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Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry

News and updates from the Commission of Inquiry can be found in this News Section of The Heiner website.



See: for comprehensive background material


This detailed chronology of events has only been possible to compile together because of the persistence of Mr Kevin Lindeberg extending over nine (9) years in his determination to establish the truth.

It is important when reading it to realise that the child abuse incidents central to establishing the Heiner Inquiry were not known by Mr Lindeberg until 1998. The same however cannot be said for the other players in this Affair. That feature becomes one of the keys in understanding what was covered up (through the shredding), its seriousness, and the motivation of those in positions of authority to relocate Mr Coyne after the change of government in early 1990 and ultimately terminate his career in February 1991.

It is critical to understand that those public officials (elected and appointed) who assiduously denied Mr Lindeberg access to relevant documents always knew what lay at the heart of the Heiner Inquiry - and this included the Criminal Justice Commission from late 1994 onwards. None did anything to see that truth was revealed, moreover, with that knowledge of suspected official misconduct, those public officials either actively obstructed Mr Lindeberg's every move to have the truth told or failed to perform their duties independently and in the public interest when required to do so.

The truth was finally revealed when Mr Lindeberg, as a professional cartoonist, was employed at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1998 to teach the detainees cartooning. While there, a Youth Worker, who gave evidence to the Heiner Inquiry, recognised him from his former union activity days prior to his 30 May 1990 dismissal. He approached Mr Lindeberg and revealed what had gone on behind the prison walls prior to the Heiner Inquiry. He expressed his dismay to Mr Lindeberg over the closure of the Inquiry, the shredding, and his concern that the CJC had since refused to investigate the unresolved 1989 child abuse allegations when he (the Youth Worker) subsequently approached the CJC in 1994 and onwards to have the suspected official misconduct investigated.

The chronology is coloured-coded so that the reader may better appreciate at what time certain evidence came to public and/or Mr Lindeberg's attention.


The following is a detailed chronology of events showing the beginnings of Shreddergate – Kevin Lindeberg’s journey through the system seeking justice.  This chronology maps the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry document, disposal of the original complaints and shredding of photocopies of the original complaints pertaining to it and (a) the establishment of the Heiner Inquiry; (b) its shutdown; (c) Mr Peter Coyne’s known course of justice to gain access to the material; and (d) Mr Kevin Lindeberg’s involvement leading up to his dismissal on 30 May 1990.

JOYC=John Oxley Youth Detention Centre DFS=Department of Family Services  DFSAIA=Department of Family Services and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs QSSU=Queensland State Services Union  QPOA=Queensland Professional Officers Association, Union of Employees  QTU=Queensland Teachers Union


1.  14 Sep 1989.   Meeting between DFS and Ms Janine Walker QSSU Director Industrial Relations on behalf of the concerned Youth Workers re. Mr Coyne’s management of the JOYC. Director-General Mr Alan Pettigrew insists complaints must be put in writing before any investigation will be considered;

2.  26 Sep 1989.  Incident occurs at JOYC that sees three children, 2 girls aged 12 and 16 and a boy aged 14, handcuffed to a tennis court fence all night on the orders of Mr Coyne because of their alleged disruptive behaviour;

3.  28 Sep 1989.  Mr Pettigrew visits JOYC and tells staff that he intends to hold an independent investigation into any written complaints;

4. 1 Oct 1989.  Ms Warner admits to The Sunday Sun (p18) that she has firsthand knowledge of children being handcuffed to fences and being sedated with drugs having been told of the incidents by JOYC staff. She calls for a review of management procedures. (Years later in Nine Network's Sunday cover story "Queensland Secret Shame" screened nationwide of 21 February 1999 she claims that she had no knowledge of the incidents or that evidence of them was contained in the Heiner Inquiry documents when the Goss Cabinet ordered the material destroyed).

(See: for scan of Sunday Sun article).

