Hearings, Committees and submissions
THE JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON ETHICAL CONDUCT
THE PREMIER'S HALL, PARLIAMENTARY ANNEX, PARLIAMENT HOUSE,
24 NOVEMBER 2008
DISCUSSION WITH Mr KEVIN LINDEBERG.
In the opinion of senior counsel, the issues are very simple if the rule of law is to prevail. On the evidence supplied, there only needs to be found the low threshold of a suspicion of official misconduct to lead to the establishment of a full and an open inquiry to get to the truth. Such an inquiry, however, would not only rock Queensland to its foundations but the nation itself because it is known that the Prime Minister Rudd and Her Excellency Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, are adversely named in the audit. Amongst other things, six serving Queensland judicial officers are adversely named.
The International Community of Archives have long declared this matter to be one of the great shredding scandals of the twentieth century and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority - APRA - has more recently declared this matter, along with Enron and HIH, to be a high-profile corruption scandal.
The Lindeberg Grievance (SENATE HANSARD 8 August 2001 P25783 MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST: Whistleblowers: Heiner Case)
Senator HARRIS (Queensland) (9.45 p.m.) —I rise in this adjournment debate to continue to read into Hansard the legal opinion of Greenwood QC.
It is simply untenable to permit the shredding of public documents containing evidence of alleged child abuse in a State-run institution and required for court action to be described by the Australian Senate solely in political terms while ignoring its legality or otherwise. Our democracy requires that political decisions can or should be taken only within the framework of upholding and respecting the rule of law. In this regard, the Senate, as its view stands concerning certain conduct by Government and other public officials in the Heiner Affair, appears to suggest, on the Parliamentary record, that Executive decree can be placed above both legal considerations or consequences when arguably it is open to conclude that certain sections of the Criminal Code (Qld) may have been breached5 in respect of those same Cabinet and related decisions. Such a notion is a danger to Australia's liberal Parliamentary democracy and the individual rights of all Australians enjoyed under our Constitution. Forde Inquiry Exhibit 20, dated 7 April 1989, reveals prima facie admissions of the most serious kind concerning unlawful assaults against children held in the care of the State at Sir Leslie Wilson Youth Detention Centre and John Oxley Youth Detention Centre (JOYC). We submit that the submissions should have been thoroughly explored by the Forde Inquiry but they were not, even after the exhibit was tabled and when both Messrs Peter Coyne (former JOYC Manager) and Frederick Feige (Senior Youth Worker) were under Oath in the witness box during its February 1999 public hearings. Read the full document here.
Samuel Griffith Society
Special Paper Delivered To The Samuel Griffith Society
In regard to the administration of the criminal law in Queensland, its governance and the conduct of certain legal practitioners, it is now reasonably open to conclude that:
- Certain Queensland public officials (i.e., Ministers of the Crown, MLAs and public servants) collectively have themselves misinterpreted and/or know that the criminal law (i.e., s. 129 of the Criminal Code) has been erroneously interpreted in the Heiner affair, which has had the effect of preventing serious criminal and/or disciplinary charges being brought against certain of them for their destruction-of-evidence conduct. Yet, in the case of a private citizen (i.e., Pastor Ensbey), some of those same public officials have knowingly applied and/or now know that the same provision was applied correctly to the full extent of the law for the citizen's similar destruction-of-evidence conduct and seen him found guilty.
- Certain Queensland public officials (i.e., Ministers of the Crown, MLAs and public servants) in respect of Point 1 have abused and continue to knowingly abuse their power and place themselves beyond the reach of the law by not applying the criminal law equally and consistently in a materially similar circumstance.
- The Executive and legislative arms of government in the State of Queensland have confirmed, by the Cabinet's own destruction-of-evidence action in the Heiner affair and its preparedness to continue to defend such obstructionist conduct, that both will interfere with the judicial arm of government to prevent evidence in the Executive's possession and/or control being used in known or reasonably anticipated proceedings by deliberately destroying it. This is despite knowing that in those records is suspected and/or known evidence concerning the abuse of children in State care, and that such conduct scandalizes the disclosure/discovery Rules of the Supreme Court, and breaches the doctrine of the separation of powers so fundamental to any civil society governed by the rule of law.
