“ South Australia is cursed with politicians and powerful public servants who demonstrate a “Costa Concordia” attitude towards public safety. At the moment I calculate that there is a 0.3017% statistical probability (roughly a 1 in 300 chance ) that South Australia’s 1, 039, 025 voters have a possibility of dying because of shoddy public safety standards.
[ Note: the short link URL for this posting is http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-jQ ]
Gee Ron, 1 in 300! Those are pretty long odds, so who cares? Since members of my family, my friends, my neighbors and myself have a 50-50 chance of being in that 3,300, I CARE! The problem for every South Australian citizen is that no-one has a guarantee that they will not be a statistic in 3 years-time, i.e. if you live in South Australia, your personal odds of being dead because of public safety stuff-ups are the same as mine, i.e. 50-50.
There is an old saying that “The devil is in the detail” and my recommendation is that you now check the video, “South Australia’s Costa Concordia public safety problems”, which can be viewed on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pDoJRtk9xc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUXMZsmDNjq71mKLPjx_toFQ
“Lander’s Law” may be an example of why 3,300 South Australian voters may die before the March 2017 state election .
Once you have seen the above mentioned video, check out the letter below which was written by South Australia’s newly appointed head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Judge Bruce Lander. At first glance his letter may seem to be quite reasonable; however a closer scrutiny of “the devil in the detail” soon raises questions that South Australians need to seriously consider as soon as possible. It has a lot in common with the old 1980s TV series “Rafferty’s Rules” for Judge Lander appears to be playing by his own rules in deciding what is OK and what is not, i.e. it seems that “Lander’s Law” takes precedence over statute law when it comes to potentially lethal public safety issues.
Forget about minor details such as A Fair Hearing and the Procedural Fairness principles that a Federal Court judge, Steven Rares, reminded the nation’s judiciary that they need to be using when sitting in judgement on cases.
- For a fair hearing, you must have the opportunity to speak up and argue the merits of your case or viewpoint. However, there was no hearing at which I could argue the public safety or public interest issues.
- The was absolutely no apparent regard for the clear and present dangers shown in the (silent) YOUTUBE videos.
- Judge Lander made no requests for the original UNEDITED videos to be presented for his scrutiny and impartial evaluation.
- In fact, there were no requests for any other evidence to be submitted.
- Witnesses to these events were not in short supply. However, Judge Lander did not need witnesses, especially those with first-hand experience of the dangers faced by road users in Elizabeth Vale. Perhaps this was because their testimony might have contradicted any of Judge Lander’s carefully crafted judgements?
- There was a total disregard for what Justice Steven Rares described as “clear words” in legislation, especially the clear words in the Australian Road Rules that require “a clear view” of the road ahead or the ability to “drive safely”, when forced by a local council to drive on the wrong side of the road because timed parking zones have been set up in streets that are not fit for long-term parking use.
- Believe or not, in the 21st century, if councils do not paint white lines on residential access streets, it is still legal to set up parking zones that force drivers onto the wrong side of the road!
- This rule was established about 50 years ago when far fewer cars were on our roads but it is still in force today.
- Judge Lander never even listened to an audio recording of a conversation that provided insight into the actions and mindset of Playford Council and its senior management which was NOT focused on safety of residents
- Anyone who has seen Part 7 of Road safty or a Con Job http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRKvRgUV_Q8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUXMZsmDNjq71mKLPjx_toFQ will known that a conversation had been recorded. For some unexplained reason, Judge Lander was totally uninterested in listening to this recording, which like the 2day FM recording of the conversation with Jacintha Saldanha, was illegally recorded.
- Heck, even by breaking federal and sate telecommunications laws, I could not get Judge Lander to talk to me about these issues.
- You have to wonder, “Why was this so?” Could it be that Judge Lander was deliberately perverting the course of justice?
“The devil is in the detail.”
In his letter, Judge Lander majored on the minor uncontested issues and studiously avoided “the devil in the detail” that provided insight into Playford council’s real intentions and motives.
