KANGAROO COURT: WA CCC humiliated by yet another court ruling that casts a shadow on its activities

tankThe decision by the West Australian Supreme Court to quash false convictions achieved by the infamous Western Australian Corruption & Crime Commission against former state Minister Norm Marlborough is an incredible repudiation of the activities of that vile organisation, WA political insiders told VEXNEWS today.

“There is a pattern with the CCC – and similar corrupt bodies in other states – that when their allegations are tested, they fall apart. Sometimes they are able to con juries but often on appeal independent judges who apply old fashioned notions like wanting proof of wrongdoing, the presumption of innocence and so on throw them out,” one angry political operative explained.

The WA CCC is modelled on similar agencies in New South Wales and in turn will be replicated by the Baillieu government in Victoria who many think will be inevitably hoist by their own petard.

The Supreme Court unanimously threw out the CCC’s case against Marlborough.

Central to the argument was whether the CCC had deliberately asked vague or deceitfully tricky questions in order to trip up Marlborough and lead him to inadvertently answer incorrectly, despite attempting to co-operate fully with the notorious agency that was notionally established to combat corruption, yet itself, as now, is seen to act quite corruptly itself.

So traumatic was the vicious nature of the CCC’s targeting of Marlborough that the troubled bloke contemplated suicide. At least one of the CCC’s victims has killed himself in a scandal that has led many in Perth to question the integrity and decency of the agency and its staff.

Targets of the Victorian Ombudsman – equipped with similar powers to the Corrupt Commission – have told VEXNEWS that they too suffered extreme psychological distress as a result of the way their goons (like Lachlan McCulloch) acted.

We thought these remarks especially telling, chillingly reminiscent as they are of totalitarian police states so horrifying described by Orwell:

Mr Marlborough said outside court today that the CCC created an atmosphere that made those being questioned feel guilty.

“The process had made me feel very guilty… I didn’t think I had done anything wrong,” Mr Marlborough said.

Outside the court, this proud bloke cried tears of joy. He told a bunch of strangers in the form of local journos who gathered round  that he wouldn’t have survived without his loving wife. He said he contemplated suicide. He said he’d never be the same again. He said his once close friendship with frequent CCC victim Brian Burke was strained.

If you’re not angry about this good man who dedicated his life to public service being treated this way then you probably shouldn’t be reading VEXNEWS. P*ss off, we don’t want you.

If you are worried, if you are as deeply perturbed about the attack on public life and democracy itself that these nefarious agencies represent, then I ask you what I occasionally ask myself:

What have you done lately to alert people to the dangers of these perpetually over-reaching, human-rights abusing corruption bodies?

If you’re in Victoria and in conservative politics, as many of our readers are, what are you are doing about the fact that your government, that you worked hard to elect, headed by people like Ted Baillieu and Josephine Cafagna are about to unleash ravenous jackals on the body politic?

Probably nothing, you’re still waiting to find out that you’ve been vetoed by the Premier’s “Star Chamber” (itself surely likely to be subject to ICAC investigation).

Some Liberals tell us somehow Baillieu will ensure his version of ICAC will focus on Labor councils and the past government.

No-one has explained how that pipe-dream could possibly be implemented. The Commission about Labor Corruption seems a little too good to be true, from a Liberal point of view.

Because it cannot and will not be.

If you set up these bodies, they go hunting whichever target they think will get the most headlines, rarely is it a partisan issue, it’s almost always a self-justification issue. These expensive agencies need to be seen to get results so they shoot for targets they know the media will love. And in Victoria, that will mean incumbents, the high-ranking the better.

This is an issue that goes way beyond partisan politics.

It’s about whether you value public life at all and whether those who bravely – in any event – put their hand up for public office should have any rights at all or than the right to be randomly killed off by vicious, petty, otherwise unemployable B-graders who invariably emerge as the staff of these foul organisations.

Long ago, we decided not to chance our arm. We don’t mind the cheap seats, the winds can be chilly but the view always spectacular.

