“Such A Bastard”: Nicola Roxon Condemns Rudd In Button Memorial Lecture

Nicola Roxon, Health Minister throughout the first Rudd government and Attorney-General during the Gillard government, has condemned Kevin Rudd, whilst delivering the John Button Memorial Lecture, in Melbourne.

Roxon called on Rudd to leave the Parliament, “otherwise the action of any Labor leader will always be tested through the prism of popularity compared to him”.

The now retired member for Gellibrand said the removal of Rudd in 2010 was the right thing to do but was handled “very poorly”. She described Rudd’s government as one of “dysfunctional decision-making” with a “lack of strategy”.

Roxon

  • Listen to Roxon (39m)

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Roxon told her audience at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre: “We didn’t talk about his rudeness, or contempt for staff and disrespect for public servants (a measure of this was public servants saving up briefs to send to the PM’s office as soon as Kevin went overseas because they got quicker and more thoughtful responses from Julia as acting PM). Removing Kevin was an act of political bastardry, for sure. But this act of political bastardy was made possible only because Kevin had been such a bastard himself to so many people.”

Roxon also disputed the argument that returning Rudd to the leadership saved seats in the 2013 federal election. “I don’t agree with the analysis that Kevin’s poll popularity saved us more seats than Julia’s more consistent and planned campaigning would have, but as there is never a control test I won’t waste limited time arguing the toss tonight – my point is broader than that.”

She said: “We know bums on seats in Parliament do matter – but they aren’t all that matters. If the damage to our sense of purpose, to our reputation for delivering good policy and for caring for the community is severe, this reputational loss, and lack of purpose, can take longer to recover from than it takes to win back seats here and there. And it is harder to win the seats back if your people don’t think you stand for anything. The polls can’t help you on this.” [Read more...]


Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse: Commissioners, Terms Of Reference Announced

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced the names of six Commissioners and the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Gillard

The Royal Commission will be led by Justice Peter McClellan, currently Chief Judge at Common Law of the Supreme Court of NSW.

He will be assisted by the former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson; Justice Jennifer Coate, the Victorian Coroner; Robert Fitzgerald, a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission; Professor Helen Milroy, a consultatn psychiatrist; and Andrew Murray, former Democrats Senator.

The Royal Commission will not examine child sexual abuse in families.

Gillard was joined by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Families Minister Jenny Macklin at her press conference.

  • Listen to Gillard, Macklin & Roxon announce the details of the Royal Commission (43m)

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  • Listen to reaction from Hetty Johnson of Bravehearts (12m)

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  • Royal Commission Terms of Reference (PDF) – see below
  • An explanation of the Terms of Reference (PDF)
  • Website of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Statement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Government Formally Establishes Royal Commission

On my advice, today the Governor-General has appointed a six member Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Child sexual abuse is an evil crime.

Anyone who has ever suffered child abuse deserves to have their voices heard and their claims investigated.

The Royal Commission will inquire into how institutions with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse and related matters.

It will investigate where systems have failed to protect children, and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions. [Read more...]


Labor Pursues Brough Over Role In Slipper-Ashby Case

The federal government has targeted the Liberal National Party candidate for Fisher, Mal Brough, after today’s Federal Court decision in the James Ashby-Peter Slipper sexual harassment case.

Nicola Roxon

In a range of media appearances this afternoon, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, the Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, and the Education Minister, Peter Garrett, have called for Brough to stand down over his role in the case.

The calls came after the harassment case was dismissed as an abuse of process. Brough’s role is canvassed in detail in the judgment.

  • Listen to Nicola Roxon’s media conference (11m)

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  • Listen to Nicola Roxon debate George Brandis on ABC 774 (22m)

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  • Listen to Craig Emerson interviewed by David Speers on Sky News (8m)

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Education Minister Peter Garrett also commented on the Slipper-Ashby case in a media conference called to discuss reports about Australia’s rankings in international education tests.

  • Listen to Peter Garrett’s media conference (11m)

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  • Watch Craig Emerson on ABC’s 7.30 (7m)

Brandis Accuses Roxon Of Inappropriate Behaviour

The shadow Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, says Nicola Roxon is behaving inappropriately over the Ashby-Slipper case.