Parliament of Australia
House Of Representatives
House Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Crime in the Community Report.
Volume Two of the Committee’s Report therefore focuses on the ‘Heiner Affair’ – the shredding of documents by the newly elected Goss Government in Queensland in 1990. Those documents contained evidence of child abuse at a State-run youth detention centre. To this day, Queensland continues to experience revelations of serious abuse of those most vulnerable in our community. The Committee’s conclusions in this Volume are based on two guiding principles of our society: everyone is equal before the law, and the welfare of the most vulnerable in our community is paramount. Section 129 of the Queensland Criminal Code Act 1899 states:
HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
Crime in the community submission of Kevin Lindeberg
Despite the obligation cast on principal officers of a unit of public administration to report all suspected official misconduct which may come to their attention in accordance with the provisions of the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001, it remains a foggy area of the law as to whether a Minister of the Crown or an elected representative has the same duty;
So complete - as it currently seems to be although not having been tested in a court of law for judicial interpretation - is the relief of not reporting suspected evidence of criminality and/or official misconduct when it comes before Executive Government (i.e. the Cabinet) that in March 1995, the (Goss) Queensland Government amended the Freedom of Information Act (Qld) 19929 exempting all documents and submissions brought into existence for or relevant to Cabinet and Executive Council, and declared that a “no public interest” test apply in respect of accessing these public records.
Crime in the community submission of Mr. Bruce Grundy
Mr Grundy provided the Committee with much evidence that abuse, including a pack-rape of a then 14 year old resident, occurred at JOYC and further, that nothing was done about it. The pack-rape took place in May 1988, some 18 months prior to the Heiner inquiry commencing. The Committee holds the view that if evidence such as knowledge of the pack-rape or other abuse was given to Mr Heiner, it potentially adds a further dimension of criminality to the shredding of the documents.
Crime in the Community submission of Beryce Nelson
There was a long period of cover-up surrounding both D’Arcy and Wright. One is serving and one has served a sentence for sexual behaviour against children. I believe that that culture is what needs to be dealt with. What I am really saying to you today is that you should be calling on the Queensland Premier not just to say: ‘We’re sorry. Yes, it happened. We were wrong,’ which nobody has ever said to any of the victims, but also to get rid of the dinosaurs in that political entity, in that political structure, to weed them out, remove them and break the ties with them. There have been attempts made by the Labor Party in this state in the last year to weed those forces out. There has been significant conflict within the party in the past year in an attempt to weed out that factional power structure. But it is time. They are dinosaurs. They also exert far too much inappropriate pressure on the lives of the parliament and the lives of the government. Most importantly, they have had a very destructive effect on the lives of children who have been in the care and protection of the state.
Crime in the Community supplementary submission of Alistar MacAdam
I trust the above explanation demonstrates why the contention that the decision in R v Douglas Roy Ensbey strongly supports the view that the approach of the Criminal Justice Commission and others that the optional form of indictment in form 83 of the Criminal Practice Rules 1900 (Old) could be used to read down the clear words of s 129 of the Criminal Code  (Old), was never maintainable. The substantive issue of law in Ensbey was the interaction of form 83 and s 129. The actual use of form 82 the Criminal Practice Rules 1999 (Old) in Ensbey did not affect the substantive issue in any way and is essentially a ‘red herring’.
Record keeping, Document Destruction, and the Law
(Heiner, Enron, and McCabe)
More than a decade earlier, the newly elected Queensland Government of Wayne Goss was anxious to shred all of the records accumulated by retired magistrate, Noel Heiner, who had been appointed by the outgoing Cooper Government to investigate alleged inmate abuse at the John Oxley Youth Centre (JOYC). We now know that Noel Heiner was beginning to uncover testimony concerning serious abuses and inappropriate responses by staff of the JOYC. Several years later, the Forde Royal Commission revealed such abuses to have been endemic in the Queensland system, but this was not publicly known when the Goss Government closed the Heiner Inquiry down. One case, which is only now coming to light, involved the pack rape of an Aboriginal girl. The Heiner Inquiry was set up before the election, following allegations by then Labor candidate, Ann Warner. Now Minister responsible for John Oxley, in early 1990 Warner was a member of the Cabinet trying to destroy the evidence gathered by Heiner when investigating her own allegations. Read the complete document here.