in this Blog are a memorial to the more than 3 million Aussie Battlers
have been Breached. It is especially a memorial to the
(estimated) 5,000+ Aussie Battlers who did not survive being breached.)
Dear Senator Hogg,
I am extremely disappointed that you have not yet responded to my previous emails; perhaps that is because you are assuming that I am a "nutcase".
Let me enlighten you to with a few pertinent facts.
If I had taken Brendan O’Connor’s advise in his letter dated 25/11/09 and referred the issues of concern to the SA Police, right now Mike Rann would be the centre of a a mass murder investigation. Why is this so?
- Submission 287 to the November 2005 Anti-Terrorism Bill #2 inquiry is secretly classified as confidential and is backed by a parliamentary privilege suppression order. The interesting thing is that the Leg-Con committee received the THIRD DRAFT of that collection of documents, I personally handed over a CDROM with the FIRST DRAFT to Mike Rann’s receptionist at his Commercial Road, Salisbury office a month before the Leg-Con committee received its draft of that information.
- In the mid 1990’s, I was the job club leaser (manager) of the CES’s Salisbury Job Club. In the performance of my duties I discovered that some CES were engaging in BREACHING COMPETITIONS. When I what would happen if someone died as a result of these activities, I was shocked by the response which went something like this. No problems, we simply record them as Post Breaching terminal Outcomes. (PBTO’s) The goal is outcomes, job outcomes or terminal outcomes, an outcome is an outcome. Clearly, due to INADEQUATE OVERSIGHT, breaching legislation was being misused in a seriously unlawful manner!
- This reckless disregard for the lives of at-risk welfare recipients had an unknown problem; dormant but still valid in South Australia was a long disused, virtually unknown statute, FELONY MURDER. in layman’s term, felony murder is a reckless disregard for human life that results in the death of a person. Check out the SA post breaching terminal outcomes statistics for the last 25 years and you will find that these deaths number in the hundreds. In Victoria such deaths are classified as MANSLAUGHTER BY CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. (I do not know what the crime would be called in Queensland; do you care enough to enlighten me?)
- Centrelink’s annual report shows that in FY2000-01, 346,078 welfare recipients were breached. This represented approximately 3 BREACHES PER MINUTE for every day that Centrelink’s doors were open. Check the national PBTO’s for that period and you will find that sometimes there were 3 or 4 PBTO in a single day! It kind of makes the current furore over the 4 "Roofgate" deaths into perspective doesn’t it?
- On June 26th 2000, Cheryl Kernot issued a press release that spelt out to the first decimal place the details of the Howard Government’s implementation of BREACHING QUOTAS. The Howard Government was illegally misusing breaching legislation to defraud welfare recipients of legitimate welfare entitlements. Although the Howard Government strenuously denied that it was using breaching quotas, the statistics in Centrelink’s annual reports are empirical evidence of the "success" of this illegal, and all too often fatal, activity.
- Centrelink staff staff testified at the independent Pearce Inquiry that they were forced to meet breaching quotas and from questions that I asked at the Elizabeth Centrelink office, I had knowledge of this activity.
- In 2002, Tony Abbott and Amanda Vanstone further poured fuel on the fire when they unintentionally made it possible to define breaching as an act of reckless endangerment.
- 20 years too late, in 2004 the Breaching Review Taskforce finally took a close look at the humanitarian disaster caused by breaching. Too little, too late for those who were dead. Would you be so kind as to send me a copy of that report or is it still a Cabinet Confidential document?
- In 2004, I asked the Federal Police to investigate a number of issues including whether or not the breaching competition and breaching quota deaths were felony murders. As you are aware, on July 7th 2004, Federal Agent Louise Denley responded on behalf of the Federal Police citing "gravity/sensitivity" as one of the reasons why the AFP could not/would not investigate my complaint.
- Federal Agent Denley’s letter is one of the documents that is covered by the 2005 secret confidential classification of submission 287.
RELEVANCE TO THE "ROOFGATE" INQUIRY?
- For starters, Matthew Fuller and the other 3 insulation installers would probably be alive if the AFP had investigated the Oversight and Lack of Due Diligence failures that the Howard Government both tolerated and actively fostered.
- Terms of Reference #3 "Any other matters", was more than broad enough to encompass parallel issues involving deaths that are directly attributable to former governments.
- Ton Abbott’s "Industrial manslaughter" comments opened the door to ministerial accountability for "other deaths" that were caused by the same underlying systemic factors that killed Matthew Fuller. I believe it is a fair and reasonable question to ask what was the weekly death toll (the PBTO’s) when Tony Abbott was the Employment Minister in 2002? How many deaths has Mr. Abbott conveniently forgotten in his say anything, do anything rush to regain power?
The simple reality is that too many people have died as a direct result of reckless, ideology driven, political decisions. 50 years separates politicians from the horrors and deaths caused by the equally stupid "Stolen Generation" and "Forgotten Generation" policies. Your problem, and the problem for every other member of Federal Parliament, is that Breaching legislation is still on the statute books and the issue of legal accountability for the humanitarian disaster caused by breaching is very much a live, current topic. Using Parliamentary Privilege to continue to sweep these crimes under the carpet is not an option simply because is it a very crass attempt to Pervert the Course of Justice.
Believe me, there is absolutely nothing honourable about deliberately trying to sweep a humanitarian disaster involving over 3 million people, including the deaths of 5,000 or more Aussie Battlers, under the carpet.
Ronald Medlicott (Christian welfare justice activist.)