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Heiner affair still under wraps



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Senator Barnaby Joyce

Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water

Leader of The Nationals in the Senate

LNP Senator for Queensland

23 June 2011

Heiner affair still under wraps

Today, the Senate dealt with a matter of grave seriousness involving an incident where a girl who was allegedly raped at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1988 by 2 people.

Today, Senator Xenophon proposed a Senate inquiry into this matter which would have given the victim her opportunity to speak out under the rules of Parliamentary privilege.

It was bitterly disappointing to once more see the process of transparency thwarted by the absolute hypocrisy of the so-called champions of transparency and independence, Senator Fielding and the Greens.

The issues pertaining to the events surrounding an occurrence at a corrections centre in Queensland once more have drawn a dark pall over our Chamber as an unholy amalgam was brought together to preclude a lady from a process that the Parliament of this nation should have given to her.

You can leave this Parliament in dignity or you can leave in disgrace. Senators should reflect strongly on which alternative they choose.

I’d like to refer to a speech I gave on this matter in 2007 when I first attempted to table the Rofe report:

I have crossed the floor on the legal rights of David Hicks. I was part of the reason the legal rights of the West Papuan refugees were preserved. But it is only now, when the people in a position of power are threatened, that there are those who state it is smear and muckraking. Fiat justitia ruat caelum: though heaven may fall, justice will be done. This issue has seen the attempt to use the mechanisms available in Queensland, and they have obfuscated, contrived and corrupted the process. Public ventilation of these crimes is crucial in bringing this issue out of its contrived maze and into the light of conclusion. … A proper investigation may dispel these. I seek leave to move that the documents in the Rofe report now be tabled.

Senate Hansard, 19 September 2007

The response was this:

Leave not granted.