Utegate and other affairs

Radio 2UE. Alan Jones

24th June 2009.

What happened at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre has never been properly investigated.

In the light of the carry-on in Canberra in what has become known as Ute-gate, it is clear, as David Crowe in the Financial Review wrote yesterday, that other car dealers did not receive the attention extended to Mr Grant by the Rudd Government.

Mention was made of a South Australian rural dealership faced with receivership, the dealer's Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey raised the case with the office of the Treasurer, Wayne Swan. There was no help from Canberra.

A Melbourne car dealer had his matter raised by his Liberal MP with Treasury, no one called back. Unlike what happened to Mr Grant, neither the Melbourne car dealer nor the South Australian car dealer got any e-mails directly from Government, the Treasury or the Treasurer's office.

Whether or not a particular e-mail is found or is a fake is almost irrelevant. Other e-mails indicate the pattern of behaviour, and there is sufficient evidence to show that statements made to the Parliament about the affair by Mr Rudd and Mr Swan are untrue. Put simply, Mr Grant was given special treatment. As Piers Akerman wrote yesterday, all the rest is humbug.

But this has raised in the minds of many the infamous Heiner affair in Queensland. This was about covering up child abuse, the pack rape of a 14 year old indigenous girl 20 years ago in 1989. She was gang-raped by inmates at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre while she was in the care of the Queensland Government.

Some of the rapists confessed, but no charges were pressed. When Russell Cooper ran the National Party Government he directed a former magistrate, Noel Heiner, to inquire into the rape.

That was shut down when the Goss Government came to power. The documents collected by Heiner in relation to the matter were destroyed on the orders of the Goss Cabinet on March 5, 1990. Kevin Rudd was Wayne Goss's chief of staff and subsequently became Director General of his Cabinet office.

The infamous Heiner affair is about the destruction of evidence relating to a police investigation into the rape. Kevin Rudd and Peter Beattie both claimed that the shredding of the documents needed no further investigations. But the shredding of the documents has never been investigated.The girl was not only raped, but denied her legal rights by the Queensland Police.

On the 23rd of August, 2007 former Premier Beattie had delivered to him a statement of concern about the Heiner affair signed by five eminent judges. Those judges were the former Chief Justice of Western Australia, David Malcolm, two retired New South Wales Chief Judges, Jack Lee, now deceased and Dr Frank McGrath, and two retired New South Wales Supreme Court judges, Roddy Meagher and Barry O'Keefe.

The legal academic and barrister Alistair Macadam also signed the statement of concern. And the statement of concern urged Peter Beattie to appoint a special prosecutor to examine the Heiner Affair.

The prominent Sydney QC David Rofe conducted a two year audit of the matter which ran to 3,000 pages and nine volumes. And he concluded that there were 67 unaddressed alleged prima facie criminal charges against the Goss Cabinet and civil servants that needed to be urgently addressed.

But the simple question that everyone's been asking is, why wouldn't Kevin Rudd seek an inquiry into the attacks on the girl and offer an explanation as to why the documents were destroyed. What happened at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre has never been properly investigated.

Now there are expensive inquiries being set up in Canberra, obviously designed to protect Mr Rudd's proclaimed innocence. People are now asking as Prime Minister, what inquiry is he prepared to set up to protect the right to justice of a now 34 year old indigenous woman who was pack raped 20 years ago in Queensland.

The Ute-gate issue is about whether or not the Rudd Government is prepared to use its offices to do special favours for its mates. A 34 year old indigenous woman in Queensland is not seeking special favours. She's seeking justice. After 20 years it remains elusive. That is what is now known as the Heiner affair.

Video: “Ute gate” and other affairs

Alan Jones comments on the so-called ute gate,  and says how it’s raised the spectre of the infamous Heiner affair.


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