As the next federal election approaches, it is increasingly evident that Australia is facing a crisis: both in terms of dollars and in terms of our sense of culture.
Government debt continues to soar. The front page of today's Australian reveals that pie-in-the-sky programs, like ongoing funding for climate change, are going to wipe $400 billion off our budget over the next decade. If this wasteful spending continues, we will never see the government in surplus again and that only means one thing: more tax. That's the dollars.
In terms of our sense of culture, yesterday's Australian told the story as well. It has been revealed that not only has the Navy's Islamic Advisor, Captain Mona Shindy, been protected after she was found to have breached Defence's requirement for officers to remain apolitical while on duty, but she has actually demanded media staff and a host of other perks. The Chief of Navy's response to this scandal was not to sack Captain Shindy, but to announce that they would work on different ways of getting her message out. As the Australian pointed out, this stands in stark contrast to the way I was treated for my lawfully expressed views as a private citizen.
You can read Michael Smith's take on this hypocritical mess here, here and here, and see the emails obtained under FOI for yourself here.
Also of great concern, the Queensland government has forced a newly appointed board member of Racing Queensland to resign because he opposes halal certification. As I pointed out in a press release earlier this week, the Queensland Racing Minister, Grace Grace is part of the army Hizb ut Tahrir wants to impose Sharia law in Australia.
In other news, coalition MPs are talking about the Australian Liberty Alliance here and here. Apparently, they're concerned that conservative voters are joining the Australian Liberty Alliance in droves. So much so, MPs are lining up to say that there is no threat to the coalition at all. I recall similar statements being made before about Malcolm Turnbull...
Also of interest, an article in the Canberra Times this weeks highlights how the Federal Court victory we obtained last year is an important win for free speech and the rights of all employees, who are now less likely to be sacked for the personal views. It stated:
"Offensive or not, public servants should be given ample room to speak their mind on political matters. Continued uncertainty in this area of the law reflects poorly on the state of political communication in this country. With impending territory and federal elections, that should be a cause for real concern."
Unfortunately, this uncertainty is continuing because the Chief of Defence Force is appealing the Federal Court's decision. Essentially, he is arguing that it was justifiable to sack me because I expressed political beliefs in my private capacity that the hierarchy of the military opposed. The matter will be heard on appeal in the Federal Court on 5-6 May. I intend to do all that is possible to defend the victory that we obtained. Every Australian will benefit if the Court upholds the view that it is unconstitutional to sack someone because they express political views in their private capacity that their boss disagrees with.
I also continue to receive anti-discrimination complaints from Gary Burns via the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, even though the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled that there is no jurisdiction under NSW law to lodge complaints against persons in other states. I am considering all options in relation to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, although I am not surprised at all that a taxpayer funded-body that takes advice from a group that wants to decriminalise homosexual sex in public would ignore tribunal rulings.
Unfortunately, the jurisdictional win that we obtained last year is also under appeal. It will be heard in May as well. The good news on this front is that I have recently obtained leave to appeal the costs order made in this decision. Even though we succeeded in this case, the Tribunal still awarded costs to Gary Burns. This decision will now be reviewed in the NSW Supreme Court.
Finally, you may remember the case of Tess Corbett. She was found to have engaged in vilification after Gary Burns lodged a complaint against her for expressing concern that paedophiles may gain rights under anti-discrimination law. She is now facing the prospect of contempt charges (and even the possibility of jail). There will be a hearing in the next week that stands a good prospect of knocking this matter out for good.
I could not have fought these legal cases without your support. That support has also assisted Tess in her legal case. I am asking for your support once again. These matters are expensive to fight and have cost well over $200,000 thus far. I face several further large bills in the next month and simply will not be able to do so without further backup. Tess also needs assistance. The sad reality, however, is that if we don't fight these battles now it will cost us much more in the future.