The Commonwealth has spent a little more than $4.2 million persecuting the former ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery through the courts. That counts only the cost paid in external legal fees. It ignores the huge additional costs incurred internally with some of the government's brightest and best lawyers engaged.
Collaery is being prosecuted over his alleged role in disclosing the bastardry of the federal government when it bugged the private meetings of our impoverished neighbours, Timor-Leste, during negotiations with us concerning Timor Sea gas and oil royalties.
That dishonest conduct is not really a secret as the Commonwealth has never denied it. Why, therefore, has so much money been spent trying to keep the details of the Collaery prosecution secret? Are there other darker and more damning government secrets yet to be discovered?
Lawyers and judges of every hue and at every level of the Australian legal system have urged the government to abandon the Collaery prosecution concerning, as it does, morally bankrupt conduct on the part of the government which took place 20 years ago. The royalty agreement was, in any event, overturned in 2017 following referral by Timor-Leste to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
The prosecution is far from finalised. No doubt millions more will be spent by the Commonwealth in bringing the matter to finality (leaving aside any appeal to the ACT Court of Appeal or, ultimately, the High Court). Wake up Scott Morrison, Michaela Cash and others, the voters of Australia are not as tolerant nor as naive as you apparently believe.
I am horrified that Justice Mossop is allowing evidence to be presented at trial that is to be kept completely secret from the defendant, Bernard Collaery, and his legal team, and has "rejected suggestions the making of such an order would erode public confidence in the court system".
This is not any sort of justice in a free democracy, and my confidence in the court system has most certainly been eroded by this decision.
Recalling that Mr Collaery is on trial for representing a whistle blower (on Australia spying on East Timor for commercial benefit), this latest decision continues an unforgiveable state-sanctioned persecution worthy of a dictatorship.
Harry Davis apparently sees "our nearer neighbours Indonesia, Fiji or Papua" (Letters, March 15) as posing a threat to Australia.
It would appear from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's submissions to the Supreme Court that the real threat comes from little Timor-Leste. Remember the Attorney-General keeps on submitting to the Supreme Court that if the prosecution of Bernard Collaery for disclosing the bugging of the Timor-Leste Cabinet were to proceed in open court, Australia's national security would be prejudiced.
The Attorney-General must be privy to secret information about the threat Timor-Leste poses, information which has escaped the attention of the general community.
Scott Morrison has worked as hard as any man could, but our left wing press won't give him anything but grief.
Whatever he says, whatever he does, the malicious press gives him a kicking. If the PM has made one mistake it was to set up the national cabinet, since it has given the premiers far too much power, and when they make a mistake they just blame it on to the federal government.
Once again the press constantly refers to "the government", never the "state government", even if the matter has nothing to do with the federal government.
If Australia is unfortunate enough to get Albanese as our PM, heaven help us. He has been hiding behind Scott Morrison and I haven't heard one word from him about an idea of his own.
As a federal election is looming, it's important that we get a fair and reasonable press reporting to us, not the left-wing blighters we have now. We live in dangerous times, remember.
At long last there seems to be a widespread recognition within society and among decision makers that climate change is real and that it is happening with a vengeance. And yet, so far we have only experienced 1.4 degrees of warming.
What the heck are we going to be dealing with when we have three or four degrees of warming? Extreme weather events like droughts, fires, storms, floods and heatwaves will be regular occurrences. The damage to our towns and cities, our infrastructure, our agriculture, and our health, will be horrendously expensive and far-reaching.
The need for planning and preparation cannot be ignored, and calls on government funding will be beyond anything we are seeing today. Australians expect their governments to provide support in crisis situations, and we are also going to need massive allocations of funding to underpin our health and aged care systems, as well as defence and infrastructure.
Morrison and Frydenberg must be well aware of this, in spite of their calls for government to get out of people's lives and their admiration for neoliberal economics. Sorry guys, but the neoliberalism espoused by Thatcher and Reagan is now dead. We are living in a new era.
