Saturday, March 06, 2010

Letter of 8 May 2009 to the Prime Minister

Dear Sir,

I refer to the letter of 23 February 2009 from your senior adviser, Ms Sarah Adams, in response to my letter to you of 1 January 2009.

Summarizing the situation

Even though I desperately tried to raise the issue that Australians at work have to follow apparently unlawful directions, Ms Adams expressed to the effect that you had not been informed this matter. She did not provide any reasons of why she failed to do so.

Given that ‘during last financial year [you] received in excess of 200,000 items of correspondence’, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) wrote: ‘Guideline in place for dealing with correspondence provide that the Department may respond to some correspondence on behalf of the Prime Minister in relation to factual information or established policy’.

Forwarding my letter of 9 September 2008 to your office, the Department held, on face of it, that the established case law, which requests worker, to the effect, to follow apparently unlawful directions, is against the ‘established policy’. On her letter of 12 December 2008, Ms Irwin clarified that my ‘key concern relates to the protection of employees who are given apparently unlawful directions by their employers in the workplaces’. However, she provided some reasons of why you could not do anything about it.

In response to Ms Irwin’s reasons, I provided:

a. The High Court Registry’s advice that the Governments can raise the issue to the High Court if the Governments want to do so.

b. The confusions among the Governments Solicitor that they believed that ‘it was not appropriate (to intervene in application for special leave to appeal) as, until leave is granted, there is nothing to intervene in’.

c. Ms Irwin’s mistake of fact. The fact is that the former Attorney-General, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, did not decide not to intervene in the special leave to appeal of the matter let alone he ever held ‘no constitutional issues had been identified’.

In response to above points, Ms Adams raised no objection but declared: ‘I do not have anything further to add to the response provided to you by Ms Irwin on 16 December 2008.’ Both Mr Alex Anderson, your assistant secretary, who replied my letter of 7 July 2008 and Ms Irwin have tried to do something about the matter; however, Ms Adams did not want to do anything about it.

Disclosing information

‘First, what went wrong?’ was the question raised by you at United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2008. Ms Adam who just took the position seemingly does not have experience, authority or competence to deal with the matter. To identify the problems, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, I request disclosing information below:

a. whether this matter have been brought to your attention?

b. whether you have decided ‘further correspondence on this issue may not receive a response’?

c. whether you have decided not to do anything in respect of Australians’ constitutional right to obey the laws and Constitution at work even though you have been advised that the Full Court’s interpretation of the unlawful dismissal laws ‘is incorrect’ and affected all workers?

d. what are your grounds for not upholding Australians’ constitutional right at work?

e. what are your grounds for keeping the situation that Australians’ at work have to follow apparently unlawful directions?

f. who decided not to inform you about the matter and what policies are applied, if you have not been informed?

g. who decided not to take any actions, and what are the decision maker’s grounds, if you have not done so?

In the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of public

Mr Anderson held the established case law is ‘incorrect’, and Ms Irwin held: my ‘key concern relates to the protection of employees who are given apparently unlawful directions by their employers in the workplace’. Australia has over seven millions fulltime employees and over three millions part-time employees. If including the employees’ families, my key concern related to the protection of employees is relevant to the majority of Australian population. When apparently unlawful directions cause financial and economic crisis (for instance, fraudulent financial data), endanger environment and public safety, my key concern is relevant to more Australians.

Furthermore, our local MP, the Hon Marsha Thompson MP, held that our FOI request in relation to the matter is “in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public. The Hon Marsha Thompson MP’s letter is enclosed.

A relevant leaflet is enclosed as well.

Based on above reasons, I seek remission of the application fee to lodge an FOI request on public interest grounds.

Given you have announced to the world that you want to ‘marshal the political will’ to deal with the problems, now can be the time for you to decide what things must be done to deal with the problems “in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public


Letter of 15 February 2007 from the Hon Marsha Thompson MP

Leaflet of supporting workers constitutional right