5.  10 Oct 1989.   Written complaints against Mr Coyne handed to DFS. Documents immediately acquire status of “public record” and become “a departmental record/file held on the officer (ie Mr Coyne)” thus subject to Public Service Management and Employment (PSME) Regulation 65.  The original complaints never left the DFS’s possession until 22 May 1990, and therefore never lost their legal status (See Points 16,18, 74, 78 & 79). One "unsigned" complaint sets out evidence of serious child abuse;

6.  18 Oct 1989.   Union delegation meets with the Honourable Mrs Beryce Nelson MLA Minister for Family Services in her office at Parliament House to discuss concerns about JOYC;

7.  23 Oct 1989.  The Honourable Mrs Beryce Nelson MLA announces that there will be an investigation into the operations of the Centre;

8.  2 Nov 1989.   Mr Heiner’s appointment is approved of by the Honourable Mrs Beryce Nelson MLA. She also expects to him investigate allegations of sexual abuse over and above physical abuse;

9.   6 Nov 1989.     Mr Coyne becomes aware of criminal allegations in the complaints against him by a staff member concerned an alleged illegal entry into that staff member’s home. The staff member later admitted that she was mistaken in her complaint;

10.  13 Nov 1989.   DFS appoints retired Stipendiary Magistrate Mr Noel O Heiner to carry out a Ministerial Inquiry ordered by the Honourable Beryce Nelson MLA Minister for Family Services (See The Nelson Statement of 15 May 1998 tabled in State Parliament on 25 August 1998). He is provided with specific terms of reference and required to investigate and report back on the specific written complaints against Mr Coyne, and on other matters touching JOYC security and treatment of detainees. Original complaints remain in the possession of the department;

11.   22 Nov 1989.   Mr Heiner takes evidence from JOYC staff on tapes and places evidence on computer discs, and transcribed to paper;

12.  27 Nov 1989.   Mr Coyne approaches Mr Pettigrew seeking (1) a copy of all the written complaints; (2) written advice on the process of how the complaints were going to be investigated; (3) the opportunity to organise and conduct a defence against the complaints laid. (These requests were later refused). He also indicated that it was impossible for him to defend himself without knowing what the specific complaints were;

13.  28 Nov 1989.  Mr Coyne approaches departmental staff assigned to assist Mr Heiner and registers his concerns as put to Mr Pettigrew;
14.   29 Nov 1989.    Mr Coyne is given a brief one-page outline of written complaints. He is refused access to specific written complaints handed to the Department on 10 October 1989;

15.   2 Dec 1989.    The Queensland Government changes. The Australian Labor Party wins office for the first time in 32 years. The Honourable  Mr Wayne Keith Goss MLA, a qualified solicitor, becomes Premier and Minister responsible for State Archives. The Honourable Anne M Warner MLA becomes the Minister for DFSAIA, having been Shadow Spokesperson and aware of activities inside JOYC.  Ms Ruth L Matchett is shortly afterwards appointed as acting Director-General by the Minister replacing Mr Pettigrew;

16.   14 & 18 Dec 1989.   Mr Coyne officially requests of Ms Matchett copies of the original complaints and transcript of evidence gathered by Mr Heiner in order to defend himself.  He questions the legal validity of the inquiry, and informs Ms Matchett that he will sue for defamation if his career suffers as a consequence of the inquiry;

17.   2 Jan 1990.   Ms Matchett officially informed by Mr Ian Peers acting Deputy DFSAIA Director-General in a memorandum that original complaints against Mr Coyne are held on an official file in the department’s possession created by Mr George Nix. It is described as “…a file compiled by Mr Nix including the original letters of complaint.” Mr Nix tells Mr Peers where it can be found while he (Nix) is in Adelaide;

18.  5 Jan 1990.  Mr Coyne becomes aware that Mr Heiner has evidence of possible criminal conduct concerning an alleged illegal entry by him into a JOYC worker’s house;

19.   11 Jan 1990.   Mr Heiner confirms to Mr Coyne that allegations of criminal conduct have been made against him. Mr Coyne gives evidence to Mr Heiner for the entire day.  He is also accused of having an affair with JOYC Deputy Manager Ms Anne Dutney. He is told by Mr Heiner that he (Heiner) only held copies of the original complaints, and that they (the original complaints) were in the department’s possession;