While the world has largely and rightly condemned the senseless and criminal brutality now being visited on the Ukrainians by Vladimir the (not so) Great, let us not forget who his first victims were.
It is the Russian people themselves who have suffered and will continue to suffer at his hands.
Up until now he had bought off the majority of them with increased living standards due to the money he got from Europe from the sale of oil and gas.
Now that is under threat in the short term due to his actions and in the longer term by the move away from fossil fuels. As a result the economic future of his people is in jeopardy and the very existence of those he sends to Ukraine is in doubt along with its inhabitants.
Once again, millions are made to suffer for the deluded fantasies and ego of a bitter old man. To paraphrase Sting, "I know the Russians love their children too." What a terrible waste.
Since Australia may actually benefit from replacing some of the products that used to be sourced from Russia let us be generous in whatever aid we give to the Ukrainians.
When the Taliban took over and the Afghan people made a desperate attempt to flee their tyrannical rule we thought we had seen the worst in modern times. But the Russian atrocities in Ukraine is a stark remainder that rogue rulers are capable of a lot worse. What a crying shame that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council? It should have no place in that august world body that stands for world peace.
Would it be possible to look carefully into the accuracy of RAT tests? I recently had COVID-19 and after the outcome of my PCR test I decided to test three different brands of RATs while my symptoms were at their strongest. All of them returned a negative result. I understand this is not uncommon.
If their accuracy is in the region of 30 per cent, like the test kits that Europe rejected in 2020, then their role in trying to detect and contain the spread of the virus is highly questionable. So is their value for money.
With petrol going through the roof it makes sense to encourage the uptake of EVs. It's more economically viable for our country to go electric, despite the issue of government revenue raised from fuel excise.
ATO data reveals that in 2022 the fossil fuel industry will gain billions of taxpayer dollars through the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme. This money would be better spent supporting renewables, now our cheapest energy source. This includes electrifying transport. Cleaner air would also save us millions of dollars in taxpayers money, needed to alleviate the health problems cause by particulate matter from ICE vehicle emissions.
Then there is the cost of climate mitigation, which Deloitte Access says will run in to trillions in coming decades. The uptake of EVs is a great opportunity for us to lower our carbon footprint.
A win-win, when the cost of charging an electric vehicle is negligible.
Joe Biden calling Vladimir Putin a war criminal, when this is only determined by courts, is unintelligent and simply serves to escalate hostilities. His spokesperson said he was just speaking from the heart but loose lips sink ships.
What a weird world this is. When you kill one person, you're a murderer. When you slaughter thousands, you're a statesman.
Would someone please explain to me why the bombing of Kyiv by Russia is a war crime while the complete destruction of Dresden by British/American forces, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, isn't?
There must be a federal election looming. Our non-representative senator, Zed Seselja, has come out of hibernation and is taking some interest in local issues.
Now that Cameron Smith has won $US5 million, he should be able to afford a proper haircut.
Andrew Barr says he wants to lure people who innovate in technology to Canberra. Does that mean they will replace the ridiculous Woden tram plan with innovative modern transport?
I wonder how many of Scott Morrison's supporters are actually proud of him casting aspersions on Anthony Albanese's weight loss?
If there is such a "bromance" between Putin and Trump, why doesn't Trump negotiate with him (on behalf of America) some peace talks?
I don't know why Rajend Naidu (Letters, March 16) is outraged by the term "special military operation". It is perfectly accurate. Putin's invasion is a military operation. The war crimes make it special.
Scott Morrison has claimed Mr Albanese is pretending to be something he's not. Many Australians are wondering when Mr Morrison will start pretending that he's a skilled, competent, compassionate and effective leader for our country.
A Turkish proverb states that when a clown moves into a palace, he doesn't become a king; the palace becomes a circus. The Australian Parliament has become a circus. It needs a good circus juggler who can juggle all the balls thrown at them in a competent, forward-thinking, audience-focused and responsive way. It wouldn't matter what particular circus they were from, just so long as they were capable and worthy of applause when it came to the end of the show.
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