On May 8th 2013, the Australian High Court trashed 15,000 of Centrelink’s welfare recipient fraud convictions. The details are at:
The Howard government spent $10 million running this Centrelink advertising campaign in 2005-06. The problem with these “10 prosecutions a day” is that they were NOT LEGALLY VALID. Everyone , including Centrelink staff, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, judges, welfare defense lawyers, and the people accused of fraud, all thought that the prosecutions were legally valid. However, there was no law that actually required welfare recipients to tell Centrelink what their income was. ( The “If you don’t tell Centrelink…” statement actually had no backing in statute law!)
Upon discovering that these prosecutions were not legally valid, in 2011 the Gillard Government, supported by the Liberal-National Opposition (Tony Abbott & Co) put RETROSPECTIVE LEGISLATION through the Australian Parliament that was intended to validate these prosecutions.
- This insidious retrospective legislation was welfare bashing at its worst and in 2011 when an Adelaide woman challenged her conviction and took her case to the High Court, against all the odds, SHE WON!
- In a challenge to the retro legislation put in place by Gillard and Abbott, on May 8th 2013 the High Court determined that the legislation as “statutory fiction”.
- This was a very blunt way of saying that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott and the other 224 members of Australia’s federal parliament who voted for this disgusting attack upon Democracy and Rule of Law, were kidding themselves with this disgraceful, human-rights-violation, fairy tale legislation.
The potential downstream ramifications of this “statutory fiction” decision are truly staggering:
- For starters, 15,000 prosecutions and Centrelink’s 99.8% conviction rate go straight down the toilet.
- As I have been saying for a decade, Breaching legislation, now called “Serious Compliance Failure Penalties” is, another case of “statutory fiction”, i.e. it is unconstitutional legislation.
- The “statutory fiction” of breaching/Compliance Failures legislation means that as many as 4 million victims of breaching legislation may eventually also have those penalties overturned and be eligible for both Restitution (with compound interest) for the allowances that they were unconstitutionally deprived of and compensation or the harm caused by these insidious rip-off penalties.
- Invalidating the legislation will put the spotlight on the appalling, classified death toll caused by that unconstitutional legislation and the role played by federal politicians in both causing those fatalities and then unlawfully misusing their lawful authority to hide those deaths from the public in order to avoid being held accountable both at the polling booth and in the courts for those deaths.
- It will eventually put the spotlight on the deliberate failure of DSS and Centrelink officials to report breaching triggered fatalities. (Check out this letter from Assistant Secretary Neil Skill.)
- Note the “Centrelink does not collect…” statement in Neil Skill’s letter.
- This is a clear indication that the people who managed Australia’s welfare system deliberately hid post breaching fatalities from the Australian public by the simple process of not bothering to collect the database count of these fatalities and then report them.
- These people were/are professional administrators who have been paid about $200,000/p.a. to do their job and they KNEW precisely what they were doing and its implications for the welfare recipients that they were supposed to be helping! (With ‘friends’ like this, who needs enemies?)
- As a consequence, for decades the death toll caused by this dangerous, unconstitutional breaching activity continued to mount with the public being blissfully unaware of this senseless slaughter.
In FY 2000-01, the Employment Minister, Tony Abbott, breached over 346,000 welfare recipients. In FY 20001-02 he breached another 260,000.
All up, in his term of office as John Howard’s Employment Minister, Tony Abbott was responsible for about 1 million unconstitutional breaches.
- Not once did he ever report any post breaching fatalities. No remorse for the devastating social and human impact of his actions was ever displayed.
- Even worse, his solution to this problem was to support ramping up the rate of post breaching fatalities by supporting a doubling of the breaching penalties to 26 weeks!
- In February 2010, Tony Abbott had no problem in making the statement that if Peter Garret had been running a business in New South Wales, then he would have been charged with “Industrial Manslaughter” for having failed to report the death of Matthew fuller and 3 other people who were killed when trying to install ceiling insulation in homes as part of a federal government home improvements program.
- Making this hypocritical position even worse is the fact that Tony Abbott was the Employment Minister at the time that the Howard Government was allegedly illegally enforcing “Performance Indicator Targets”, i.e. illegal breaching quotas. (See http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-3K for a copy of the Chery Kernot press release that first exposed this criminal activity.)
- These “Performance Indicator Targets” or breaching quotas were nothing more than than the Howard Government illegally defrauding welfare recipients in the name of “Sound Economic Management.” Basically, the Howard Government committed this fraud for precisely the same reason that the Gillard Government, with the aid of the Liberal-National Coalition, pushed the retrospective legislation in 2011, i.e. they did because they could do it, and because they thought that they could get away with it!
- As the following letter by Federal Agent Louise Denley makes quite clear, the Howard Government was on fairly safe ground when it came to getting away with fraudulent activity that may have killed thousands of welfare recipients.
