EYE-BALL’s – “On the Hustings” – The Campaign Trail – Day 3

August 7, 2013
– EYE-BALL’s “On the Hustings” –
– The Campaign Trail – Day 3 –
| Author: No-Way José | 7th Aug 2013 |
Policy Issue Debate: [Information on Policy issues you won’t hear during the current Election Campaign.]

Previous Policy Issues:

  1. Day 2 Policy Issue: Corruption in Politics – use link to read story and see poll data …

Day 3 Policy Issue: Judicial Appointments: …[EYE-BALL]

There are many Courts under the control of the Federal Government – The highest being the ‘High Court’.

High CourtAppointments to the ‘High Court’ and other Federal Courts are made by the Federal Attorney General.  These Federal appointments are then rubber stamped by the GG.

The appointments are drawn from a short list,  after judicial reviews and assessments, and then decided upon by the Federal Government including the PM and its Cabinet process.   The Attorney General announces the appointments after the GG has signed off on them.

The current ‘High Court’ structure and appointments is contained in the table below:  [linked on-line here.]  [Click on image to see all judicial appointment data i.e. Education and Court experience, in a new window.]

One of the rules for High Court appointees require mandatory retirement at age 70 – hence the appointment tenure.

The spread of appointments of the current Justices is spread as three (3) from John Howard’s era, and four (4) from the Rudd/Gillard era.  Two new appointments are due to be made during the next Federal Government term – both were John Howard appointments.

Other Courts and tribunals controlled by Federal Government appointment include: [links to the Australian Federal Courts websites provided.]

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent body that reviews a broad range of administrative decisions made by Australian Government ministers and officials, authorities and other tribunals.Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Australian Competition Tribunal was established in 1965. Prior to 1995, the Tribunal was known as the Trade Practices Tribunal. The Tribunal hears applications for review of determinations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.Federal Court of Australia

The Commonwealth Courts Portal is an initiative of the Family Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. It provides web-based services for clients to access information about cases before the courts.Family Court of Australia

Inquires into the amount of royalty payable in respect of the recording of musical works; fixes royalties or equitable remuneration in respect of compulsory licences; arbitrates disputes in relation to the terms of existing and proposed licensing schemes; and deals with applications for the granting of licences.Copyright Tribunal of Australia

The Council of Australasian Tribunals facilitates liaison and discussion between the heads of tribunals. It supports the development of best practice models and model procedural rules, standards of behaviour and conduct for members and increased capacity for training and support for members.Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal hears and determines appeals from courts martial and Defence Force magistrates in respect of service offences by Australian Defence Force personnel.Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Family Court of Australia has jurisdiction over all matrimonial causes and associated responsibilities.Family Court of Australia

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia (formerly known as the Federal Magistrates Court) was established at the end of 1999. The court is an independent federal court under the Australian Constitution. The jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court includes family law and child support, administrative law, admiralty law, bankruptcy, copyright, human rights, industrial law, migration, privacy and trade practices. The court shares those jurisdictions with the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia. The objective of the Federal Magistrates Court is to provide a simpler and more accessible alternative to litigation in the superior courts and to relieve the workload of those courts.Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia began to exercise its jurisdiction on 1 February 1977. It assumed jurisdiction formerly exercised in part by the High Court of Australia and the whole of the jurisdiction of the Australian Industrial Court and of the Federal Court of Bankruptcy.Federal Court of Australia

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. Its functions are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals, by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts.High Court of Australia

The Migration Review Tribunal (the MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (the RRT) provide an independent and final merits review of decisions made in relation to visas to travel to, enter or stay in Australia. The MRT reviews decisions made in respect of general visas (e.g. visitor, student, partner, family, business, skilled visas) and the RRT deals with decisions made in respect of protection (refugee) visas.Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

The Social Security Appeals Tribunal is a statutory body established to review decisions made in relation to social security, education or training payments.Social Security Appeals Tribunal

The Veterans’ Review Board is an independent tribunal to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commission on claims for acceptance of injury or disease as war-caused or defence-caused, on claims for war widows’, war widowers’ and orphans’ pensions, on assessment of pension rate for incapacity from war-caused or defence-caused injury or disease, and on claims for the grant, or assessment of, attendant allowance.Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The list of Current Federal Judges appointed to these courts are:

Judges based in Sydney

Judges based in Melbourne

Judges based in Brisbane

Judges based in Perth

Judges based in Adelaide

Judge based in Canberra

Judges based in Hobart

List of State Courts: [Click to enlarge in a new Window.]

