When it comes to Australia’s “irrelevant” Crimes against Humanity, about 5 minutes ago Malcolm Turnbull joined the ranks of Australia’s Prime Ministers who know about these murders through the medium of this letter which I have just uploaded to him via his Internet ‘Contact’ web page.
[Note the short link to this URL is: http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-vm ]
Above is a screen capture of my email to Prime Minister Turnbull at about 9.00 AM this morning (Adelaide, South Australia – Central Standard Time).
The full text of the letter uploaded to Mr. Turnbull is shown below along with the EWRE “irrelevant” letter that Radovan Karadzic and his supporters may find to be of some use if he decides to go for a Manifest ostensible Bias appeal in the International Criminal Court of Justice, especially if Prime Minister Turnbull does not stop these murders from continuing to occur.
Dear Prime Minister,
The letters to the dead fiasco is a legal time bomb that may be about to put a real dent in your day. The following text is copied verbatim from a News Corp article published both on the Internet and in News Corp newspapers. As embarrassing as the article is, what turns it into legal and political “time bomb” is Assistant Secretary Neil Skill’s letter which is also published on the Internet.
News Corp extract:
The Department of Human Services says it sent letters to people who were deceased because it did not have a date of death recorded against their customer records.
“The department is aware that of the one million letters sent about the My Health Record trial, a small number have been sent to deceased individuals,” a spokeswoman said.
“The department sincerely apologises for any distress this has caused.”
The department says it is notified of a death from family members and other authorised persons such as health professionals, funeral directors and, in more recent years by data-matching with Birth, Deaths and Marriages registrations.
“If the department is not notified, a date of death will not be recorded on a customer’s record,” it said.
Minister for Health Sussan Ley offered a direct apology to any family affected by the ‘unfortunate’ administrative error.’
“What I find disheartening is Labor are quick to use this as an excuse to attack the Government’s IT and payment systems when something goes wrong, but are also actively blocking our attempts to upgrade them so they are more accurate and convenient for patients.”
Neil Skill extract:
“Centrelink does not collect post Breaching Terminal Outcome statistics and is therefore unable to assist with this information.”
TRANSLATION: The DHS, and by extension, the Federal parliament does not know the scale of the death toll caused by breaching.
(Un)fortunately, the suicides triggered by breaching are homicides and state coroners, the ABS and the AIHW all keep tabs on these.
In the 10-year period 1997-2006 there were 23,254 suicides with 1 in 3 being an impoverish Centrelink client. Extrapolating the average number of suicides per month over the full 11-years and 5-months of John Howard’s Prime Ministership, that is approximately 8,850 suicides that are ‘uncollected’ and unreported by DHS officials and the responsible Ministers for Social Security and Employment. Under Article 7 of the Rome Statute, Breaching is a ‘Crime against humanity’ with fatalities being murders under 7 (1) (a), a fact that Radovan Karadzic can utilize in the appeal against his conviction on March 24th.
In Australia, Gerard Baden-Clay can use these and all other breaching fatalities to argue a manifest ostensible bias case when the QLD DPP appeals his recent conviction being downgraded from murder to manslaughter. Locally, Cy Williams case goes to court in SA in June and he too can run the same argument through the court. In all, the total unreported, secretly classified, “irrelevant” death toll over the last 40 years or so may exceed 60,000.
Plus, on 1st January the DHS failed in an attempt to defraud 73,000 people when there received electronic “Account payable” notices.
See ASIV v Hellicar [HCA 12 – 2012] at 141 & 143 and Bhardwaj [HCA 11 – 2002] at 53, and R v Coco v R [HCA 15 – 1994], Briginshaw v Briginshaw [CLR 1938] re Briginshaw Principle, plus <Redacted from this posting> & the Secretary of the DSS [AATA <Redacted from this posting>] for more details.
Finally, check out the constitution, para’ 51 (xxiii) (a), especially the clearly words bits about “the PROVISION” of welfare allowances and not linking welfare payments to “civil conscription”, i.e. Work for the Dole.
Whatever the actual death toll caused by breaching penalties, the HIP Royal Commission capped the limit on government policy triggered deaths at 1 being 1 too many! (Thank you Tony for that inquiry.)
Prime Minister, now may not be a good time for double dissolution.