- When it comes to federal governments or federal politicians breaking the law, there is so much “gravity/sensitivity” involved that the Australian Federal Police flatly refuses to investigate. The more serious the charges, the greater the resistance from the Federal Police to the idea of holding any investigation.
- Federal Agent Denley’s letter is not a one-off incident or example. In September 2009 the Australian Auditor-General tabled a report in the parliament that virtually called Australia’s federal politicians a bunch of thieves.
- Once again I asked the AFP to investigate and once more the AFP refused to investigate citing “gravity/sensitivity.”
- (SEC=UNCLASSIFIED) Federal Agent Pearce was unaware that in November 2005, the Australian Senate’s Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee had secretly classified Louise Denley’s letter as confidential and consequently his email was not classified as confidential.
- To be done, justice needs to be seen to be done, and when it comes to welfare recipients, the sad reality is that the Australian Federal political system, the federal bureaucracy and the federal police, have no problems about sinking the boot into Aussie battlers.
That this should happen in a supposedly fair democracy is a sad reflection upon the fact that just as the mass media in NAZI Germany played a key role in sinking the boots into the Jewish population, in Australia, the mass media has been enthusiastically sinking the boot into welfare recipients for decades.
Instead of pointing out to readers that Work for the Dole programs are unconstitutional under a specific provision contained in Paragraph 51 xxiiia of the Australian Constitution, the News Ltd national political editor, Samantha Maiden, appears to have deliberately sunk the boot into welfare recipients by both hiding this crucial constitutional fact and by going so far as to socioeconomically vilify the victims of this ruthless systemic fraud as “Dole bludgers.”
- In court, deliberately hiding key truths is perjury but the Australian mass media regards this as ‘freedom of speech’ and is considered a legitimate “freedom of the press” editorial activity.
- My view is that hiding such crucial facts is both unprofessional vilification of innocent, vulnerable people and the misuse of journalistic power for the purpose of aiding and abetting the commission of crime through deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.
Australia’s political system works hand in hand with the mass media to vilify welfare recipients. The mass media’s reward for this rotten behaviour is “self-regulation” that in practice protects the mass media from accountability by the general public.
- When it comes to socio-economic vilification, the “self-regulation” standard is not Zero Tolerance of inappropriate behaviour but, as ACMA Report 2729 made quite clear, the behaviour has to exceed “serious” and even then, it is audience perception rather than the impact upon the people who have been vilified.
One of the implications of the High Court’s May 8th 2013 decision is that the role of mass media is supporting unconstitutional legislation will be scrutinized and the deaths caused by the media’s outrageous behaviour will be under the microscope.
- This will almost certainly include a close look at the Gillard Government’s handling of the 2Day FM phone call that triggered Jacintha’s tragic death.
- Check out the above statement and ask yourself why, since secretly recording phone calls is a crime, why wasn’t 2Day FM charged?
- Whether the motive for the call was a “prank” or a carefully calculated commercial decision is irrelevant. It was a serious indictable offense and 2day FM should have been charged but the Gillard Government let 2Day FM off the hook.
- This is the same government that was so determined to prosecute welfare recipients that it came up with the “statutory fiction” of retrospective legislation in an attempt to convict welfare recipients of alleged fraud!
- The funny thing is that illiterate, impoverished welfare recipients who may have made a mistake with the provision of information to Centrelink have been consistently prosecuted but when politicians rip off the system, they simply say that they have made a mistake and all is forgiven.
- Trish Draper left her 4 kids in the care of her defacto spouse and took a young gentleman overseas. She then claimed in her travel expenses that this person was her defacto spouse.
- As Agent Denley’s letter made quite clear, the AFP refused to investigate this “Travelgate” fraud because of the “gravity/sensitivity.”
- Was that a case of too much “gravity/sensitivity” or too little “gravity/sensitivity”?
- Given that the Prime Minister, John Howard, apparently knew about Ms draper’s false travel allowance claim but did not refer it to the Federal Police for investigate, I assume there was a huge degree of “gravity/sensitivity” surrounding the Travelgate fraud because it meant that Mr Howard was probably “An accessory after the fact” to Ms Draper’s alleged false travel allowance claim and the Federal Police therefore simply refused to touch it because it would have probably meant arresting the Prime Minister!
- There is also the possibility that the Howard Government and the Federal Police leadership did ‘a dirty deal’, i.e. no investigation of the issues that i had raised in exchange for the draconian laws contained in the Anti-terrorism Bill #2 legislation.
- If that is the case, then that legislation is the proceeds of crime and, like the 2011 retrospective Centrelink prosecutions, it is legally invalid.
- If it is legally invalid, then anyone investigated, charged or prosecuted under that legislation has valid “get out jail” grounds for having their charges dismissed.
