This on-line paper is now archived for perpetuity in the National Library of Australia
Thursday 11th September 1997
Although not as serious as the well documented shredding of court document case, the outcome for the "whistleblowers" has been the same. Both men have been driven to the point of bankruptcy in their conviction to see justice done.
They have been fighting an entrenched and self-seeking bureaucratic system which was allowed to flourish under Goss' leadership.
In this case the Connolly-Ryan inquiry revealed that the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) followed up on a minor illegal firearm possession allegation by a former policeman, Gordon Harris, who blew the whistle on one of his more senior colleagues. Although the charges against Harris were eventually dropped, his charge that his superior officer, John Huey, a top Fitzgerald investigator into the "crimes" of the former National state premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, fabricated evidence were never followed up. His charges against Huey were supported by another police officer John Reynolds.
The charges were serious - it was alleged that Huey had fabricated evidence and perjured himself during the trial of a tow truck operator in the early 1980s. Huey had charged the operator, former police officer, Matthew Ready, over a fraudulent insurance claim. Ready was found not guilty by the courts.
Ready was able to produce a tape recording of a discussion with Huey which allegedly raised doubts about Huey's evidence to the court.
Reynolds and Harris decided to investigate whether Huey had fabricated evidence and in 1990 charged Huey with the offence of fabricating evidence - a crime which carries up to a seven year jail sentence.
Huey, when confronted refused to accept the summonses on this and another matter relating to his work with the Fitzgerald enquiry. At this point Harris and Reynolds took the evidence to the CJC and lodged an official complaint against Huey with complaints section head David Bevan and Commander Carl Mengler the senior police officer attached to the CJC. Unfortunately for them Huey was regarded as "untouchable" because of his work with the Fitzgerald enquiry.
Following the submission to the CJC the summons against Huey was withdrawn by the crown prosecutor. Six days later the two detectives were transferred back into uniform at the instruction of Huey.
Both Reynolds and Harris subsequently left the police force. Harris leaving after he was once again pursued by the CJC following a charge that he had breached the Police Administration Act.
This all came about when, following Harris' initial charge against Huey being looked over, he was transferred to the police property holding section where he found Huey's diaries which supported his allegations against Huey.
Harris allegedly photocopied the diaries and gave the copies to his lawyer. A television station obtained copies and ran a story alleging a cover up.
The CJC then again pursued Harris on the old illegal firearm allegation with a CJC file note dated March 19, 1991 authored by CJC director of operations Carl Mengler referring to a discussion that he had with assistant commissioner Neil Comrie. Mengler says in the note that he interpreted Mengler's comments as, "what have you done with the complaints file (about the firearm), you have had it for some considerable time and you know full well that Harris is a problem and that we need all the help that we can in relation to him, although he did not say it in those words.
"I think he (Comrie) has a point, we do know, and have known for some time that the Harris issue would raise its head again and may I suggest that we do something about finalising this complaint if at all possible."
Another file note records that the CJC decided to charge Harris for breaching the Police Administration Act by copying the documents despite Harris taking out a civil action attempting to "restrain the CJC official misconduct director from proceeding with investigative hearing".
The CJC legal officer Forbes Smith says in another note, "It is the view of the director (Mark Le Grand) that the Commission should no longer allow the investigation to be delayed by the application (by Harris) which is currently before the court.
"I recently advised that the director wanted a brief for prosecution completed in the near future and that this would be irrespective of any developments insofar as the Supreme Court application is concerned.
"The director has again taken the matter up with me and has stated that in his view and the chairman's the brief should be completed as soon as possible."
In 1995 a Senate Select Committee on unresolved "whistleblower cases" expressed surprise at the "vehemence with which various authorities pursued Harris".
Following this two barristers conducted an independent action finding that there had been no impropriety over the decision not to charge Huey.
Today Harris is president of the Queensland Whistleblowers Action Group.
Of course, the Connolly-Ryan enquiry was shut down after the Supreme Court ruled that the Au$11 million project was shut down and Kevin Ryan was barred from reporting on the findings alone.
Let us remember that this was over an allegation against a senior police officer involved with the CJC. How much harder then for the facts against the government of the day in the Shredding of the Heiner Inquiry Documents to see the light of day?
David Oldfield, Pauline Hanson's senior adviser has been accused by his former Liberal boss, Mr Abbott, of rorting his travel expenses. The claim relates to Oldfield's trip to attend the launch of Pauline Hanson's One Nation in April this year.
Pauline Hanson did not appear before the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission yesterday despite the threat of a Au$1,000 fine relating to the baseless allegations that she said that did not represent the indigenous people in the seat of Oxley.
Last night (9/10/97) the ABC 7.30 Report announced that Gloweave - the Australian shirt company - was going offshore.
To my mind a machinist at the factory said it all. She commented that as the price of shirts would not fall for Australian buyers, how did it benefit Australia for the company to close? Why not continue to make the shirts here? After all, poll after poll shows that we Australians are more than happy to pay higher prices for our goods to keep our fellow Australians in work rather than consign them to 'welfare' - a paradoxical word if ever there was one. And a recipe for future social disaster.
In any case, the notion that Australians will benefit from this global re-structuring is increasingly being seen to be a myth. I bought two bras (Playtex) this year, and they cost $39.95 each. To my mind that's a lot of money for a bra. Despite the Australian-sounding name of Playtex, the label says the items were made in the Philippines. Why does a bra made in the Philippines cost so much? Where is the great saving for the Australian consumer promised by all the economic rationalists?
I'd love to see the appropriate federal and state ministers and especially the women who have lost their jobs at the Berlei factory at Lithgow, NSW publicly discuss this matter.
As if! Government spokesmen, and especially spokespersons (i.e. wimmin) are all gutless wonders.
Subject: Great news site
Thanks for you GWB "News of the day".
Over the last 10 years or so I have become more aware of the mis-information and bias that the mainstream media have been brainwashing us with. I hope more people find your news site so that this nation can have rational and informed debate rather than just accepting the extremist propaganda forced upon us by a biased mainstream media and the major political parties.
Pauline Hanson also deserves thanks for her courage in making a stand for Australians and for fighting against the inequalities and racism in the nation. It's a shame that those extremists who are controlling the so called "race debate", resort to slandering Australians to try to force their agenda upon the nation.
Keep up the good work GWB news and Pauline Hanson.
for other world news.