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IndyMedia Article: Where there's a will there's a way

By Ben Taylor, 6 Dec 2005

Persecuted whistleblowers hold John Howard responsible for the non-addressal of the atrocity, HealthQuest (NSW Government Medical Office). Responsibility for the scandal has been 'flicked' by PM Dept, but the Dept of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is funded to assist Mr Howard's communications with state and territory governments.

The opinion that "the Australian Constitution forbids Federal interference in State matters, so there is nothing John Howard can do regarding the state Labor Government's refusal to dismantle HealthQuest and compensate those affected by it " may not be altogether correct.

There is more at stake here than the simple concept: 'John Howard says its not his job. Go away!' One is expected to have a bit of responsibility regarding the running of Australia.

The issues become costly when it is a problem with the longevity of government systemic punishment of its whistleblowers by forcing them to submit to psychiatric processes such as HealthQuest (See an excerpt from the 1994 report Federal Senate Committee re Psychiatry posted to the site WhistleBlowers Documents Exposed - http://www.wbde.org/documents/Excerpt_FederalSenateCommitteeRePsychiatry.php)

This is a problem at both the federal and state level. HealthQuest is the main offender for NSW government.

That is why Prime Minister has the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) which advises and supports the Prime Minister in his various responsibilities as Head of Government.

The PM&C's goals are to provide policy coordination and advice to the highest standards on the full range of policy issues that need to be considered by the Government. The department also has a key role in promoting efficient and coordinated government administration.

The principal matters the department deals with are:

*advising the Prime Minister on the full range of public policy issues considered by Government

*coordination of government administration

*assistance to Cabinet and its committees, and

*** inter-governmental relations and communications with state and territory governments.*

This enables a willing, ethical Prime Minister to have support and advice and the power/responsibility to communicate with state and territory governments if it is to the country's good.

Now, if you were a prime minister with your country's interests at heart, don't you think you would communicate with NSW regarding HealthQuest?

To fail to do so invites dirty linen to accumulate and fester over the years, and end up with Australian people reaching out overseas for assistance, eg to United Nations; and publishing on the world wide web.

Another argument for NSW victimised whistleblowers to contact the Prime Minister is the NSW Protected Disclosures Act 1994. This allows, subject to certain criteria, at s19 for the whistleblower to make a disclosure to a member of Parliament or journalist

And who better to perform the duties of a member of parliament than the Prime Minister?

While public funds pay for staff and communications costs for the Prime Minister, whistleblowers perform their duties for free.

Yet, who sits at the top of the pile basking in the glory of a country well-governed?

It is my opinion that Mr Howard should commence communicating with NSW over the HealthQuest atrocity, and not stop communicating until the damage to the whistleblowers has been fixed. After that, it would be appropriate for him to write personally and thank those who assisted him do his job.

We think it is betrayal that Mr Howard is willing to act for Mr Bush, but not to act for Australian whistleblowers.

If he had the will, he would find the way.

More reading on this is at

http://sydney.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=61784

and

WhistleBlowers' Documents Exposed http://www.wbde.org

[See the original article and all comments at: http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/front.php3?article_id=61860]


Selected comments

State vs Federal: can Howard intervene?

You would think with this HealthQuest scandal in N.S.W. bringing adverse publicity to our whole nation, Mr Howard would have a word in the ear of Iemma and his cronies.

Unlike the Commonwealth, the constitutions of the States have been repeatedly held not to contain any implication of separation of powers (although the NSW Constitution Act contains some limited protections of judicial independence, added relatively recently). However, the High Court has in recent years developed a quite tightly limited doctrine the effect of which is to place at least some restrictions on the types of powers and functions that may be conferred on State courts. The principle was spelled out in Kable v The Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) (1996) 189 CLR 51, and holds that State courts, because they are capable of exercising the judicial power of the Commonwealth, cannot be required to act in a manner incompatible with Constitution Chapter III. The so-called Kable doctrine draws on an aspect of incompatibility identified in Grollo v Palmer (1995) 184 CLR 348 at 365 as "the performance of non-judicial functions of such a nature that public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary as an institution...is diminished". However, it appears that only very extreme State laws will be struck down under the Kable doctrine. In Kable itself, the constitutional validity of the Community Protection Act 1994 (NSW) was challenged. It was enacted in response to the threat that one Gregory Wayne Kable, who had been convicted of the manslaughter of his wife, was perceived to pose to the community if released. Under section 3, the NSW Supreme Court was empowered to make an order detaining him for a period of six months after his sentence had expired. That Court was to make such an order if it was satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that it was more likely than not that he would commit a serious act of violence, or that it was appropriate for the protection of particular people that he be held in custody. Thus the Act conferred on the Supreme Court, at the behest of the political arm of government which did not want to allow Kable free even though he had served his sentence, a power to imprison a person not for committing an offence but because there was a perceived risk that he might do so in the future. It is hardly surprising that the High Court regarded such a function as incompatible with judicial power.

Louise, 7 Dec 2005