- Since a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime, that could mean that some alleged terrorists now rotting in jail may have to released without further prosecution.
- That is downside to Ultra Vires police decisions that turn a blind eye to political corruption and undermine the Rule of Law. Who would you blame for such an outcome? Me, the messenger; or the police and politicians who put themselves above the law?
23-5-13 update: TAXIGATE Mark 2.
The former Speaker in the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, is now facing prosecution in December for allegedly misusing his taxpayer funded cab charge credit card for personal use. In speaking to the media he pointed out that other MPs normal fix these issues “administratively with the Department of Finance”, i.e. instead of being prosecuted for alleged rorting, federal politicians “resolve” the problem by paying back the money and, unlike the what happens to welfare recipients, they are not prosecuted. Is that “a fair go” for welfare recipients or is it a totally different standard of justice being applied to our federal politicians.
THE OTHER CENTRELINK FRAUD: Standard Operating Procedure.
Readers should check out http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-5E “How Centrelink works the 6 week rule.” As a result of field research in South Australia and New South Wales, plus feedback from welfare recipients, I am of the opinion that a body of information exists that justifies a criminal investigation into Centrelink’s failure to apply the 6 Week Rule, i.e. the statutory obligation upon Centrelink to waive any debt caused solely by Centrelink error if the mistake is not identified and corrected within 6 weeks.
It appears to be standard operating procedure for Centrelink officials to ignore this statutory obligation and when over-payments are discovered, every effort is made to recover the overpayment. “Every effort” includes some really scumbag tricks including:
- Sending a letter of demand that claims that the law requires that the over-payment be repaid;
- Telling welfare recipients that the 6 week rule “does not apply in your case;
- Outright intimidation, e.g. if you appeal our decision we will ‘get tough’.
Anyone who has ever received an intimidating “shock and awe” Letter of Demand for repayment of over-payments needs to be aware that you do not have to pay a single cent until such time as Centrelink provides you with ‘stand-up-in-court” proof that you provided the wrong information.In fact, if Centrelink does not have any proof that a welfare recipient provided the wrong information, then the letter should not have been written!
- The unscrupulous and cunning logic in forcing a welfare recipient to lodge an appeal is that the person then has to prove that you provided the correct information and most welfare recipients are usually unable to do this.
The reality is that the onus is on Centrelink to prove that the welfare recipient provided wrong or false information.
- If Centrelink cannot do this, then a letter of demand should never be issued but, as the above example shows, they are. make no mistake, this is systemic fraud that is intended to rip off welfare recipients.
- John Howard and tony Abbott called this a “Sound economic management” whilst Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have spin-doctored this disgraceful, fraudulent activity by calling it “A fair go.”
- Make no mistake, it is SYSTEMIC FRAUD by politicians who have no qualms about creating ‘statutory fiction.”
- If you have been sucked in by one of these fraudulent letters of demand, you can request that Centrelink provide proof that you provided incorrect information.
- NOTE: If Centrelink cannot provide this proof, demand the refund of any repayments already made and if Centrelink refuses to do so, IMMEDIATELY file a fraud charge with the Ombudsman and the federal Police and insist that if Centrelink officials do not provide proof of your error, that they be charged with fraud.
If the Ombudsman or Federal Police quibble and try to fob you off, give them the URL to this blog posting ( http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-eK ) and demand to know why politicians are free to rort the system because the Federal Police let them do so. You can also ask about the following unconstitutional ACMA investigations policy and request a “please explain” for this investigative policy:“The ACMA does not investigate politicians or participants in broadcasts.”
Yes, that statement is real. It reveals just how the ACMA “investigated” a complaint against the 7 Network and the former Human Services Minister, Tanya Plibersek. Since when has it been constitutional to exempt politicians, senior bureaucrats or prominent TV show presenters from criminal investigations? There is a clear parallel with the Federal Police’s unconstitutional “gravity/sensitivity” approach to dealing with alleged crimes involving federal politicians and Centrelink bureaucrats.
“Some animals are more equal than others.”
That statement comes from the George Orwell novel, ‘Animal Farm’, a novel that criticized the communist system of government. It is a statement very accurately sums up Australia’s criminal justice system in May 2013. Federal politicians are only too happy to create “statutory fiction” in an attempt to convict welfare recipients who may have made a mistake whilst the federal Police and other federal government agencies go out of their way to avoid investigating politicians who may have been driving a covert holocaust for decades.
The High Court’s recent decision highlights the fact that in Australia, welfare recipients are perceived by powerful politicians (and the Federal Police) as being fair game. Sadly, over a period measured in decades, too many have become dead meat, which is why I signed the following statutory declaration and submitted copied to the Jacintha Saldanha Inquest.
Ronald Medlicott – A Christian advocate for Justice.