20.   15 Jan 1990.   Mr Coyne seeks access to original complaints in a memorandum to Ms Matchett pursuant to Public Service Management and Employment Regulation 65

21.  17 Jan 1990.   Ms Matchett asserts that no complaints are on Mr Coyne’s personal file.  She officially advises him that #she is not aware of any other departmental file containing records of the investigation that he is seeking;

#  See Point 17 The Peers Memorandum of 2 January 1990.

22.    17 Jan 1990.   Mr Coyne instructs his solicitors (Rose Berry Jensen) to threaten a writ of prohibition on the Department regarding natural justice being afforded to Mr Coyne in inquiry process. The Department is given 24 hours to respond;

23.  18 Jan 1990.   Ms Matchett writes to the Crown Solicitor twice:(1) she seeks advice regarding Mr Coyne’s solicitors letter of 17 January 1990; (2) she expresses concern over the legality of Mr Heiner’s appointment and encloses Mr Coyne’s memorandum dated 15 January 1990;

The Crown Solicitor confirms the legality of Mr Heiner’s appointment pursuant to the Public Service Management and Employment Act and Regulations 1988 but alerts her to possible defamation ramifications as witnesses are not immune from  writ; 

24.   19 Jan 1990  1.  Ms Matchett sends two further memorandums from Mr Coyne and Ms Dutney to the Crown Solicitor to consider. The Crown Solicitor reaffirms the legality of Mr Heiner’s appointment, and he also considers the matter of natural justice.  The Crown Solicitor notes that Ms Matchett has arranged a meeting with two unions (QPOA and QSSU) to discuss the Heiner inquiry;

25.   19 Jan 1990  2.  Ms Matchett requests an “off-the-record” meeting with QPOA union organiser Mr Kevin Lindeberg and QSSU Industrial Relations Director Ms Janine Walker. She tells them that she has a major problem. She informs them that the Heiner inquiry has been closed, and that she has taken possession of all the Heiner documents in a sealed box. She puts forward the proposition that they have not been officially filed but remain “in limbo;”

Mr Lindeberg, on Mr Coyne’s instructions, indicates that his QPOA member still wishes to see the written complaints against him, and that there will be no more “off-the-record” meetings with the Department;
26.   23 Jan  1990.    The Crown Solicitor provides advice to Ms Matchett. He believes that the documents are Mr Heiner’s own property. He advises that the documents can be immediately destroyed but it is predicated on the basis that “ legal action has been commenced which  requires the production of those files....”

A draft letter is attached to be sent to Mr Coyne and Ms Dutney indicating that everything has been shredded but the documents are not shredded, nor *the letters sent; 

*Note  later chronology dates 18 and 22 May 1990 regarding this letter. (see Points 75, 78 - 80)

27.   29 Jan 1990.  QPOA officially lodges breach of Public Service Management and Employment Regulation 63 regarding the Heiner inquiry and seek access to original complaints.  Letter signed by QPOA General Secretary Mr Donald Martindale making him officially aware that the documents are required by statute before and after their destruction;

28.    8 Feb 1990.    Mr Coyne instructs his solicitors to send a letter to DFSAIA seeking access to the Heiner inquiry documents where they relate to him and the original complaints pursuant to Public Service Management and Employment Regulation 65.  The Crown is given 7 days to respond;

29.   9-15 Feb 1990.   Ms Matchett seeks advice from Crown Solicitor re Mr Coyne’s solicitors letter of 8 February 1990, and encloses a copy of the solicitor’s letter;
30.  12 Feb 1990.    Cabinet meeting is held at which the Heiner inquiry is officially terminated. Mr Heiner given indemnity for costs by Cabinet.  The documents are secretly transferred to the Office of Cabinet from DFSAIA in an attempt to obtain “Cabinet privilege”;

31.   13 Feb 1990   1.  Mr Stuart P Tait, acting secretary to Cabinet, seeks Crown Solicitor’s advice on what action might be taken should a writ be issued requiring access to the Heiner documents given that they may be considered to be part of the official records of Cabinet;

