Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption: Abbott Government extends it hunt for political scalps

When the Abbott Government set up the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption it obviously expected that the hearings would have a higher media profile than they did and elicit more response from Australian voters they have done thus far.

Indeed, it appears that having the former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the witness list did not play well for either Prime Minister Abbott or his Attorney-General George Brandis.

While evidence such as this has caused either sheer disbelief or guffaws of laughter:

Victoria Assistant Commissioner Fontana giving evidence before the Royal Commission 18 September 2014

Apparently dissatisfied with the very expensive and politically disappointing results which it suspected would be coming down the line before the end of this year, on 7 October 2014 Senator Brandis announced he was extending this Royal Commission another twelve months until 31 December 2015 and also widening its terms of reference in an as yet unspecified manner.

This was despite the fact that under the existing terms of reference the Royal Commissioner stated a willingness to submit a final report this December and did not believe that extending the time available to this Commission would further fulfill the commission’s task.

Excerpts from the somewhat politically oriented letter to Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis from Commissioner the Hon John Dyson Heydon AC QC, dated 2 October 2014:

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