Monday 31st of August 2015

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 20:30


From Richard Ackland

Dyson Heydon’s reasons for rejecting the applications that he disqualify himself as the trade union royal commissioner involve various definitional refinements, akin to a delicatessen slicing the prosciutto very finely.

For instance, would anyone reasonably think he was invited to a “Liberal party event”?

To the commissioner’s way of thinking it was not so much a Liberal party dinner, rather more a speech on legal matters to a group of lawyers.

After all, he said, anyone could come to the dinner as it was not confined to members of the party, which begs the question of how many Labor lawyers would turn up to an event called the “Sir Garfield Barwick lecture”.

The commissioner points to the fact that former chief justice Murray Gleeson delivered the 2014 Garfield Barwick lecture and his politics are unknown and even beyond speculation. If Gleeson could be the guest speaker, how then could it be described as a “Liberal party event?”

Even if it was a party occasion, the commissioner asks: “how does that demonstrate that the speaker has an affinity with a partiality for or a persuasion or allegiance or alignment to the Liberal party or lent it support?”

If the fair minded lay observer (FMLO), who in this instance is the judge of apprehended bias, had an idea of Heydon’s record on the high court they might get a whiff of partiality to a particular world view, or philosophy.

But that was off the menu for consideration.

The meat slicer was set to extra thin when it came to the issue of whether the dinner was a fundraiser or not a fundraiser. Heydon believed it was not a fundraiser.

The commissioner was sure he was not there to raise funds for the Liberal party, which ignored the prospect that he was a drawcard for well-padded lawyers who could come and also make donations, on top of paying for the cost of the meal.

After all, the invitation was accompanied by forms and information to make that possible.

This suggests that the royal commissioner wasn’t so concerned if his host for the night was a branch of the Liberal party. He was more anxious about it being a fundraiser.

Heydon also said in his reasons that he did not want each event or email in the sequence leading up to his withdrawal as guest speaker to be considered separately.

He said the test was for the FMLO to have knowledge of all the relevant circumstances and then reserve judgment until all matters are considered.

That was quite an interesting comment, because it assumes that the FMLO has all the relevant information, which is something the union applicants contest.

It doesn’t seem to be a level playing field if the commissioner, putting himself in the position of the FMLO, has all the knowledge about what went on behind the scenes, but the real FMLO in the street doesn’t.

There are key gaps in our knowledge on the morning of 13 August, between the commissioner saying he was attending the dinner as guest speaker, but only if it was not described as a Liberal party event, and two hours later when he withdrew as guest lecturer. The timeline from the morning of 13 August goes like this:

  • 9.00am: counsel assisting Jeremy Stoljar raises with Heydon a query from the bar association’s Chris Winslow about it being a Liberal party event.
  • 9.23am: Heydon’s secretary advises the organisers that he is attending the dinner, but only if it is not “described” as a Liberal party event.
  • 9.40am: the Sydney Morning Herald asks the commission for a comment about its story, soon to break.
  • 9.53am: The commission’s PR man replies to the Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 10.10am and 10.50am: two adjournments, during one of which Heydon speaks on the phone to attorney general George Brandis.
  • 10.33am: the Sydney Morning Herald breaks the story.
  • 10.35am: Herald journalist Latika Bourke tweets the story. 
  • 11.33am: the royal commission issues a media release announcing Heydon’s withdrawal from dinner. 

The commissioner has said that his state of mind can best be discerned from his secretary’s email to the dinner organiser, Gregory Burton SC, at 9.23am on 13 August, which said would give the Barwick lecture, but only if it was not “described” as a Liberal party event. 

That was written as a protective exercise after his counsel assisting had a word with him at 9am that morning. Stoljar’s note said that Heydon justified his attendance at the dinner because he showed an email from Burton saying the evening was not a fundraiser.

read more:

this Heydon-grocer who slices the prosciutto paper thin has a liberal finger on the scales of justice... 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 15:05

1) What was the Australian Border Force even planning to do in Melbourne?

The controversy began with a now-infamous press release issued at 9.16am on Friday, in which Don Smith, ABF Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania, warned "ABF officers will be speaking with any individual we cross paths with" during a crackdown on visa fraud.

