinvolvement of the Commonwealth in state and territory responsibilities such as Health and Education I think that the complexities and lack of uniformity in criminal law and procedure is one significant facet of it's degradation, complexity, and tardiness. It won't be an easy fix I know but it could represent an opportunity to clean house in matters from the constitution to the judiciary and law enforcement agencies and the prison system.


The dominant sentiment comes over loudly and clearly. We do have a right to feel safe.

However, there is another principle that must be addressed; and that is the repressive axe must come down universally across society. The powerful and privileged must not be able to exploit the system. Otherwise justice is defined and applied according to social status and money.

This is shown by the Thomson and Wilson (Gillard etc) cases. How many delays would there have been without the financial resources of the ALP and PILCH being thrown at them? What if Slipper, Thomson and Wilson had been genuinely broke and without representation? What if, as Derryn Hinch observes, the convicted Melbourne Magistrate did not have 17 lawyers and judges prostituting themselves to successfully protect him from jail. Well, we know the answers to such questions.

The sword does not reach the neck of the privileged yobbo from the wealthy leafy suburbs as it does now to the neck of the yobbo from the dry and dusty west. This is fodder for the far left and its anarchist comrades.

As a corollary governments have to seriously look into the causes of crime. Why do people traffic in drugs? Why do people steal and bash? Why do privileged people in politics and business commit fraud? These are profound questions and their answers lie in evidenced based research and not on the emotive reactions based on fear. Economics, social dysfunction and despair play a role. As well as serious crime we also have a serious suicide problem. Some causal factors may intersect.

Governments must also put some thought into the wider social consequences of their decisions.

For example, I am reading of mass sackings in a regional TAFE in Victoria. A CEO was appointed fresh from Packer's Crown Casino and has sacked 50 staff members in addition to 100 earlier in the year. This was very poorly managed, for example, why do it just before Christmas? This not a good look and bad politics.

In early 2013 the area was a Coalition gain and likely to become a stronghold. The feeling against the Coalition is now so intense they have no hope.

This ill-thought out decision (repeated elsewhere in Victoria) will all but guarantee the end of the Napthine government as well as adding dramatically to social dysfunction and crime in the region. Tony Abbott is sure to become collateral damage.

There is a distinct impression that there is a drought of talent in both the government and bureaucracy and that the mediocre have command and we see abysmal decision making across the nation. Just look at the Toowoomba Airport, coal seam gas leases, wind-farms etc which look more like "fast buck" scams.

So, back to the start. The answers to the issues raised at the forum lie in policy adjustments and reform in many areas not just increasing penalties and building more and more prisons. Governor Phillip's penal colony was closed long ago and we cannot afford to return to being a penal colony and warehouse tens of thousands of people (and illegals) in custodial establishments.

Yes, the people have a right to feel safe from violent criminals but also from politicians, unionists, consultants, businessmen that steal from the money needed for health, education, re-training and the creation of jobs that will give the community opportunity and hope which will reduce crime.

Last, we must also be able to feel safe from the mediocre and incompetent in government, business, education and the professions.

Percy Phelps

Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE, formerly Chief Justice of Australia
now Arthur Goodhart Professor in Legal Science, Cambridge University
and National Fellow, Australian National University:

"Unless we put in place provisions which preserve the independence of magistrates and members of tribunals, we run the risk that interference with the independence of magistrates and tribunal members will eventually contribute to the erosion of the concept of judicial independence as it applies to judges."

As far as I am concerned the erosion of judicial independence was complete when Gillard had Bernard Murphy appointed as a Federal Court Judge...

Even the fact that there is no requirement for magistrates to be independent is a good reason to be very worried indeed.


I might add that the blight government did sweet F A about it after this meeting despite promising they would


Albert, the reason why the mediocre have command is the abrogation of seniority as a factor in promotions in the public service and elsewhere. In our rush to adopt the politically correct so-called "merit-based" appointments, we have enabled the spin doctors to succeed over the tried and true professionals. It is no longer those who have demonstrated prudence and effectiveness in governance but those who can spin a good story who get the plums.


