October 15th, 2005 at 09:00pm
The Chief Turnip of the ACT, Jon Stanhope, has released a confidential document on his chief ministerial website (Warning, site contains large scary pictures at the top of every page).
The document he leaked was a confidential draft copy of the federal government’s anti-terrorism legislation. This was given to each of the state and territory leaders as part of the briefing they received on the new legislation.
The draft legislation is due before Federal parliament in a couple weeks, and will probably be refined by then, so not only is this leak a breach of confidentiality, it is also unwise and irresponsible. Not only has the chief turnip broken the trust between the federal and ACT government’s, he has also placed further sensible and logical revisions of the legislation at risk.
I will admit that it does appear to have a few rough edges, but these would have been revised before or during their time in parliament, and the early release has provided extra amunition for a propoganda campaign from the “no anti-terrorism legislation” camp. Already Green’s senator/leader Bob Brown has said that it contains a section which enables police to shoot to kill, and frankly, I don’t think anti-terrorism legislation would be complete without such a clause, and I strongly suspect that Mr. Brown has taken it out of context, and omitted any safeguards/regulations which would be part of the paragraphs in question. The federal government aren’t stupid enough to just hand out guns to the police and say “If you see something, shoot it.” They know that the “rogue senators” wouldn’t stand for it, and neither would the other parties.
ACT Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak produced a press release in which he stated the obvious and true facts of the matter:
“I have to question the judgement of the Chief Minister to circulate this document on the world wide web when it clearly states on the front page ‘Draft-in-Confidence”
“To my knowledge no other Labor state leaders have sort to betray the Federal Government’s confidence in this manner.”
“Mr Stanhope was the biggest critic of the Anti-Terror approach that the Federal Government was proposing to take, but then, after a special briefing at the COAG meeting he finally realised the Prime Minister’s number one goal is national security.”
“Why then has Jon Stanhope betrayed the trust of the Federal Government and his state colleagues in posting what is a very private and confidential document to his personal website for all to see?”
“This is not a smart move and shows a severe lack of judgement on the part of the Leader of this Territory.”
“Jon Stanhope has embarrassed the ACT in his actions and will never be able to be trusted with confidential material of this nature again. “
Perhaps that is just it, perhaps the chief turnip only pretended to be pleased about the new legislation so that he could leak it in an unfinished and rough state which could ultimately destroy it. If so, then this has to be one of the worst cases of political grandstanding in the history of Australian politics.
Regardless of his intentions, he has leaked a confidential government document, and deserves to be punished. If his intentions were as I stated above, then a charge of treason should also be considered…after all, isn’t an attempt to unfairly influence the proceedings of potential anti-terrorism legislation an unusual form of terrorism?
I haven’t read the draft legislation yet, but I will make sure I get read enough to get an overview of it. As unfortunate as it is, the draft legislation has been viewed by so many people now, that it would be impossible to remove it from public knowledge, and to not get see some of it now would open myself up to manipulation by those of Stanhope’s ilk. I will not store a copy of the draft legislation on this site, but I will retain my two-pages-per-page double-sided copy of it for now, and if requested, I will shred it and make sure I don’t disclose any of the contents.
For now the offending document can be viewed from the Chief Turnip’s website (warning, site contains a large scary picture of Stanhope on every page), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is removed sometime soon…even if a court order is required.
Chief Turnip Stanhope is an outright twit, and shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, he is a danger to our society, and can never be trusted with confidential documents ever again. The release of the draft legislation will hamper efforts to logically fix up any problems which may be part of the legislation, and has almost certainly fueled a proganda war between the “for” & “against” camps, as can be seen in the incredible amount of press releases relating to it.
Disclaimer: Neither I, nor anybody related to this website can be held responsible for any consequences that may occur should you decide to view the confidential draft legislation, information provided here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation, direction or otherwise that you should view the confidential document. Should you choose to do so, it is at your own risk. Comments which contravine this notice will be removed without notice.