Tuesday 22nd April 1997
We have written extensively about the media and political harassment being meted out by Labor politicians on one Mal Colston the Labor senator who turned feral on the Labor party by daring to go Independent.
His crime, widely reported is petty travel rorting - to the effect of about Au$7,000.
Way back in 1995 we referred to Dr Lawrence as Carmen "lying" Lawrence after the Marks Royal Commission into the Penny Easton affair found her guilty of lying. Closeted by her Labor mates, spearheaded by then Prime Minister Paul Keating, the Royal Commission was widely described as a "political ploy" and discredited at the time...
Now it has come back to haunt her.
Dr Lawrence resigned from her portfolio yesterday after being charged with three counts of perjury - seventeen months after the event.
Once again Lawrence declared her innocence saying, "This is the end result of a highly politicised process which many have described as a witch hunt.
"I am apalled that charges should be laid over a matter of differing recollections. No offence was committed by me or any other person in the events leading up to the tabling of the petition or in any subsequent action.
"Yet as a result of being compelled to state my honestly held recollections to a politically motivated royal commission, I and other have now been charged."
Ms Lawrence's action, as then Premier of Western Australia, in allowing a member of her party to table a document under parliamentary privilege resulted in Penny Easton committing suicide. But the life of an Australian citizen is not as valuable as a political head if you read between the lines.
Here is a summary of how the whole sordid affair unfolded:
Eve Fesl, speaking for the Gubbi Gubbi said, "It's not like the people who've claimed the Melbourne CBD, which was more a political statement. There's an expectation of reality. It will take time and this is the start."
Another native title claim is being lodged over a 2000 square kilometre strip of sea 200km north east of Darwin... I didn't realise that the Aborigines had boats, but I guess that doesn't matter.
You don't have to take any bets that right now some lawyer in Sydney is seeking out an Aboriginal or Aboriginal group in Sydney who could lay claim to Homebush - site of the Sydney 2000 Olympics... imagine the size of that paypacket in tax payer funded legal fees.
Now where the hell has little Johnny Howard got to with his resolution on native title? The whole thing is an expensive, very exepensive joke.
On the one corner we have long time Federal Labor Senator Margaret Reynolds and in the other corner we have "newbie" Independent PM for Oxley, Pauline Hanson.
Senator Reynolds unleashes the first punch saying that Ms Hanson's One Nation travel expenses should be investigated to see if they were tax payer funded. She called on Federal Administrative Services Minister David Jull to hold an inquiry. (He was the fellow who investigated Ms Hanson's purchase of a television set through her electoral allowance.)
Ms Hanson responded by saying the query showed how "worried the ALP (Australian Labor Party) senators are about their political futures with the momentum the One Nation party had gathered".
She went on to say, "Although I am not in the habit of reporting to ALP senators, if Mrs Reynolds had bothered to do even a smidgen of investigation she might have found out that not one single trip that could have been remotely linked to One Nation has been paid from the public purse."
In fact Ms Hanson said her recent St George trip had allowed the town's Meals on Wheels service to continue operating for another 18 months after Au$2,600 in funds were raised from her visit while her Goondiwindi trip raised more than Au$3,800 for the Queensland Cancer Fund's Nurse of the Year entrant.
Neither of the trips had cost the Commonwealth "one red cent", Ms Hanson said.
Her flights were donated by the family of a staff member, accommodation was provided by organisers, and top-up fuel costs came from funds raised:
"I just wonder if she can justify what benefits her constituents received from a visit to the Conference of Socialist International Women in New York and to the Commonwealth Journalists Association meeting in Hong Kong?"
Senator Reynold's reply was that they are all on the public record - yeah, just like Dawkins trip to Mauritius which came out of left field....
Mrs Reynolds, suddenly finding herself on the back foot said her trip to the Conference of Socialist International Women was as a representative of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Rim countries to develop a comprehensive women's agenda, being used as a model in other countries.
Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.... Mrs Reynolds said her trip to the Commonwealth Journalists Association was made as deputy president of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiatives Advisory Committee.
Now I wonder who thought that committee up? Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.... In anybody's language pretty obvious that Ms Hanson delivered a few knock out punches here... not to hard when you hear that the average federal member costs Australian tax payers Au$1 million a year...
The Mal Colston affair is damaging the reputation of both Prime Minister John Howard and opposition leader Kim Beazley with the Australian public. Both leaders popularity has dropped to its lowest levels in 12 months.
Extensive political commentary and links can be found on Palmer's Australian Politics page.
Have a great day.
for other world news.