This is off topic, but it's still on the area of our right to feel safe. Michael, do you know anything about this?
There is an article on Larry Pickering's site by Bernard Gaynor - Gaying the Army

"The Department of Defence... is producing rainbow-encrusted cuff-links for homosexual soldiers.

And they are issued free of charge, even though they are not part of any uniform (yet).

It’s all part of the process of gaying the Army, unleashed by the former Labor Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith."

what the?


You know the law is lost when records go missing from court registries.


Yes , it looks like 'jobs for the boys (and girls!) but it is actually the great 'original Labor plan for Jobs and Growth' . I have just heard that Tim Flannery has been appointed manager of 'Preventive , Predictive and Corrective maintenance of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system and digital revolution of the Labor building " ( i.e. , Tim goes early and turns the AC on )


Well put. We must not overlook the FWC and other State courts too.

Some further reading:

It would seem that Judges and Magistrates be required to sit an examination on these papers on appointment and their subsequent decisions assessed periodically especially as to favouritism or bias.

Victorian judicial officers should also be examined viva voce as to their real understanding of the principles
involved so as to exclude constitutional, ingrained unconscious bias.

Irene Hough

I agree with you in regard to the convicted Victorian Magistrate who was not sent to prison. A lesser type of crime of abuse of minors, just because he was a Magistrate, I don't think the victims would have suffered less.

This also goes along with the Wesley boys who broke into their school and stole laptops a few years ago. The reason given for the judge not registering a conviction, from memory, was because it would have a detrimental effect on their future prospects. Dare say, wealthy or poor, the same could be said of any young person's prospects, but the crime of breaking into a school and stealing should not go unpunished.

Perhaps we should be offering law scholarships to University to quality students from less well off schools so that we may have equal representation in our legal fraternity. It's not good enough that the wealthy get treated differently as in the Wesley case whereas if they had come from a poorer suburb where their parents were Mr and Mrs Average and not Mr and Mrs Society with influence in business and sometimes governments from the well off suburbs they would have had a conviction recorded and plenty of news coverage.

Even better if we have two sitting judges, one from either end of the spectrum, to deliberate on criminal cases and if found guilty, length of sentence. This would indeed limit undue influence and be a fairer system.


Its also interesting what kangaroo court is reporting on.....we live in interesting times

Scotty of Wulagi

Nicky was spot on about minimum sentences, when the Libs were last in the N.T they introduced mandatory minimum sentences for property crime stealing,breaks etc .Strike 1 14 days, Strike 2 90days, Strike 3 12months. March 1997- Oct 2001 when labor got in for the first time up here that was one of the first Acts they squashed.
Got my hands on a paper written by the Office of Crime Prevention N.T based on a presentation to the Australian & NZ Criminology Conference 2003.
2,204 separate sentencing occasions
1,715 first strikes
379 second strikes
110 third strikes with 17 of those fourth & fifth offenders.

This is the interesting part for me comparison during & after minimum sentences.
During Mandatory Minimum 87% actual prison time
After '' '' '' '' 37% ''' ''' '''

During '' '' '' '' 0% Home Detention
After '' '' '' '' 2% ''' '' ''

During '' '' '' '' 1% Community Service
After '' '' '' '' 18% '' '' '' ''

During '' '' '' '' 12% Fines, Bonds, Suspended Sentences
After '' '' '' '' 43% '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' ''

During '' '' '' '' 81% First Time Offender
After '' '' '' '' 24% '' '' '' '' ''

During '' '' '' '' 100% Second Time Offender
After '' '' '' '' 53% '' '' '' '' ''

During '' '' '' '' 100% Third Time Offender
After '' '' '' '' 70% '' ' '' '' '''

That is a lot of crooks laughing there heads of after Labor squashed mandatory. The prison population was said to have increased less than 15% over that time. The above figures are for adult prisoners only.
There was 2 juvenile detention centers up here & during that time the Libs were able to close, not demolish as Labor did when they came in, the Wildman River camp as there was no inmates to house there & Don Dale was basically empty. Heard your AG on Bennys program saying minimum doesn't work, my take on these stats are alot of crime wasn't committed because of this law which is what it is all about to me. It was a Labor paper & they tried to pooh pooh it. Hope it is of some interest to some.

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