32.   13 Feb 1990   2.  Ms Matchett meets with JOYC staff and officially informs them that: (i) the Heiner inquiry has been terminated; (ii)  no report will be made; (iii)  the Crown “...will accept full responsibility for all  [legal] claims arising out of a Crown employee’s due performance of his/her duties...” (iv)  Mr Coyne will be immediately seconded to special duties in head office commencing in Brisbane on 14 February 1990;

33.   14 Feb 1990.   Mr Coyne instructs his solicitors to serve notice on the department of his intention to commence court proceedings to gain access to the documents. Mr Berry (Mr Coyne’s solicitor) immediately phones Mr Walsh and serves due notice on the Crown giving unequivocal notice of the evidential status of the material. Mr Walsh confirms the serving of notice in Departmental memorandum dated 14 February 1990 to Ms Matchett which she later initials as having read it on 21 February 1990;

34.   15 Feb 1990   1.  Mr Coyne’s solicitor puts in writing his telephone conversation with Mr Walsh of 14 February 1990 and reaffirms notice on the Crown of his client’s intention to commence court proceedings; 

35.   15 Feb 1990.    2.   Mr Walsh officially informs the content of the conversation with Mr Coyne’s solicitor to Ms Matchett over the phone to Hobart Tasmania where she is on departmental business;

36.  16 Feb 1990  1.  Mr Kenneth M O’Shea, Crown Solicitor, provides advice to Cabinet in response to Cabinet’s letter of 13 February 1990 regarding the Heiner documents. He advises that (i) the documents cannot attract “Cabinet privilege” as they were brought into being for a departmental purpose not a Cabinet one; (ii) should civil proceedings commence and a Writ issued, the documents could not be successfully withheld; (iii) he now takes the “...better view...” that the Heiner documents were, and were always, contrary to his original opinion of 23 January 1990, “public records”  within the meaning of section 5(2) of the Libraries and Archives Act 1988; and (iv) permission to have them destroyed must be first obtained from the State Archivist;
37.  16 Feb 1990   2.  Ms Matchett officially responds to Mr Coyne’s solicitors and acknowledges receipt of his  letter of 8 February 1990 , and indicates that the Crown’s position regarding access as per Public Service Management and Employment Regulation 65 is “interim”,  and that she is still seeking legal advice, and that nothing sought is on Mr Coyne’s personal file;    

38.  19 Feb 1990  1.  State Cabinet meeting held. Cabinet decide to seek urgent approval from the State Archivist to have the documents destroyed and are informed in the relevant Cabinet Submission that solicitors are seeking access to the documents;

39.  19 Feb 1990  2.  DFSAIA receives: (i) a copy of Crown Solicitor’s advice of 16 February 1990 to Cabinet in which he acknowledges a “... better view” than the one expressed in his earlier advice of 23 January 1990 on the legal status of the Heiner documents; and (ii) Mr Coyne’s solicitors letter of 15 February 1990 putting the Crown on notice of impending court proceedings;

40.  20 Feb 1990.   Acting Cabinet Secretary Mr Tait sends a copy of a draft letter (dated 19 February 1990)  to Crown Solicitor for approval which the Cabinet wishes to send to the State Archivist seeking the urgent destruction of the Heiner documents but doesn’t want to be seen to be applying pressure on her. Both Mr Tait and Crown Law are aware documents are being sought by solicitors but exclude mention of that in the draft letter;
41.   21 Feb 1990.   Ms Matchett initials Mr Walsh’s Department memorandum of 14 February 1990 as having read it in which it unequivocally confirms that access to the documents will be sought through the courts by Mr Coyne if necessary, and that the material should not be destroyed;
42.  22 Feb 1990   1Crown Solicitor advises the acting Cabinet Secretary that he sees nothing “...which is objectionable..” in the draft letter to the State Archivist;

43.  22 Feb 1990  2.  DFSAIA seek advice from Crown Solicitor regarding Mr Coyne’s solicitors letter of 15 February 1990 putting the Crown on notice enclosing a copy of the solicitor’s letter to him;