But we start with an absolute admiration for those willing to put their hand up for the noblest profession: in politics. Even the Greens, we sheepishly admit.

As we have argued many times before, with reference to extensive studies by the most-respected NGOs, Australia has practically no public sector corruption. Certainly nothing on a scale that could ever warrant the establishment of bodies like ICACs that are better suited to fighting terror or organised crime gangs.

Politicians who create these bodies deserve all they get. Nick Greiner paid the supreme price for creating an ICAC. It falsely – outrageously – judged him guilty of corruption. He had to resign. And even though the courts cleared him, the stain remained.

The way the money is flying around Perth, with lobbyists and wealthy spiv miners and land boomers, it will be a miracle if their government survives unscathed, even though it is widely seen as a decent, honest government.

In NSW, the sheer randomness of those slayed on ICAC’s altar, on just how few of its victims are ever actually successfully prosecuted of anything, tells us just how brutish and foul these agencies can be.

They resist every kind of check and balance and accountability and oversight.

They will never accept the standards of propriety they insist on for others. The Victorian Ombudsman is a classic example of this, he has presided over a dishonest, thuggish and extra-legal structure there that if he found it in any other agency he would almost certainly be recommending multiple prosecutions.

As we write, we know it will get worse before it gets better.

We think of the best and brightest, really promising chaps in the new Victorian government, Ryan Smith, Matthew Guy, Michael O’Brien and wonder which one of these able men will fall victim to Ted Baillieu’s foul creation of ICAC.

Young men with families and bright futures. All could have done something else, made more money, had more time with the kids on weekends. Less pressure, less scrutiny.

But they chose public life. Like Norm Marlborough did. And we ought be very grateful they did so. Good people, doing their best to make a difference, make the world a little better for them being on it. We should seek their autographs not be smearing them in excrement.

That gratitude ought not be expressed in a so-called anti-corruption agency that itself will be corrupt to the core, like all its brother agencies in other states and like the Ombudsman it will probably replace.

Real safeguards, genuine accountability and oversight, means of redress other than incredibly expensive, personally-funded litigation by ICAC’s victims are just as essential as they are unlikely.



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16 responses to “KANGAROO COURT: WA CCC humiliated by yet another court ruling that casts a shadow on its activities

  1. Sezar

    Spot on Andrew…Keep it up..

  2. Sezar

    ICAC must start from corrupt Victorian Ombudsman First

  3. Citzen Kane

    The primary purpose of any organisation is self perpetuation.

    Once the ICAC has finished finding whatever eal corruption there may be – and I suspect that will be very little -it wil turns its mind to such Stirring issues as Minister or MP’s who may have misused some of their office paper, chaged the mini-bar to the txpayer on official business or even committed the egrgious crime of supporting or opposing a planning decsion.

    These days there doesn’t even need to be money involved. Just the fact that something maynbenfit you or your party is regarded as valuable consideration by these paragons of virtue. The art of political negotiation will be seen as corruption or process. (wonder whether they ever turn thier minds to the corrupt processes of the law itself – like plea bargaining; or the finanfcial extortion process known as legal “settlement”?)

    The history of these types of body is thatnthey actually get few convictions either because there is no breach of the law at all- just innuendo – or because they are more concerned about getting a headline and damaging reputations, so that much of the eveidence collected by the ICAC is rendered unusable in court.

    The only beneficiaries will be the media and t,he lawyers – ironically the 2 institutions that always seem to be immune from such investigations.

  4. Anonymous

    Labor just dont understand ICAC or IBAC how can Jill be spokesperson she has no idea! untill Labor gets serious its just down hill..and what about the principals of natural justice, thats why Hulls and his charater of Human Rights meant nothing!

  5. Blah Blah


    I guess that leaves out NSW as part of Australia then.

    As for Victoria, the level of financial incompetence from the ALP is probably at the level that cannot be explained by anything other than corruption.

