Heiner affair shadows Bryce
SERIOUS allegations concerning the integrity of Governor-General designate Quentin Bryce and her role in the unresolved Heiner affair are being investigated by staff of Governor-General Major-General Michael Jeffery.
The investigation threatens plans to swear in Ms Bryce as the nation’s 25th Governor-General, and the first woman to occupy the post, on September 5.
The allegations about Ms Bryce’s fitness to hold the position as the Queen’s representative were sent to Buckingham Palace, with a copy to Major-General Jeffery, on May 30 by Kevin Lindeberg, the whistle blower in the long-running Heiner affair.
On June 10, the deputy official secretary to the Governor-General, Brian Hallett, wrote to Mr Lindeberg, assuring him that “the issues raised in your letter are being investigated’’.
One of Australia’s most senior judicial figures, with a record of service at a vice-regal level, says that he has examined much of the Heiner affair material and “there is certainly a case to answer’’.
The Heiner affair concerns the illegal shredding by the Goss Cabinet of documents relating to investigations into child abuse at a Brisbane detention centre that were wanted for evidence, and the cover-up of that action.
In his letter to Buckingham Palace, Mr Lindeberg mentioned the audit prepared by Sydney QC David Rofe, and The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the Heiner affair.
The audit details 68 unresolved alleged prima facie criminal charges which Rofe QC believes are capable of being brought against current and former public officials in respect of their handling of the Heiner matter.
Mr Lindeberg referred to reports in this column that Prime Minister Rudd and former Governor of Queensland Ms Bryce were among the officials associated with alleged prima facie charges by the audit.
He told the Queen that documents including the Rofe audit, an application for review and the statement of concern sent by a number of legal figures to then Queensland Premier Beattie and current Premier Anna Bligh, were lodged with the Queensland Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, in an application for a review under the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Act. The PCMC is investigating the matter.
Ms Bryce sought a report on the Heiner affair from Premier Beattie in 2003, received it, but neither she nor Mr Beattie ever made it public.
Mr Lindeberg said in his letter that the Australian Constitution vested reserve powers in the Governor-General, including the right to dismiss a prime minister or minister who acts unlawfully.
He said those holding the office of Governor-General must do so without any suspicion that their integrity might be in doubt as sufficing to impinge on their capacity to exercise those reserve powers impartially.
The exercise of those reserve powers may be brought into jeopardy after September 5, he claimed, unless the Heiner affair is properly resolved.
Dreaming at uni of no Israel
Staff of Macquarie University describe their blog on the Middle East:
Khaldoun is a site that places scholarly and informed perspectives into the public realm to promote understanding, tolerance and ultimate peace in the Middle East.
Let’s see how all that current of understanding, tolerance and peace is flowing, shall we?
Reader markusbondi has a theory:
It is proven that all socialist powers fall 9 years after hosting an Olympiad. Despite any misgivings at the time....
It is written in the destruction of socialist destiny that Commie China will fall in 2017; 9 years after hosting the Olympics.
Hubris punished in the NT
Labor is hammered in the Northern Territory, just scraping back by one seat:
LABOR seemed to have scraped back into power by a handful of votes late last night after being given an almighty kick up the backside by voters…
They play, we pay - but restrain your complaints
Something about this stinks in my nostrils, but we don’t yet know all the facts - and the law in this country is too fickle for me or you to say much more:
A LAWYER acting for the former lover of the Tasmanian cabinet minister Paula Wriedt has rejected any suggestion that a compensation action he is taking against the Tasmanian Government amounted to a kind of blackmail.
The team from Fountain Gate
Couldn’t agree more:
AUSTRALIA’S Opening Ceremony uniforms, paraded before the world on Friday night, were pilloried by fans and fashionistas who described them as “sucked iceblocks”.
For contrast, here’s the Japanese and Americans:
Still it could be worse. Meet the Canadians:
A dam would have been cheaper
When a government first fails to find more water for a growing city, and then belatedly decides to builde a desalination plant that produces half the water at twice the price of a new dam, the inevitable happens:
MELBURNIANS face even bigger water bills than the State Government has predicted… Water Minister Tim Holding has said bills will double but rise no further by 2012, as the city pays for the desalination plant and other major projects that will boost water supplies. But this promise is being undermined by rapidly changing economic conditions, the cost of borrowing money and this year’s disappointing rainfall.
Threats televised: the hard power and the soft
For the best possible illustration of why Islamic terrorism may one day be considered the least of our problems, look no farther than the BBC’s split-screen coverage of yesterday’s Olympic opening ceremonies. On one side, fireworks sparkled, and thousands of exotically dressed Chinese dancers bent their bodies into the shape of doves, the cosmos and more. On the other side, gray Russian tanks were shown rolling into South Ossetia, a rebel province of Georgia. The effect was striking: Two of the world’s rising powers were strutting their stuff.
A fly on the wall
Kevin Rudd, so easily star-struck, is naturally also a tattler:
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd witnessed a heated discussion between US President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, over Russia’s invasion of a tiny neighbouring country as athletes paraded before them in the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
Isn’t being a saint of Labor and the ABC enough?
BENNELONG community groups and constituents have accused Maxine McKew of turning her back on the electorate since the federal election. On the night of Labor’s election victory, in a dig at John Howard, Ms McKew promised Bennelong would never again be taken for granted - but the former TV journalist is now being accused of doing exactly that.
At least Costello would be interesting
Paul Keating’s spray at Peter Costello makes Laurie Oakes nostalgic:
It also made us realise why we miss Costello so much. -Yet we don't miss Keating. Maybe the comparison isn't fair on either. -ed.