Judge Catherine Holmes Court of Appeal and  counsel assisting the forde inquiry.1998 Letters to Catherine (Kate) Holmes Counsel Assisting The Forde Inquiry

Kate Holmes is now a Judge, Queensland Court of Appeal.

Lindeberg was attempting to have the illegal shredding of documents included in the terms of reference of the Forde Inquiry.

Kevin Lindeberg
20 Lynton Court
17 November 1998

Ms Kate Holmes
Counsel Assisting
Forde Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children
In Queensland Institutions
Post Office Box 554

Dear Ms Holmes
Re: The Shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents

I refer to your letter of 28 September 1998.
You have acknowledged receipt of my submission dated 18 September 1998.
You have adopted the view that the shredding of suspected child abuse allegations against children held in the care of the Crown at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre presented as evidence to the Heiner Inquiry in late 1989 and early 1990 does not fall within the Terms of Reference of the Forde Inquiry.

In reaching your view you would have been plainly aware that the order to shred those public records was made by members of the Goss Cabinet of 5 March 1990, and that five members of that Cabinet are currently serving as senior Ministers in the Beattie Government.

I draw your attention to the following statement at page 10 of my submission:

"…It is respectfully submitted that it would not be in the public interest or in the
interest of truth if this Commission of Inquiry could only investigate and make
recommendations on the substance or otherwise of "shredded JOYC child abuse
allegations" and not concern itself with the far greater offence that such
evidence in the possession of the Crown at the time was deliberately destroyed
by order of the Goss Cabinet (in the name of the Crown) to obstruct justice and
to cover up unacceptable suspected child abuse against children in the care and
protection of the Crown."

For the public record I do not concur with your view.

Yours sincerely




Kevin Lindeberg
20 Lynton Court
29 April 1999

Ms Kate Holmes
Counsel Assisting
Forde Commission of Inquiry into the Abuse of Child
In Queensland Institutions
Post Office Box 554

Dear Ms Holmes
Re: The Shredding of the Heiner Inquiry Documents and Related Matters

I refer to your letter of 23 April 1999.
As with my first submission of 18 September 1998, you are attempting to claim that my Special Supplementary Submission of 15 April 1999 falls outside your Inquiry's terms of reference from the Beattie Government.

You have said:
"…the Inquiry is limited to consideration of whether unsafe, improper or
unlawful care or treatment of children has occurred in particular institutions; or
whether any breach of any relevant statutory obligation has occurred during the
course of the care, protection and detention of children in those institutions. To
seek to expand its inquiries to consider the manner in which documents
concerning questions of abuse of children were dealt with, or whether there may
have been breaches of statutory obligation in their disposal, would go beyond
that frame of reference."

Your Inquiry was given evidence proving illegal acts in shredding Heiner Inquiry documents, the original documents photocopies which are known to contain evidence of child abuse. All the documents were public records. It was known at the time that they contained evidence of child abuse.  The Goss Cabinet ordered the shredding on 5 March 1990 to cover up the abuse and to obstruct justice. The second and third waves of shredding by senior departmental officers, assisted by Crown Law, achieved the same willful end on 22 and 23 May 1990. A wide spread cover up has followed those illegal acts.

I disagree with your opinion on my submissions, and must contest it. Your position on this matter displays an unacceptable sycophantic deference to the Beattie Government.

The Inquiry's position is illogical reasoning because the shredding of evidence of maltreatment of children by the Crown cannot be separated from the actual maltreatment, especially when the shredding was done for the express purpose of covering up the maltreatment.

You know that in setting the terms of reference, the Beattie Government had sitting in its midst five senior ministers who knowingly ordered the shredding on 5 March 1990 to prevent the abuse becoming public then and who have actively engaged in the cover up since.

The failure and abuse of the machinery of government permitting this cover up to go unchecked for years has not been addressed despite public fanfare to the contrary.

The truth and the public interest are not being served. The welfare of children going into those institutions will remain in jeopardy and justice will not be done.

You have now made your position clear and on the public record. I must not let the matter rest there.

Yours sincerely




Kevin Lindeberg
20 Lynton Court

28 May 1999
Ms Kate Holmes
Counsel Assisting
Forde Commission of Inquiry into the
Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions
Post Office Box 554

Dear Ms Holmes
I refer to your letter of 20 May 1999.

I have no desire to commence a "paper war" between us (and I suspect you don't either) but, with respect, I cannot permit your final comment on my description of the Inquiry's position in respect of the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents to go unchallenged.

I acknowledge, without reservation, your professional competence. I readily accept that you can properly reach a view which may be different from mine on matters, including the Inquiry's Terms of Reference.

The issue at hand is not that our views differ, but what the difference of opinion between us leaves unattended in respect of the welfare of children in Queensland institutions.

While the incidents of abuse at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre are serious and may, of necessity by law, require action, it still leaves the more serious matter of the shredding unresolved.

It is my respectful view that any Inquiry established for the specific purpose of looking into the abuse of children in Queensland institutions cannot reasonably or rightly ignore compelling evidence put to it that a cover up of abuse (through shredding and subsequent systemic cover up) has occurred, and remains unattended.

Certainly, an interpretation of the Terms of Reference impartially could and appears to have been reached by you that does not permit matters outside those Terms of Reference to be investigated; but with respect, I was and am suggesting that the matter does not rest there.

You always had open to you three options in this matter given its serious nature. They remain open:
1. Approach Government to seek an extension of your Terms of Reference to cover the shredding of evidence of child abuse done for the purpose of covering it up;
2. Make an immediate reference to Government that the unresolved matter in respect of the abuse of children at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre (i.e. the Heiner shredding and related matters) be investigated by an appropriate body e.g. a Special Prosecutor;
3. Make (2) a recommendation in your report to Government.

I suggest, without seeking to imply adverse inference to the Inquiry, that any reasonable person, with knowledge of the facts, would be aware of the political dimensions associated with my matter.
That dimension has hindered justice for years, which we now know, through my persistence, also concealed evidence of child abuse for years.

I respect parliamentary democracy and the rule of law however when the political/democratic process is abused by Members of Parliament to give themselves unwarranted protection from the processes of the administration of justice then those abusing our system will never enjoy my deference. I suggest that is a reasonable view to hold.

Commissioner Tony Fitzgerald QC sought and obtained an extension of his Terms of Reference from the Queensland Government when he was faced with compelling evidence of wrongdoing shortly after his Inquiry took evidence, and it was provided.

By contrast, your Inquiry, required to approach its task impartially, has chosen to remain with its
original restricted Terms of Reference despite evidence showing that the Queensland Government which drafted them had five senior Ministers in its ranks who had a hand in destroying evidence of child abuse in March 1990.

That artificial but purposeful barrier put up by the Queensland Government has unfortunately become "the difference of opinion" between us (ie the shredding and cover-up) in the carrying out your difficult commission.

There is no truth without the whole truth; and while your Inquiry may finally and rightly deliver justice on the incidents of the child abuse at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre concealed for almost a decade, the shredding still cries out for justice to be done.

Your exception to my earlier comment, and if it still exists, was said in this context.


Yours sincerely



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