44.   23 Feb 1990   1.  Acting Cabinet Secretary Mr Tait writes to the State Archivist seeking her urgent approval to destroy the Heiner documents on Cabinet’s view that they are “ longer required or pertinent to the public record.  No mention is made in it of Mr Coyne’s solicitors letters of 8 and 15 February 1990 (in the Crown’s known possession) seeking access to the material by a legally enforceable statute and putting the Crown on notice of foreshadowed court proceedings in which the documents were critically relevant evidence;

45.   23 Feb 1990   2.    The documents are delivered to State Archives at Dutton Park from the Office of Cabinet in the morning.  Ms Lee McGregor, the State Archivist, faxes to Cabinet her written approval in less than one working day to destroy the material despite having over 100 hours of taped evidence and other material to check to ensure that the material has no informational, administrative, data, historical or legal value in order to comply with standard archival appraisal principles and her statutory duty under the Libraries and Archives Act 1988.  She recognises that the documents are defamatory in nature but does not specify what it is. The documents are returned to the Office of Cabinet later on the same day;

46.   23 Feb 1990   3.    Mr Lindeberg meets with Ms Matchett in the afternoon and lodges further breaches of Public Service Management and Employment Regulations 46 and 65. They discuss Mr Coyne’s foreshadowed litigation and its possible outcome if Mr Coyne gains access to the material and potential defamation action ensues.  He indicates that the QPOA and QTU may join his legal action to seek access via a judicial review of the statute if the Department doesn’t grant access pursuant to his rights. The conversation is witnessed by Department Chief Industrial Officer Ms Sue Crook;

47.   23 Feb 1990   4.   Ms Matchett assures Mr Lindeberg at the meeting that the documents are secure with Crown Law and that she is still waiting for final advice. She also assures him that Mr Coyne’s temporary secondment is genuine and coincidental, and has nothing to do with the Heiner Inquiry;

48.   26 Feb 1990   Crown Solicitor advises Ms Matchett that  “...the matter cannot advance further from the department’s point of view until cabinet makes a decision.”  The Crown Solicitor informs Ms Matchett that Mr Coyne’s solicitors letter are still subject to ongoing consideration (re access by statute), and drafts a letter to be dispatched stating same;

49.   27 Feb 1990   1. Queensland Teacher Union (QTU)  writes letter to Ms Matchett seeking access to Heiner documents in accordance with PSME Regulation 65 on behalf of its member;

50.  27 Feb 1990    2.  Minister Warner signs Cabinet document recommending the destruction of the Heiner Inquiry documents while informing the Cabinet that "…representations have been received from a solicitor representing certain staff members at the John Oxley Youth Centre. These representations have sought production of the material referred to in this Submission. However, to date, no formal legal action seeking the production of the material has been instigated."   

51.  1 Mar 1990   QPOA Assistant General Secretary Ms Roslyn Kinder sends letter officially lodging breaches PSME Regulations 46 and 65 with Ms Matchett which also confirms Mr Lindeberg’s meeting with Ms Matchett on Friday 23 February 1990.  Ms Kinder becomes officially aware that the Heiner documents are required before the shredding occurs;


53.   6 Mar 1990.   Mr Coyne prepares a statement for his court action in the presence of his solicitor;

54.   8 Mar 1990.   Mr Lindeberg when discussing related Heiner inquiry matters with Minister Warner’s Private Secretary Ms Norma Jones on the phone inadvertently learns of the secret plans to shred the documents.  He challenges the private secretary’s comments indicating that they are required. She ends the call abruptly;

55.   About 13 Mar 1990   Mr Lindeberg meets Minister’s Private Secretary and is immediately told that Minister Warner refuses to deal with him on the "Coyne Case”,  and will only deal with the QPOA General Secretary Mr Martindale or QPOA Assistant General Secretary Ms Kinder.  No reason is given.  Mr Lindeberg briefs Mr Martindale before he meets with Minister Warner concerning legal demands seeking access to the Heiner Inquiry documents;