Under attack from government spokespeople for his role in the matter, Brandis issued a brief statement after the Federal Court decision was announced today.

Media statement from Senator George Brandis.

Senator the Hon George Brandis SC – Media Statement

12/12/12

The Opposition is carefully studying the reasons given by Justice Rares this morning.

We note that Mr Ashby has already announced he will appeal the decision.

The Attorney-General has once again behaved inappropriately, and once again shown a misunderstanding of her appropriate constitutional role, in commenting on the case when it remains before the court pending the appeal.

The Attorney-General has also yet to explain why the Commonwealth settled its side of the proceeding in breach of the Commonwealth’s own guidelines.


Patrick Keane Appointed To The High Court

The federal government has appointed the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Patrick Keane, to the High Court.

Patrick KeaneThe Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, made the announcement today. Keane will be the 50th person appointed to the High Court.

Keane will replace Justice John Dyson Heydon on March 1 next year. He is the Rudd-Gillard government’s fourth appointment to the seven-member court. He is 60 years old and will serve a maximum ten years on the court.

James Allsop will replace Keane as Chief Justice of the Federal Court. Allsop has been a Justice of the NSW Court of Appeal since 2008.

Keane is the Gillard government’s second appointment in the past few months. Stephen Gageler was appointed in October.

  • Listen to Nicola Roxon’s press conference announcement (24m)

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Media release by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon.

New High Court Justice and Federal Court Chief Justice

Nicole Roxon

 

I am very pleased to announce that on the recommendation of the Government, the Governor-General Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO has today appointed the Honourable Patrick Keane as Australia’s new Justice of the High Court of Australia, and the Honourable James Allsop as the next Chief Justice of the Federal Court.

Chief Justice Keane currently heads the Federal Court of Australia. He will be the 50th person appointed to the High Court since Federation.

Chief Justice Keane’s appointment will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice John Dyson Heydon AC on 1 March 2013 after 10 years of dedicated service on the Court. [Read more...]


Child Abuse Royal Commission Consultation Paper Released

The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, today released a consultation paper on the establishment of the Royal Commission into child abuse.

The paper invites submissions on the scope of the Commission’s terms of reference, the form of the Royal Commission, the number and qualifications of the Commissioner(s), and the duration and reporting arrangements for the Commission.

Statement by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon.

Attorney General Nicola Roxon and Acting Minister for Families Brendan O’Connor today announced the Government has released a consultation paper to inform the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, announced last week by the Prime Minister.

The consultation paper asks for stakeholder views on:

  • The scope of the Terms of Reference, including the issues the Commission should investigate and make recommendations on;
  • The form of the Royal Commission, including how the Commonwealth and states and territories could work together to ensure full access to information;
  • The number of Royal Commissioners and appropriate expertise; and
  • The timetable and reporting arrangements.

We want all stakeholders, especially survivors of child sexual abuse, their families and their advocates, to help shape the development of the Royal Commission. [Read more...]


Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s Speech On Data Retention Laws

This is the text of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s address on security in government and data retention.

The speech has caused controversy because of Roxon’s attitude to data retention laws and the balance between privacy and national security concerns.

Speech by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon to the Security in Government Conference: protective security – policy in action.

Thank you Mike (Mike Rothery, First Assistant Secretary, National Security Resilience Policy Division, Attorney-General’s Department), Roger Wilkins AO, Secretary, Attorney-General’s Department, Security industry leaders and suppliers –

Ladies and gentlemen:

Introduction

It’s great to join you for this year’s Security in Government Conference, my first as Attorney-General.

SIG is considered to be Australia’s premier event on protective security, becoming very well established since its first gathering in 1987.

That was certainly a different era.

I was studying law at the University of Melbourne. And one of the most popular TV shows at the time was LA Law. While it wasn’t necessarily an accurate portrayal of the law or of legal proceedings, it was entertaining.

I remember in one episode a teenage computer hacker was hired to fix the law firm’s phones. I thought the story line was intriguing. Could he really be trusted?

I must admit, I don’t recall how the story played out. But I did do a bit of research and was amused to find the episode was written by Anonymous. And I think that’s enough said about that… [Read more...]