At 1.46pm, following public outrage and protests, the ABF clarified it "does not and will not stop people at random in the streets".

2) Was media misreporting to blame for the controversy?

Scrambling to hose down the story on Friday, the Australian Border Force issued a statement saying it "will not be 'stopping people at random' in Melbourne to 'check people's papers' as reported in media".

This statement implied the media had misreported the stated intent of the operation.

ABF Commissioner Roman Quaedvleig later conceded the press release "incorrectly construed what our role was … it should have been better explained, it was clumsy."

3) Was the press release cleared by those in the Border Force's upper ranks?

Mr Quaedvleig said the press release was "released at the lower levels of the organisation", indicating that he and other senior officials were not to blame for the farce.

But he confirmed Mr Smith signed off on the quotes attributed to him. Mr Smith is the head of the Border Force in Victoria and Tasmania – surely not someone considered to be at the "lower levels of the organisation".

The Guardian Australia has reported that the border force assistant secretary for communications and media, Mark Jeffries, also cleared the statement.

4) Was Mr Dutton involved in issuing the press release and did he have prior knowledge of the Melbourne operation?

Mr Quaedvleig said Mr Dutton's office was "not involved" in issuing the press release, which was "circulated at a regional level in the state of Victoria".

On Friday Fairfax Media asked Mr Dutton's office if he knew in advance of the operation. The reply? "Ministers don't direct operational matters".

On Saturday Mr Abbott sought to distance the government from the press release, saying it went out "at arm's length from the executive government".

"All sorts of press releases go out all the time – but they go out under the authority of the relevant officials, they go out under the authority of the relevant agencies and that all happens at arm's length from ministers," he said.

But later that day it emerged the press release was sent to Mr Dutton's office on Wednesday as an attachment to a briefing note about the operation. It was not opened because it appeared "routine"

The Guardian Australia has reported that a shorter briefing note, with the press release attached, was also sent to Mr Dutton's office on Thursday morning.

5) How extensive was the operation meant to be?

In its original press release, the ABF said the operation would focus on "people travelling to, from and around the CBD" and officers would be "positioned at various locations".

In its clarification, the ABF played down the extent of its involvement, saying while the operation would occur at numerous locations, its officers would be stationed "at only two" of them

6) Was the operation a genuine "first"?

The ABF initially trumpeted the operation as a grand premiere in which "officers will for the first time join forces with a diverse team of transport and enforcement agencies".

On Saturday, Mr Abbott conceded "there was no additional involvement of Australian Border Force in this than is customary in any number of other routine operations" – which begs the question as to why a press release was even issued.

The department also conceded "joint operations of this type are common and were previously conducted by departmental immigration officers".

However the department is yet to answer questions from Fairfax Media about where operations of this type were previously conducted, and if they are planned in future.

7) Has this type of Border Force operation happened in Sydney?

Asked about the Melbourne operation on Friday, NSW Police Minister Troy Grant said "the Border Force already engages in NSW".

"Not just on that issue [visa fraud]. They also go into work places, they also target prostitution et cetera. So they do a range of stuff. So it's just Victoria catching up."

After the operation was cancelled, Mr Grant's office clarified that he was referring only to joint raids of premises such as brothels that have been carried out by NSW Police and immigration officials for many years.

8) Did Labor support the Border Force's powers being used in the way planned for Melbourne?

Asked about the operation on Friday morning, Labor leader Bill Shorten did not immediately condemn it.

"Labor obviously believes in targeting crime," he said.

"I do hope that any of these actions are done to try and protect Australian laws, to make sure that people are not overstaying their visas, to make sure that temporary guest workers are not being exploited."

On Saturday, following the dramatic fallout, Mr Shorten described the operation as "one of the most catastrophically silly ideas I've seen this government do".

Read more: 
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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 14:38

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has played down reports Cambodia does not want to settle more refugees as part of its transfer deal with Australia.

Four people were transferred from Nauru to the South-East Asian nation in June in an arrangement costing Australia more than $55 million, but a Cambodian ministry spokesman has reportedly said the fewer refugees the country receives, the better.

