Did this letter influence the decisions of Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor and result in a minority Labour Government? Breaching triggered deaths mean that there is no such thing as “Stable Government”; merely lesser degrees of instability.
The letter from Neil Skills is an unaltered copy of the original letter. The statement that Centrelink does not collect Past Breaching Terminal Outcomes is just one of many irrefutable documents that highlight a shocking truth; the death toll from breaching activity has been and still is being swept under the carpet.
Taken at face value, “Centrelink does not collect Past Breaching Terminal Outcomes…” means that Centrelink is paying out tens of millions every fortnight to people who have been dead for up to a quarter of a century. This is plainly ridiculous and is not happening. Families of those who died do advise Centrelink but Centrelink does not then report breaching triggering deaths in the annual reports to parliament.
The annual reports to parliament are totally devoid of any mention of the humanitarian impact of Breaching/Compliance Measures and as a consequence, the public has no knowledge of the death caused by this activity. In fact, since November 2005, these deaths have been secretly classified as confidential.
It is a matter of public record that the Howard Government, ignoring this death toll, tried to increase the Breaching Penalty from 13 weeks to 26 weeks. Check the Hansard record of that debate and you will find that not one member of the Howard Government, e.g. Tony Abbott, informed parliament of the death toll caused by the Howard Government’s enforcement of breaching quotas. In FY 2000-01, a staggering 346,078 people had the dole turned off for 13 weeks by the Howard Government. That represented a rate of approximately 3 people per minute for every business hour of every day that Centrelink worked during that financial year. Are welfare recipients really so dishonest that no dole for 13 weeks was an appropriate penalty for 346,078 at-risk Aussie battlers?
Crown vs Josiah Finch: SA Supreme Court, February 2006.
SA Teenager, Josiah Finch was convicted of Felony Murder and sentenced to 14 years with an 8 year non-parole period. The Crown prosecutor readily admitted that Josiah Finch had not killed anyone; his crime was that he knew who was responsible for a wrongful death but would not identify this person. The implication of this trial is that the public servants, politicians and federal police officers who concealed the deaths of breached welfare recipients can and should face similar charges.
$3.2 Million in compensation.
Last month the WA Government revealed that it would pay $3.2 million in compensation to the family of tribal elder who died due to negligence whilst in custody. That death was accidental but unfortunately, the same cannot be said for breaching triggering deaths. There is strong, perhaps even irrefutable, evidence that these deaths were deemed an acceptable consequence by the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for enforcing breaching compliance measures.
How many deaths?
As the Centrelink does not collect Past Breaching Terminal Outcomes…” statement makes quite clear, the precise number has not yet been tallied up and therefore only a ‘guesstimate’ is possible. To the suicide death toll must be added deaths caused by fatal heart attacks and strokes and other deaths caused by exposure amongst the ranks of those forced out of their accommodation. With no money to purchase life preserving medications, e.g. asthma puffers, others died from what until now has been classified as “Natural Causes”.
A reckless disregard for human life.
A reckless disregard for human life that results in the death of a person is a serious crime in every state and territory in the Commonwealth. It is therefore no surprise that breaching triggering deaths are uncounted and unreported. Classifying these deaths as confidential was a rash and stupid act of desperation by the Howard Government. The families and friends of those who died know about these deaths and it is to these people that I am now reaching out with the attached pamphlet.
Yes, I am violating a Parliamentary privilege Suppression Order by distributing this information and thus risk being cited for Contempt of Parliament. As a federal MP it is your responsibility to either see that I am cited, or, alternately take action to ensure that the illegal cover-up of these deaths is exposed. It is your decision,