Senate gag lifted – well sort of lifted.


(The postings 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.)

In a letter dated 15th March 2010, the President of the Senator, Senator Hogg, stated that the Parliamentary Privilege suppression order issued by the Senate’s ECA committee was just advising me that I would not be protected by Parliamentary Privilege. In short, he was saying that the suppression order was not an order. Below is my response which contains an extract from my previous posting.

Ms. Clifford,

Will you kindly thank Senator Hogg for his response, but please ensure that the following points are brought to his attention:

  1. I am fully aware that ONE of the fuctions of Parliamentary Privilege is to protect people who make submissions, however;

  2. I am also aware that people who have violated Parliamentary Privilege Suppression ORDERS have been cited for Contempt of Parliament;

  3. Most such examples from British Crown Parliaments have resulted in hefty fines, especially since the last jailing of two people for Contempt which occurred in Britain 55 years ago. This generated a massive amount of media attention, which was precisely what the British Parliament was trying to avoid. Clearly, Contempt of Parliament is at best a double-edged sword for politicians who try to use Parliamentary Privilege to hide unpalatable, sensitive "secrets";

  4. Both the 2005 suppression order by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in November 2005 and the suppression order issued by the ECA Committee on March 1st 2010 were ORDERS to be obeyed, not suggestions as Senator Hogg implies.

  5. In June 2007, the former President of the Senate had the opportunity to make the same comments as Senator Hogg has made in his letter but chose not to do so! Instead he chose to maintain the wall of silence that surrounds the secret confidential classification of submission 287 to the Anti-Terrorism Bill #2 Inquiry.

  6. Does Senator’s Hogg’s comment extend to that secret confidential classification? THIS IS A CRITICAL QUESTION for whilst that secrecy exists, the deaths of 5,000, or more, welfare recipients who died after being breached, are OFFICIALLY A STATE SECRET that make an absolute joke out of the critical  issues of TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY that are so vital to our democratic principles.

  7. Senator Hogg’s response is that of a politician, but many of the huge number of breaching quota deaths that Parliament is concealing, are criminal offenses and every member of Federal Parliament has both a Constitutional Obligation and an Oath of Office obligation to uphold the law. The question for Senator Hogg is not the policies, practices and procedures that pertain to the operation of a Senate committee, but rather the question is "Did the committee, by its actions, conspire to pervert the course of justice? That is a legal issue and Senator Hogg should have sought legal advice in regard to that question. As part of that decision making procress, presumably by Crown Law Officers, ALL, I repeat, ALL statistical data relating to post-breaching deaths that have occurred since the introduction of breaching legislation must be made available to Crown Law Officers involved in that decision making process before any decision upon the validity of the ECA Committee’s action can be made.

  8. Did this process occur or did Senator Hogg respond "off the cuff"?

  9. In regard to POLITICAL decision making by the ECA committee, and indeed by many members of the Senate, I urge you to check out the lastest blog posting at the above mentioned web address, which contains the following points:


"Simple logic makes it quite obvious that if the Liberal Party believes that a Senate inquiry into the deaths of 4 insulation installers is justified, then the deaths of 5,000 or more welfare recipients is even far more justified."

Simple logic also makes it quite obvious that if Tony Abbott, the Liberal Party leader, believes that Peter Garrett should face industrial manslaughter charges over the deaths of 4 insulation installers, then surely the prosecution of the government ministers, past and present, who were administratively responsible for the deaths of 5,000 or more welfare recipients, is even more justified?

During World War II, a small number of ruthless NAZI U-Boat commanders took great pleasure in machine gunning defenseless lifeboats. In terms of the Human Impact of breaching quotas being enforced at the rate of 3 breaches per minute, it was all about the deliberate misuse of welfare legislation to "machine gun" the social welfare "lifeboat" in order to reduce welfare payments, i.e. breaching was a deliberate, sociopathic, ideology driven act that was justified by Howard Government ministers as "Sound Economic Management".


Parliament has said "Sorry" to both The Stolen Generation and The Forgotten Generation. However, when it comes to the humanitarian disaster caused by Breaching legislation, a massive wall of silence exists.

Therefore my very public question to Senator Hogg is very simple; John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Brendan O’Connor are just a few of the many federal politicians who have neither denied nor refuted the estimate of more than 5,000 post-breaching deaths and now I asking Senator Hogg if he refutes or denies that death toll?

Ronald Medlicott (Christian welfare justice activist.)

(See that justice is done. Micah 6:8)

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