- Nowhere in the letter is there a reference to the Minutes of Meeting for the council’s deliberations on September 12th 2013 when Playford Council “considered, finalized and approved” a parking trial aimed at sussing out timed parking zone “opportunities” within close proximity to the Lyell McEwin Hospital.
- $60 per parking fine per parking spot at 3 times per day, even for 50 spaces in the parking trial was potentially quite a money spinner in the long term – especially if council could get away with creating a 1,000 such parking spots “in close proximity to the LMHS.”
- It is manifestly apparent that Judge Lander had no intention of being required to have to consider any evidence that Playford Council and senior council officials were prepared to deliberately compromise public safely in the pursuit of the “opportunities” discussed by council members.
So exactly why did Judge Landers toss Rule of Law principles out the window and in doing so, violate my constitutional rights, my legal rights, and my most basic of human rights, i.e. the right to live? (In the above video, the margin between a head-on crash and a near miss was just 2 seconds!)
To be honest, I do not know the answer to that question; I just know that his response has placed the lives of South Australian citizens in danger. At about 3.05Pm on the 25th February, 3 lives were in danger in yet another head-on near miss in Broughton Street and again at 10:45 AM on the 27th February 3 lives were at risk in another head-on near miss in Siddall Road. An hour ago I had a golden opportunity to smear a pedestrian between my car and a parked car!
[ 5 dead in 84 hours – that is the carnage on South Australia’s road since I wrote the above comment. Lander’s Law nearly made that ‘scorecard 8 deaths! Cars kill, something that Judge Lander does not seem to comprehend too well.]
It may be that Judge Lander did not wish to ‘rock the boat’ with a decision that would prevent local councils across the state from using new electronic “parking Inspector” technology to rake in millions of dollars in revenue by setting up timed parking zones in streets that were too narrow to be safely used for this purpose.
One thing is for certain, his apparent unwillingness to allow the most basic of procedural fairness principles, the right to heard, raises a lot of disturbing questions that need to be answered before more injustices occur:
- Is Judge Lander, the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, corrupt and making political decisions that will please his political masters instead of making legally valid decisions in accordance with Due Process of Law?
- This is a valid question to ask because 18 days BEFORE I filed my formal complaint, Lee Odenwalder, the local Member for Little Para, told a group of irate local residents that “the ICAC would not investigate.” Lee Odenwalder’s confident statement was 100% spot on and the obvious question here is “Why was he so confident of no investigation of a clear and present danger to the public?”
- I am old, but Judge Landers is even older, having started practicing Law in 1969. Could it be that he has hit his ‘Use-by’ date and needs to hang up his wig and robe?
- Or could it be that as ‘the boss’ of the ICAC, Judge Lander is blinded by his own perceived magnificent and thinks that he can make up his own laws on the fly?
- The worst case scenario is that Judge Lander is merely doing what he did when he was sitting on the Bench. That is a really frightening thought isn’t it, given that some 40,000+ people each year argue their own case in court and they all rely upon the judge presiding in the case to be fair and impartial rather than capriciously doing their own version of Rafferty’s Rules! (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafferty%27s_Rules )
Beyond Commonwealth vs. Keating.
Passengers on the Costa Concordia were abandoned when the ship started sinking. For decades, focusing upon budgets and elections, rather than public safety, the major political parties have concealed lethal dangers to the public. In this there is a clear parallel with the High Court’s Commonwealth vs. Keating “statutory fiction” decision on May 8th 2013.
Rather than admit that the Liberal-National Coalition and the ALP had prosecuted and convicted some 15,000 impoverished welfare recipients for violating a law that did not exist, the Gillard Government (ALP) and the Liberal-National Coalition joined forces and retrospectively legislated to make these convictions valid. In voting for this retrospective legislation, the ALP and Coalition politicians in Australia’s federal parliament deliberately violated the constitutional, legal and basic human rights of 15,000 people.
In the clash between public safety and political expediency, guess which one loses out?
