TRUSTED SOURCES have stated to me that Tim Wilson was promised the presidency of Australia Human Rights Commission – the position currently held by Professor Gillian Triggs – several years ago as an ‘inducement’ to leave his role as a director of the Institute of Public Affairs, an organisation described as a conservative think-tank by some, a non-think-tank by others.
That promise was also allegedly more recently affirmed in secret discussions held at the behest of the Attorney-General George Brandis, himself acting on direct instruction from besieged Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Given that the IPA had already preposterously called for the Human Rights Commission to be abolished, Wilson’s appointment to the HRC as commissioner in December 2013 was a decision mired in controversy and disbelief.
Wilson reportedly resigned his membership of the Liberal Party when he was appointed to the HRC.
Gillian Triggs a fearless public servant
Professor Triggs has proved a fearless public servant, a formidable human rights advocate and guardian of those denied a voice and consigned to the marginalia of justice — especially children.
In particular, both her public statements and a recently tabled report The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (2014), damning Australia’s degraded legal and moral conduct on the plight of those children in offshore detention centres, has incurred the wrath of the Coalition Government intent on daily painting a whitewash over the black history of our bulk violations of human rights and industrial strength abuse of children, including violence and sexual abuse.
‘Bribe’ device to sew Triggs’ lips together?
So a new job ‘bribe’ was allegedly offered to Triggs as a device to sew together the bureaucratic lips of the steadfast and courageous HRC president. It happened eight days before the above damning report was tabled.
In a vain attempt to shut her up, Professor Triggs has been subjected to an sustained and malicious political assassination campaign authored by the tenants of the Prime Minister’s office. Despite the merciless onslaught, Triggs has been consistent in refusing to resile on her statutory, ethical and humanitarian obligations. One expects no less of a champion of human rights. Better she is a slave to the truth and the facts rather than a slave to government.
The admissions that Chris Moraitis, the servile secretary of the Attorney-General’s department, acted as an emissary for George Brandis in an apparent botched attempt to convince – or “bribe”, as Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has suggested – Professor Triggs to resign in exchange for another job with the government, smacks of the corruption of the separation of powers endemic in certain matters and findings brought before the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
That both Attorney-General George Brandis and Prime Minister Tony Abbott have turned their soiled hands to the profession of job seekers for others may yet stand them in useful good stead. It is near certain that both will be in dire need of jobs themselves; since they are about to be turfed from theirs. At this stage, no-one has come forward to offer them any inducements.
Assault on Triggs and HRC must be resisted
The inhumane wrongs and assaults perpetrated in our name not only upon Gillian Triggs and her person and reputation, but also upon the office of the HRC president and the autonomy and integrity of the commission itself, warrant a criminal investigation and must be resisted.
The news that Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has written to the Australian Federal Police asking them to investigate the alleged job bribe to Professor Triggs is most welcome. However, on several fronts, any confidence in the AFP is questionable.
It is surely an offence for any minister, let alone the nation’s Attorney General, to attempt to bribe/induce/coerce/threaten the head of a statutory body that, ironically, is invested with protecting Australia’s human rights and policing our albeit shameful record in this sphere.
That such repugnant workplace bullying and intimidation is practised by the Coalition government and sanctioned by its Attorney-General is not suprising, given the way we have treated the defenceless 800 children or so we have illegally incarcerated in immigration prison camps.
Professor Gillian Triggs has so often stood between us and our governments, to protect our human rights. It is time that we, the people, stood up for her.
This article originally appeared on: Independent Australia
TOP IMAGE: Tim Wilson, via TimWilson.com.au