(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. Please, help to spread the word about this humanitarian disaster by using the “Share with a friend “link in the right hand column.)
From: Ron Medlicott
My Apologies: In the verbose tsunami of words and verbal pictures that I have bombarded you with; I have almost certainly "smoke screened" the key points.
May I suggest that you look at a graph of the breaching statistics for the period 1 July 1986 to 30 June 2006 and then focus on the FY 2000-01 figure of 346,078 breaches. That represents a rate of 3 breaches per minute for every minute that Centrelink’s doors were open for the entire financial year!.
Ask yourself a simple question, how could that figure have been achieved legally?
The simple answer is that it could not be achieved legally and the Howard Government was fully aware of that fact when it set its breaching quotas. What the government did was to turn a blind eye to how that figure could be achieved; a variation on the "Don’t ask and we won’t tell" scenario in which the government would not ask and Centrelink would not tell.
Question #3 is why was the humanitarian impact of breaching never included in Centrelink’s annual reports? See the above answer but consider this, What is an acceptable breaching death? With the Howard Government it was too damned high! How much is too high? I suspect every welfare recipient, human rights activist, civil liberties advocate, church goer and tort lawyer would say that ONE is too high and they would be quite correct.
346,078 breaches could only be achieved by adopting a callous, reckless disregard for the risks that welfare recipients would be exposed to when breached. Unfortunately, that "pragmatic approach" is actually a serious criminal offense in every state and territory.
Can you understand why I want the full data set of post breaching terminal outcomes?
PONDER THIS: Tony Negus only took a few days to say NO to my request to investigate Perksgate. However, Mick Keelty took 5 weeks to respond. Why the long delay? It was more than enough time to do a pretty reasonable investigation of the issues raised in my complaint and to enter into negotiations with the Howard Government, i.e. no investigation of the issues raised in exchange for the increased powers that were contained in the Anti-Terrorism Bill #2. This was backed up with all documentation related to this decision being secretly classified as "confidential" by the Leg-Con Committee. Every Liberal Party chaired committee confronted with breaching quota deaths has either tossed the submission overboard or issued a suppression order.
Tony Abbott’s call for a judicial inquiry is a dream come true. I do not have to make any submission to such an inquiry but I’ll bet the families of the breaching triggered dead will want to express a few well chosen words.
You could suggest that what I have is merely circumstantial evidence and, in part, you would be correct. However, the beautiful thing about the data provided to me Nick Champion was not some much the data as the SOURCE. WHO KNEW? That is a critical question, and Nick has done a nice job of linking Tony Abbott to the WHO KNEW list. Well done Nick!
One final point, whoever sold the Howard Government on the 26 week penalty idea was a cold blooded sociopath. No if. No buts. A cold blooded sociopath who had absolutely no remorse about the deaths of breached welfare recipients. Who knew about the breaching death toll and has shown absolutely no remorse? Are the still in parliament? Are they sitting on the Opposition’s front bench?
Please, put a "bomb" under Brendan O’Connor before the Australian Crime Commission come knocking on his door asking for the PBTO stats. Ask yourself, once I start talking to breaching victims, what will they think of a Labor Government that is covering up the truth about another humanitarian disaster? I have no doubt that you and everyone else would like a 30 year time buffer between the deaths and saying "Sorry" but that just is not going to happen this time.
P.S. About the word "Scorecard" in the Centrelink annual report. Former CES senior staff were aware of the breaching "scorecards" that some of their staff kept. Some of these senior staffers were moved into Centrelink and they were the people with the knowledge, the skills and the "connections" to make the breaching quotas work. By slipping that word into the annual report, were they crowing about their success?