QANTAS is the only international airline that has NEVER HAD A PASSENGER FATALITY. There are many reason for this but one of the most crucial reasons is the primary back-up safety system, i.e. the CO-PILOT. If a QANTAS co-pilot believes that the captain has stuffed up, then he/she is expected to speak up and take action before an accident occurs. Because of this requirement to act in the interests of passengers, QANTAS is the world’s safest airline.
I too am speaking up in the interests of South Australia’s “passengers”, and if you are a South Ozzie who wants to stop our political parties from doing a ‘Costa Concordia’ with South Australia and running our beautiful state onto the rocks, then you also need to speak up and demand that a Royal Commission into the failure of public safety in our state.
Keep in mind the fact that if you do nothing and you become a fatal statistic before the 2017 state election, you won’t be around to complain, so do it now before it’s too late.
NOTE: The was a total absence of procedural fairness with both the Office of Public Integrity and Judge Lander “quarantining” themselves from:
- The plaintiff
- Other victims.
- Expert advice from the RAA.
- Other video evidence.
- Audio evidence.
- Documentary evidence.
- An on-site inspection of the problem.
- Australian Road rules that require a clear view of traffic coming in the opposite direction and the ability to proceed in complete safety.
In addition to all of the above, Judge Lander deflected attention away from Playford Council’s motives and the potentially lethal consequences of both the “improved road safety” and the logic behind the decision to hold the public meeting in a bituminized car park at 5PM on a hot December afternoon.
Judge Lander’s “other options” comment deflects attention away from why, of all the safe options that were available, Playford council opted for the car park despite the fact that in 2009, 92 people died from heat exhaustion in a two week period. Playford Council staff knew precisely what would happen when they chose that venue, i.e. only a few residents would attend a meeting held in those extreme circumstances.
Overall, Judge Lander’s letter reading like the opening statement being made to jury by a barrister who is defending a guilty client; it does not read like a fair and impartial assessment of a clear and present danger to the residents of Elizabeth Vale.
Page 3:Please note that “other options” included a web site that was not revealed to residents until December, i.e. 2 months after it was set up and that residents in other streets whose lives were affected by the trial were not notified.
The ultimate insult in Judge Lander’s letter is that NO ONE knew the venue had been switched to an air-conditioned room at the tennis club UNTIL THEY ARRIVED IN SCORCHING 36 Degree HEAT! Playford Council was bound and determined that as few people as possible would attend the meeting as possible. If Judge Lander had bothered to listen to the full recording of the (illegally) recorded phone conversation between a Playford Council official and my self, he probably would not have written his page 3 “other options” comments.
After months of planning, on 12th September 2013 Playford Council “considered, finalized and approved” a parking trial plan that would force residents to drive on the wrong side of the road into on-coming traffic! This was not a voluntary action by residents but a carefully planned scheme by local government politicians and the council’s PROFESSIONAL support staff.
Playford Council’s planning included:
- Avoiding any prior public consultation with residents about its plans to force residents top drive on the wrong side of the road!
- Setting up a feedback web site but not telling residents about this website until the “trial” was almost over.
- At least 6 local air-conditioned venues that were available to Playford Council were totally ignored in favour of an open car park in the heat of summer!
Does anyone really believe that Playford Council was leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that there was full disclosure and full community consultation?
- The reality was that Playford Council knew, that with 8 tee-junctions, 2 right angle corners and 2 bends, the trial zone was did not meet the minimum requirement for clear views and the ability to proceed safely. Council’s solution to those problems was to avoid consultation and to do everything possible to minimize the possibility of a large public turnout.
- The only way to avoid questions about the legality of Playford council’s action was to control the agenda from A to Z, and that included full control of the public consultation process so that awkward questions could be avoided.
- Judge Lander’s response is a cop-out that needs to be independently scrutinized.
There needs to be a royal commission inquiry into both Playford Council’s actions and the manner in which the office of Public Integrity and Judge Lander handled these issues
Please not that journalists or TV reporters who asks for an MP3 copy of the Friday 13th phone conversation will be provided with one upon request.
Ronald Medlicott. (A Christian advocate for Justice in Australia.)