APPENDED: The EWRE committee classification of the breaching murders as “irrelevant”.
Ronald Medlicott – Teacher and lay welfare justice advocate.
My comment about the rejected “irrelevant” submission.
I pointed out that Work Choices was bad legislation because, like breaching legislation, it was harmful to Australia’s most vulnerable people, i.e. low income workers and the unemployed. As you can see from the letter above, the EWRE Committee regarded the high number of unreported post breaching fatalities that I wrote about as being “irrelevant”.
These comments are in stark contrast to the Liberal Party’s concerns about the 4 Home Improvement Program fatalities which were the subject of a Senate ECA Committee inquiry in February 2010, coroner’s inquests in Queensland and New South Wales, a Royal Commission in 2013, and numerous criminal negligence prosecutions.
In 14.1.1 of the Home Improvement Program Royal Commission Report, Commissioner Ian Hanger QC made the following recommendations:
“This could be done by including a section in the briefing template which requires the author to air risks relevant to the proposal (a ‘devil’s advocate’ section)—this would provide Ministers with an opportunity to make decisions fully informed about the implications and consequences thereof. Officers must be supported to engage with personal risk when giving advice, rather than to remain complicit with a particular approach thought to be favoured by the Minister or a political adviser. Senior officials must likewise satisfy themselves that advice concerning risks is accurate, independent, and comprehensive. Additionally, advice on risk, whether delivered in a written submission or verbally, should not be pitched at such a high level that it is impossible for the Minister to discern real tangible risks therein. Ministers and their advisers must not, by subtle suggestion or otherwise, dictate what advice they receive.”
Within the above statement is this comment:
“The APS ought to brief Ministers on the risks inherent in a recommended approach or advise on how the proposed approach might contain faults in the design or otherwise fail to work.”
Over the last 40 years since legislated welfare penalties came into force, how many times have Australian Public Service (APS) officials informed government ministers that these penalties are a Crime against humanity under international laws and violate state and territory homicide laws such as (WA) s 279.4, (SA) s 13.7, QLD s 302.4, (TAS) s 156, (VIC) s 4 and (NSW) s 18.1??????
Correct me if I wrong but I believe that there is not record in Hansard of senior DHS, DSS or DWEER officials having ever done this. If they did so, it was in private, not public meetings and there is therefore no published evidence that would exonerate these officials for acts of omission under s 4 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act (1995).
As stated in my last posting and in the text of the information provided to Malcolm Turnbull, DHS do not know how many people have died as a consequence of being breached. In point of fact, Hansard minutes of a CALC hearing in February 2015 and a CARC hearing in June 2015 make it quite clear that they do not know how many people have had essential services cut off or have been evicted after being breached.
The reality is that whatever the potential danger to Australian citizens is posed by Islamic terrorist groups such as Islamic State and J.I., this risk is almost totally insignificant when compared to the risks created Australian politicians when creating public policies. The Queensland coroner’s inquest report into the three Home Improvement Program fatalities that occurred in that state heavily criticized the Rudd Government for focusing upon financial considerations ahead of public safety.
For those who did not read yesterday’s posting, hear are the views of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey on the importance of saving money rather than saving lives:
“The entitlements bestowed on tens of millions of people by successive governments, fuelled by short-term electoral cycles and the politics of outbidding your opponents is, in essence, undermining our ability to ensure democracy, fair representation and economic sustainability for future generations.” … “It is ironic that the entitlements system seems to be the most obvious and prevalent in some of the most democratic societies. Most undemocratic nations are simply unable to afford the largesse of universal entitlement systems. So, ultimately the fiscal impact of popular programs must be brought to account no matter what the political values the government are or how popular a spending program may be. Let me put it this way the age of entitlement is over. We should not take this is cause for despair.” [Joe Hockey’s London Institute of Economic Affairs speech on 17th April 2012]
“I am all in favour of rights. I am also in favour of the rights of taxpayers not to have their money abused. I am in favour of the rights of taxpayers to say that young people should be doing the right thing by themselves and by our society.”
[Question Time: 30th September 2014, Hansard, page 10,755. 30th September 2014]
The focus in these statements was upon saving money, not the “Mutual Obligations” that Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott owed to welfare recipients who had, and still have a range of constitutional and legally enforceable rights to “the Dole”, i.e. a subsistence allowance.