Mr Dutton said the comments were from a low-level official and he expected Cambodia to continue to honour the agreement.

"We have discussions ongoing at an officials level, and we have a level of confidence in the MOU that we've signed with the Cambodian government which allows for more than four to go," he told the ABC's World Today program.

"We hope a lot more will follow the four, but the MOU has been signed between Cambodia and Australia and we expect it to be honoured and we're working with Cambodians to that end.

"There are other people in Nauru now who are prepared to go to Cambodia and we're working through the detail of that with the officials."

The Federal Opposition earlier slammed Australia's refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia as an "expensive joke".

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 14:33


As a fair lay-person, I feel that Heydon deciding to stay in the position while he inflicted pain on other people in a similar position as his own is WRONG. I feel it is devaluing justice... His is thus unable to apply the law to himself as he is expecting from others...


It stinks. It shows the Royal Commission is not genuine. Especially in the light of the Border Force in which the minister's office "DID NOT READ THE PAPERWORK". Are these people paid to be ignorant or what?

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 13:13

Senior Liberal Arthur Sinodinos has slammed ministers for leaking against Treasurer Joe Hockey and has called on the Prime Minister to sack those found guilty of the practice.

Several senior Coalition MPs believe Mr Hockey has failed to prosecute the Government's economic agenda and want Tony Abbott to dump him from the Treasury portfolio.

In an unusual move, Senator Sinodinos released a media statement today reminding his colleagues that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is the enemy and telling them to focus the upcoming Canning by-election in Perth.

"Ministers should be working hard to win the Canning by-election rather than backgrounding against a colleague to scapegoat a potential loss," he said.

The former chief of staff to John Howard said any talk of a reshuffle or a double dissolution election "smacks of defeatism" and called on Mr Abbott to take action.


Sinodinos is lucky not to be fully disgraced nor to be in the klink for having been part of an above-board water defrauding siphoning-conspiracy. He should keep his trap shut. He is reminding the Australian public that some people, especially in the Liberal (CONservative) Party get away with some interesting manipulations of public entities that could resemble fraudulence... Read from Top...

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 10:39


Jack Nicholson once offered Princess Margaret cocaine at a dinner party held in her honour, a new book claims.

The actor is said to have pulled her aside at the glamorous event in Los Angeles and made the offer in an effort to get to know her better.

But the princess declined and spent much of the night drinking and dancing with John Travolta instead.

The anecdote is recounted in a new biography of top Hollywood agent Sue Mengers, who hosted the party for the princess in 1979.


I smell a rat here... An unverifiable anecdote to sell a new book... Is John Travolta a really good dancer?... Kidding. Anyway, see toon at top and read story from top...


by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 10:30

back in May 2014....


It appears Australia has got the green light to resettle refugees in Cambodia despite strong criticism from refugee and human rights advocates.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has revealed that plans are already well advanced to send 1000 people from Australian detention centres to Cambodia but he has insisted that refugees not be sent against their will.

It is not known exactly how much Australia will pay for the deal but Cambodia's opposition leader Sam Rainsy says refugees should be accepted on human rights grounds and not as a financial incentive.




Australia’s $55m plan to resettle refugees from Nauru to Cambodia appears finished, with just four refugees moved to the south-east Asian country at a cost of more than $13m per refugee.

Four refugees – an Iranian couple, Iranian man and a Rohingyan man from Burma – were transferred from Nauru to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in June.

Since then, they’ve lived in relative luxury in an Australian-funded villa, and will remain there indefinitely.

However, Cambodia expects it will take no more from Australia’s resettlement plan.

“We don’t have any plans to import more refugees from Nauru to Cambodia,” interior ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told the Cambodia Daily. “I think the less we receive the better.”

