Search and Seizure and Parliamentary Privilege

The Parliamentary Privilege questions enlivened by the series of raids on Senator Stephen Conroy’s office, the home of an adviser and the server maintained by the Department of Parliamentary Services, arising from the Australian Federal Police’s investigation into the leak of NBN documents brings to a head a series of questions raised across a number of legislatures in Australia, the UK and the US in the past twenty years.

On the matter being raised in the Senate yesterday, a background paper from the Clerk of the Senate, Dr Rosemary Laing was tabled. It indicates that she is not satisfied with the processes used by the Senate until now to deal with disputes over privilege between Senators and law enforcement. Continue reading “Search and Seizure and Parliamentary Privilege”

The Million Dollar Campaign That Failed to Land A Seat

The controversial No Land Tax Coalition party committed over a million dollars and out spent Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party and the Shooters and Fishers Party by hundreds of thousands of dollars in its ill-fated effort to win a seat in the NSW Legislative Council at the March 2015 election.

Despite declared party and candidate election expenses of $1.063 million, including nearly $645,000 allocated for election day workers, and drawing the coveted first box on the ballot paper, No Land Tax narrowly lost to the Animal Justice Party in the contest for the last remaining seat in the Upper House. The Animal Justice Party spent $4865 on its election campaign. Continue reading “The Million Dollar Campaign That Failed to Land A Seat”

NSW Political Donations Reform – Background and Resources (Updated)

In May 2014, in response to the mounting revelations at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of breaches and circumvention of NSW’s electoral disclosure laws, particularly in respect of donations by prohibited donors, Premier Mike Baird announced a Panel of Experts to review the system of political donations. Continue reading “NSW Political Donations Reform – Background and Resources (Updated)”

A Nationals MP’s take on Obeid and Torbay: From the Parliamentary Record

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a commissioned piece dealing with the associations NSW Labor figures Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald developed with the minor parties and independents on the crossbenches of the NSW Parliament over the years Labor was in office.

It deals in part with Obeid’s association with former Nationals canddiate, Richard Torbay, leading up to the 1999 State Election, through his election as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the plan conceived in desperation to recruit Torbay to the ALP and install him as Premier.

The piece is still a work in progress. What is on the public record are a series of Parliamentary motions and speeches, made by a member of the National Party, The Hon. Melinda Pavey MLC, about some of those links between Obeid and the independents, and in particular, his association with Torbay. These contributions were made whilst Torbay was an independent, prior to his joining The Nationals and winning preselection to take on Tony Windsor in the seat of New England in this year’s election. Continue reading “A Nationals MP’s take on Obeid and Torbay: From the Parliamentary Record”

Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen

In the past two years, the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs and Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Charlie Lynn, has plagiarised material for at least twelve of his speeches to the Parliament.

In July, Lynn threatened to leave the Government and the Liberal Party to sit on the Upper House crossbench if his wishes regarding local government preselections were not acceded to. After newspaper reports that a “dirt file” would be “unleashed” and following a meeting with Premier Barry O’Farrell, Lynn failed to carry out his threat. Continue reading “Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen”

Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen: The “Death of Australian Servicemen in Afghanistan” Speech

Extracted from contribution by The Hon. Charlie Lynn MLC to lead the “Death of Australian Servicemen in Afghanistan” Debate, NSW, Parliamentary Debates Legislative Council, 13 September 2012, from page 3, and annotated as applicable: Continue reading “Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen: The “Death of Australian Servicemen in Afghanistan” Speech”

Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen: The “RSL Anzac Art Awards” Speech

Full text of Speech by The Hon. Charlie Lynn MLC, on “RSL Anzac Art Awards”, Adjournment Debate, NSW, Parliamentary Debates Legislative Council, 16 August 2012, page 13921, and annotated as applicable Continue reading “Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen: The “RSL Anzac Art Awards” Speech”

Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen: “Tribute to Regimental Sergeant Major Wally Thompson, AO” Speech

Full text of speech “Tribute to Regimental Sergeant Major Wally Thompson, AO” by The Hon. Charlie Lynn, Adjournment Debate, NSW, Parliamentary Debates Legislative Council, 13 June 2012, Page: 12708, and annotated as applicable Continue reading “Charlie Lynn’s Dirty Dozen: “Tribute to Regimental Sergeant Major Wally Thompson, AO” Speech”

WTF Greg Pearce?

Much merriment has been had over the weekend with Rebekah Brook’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry that British Prime Minister David Cameron was under the misapprehension that the textspeak “LOL” meant “Lots of Love”, not “Laugh out Loud”.

However, one might assume that not even Cameron would be gormless enough in PMQs to quote anyone encumbered with the initials “WTF”. But such a personage was given the honour of a citation in Losers Lounge this past week. Continue reading “WTF Greg Pearce?”

The One Day of the Year

On 4 April 2012, one of the more shameful moments in the recent history of the Legislative Council took place on what should have been one of its most solemn occasions.

Nearly one third of the 16 speakers on a motion to commemorate ANZAC Day plagiarised material from easily accessible websites to pad out their contributions to the debate. Continue reading “The One Day of the Year”