  6. Sotherby

    Doesnt surprise me that Greens want one of these in SA, but the libs are dumb enough under Comrade Redmond latch on to this freak show, god only knows what muck that will find in the land of the free..

  7. Giuseppe De Simone

    Star Chambers are anathema to me. The rights against self-incrimination and enforced testimony are sacrosanct. There is always the need for proper parliamentary and judicial oversight of oppressive measures used to investigate terrorism, serious organised crime and public corruption to ensure they are not used against citizens who, while they might be guilty of some offence, do not pose a security or corruption risk to the country.

    It is quite offensive to think the amount of public money wasted chasing possible bent union officials or tax dodgers. Quite frankly, I’d rather have spent $300 million on new schools and hospitals than on enriching lawyers in court cases around the world chasing Paul Hogan, a true Australian icon, who provided significant public service to tourism and popular culture and commerce. He did not pose any threat to Australia even if he did understate his income, a claim he denies.

    No doubt my concerns will be ignored by the gung ho advocates for oppressive powers in Victoria.

    Every freedom lost in the pursuit of an alleged criminal becomes a power able to be misused by an overzealous bureaucracy or worse still a corrupt politician.

    Remember, we built our common law legal system on the precept that it was better for 100 guilty persons to go free than one innocent person to be jailed.

    Politicians now trade in fear and race to lock up as many people as possible – starts to sound like Siberia to me.

  8. oh no Rob Hulls is deputy leader

    When will Lachlan McCulloch and the Victorian Ombudsman be held accountable for their thuggish and outrages behavior towards the good citizens of this state?

  9. The Brotherhood

    Another parliamentary sitting day and yet another beat up by the Victorian Ombudsman. So there is a Brotherhood in Victoria why is it any different to the Melbourne Club? What’s the big deal? Has anyone broken the law? Can people associate with one another without the Ombudsman beating up another report? Complete and utter joke.

  10. Separation of powers, please!

    If ICAC comes to Victoria they should have a good look at Jeremy Rapke and a judiciary that will only deliver ‘justice’ on behalf of the government – never against it.

  11. Anonymous

    Ombudsman report into the Brotherhood a shame. When will this mockery end?

  12. burbankmac

    @The Brotherhood:

    nice article on why we need to be worried:


    lol….just an innocent little picnic…..of secretive former police officers, private detectives and public servants…..yeah…..sounds all peaches and cream to me….

  13. Disgrace

    I fully support any form of ICAC, how else will millionaire Union officials like Michael Williamson and Kathy Jackson be bought to account?

  14. cynic

    Knowing norm i can say he did not provide a fullsome version of events as he might have in the initial hearings. You might complain about the CCC here but it is limited to looking at public service corruption only, NOT, the czars of crime even though it has royal commission powers. Some want it let loose on the real crime lords NOT destroyed by some fool from victoria who defends labor idiots, apologies to labor. Norm makes look bad & is a cronie of brian burke. You defend norm, you defend burkie!!!!

  15. Anonymous

    @burbankmac: At the end of the day what did the ombudsman find? Bugger all. Just a bunch of public servants hanging around one an other. It’s not any different to what they do all day slipping away on there lattés.

  16. Old Geezer

    My story is about the continued corruption of all the Victorian state governments since 1991. All of the previous governments and police refuse to investigate my claims of my barrister being bribed by Dick Pratt and Visypaper at a workcover hearing. The only minister for workcover who eventually answered my letters was Roger Hallam who lied about it being investigated. The CEO of workcover Greg Tweedly evaded the questions. Faye Burton a director of workcover said “Bribery happened all the time in cases like this and it was nothing to get worried about.” She later denied saying this. Timmy Holding finally mentioned the bribery word, he was the first one to say it. He asked for evidence of bribery just prior to the State election, I furnished sufficient proof that silenced him. What I want to know is why Don Halloran and Maurice Blackburn was silent and would not answer when I approached him regarding the bribery? The Crime and Corruption Commission should be able to sort this out.

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