56.  About 15 Mar 1990   1.   QPOA General Secretary Mr Martindale meets with DFSAIA Minister Warner.  After  the meeting he tells Mr Lindeberg that Minister Warner has alleged that he has threatened her career and that of her senior Departmental officers and wants him removed from the case.  Mr Lindeberg denies threatening anyone, and says that he had not spoken with the Minister on the topic. He is removed from the case and its official carriage is taken over by Mr Martindale and Ms Kinder;

57.   About 15 Mar 1990  2.  Mr Martindale phones Mr Coyne and offers him an equivalent position elsewhere in the Department, and requests an urgent response. Mr Coyne does not respond;

58.  19 Mar 1990   1.  QTU writes to Ms Matchett indicating that no response has been received to their letter of 27 February 1990. The union informs the Crown that “ measures to gain access to the material in question may now have to be taken.”

59.   19 Mar 1990   2.   Ms Matchett writes a memorandum to Mr Coyne indicating that the Crown’s current position is “interim” and states  “...I have provided interim responses to Mr Berry (Mr Coyne’s solicitor) and have advised him that the matters he has raised are still the subject of ongoing advice.

Such issues will be addressed through your solicitors when I have received final legal advice.”

60.  19 Mar 1990  3.  Ms Matchett writes to the QPOA indicating the access to the documents is still the subject of “...ongoing legal advice;”

61.   19  Mar 1990  4.   Ms Matchett writes to Mr Coyne’s solicitors and questions whether Mr Walsh did say that a discussion with Mr Noel Heiner had occurred as referred to in his (Mr Berry’s) letter of 15 February 90.  She confirms that she is still seeking ongoing legal advice as advised in her letter of 16 February 90 regarding access to the documents;

62.  19 Mar 1990   5.  Ms Matchett seeks further advice from the Crown Solicitor and encloses Mr Coyne’s solicitors letters of 8 and 15 February 1990 and related documents, including the Walsh memorandum of 14 February 1990.  She also encloses photocopies of the original complaints;

63.  21 Mar 1990.  Mr Coyne’s court action statement was typed and drafted by his solicitor;

64.  22 Mar 1990  1.  Acting Cabinet Secretary Mr Tait informs State Archivist of Cabinet’s decision of 5 March 1990 to destroy the documents under the terms of section 55 of the Libraries and Archives Act 1988 indicating that the material is being forwarded to her.  The letter does not mention that Cabinet has ordered the shredding “ reduce the risk of legal action” or what Mr Coyne and others were doing legally and industrially to gain access to the material;

65.   22 Mar 1990   2.   Mr Coyne meets Mr Walsh and discusses access et al to the Heiner documents.  He tells Mr Coyne that the Department is still waiting for Crown Solicitor’s advice;


67.  11 Apr 1990.  The Sun announces on front-page “Labor Blocks Secret Probe”. Minister Warner indicates that the Heiner Inquiry evidence has been shredded;

68.   18 Apr 1990.    Crown Solicitor provides advice to Ms Matchett re her letter of 19 March 1990.  He confirms that Mr Coyne has a legal entitlement to view and take copies of the original complaints pursuant to PSME Regulation 65 which must be complied with as long as the documents are in the Department’s possession.  He advises that it is artificial to suggest that Mr Coyne’s entitlements can be avoided just because the material is not on his personal file. He advises that if she wishes to dispose of them prior approval must be obtained from the State Archivist pursuant to the Libraries and Archives Act 1988. The photocopies of original complaints are returned to the Department;

69.   20 Apr 1990.  QTU write another letter to Ms Matchett inquiring after access to the documents and concern over a newspaper article that they may have been destroyed.  They seek an urgent response;

70.  8 May 1990  1.  Internal memorandum by Mr Donald A C Smith, Ms Matchett’s Principal Liaison Officer, to Ms Matchett indicates et al that the original complaints are still in the department’s possession on an official file and will have to be shown to Mr Coyne if they are retained in the possession of the Crown in accordance with the Crown Solicitor’s advice of 18 April 1990;

71.   8 May 1990  2.  Ms Matchett seeks advice from Crown Solicitor attaching the trade union letters (QPOA & QTU) seeking access to the Heiner inquiry documents and complaints by a legally enforceable statute: PSME Regulation 65. She indicates that she does not want to approach Cabinet again, and wants to return the original complaints to the QSSU;

