The President of the Senate, Liberal Scott Ryan has been summonsed to appear in the Court of Disputed Returns to defend the unconstitutional referral of Senator Rodney Culleton to the court which saw him dismissed from the senate.
Two weeks ago ‘exiled’ Senator Rodney Culleton filed an action in the High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns.
Mr Culleton said his dismissal and that of Senator Bob Day were unconstitutional and that all hostile referrals by the senate of other senators since dismissed were unlawful.
“It is clear that at all material times, the Government did not follow proper due process as required under the Constitution. All referrals from the House post 7th November 2016 appear to be invalid,” Mr Culleton told Cairns News.
He said under section 47 of the Commonwealth Constitution of Australia only the senate can decide on the qualifications of a senator.
“On the 4th July 2018, a summons was successfully filed back into the Court of Disputed Returns, Matter No C15/2016 Culleton v Commonwealth.
“This unconcluded case is now unprecedented and has in effect re-opened all invalid hostile referrals that have been invoked by the House under s 376 Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, post 7th November 2016 which did not comply with the Constitution.
“Section 368 Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, states Decisions to be final: All decisions of the Court shall be final and conclusive and without appeal, and shall not be questioned in any way.
“Notwithstanding the prohibition as defined in ss 368 and 364 CEA ,Section 47 of the Constitution, in contrast, is squarely addressed to authority to decide and to nothing other than authority to decide. Each House shall be the Judge of the … Qualifications of its own Members”, there is in s 47 a textually and Sections 22, 23 and 49 Constitution.”
Acting for Mr Culleton is the former Solicitor General of Australia, David Bennett AC, QC who has been following the saga with interest.
Culleton said Mr Bennet believed he had a strong case which was straightforward Constitutional law.
“The relevant effect of the section 47 Constitution is that, unless the Parliament otherwise provides and to the extent that the Parliament does not otherwise provide, ‘any question’ which answers the description of a ‘question respecting the qualification of a senator’ in our matters, must be determined by the Senate and not otherwise,” stressed Mr Culleton.
“The House must hear the disallowance motion 163 of 2016 and allow all constitutionally elected Senators to appear at the bar in order to have the Senate demonstrate its constitutional commitment of the determination of the identified questions to a coordinated political department as a privy council in order to judge the qualification of its own members.
“This must be remedied to restore honesty and integrity back into Parliament.
“The House is not only sitting unconstitutionally but these breaches have set a bad case precedent in allowing the major parties to re-shuffle the deck of cards and regain power by removing Independents and defanging the minor parties.”
Conflict of Interest
Australia’s dairy industry is spiraling to oblivion as farmers battle producers for fair milk prices. Believing their primary voice, Dairy Australia quoting, “projecting the national services body for dairy farmers and the industry to help farmers adapt to a changing operating environment, and achieve a profitable, sustainable dairy industry”, are but a toothless tiger.
With dairy farmers struggling to make a sustainable living, are casting serious doubt upon this so called arm of dairy farmers to tackle monopoly puppet masters from Australia’s largest dairy industry milk producers “Murray Goulburn Co-operate Co Limited”, retailing “Devondale”, dictating pricing their way or take to the highway.
Inquiries by Senator Jaquie Lambie reveal that Chairman of Dairy Australia and a Director of Murray Goulburn Co-operate Co Limited are married and operate a 700 cow dairy in Victoria.
Natalie Akers was elected to the Board of Murray Goulburn in 2011. She is a member of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee and Supplier Relations Committee. Natalie is a dairy farmer, milking 700 cows at Tallygaroopna, in northern Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Public Policy and Management with Honours, a Bachelor of Arts and has completed the Fairley Leadership Program. Natalie has pursued a professional career in agriculture, including water policy and dairy research and development. Natalie is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Chairman of Dairy Australia Mr Geoff Akers is a dairy farmer from Tallygaroopna in Northern Victoria. He has extensive experience in dairy research, development and extension. He worked for Victoria’s then Department of Agriculture (Target 10 and Operation Mid Lactation) and at the Kyabram Research Institute. He spent four of six years on the Murray Dairy Board as Chairperson and two years on the National Dairy Alliance Board. He has also served as a Director of Australian Dairy Farmers Board, a Central Councillor of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria and is a former Chair of the Victorian Farmers Federation Water Council. He is also a former Director of the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project
Jaquie Lambie’s newsletter published …
During Senate Estimates, I raised conflict-of-interest concerns with the chair of Dairy Australia, Mr Geoff Akers, who admitted that his wife was on the board of Australia’s largest dairy manufacturer Murray Goulburn.
Normally I wouldn’t inquire about the personal lives of any person in organisations that receive taxpayer funds, but given hundreds of Tasmanian dairy families are facing ruin because of the way the Australian dairy industry has been managed – I stand by my questioning of Mr Akers during Estimates Hearings.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners state that, “conflict-of-interest is a gateway to corruption”, and given the dangerous mess that our Dairy industry is in – farmers right now must be given a guarantee that their representatives, running Dairy Australia are acting solely in farmers’ best interests
– not the interests of other parties.
It’s important for all Australians to establish if Dairy Australia is a truly independent body, given the taxpayer contributes tens of million to its operations every year.