All State based Courts Judges are appointed by the individual States Attorney General after the same process is pursued as for Federal Court appointments.

The Debate:

The system in place for Court Appointments has been in place since Federation and before.   If not the Government to make the appointee decision then who.   The matter comes to the debate table because of the appointment of Justice Bernard Murphy during the Julia Gillard term as Prime Minister.  The AG at the time of the appointment – 13th June 2011 – was Robert McClelland.    Nicola Roxon took over the portfolio in Dec 2011.

Robert McClelland was involve din the AWU scandal as a lawyer after the AWU sacked Slater and Gordon and transferred their legal work to Maurice Blackburn.   Nicola Roxon worked for Maurice Blackburn and it is widely acknowledged that Roxon took over the Gillard AWU file when Gillard was sacked from Slater and Gordon.

McClelland introduced into the House a speech about his knowledge of the AWU scandal and Gillard’s involvement.  Read the full text of McClellan’s comments – 21st June 2012 – in Hansard here via Andrew Bolt’s blog, or via APH here.

There is a 12 month gap between McClellan’s comments and the prior appointment of Bernard Murphy.  McClelland was sacked from the Gillard Ministry for supporting Kevin Rudd in his early 2012 Leadership spill.

You do not have to be too clever to understand McClelland’s motives for the Hansard comments.  What is interesting is that if McClelland knew about Gillard’s AWU scandal involvement, who else knew as well.  And – if the numbers of ALP MP’s and Senators were aware of Gillard’s AWU scandal involvement, why was she chosen to become PM with the chequered AWU history there for the media and public to expose?

Was the Bernard Murphy a payback by Gillard to hush up his knowledge of Gillard’s involvement in the AWU scandal – the evidence revealed to date had Murphy’s account differing with another Partner’s on the record account, and the transcript of Gillard’s recorded termination interview.

As a policy issue – if the PM abuses their office to make judicial appointments who would know?   Is there an appeals process for judicial members to appeal their case for a position they feel qualified for and want?

The concept of Governments stacking the Courts is theatre stuff … honest and genuine Governments don’t play politics with Judicial appointments, just the same as judicial appointees never bare their political persuasion when passing judgement.  That is how it is supposed to work and there are many judgements made that challenge the courts neutrality.

The media and other vested interest try time and again to make the case of bias decisions from the judiciary.   There is no case law where this has been proven.

The Courts are often though of as being the third (3rd) arm of Government, behind the Legislature, and the Executive. [see link here.]   Our Court Justices are charged with enforcing the Laws of the Land and as revealed with the High Court’s dismissing the Government’s Malaysian solution to asylum seekers, they are not only required to be seen to independent but they must act independently.

Please take a minute to register your opinion in the Poll below:   [EYE-BALL] …

The Day’s Updates – Media Stories: … [EYE-BALL] …

Amedia story no one is writing about is the Treasury forecasts made in May for the 2013 Budget and the $33 billion hole across the forward estimates made only 11 weeks later.

Surely the story we all want to know is how Treasury could have got it so wrong – yet again.  Remember the 2012-13 forecast in May 2012 was for a $1.5 billion surplus.  It was revised down to $500 million surplus in the mid year estimates and then in Dec 2012 it all came unstuck.

As at the May 2013 Finance Department numbers the budget is at $17 billion deficit.   So in the space of the  time from May 2012 – to Aug 2013 – the Treasury estimates have made errors in excess of $50 billion … how can the Treasury forecast modelling be trusted.