72.   9 May 1990.     Ms Matchett informs the QTU that she is still seeking Crown Solicitor’s advice, and once the final advice is received regarding access, the parties will be informed;

73.   17 May 1990  1.  Mr Coyne writes to Ms Lee McGregor, the State Archivist, officially informing her that the Heiner inquiry documents are the subject of legal requests for access, which, if necessary, will  be determined in a court.  He indicates the Department is still seeking advice on the matter. He requests that the documents not be destroyed;

74.  17 May 1990   2.  State Archivist records in an internal memorandum (dated 30 May 1990) that Mr Coyne had contacted her on 17 May 1990 to confirm whether the Heiner documents had been destroyed.  Ms McGregor  records that, acting on  advice from Mr Trevor Walsh,  she “...declined to make any comment to Mr Coyne beyond suggesting that his lawyer should deal directly with the department or the Crown Solicitor’s office;”

75.   18  May  1990   1.   State Archivist speaks briefly on the phone with Mr Walsh regarding Mr Coyne’s letter.  She faxes him Mr Coyne’s letter.  Mr Walsh informs her not to respond to Mr Coyne, and he advises her that the matter is being handled by the Crown Solicitor;

76.   18 May 1990  2.  Crown Solicitor provides one page of advice to Ms Matchett assisting her to return the original complaints to the QSSU in accordance with her expressed intention  while both he and her are fully aware that they are the subject of a legally enforceable access statute. The Crown Solicitor encloses draft letters to be sent to parties seeking access to the documents indicating that the sought-after material is either shredded or not in the Department’s possession or control;

77.   22 May 1990  1.  Ms Matchett sends altered draft letters to: (i) Mr Coyne’s solicitors referring to his letters of  8 and 15 February 1990 and declaring that the Department does not have in its possession or control the original complaints sought, and that everything gathered by Mr Heiner has been destroyed;  (ii)  the QTU declaring that everything has been destroyed;

78.   22  May 1990  2.  Ms Matchett sends the QPOA an altered draft letter declaring that everything has been destroyed, and that it appears to her that Mr Coyne has not “...suffered any injustice or detriment ...;”

79.   22 May 1990  3.  Ms Matchett writes to Ms Janine Walker, Industrial Relations Director of the QSSU, and assures her that all documents brought into existence during the Heiner inquiry have been destroyed, and returns to her the original complaints (officially defined as “public records”) which brought the inquiry into existence without prior lawful approval from the State Archivist, and while known to be still the subject of a legally enforceable access statute;

78.   23 May 1990   Mr Donald A C Smith shreds the photocopies of the original complaints without prior lawful approval from the State Archivist and records the act with a personal handwritten notation on the Department’s copy of the Crown Solicitor’s advice of 18 April 1990;

81.   24 May 1990.   Mr Coyne’s solicitor phones Mr Walsh and confirms receipt of Department’s letter of 22 May 1990.  He tells Mr Walsh that “...the department is in a lot of trouble.”  He wishes to be advised whether Cabinet took the decision to destroy the documents. Mr Walsh records the conversation and says that such a request should be put in writing;

82.   30 May 1990.   Mr Lindeberg is suddenly dismissed after six years as senior organiser by the QPOA General Secretary Mr Martindale. It is witnessed by the QPOA Assistant General Secretary Ms Kinder. Both are aware that the Heiner documents were shredded when being sought by the union, the QTU and Mr Coyne. Mr Martindale cites, amongst four reasons, Mr Lindeberg’s handling of the "Coyne case” as a reason for his dismissal.  It is alleged by Mr Martindale that Minister Anne Warner had lodged a specific complaint against him indicating that he was “..inappropriate and over-confrontationalist” in his handling of the case. Mr Lindeberg flatly rejects the allegation and is sacked. His search for justice - Shreddergate - begins.

See: (the original source for this content) for comprehensive background material.

Labor Government destroys evidence into child abuse. Ministers pervert course of justice by illegal shredding of documents. Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan support Goss cabinet decision to shred.

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