Under the deal, signed by previous immigration minister Scott Morrison and Cambodia’s interior minister Sar Kheng last September, Australia promised an additional $40m in aid to the impoverished south-east Asian country as well as $15.5m in resettlement, housing, education and integration costs for the refugees.

read more:


The deal was a massive con-trick devised by Turdy to deceive the Australian public...



by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 07:17

These BF (Bad Fucup or Border Fiasco) idiots should know that eventually, there is a blood trail. When journos are pissed off for being lied to, they will put their nose to the ground and ask questions. The government has lied from the onset and blamed some badly-wording low level underling when the buck goes directly to Minister Dutton and Turdy himself. But their "departments" try to fudge by saying "we did not know" "we did not read the memo", or the worse of the lot "it was a routine op"... while in fact the Border Fudge would not have tried to act without orders from the top. Hence the toon at top in which Turdy is implanting thoughts into Romanstein...



The “very, very badly worded” Australian Border Force press release that appeared to threaten random visa checks on the streets of Melbourne was twice sent to the office of the immigration minister, Peter Dutton Guardian Australia has been told.

It was also allegedly cleared at a high level in the border force’s Canberra headquarters.

After the release sparked a snap protest on Friday and forced the Victorian police operation to be abandoned, the border force commissioner, Roman Quaedvlieg, said it had been “cleared at a low level in the organisation”.

But a spokesman for Dutton confirmed on Sunday it had been sent to his office on Wednesday as an attachment to a briefing note about the weekend operation. “It was not opened or read because it looked like a routine operation,” the spokesman said.

Sources later told Guardian Australia a shorter briefing note, again with the press release attached, was sent to Dutton’s office again on Thursday morning. Dutton’s spokesman was contacted for comment.

Quaedvlieg conceded on Friday the media release had been cleared by the Victorian and Tasmanian commander of the border force, Don Smith, who was quoted in the original release saying, “ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with,” and, “You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out.”

But according to former immigration department officials, including the former communications head Sandi Logan, who say they are informed by current officials close to the issue, the border force assistant secretary for communications and media, Mark Jeffries, also cleared it.

read more:


Who is going to go first? At the moment there is suggestion that Turdy is going to jettison Joe like a bag of sand from his hot air balloon, because well the economy is crap... Turdy should go first.

But who's going to be the fall guy for the Border Fiasco?...

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-08-31 06:26

According to my good German Friend, Gewähr FürdenSieg, the world economy is about to tank... There are so many US junk packages (about US$5 trillion worth) floating around between banks that they will make the last GFC look like a picnic. The world debt (to itself minus the US) could increase by 20 per cent overnight. When? Good question. It's all depend on the way the banks (mostly US banks) have edged their bets on the timing. Some banks will win a bit, most banks will loose and central banks will come to the rescue by printing more cash, devaluing currencies. But since most would be doing it, it won't mean much, except many people will end up on the scrap heap. 

Meanwhile as the US economy is "improving" (frothing up like a meringue), its central bank interest rates will be lifted by 25 points, sucking all the cash to the US. It's going to be ugly. 

If you've seen stockbrokers cry with the latest Chinese "correction", you are going to see rivers of tears (Ströme von Tränen)... So When? Two weeks from today...

Remember, you've read here first.


by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2015-08-30 18:29


No matter who decided it was a good idea for the newly uniformed paramilitary types of the Australian Border Force to team up with police to randomly intercept citizens in Melbourne for visa checks this weekend, it was a bad look for the organisation and a black eye for the Abbott government by association.

Operation Ineptitude - its official name having been "Operation Fortitude" - was an ill-conceived debacle from start to... well, to its inevitable abandonment.




Former independent MP Tony Windsor has hit out at a bungled operation that would have seen people stopped for passport checks on the streets of Melbourne, telling ABC radio he had no doubt that some in the Abbott government "hopes that something goes wrong domestically".
Speaking on ABC radio national current affairs program AM, Mr Windsor said the Border Force operation was no mistake, but a "deliberate agenda to create fear in the community". 

Mr Windsor said: "I've got no doubt that some of these people in Abbott's government hope that something goes wrong domestically. That they can taunt a Muslim into doing something so that they can say that we're the only ones that can protect you, the Labor party are too weak to protect you, vote for us," he said, adding, "I think that's an extraordinary agenda to go to an election on.

Yes Tony Windsor... The cartoon at top of course suggest this exactly. The Border Force is the baby of Turdy and it's intentions and actions are those of Turdy, NO MATTER HOW TURDY PROTEST HIS INNOCENCE...