The Opposition have every right to have no confidence in handing over their policy’s for costing by Treasury.   But the question has to be asked – why have they not used the incompetence of Treasury over the past 2 odd years as the reason.

The other news story today worthy of note was the High Court decision on the MRRT challenge from Twiggy Forrest.

Please give your feedback on whether you have confidence in the Treasury modelling and the numbers presented in Chris Bowen’s amended budget forecast:  … [EYE-BALL] …

Harry Growl’s Water Cooler Gossip: [Harry Growl] …

  • Christopher Pyne had a revisit to the barber yesterday … he believed it was a rogue hair giving him a tickle behind the ear … the barber couldn’t find it so watch out over the next few days for Pyne giving his left ear a tug …
  • The Opposition candidate for Sydney seat ‘Greenway’ had a bad day on Tuesday when a Channel 10 journo opened up when the candidate struggled to find a sensible response to policy questions.   The highlight was an exposure to the Opposition vetting process … surely public speaking and an understanding of the Party’s policy should be part of the vetting process … watch out for more journo’s getting agressive with candidates …
  • David Bradbury the Assistant Treasurer is a duck out of water after Swan’s demise – he lost it on a radio talk back show yesterday – read more here
  • Listen to Joe Hockey’s speech on the interest rate reduction:
  • Listen to Chris Bowen’s comments after the Rate cut:
  • On the ‘debate’ debate … the ALP minders are saying that Abbott does not really want to debate on Rudd’s terms … the Coalition minders are saying that they are not running away from any debate contest … Malcolm Turnbull is said to have said that he should be in the debate to help Abbott do a number on Rudd …
  • Abbott also got himself in trouble when he spoke about the NSW MP involved in a sex image … read more here … why would Abbott even go there?

[Harry Growl] …

The BULLSHIT Measure:

The graphs showing the “Bullshit” measure will be updated weekly or there abouts … please if you find a story or media report that reeks of the ‘bullshit’ context, please send a link of the story text via comments section below.

General Links to Election data and Information:

AEC’s Enrollment Drive: Linked here.

Today is Day 1 of the 34 day campaign and the immediate focus of the ALP and the Greens is to get as many un-enrolled electors enrolled … the deadline is seven (7) days and the AEC link to find more information about whether you are enrolled can be found here.  [EYE-BALL.]

ABC’s Vote Compass:  Linked here.

A brilliant on-line survey presented by the ABC’s Anthony Green will prove to be an election barometer never seen before.  His 30 question survey has gone ballistic this morning with 170,000 people logging on to give their responses.  His questions will decide the election issues seen as most important and the major party’s will be keenly seeking Green’s data to help them plan their election strategies. [EYE-BALL]

Party Policy links:

Campaign Speeches:

Link to the ABC’s 2013 Election coverage:

Final Comments from EYE-BALL:

This new election commentary page is provided as a service to subscribers and readers during the 2013 election campaign.

All and any abusive comments will be deleted without notice.

Satire and witty comments are appreciated … and in all seriousness, this Nation is a bee’s dick away from disaster, and if anyone thinks that Rudd or Abbott have the goods to be our PM and lead this Nation away from that disaster, please express your thoughts and reasons in the comments section below.  You never know, your comment might just make a difference.

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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – On The Hustings …

  1. david the pragmatist
    August 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Have just reviewed your “on the hustings” site and blog.
    The information provided is informative and valuable. The work is high class and you deserve to be congratulated. I would be surprised if there is a better news election site anywhere! The information on the judges is also very interesting and a credit to the hours of work you put in.

    Whilst I can be very critical at times of certain views and always try to see another side to events that have not been represented I believe credit is due and reflects a new maturity of even handedness in your process.
    I say this particularly where it is very difficult to be unbiased when the obvious differences present.

  2. August 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Knock me down with a feather … Julia has asked me to tell you that she feels betrayed as you seem to have become an asslicker rather than hold onto your ‘never let them know what you’re realy thinking’ beliefs.

    Julia has also indicated that you might be in for a surprise in coming days and it involves an invitation … see linked story …here …

    Hope it all goes well for you but I can’t tell you too much more.

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