Heydon Royal Commission Secret Volumes: PM must step in to stop Senator Cash looking shifty

JLN Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has called on Prime Minister Turnbull to personally intervene in a dispute that has developed regarding the viewing of the Heydon Royal Commission secret volumes.

“Senator Michaelia Cash is not acting in a reasonable manner. She comes across as shifty. By stopping proper oversight of these secret volumes, she’s obviously trying to pick a fight with the Senate. I don’t want to fight with her, I want to talk to a fair and reasonable person. And the Prime Minister has a reputation as a fair person. So that’s why I’ll put my case directly to Mr Turnbull in person or in a letter.

"This is too important an issue to let Senator Cash play petty politics. Commissioner Heydon said he discovered grave threats (note: plural) to the power and authority of the Australian state. The Senate must be able to satisfy itself that the Government is properly addressing, mitigating, and remedying those grave threats. How can we do that without accessing the secret volumes?

"Can we trust the government to act on all the recommendations and information in those secret volumes?” said Senator Lambie.

“Senator Cash has admitted, in a letter, a couple of important facts to me - which proves she’s behaving in an unreasonable, illogical and shifty manner.

"Firstly, she’s admitted that all the Labor Premiers and their chosen staff have been given full access to the Royal Commissions secret reports, so why is Senator Cash trying to stop Labor Senators from accessing the same information?  She’s behaving in a way that suggests that Commissioner Heydon has found corruption on the Liberal side of politics and buried it in his secret volumes,” said Senator Lambie.

“Secondly, Senator Cash has admitted that government ministers have been allowed assistance from staff when considering these secret volumes. Why is she trying to stop senators from receiving the same help? There is a lot of information to consider. Twenty-five per cent of the Heydon Royal Commission report was made secret,” said Senator Lambie. 

Independent Powers of Prosecution

“The Law Council of Australian has confirmed that Heydon Royal Commission does not have independent powers of prosecution. The Royal Commissioner must rely on a politician (the Attorney-General) to act and follow all his recommendations. As history shows, it very rare for a government to follow all the recommendations of Royal Commissions,” said Senator Lambie.

“What if the commissioner found in his secret volumes that a mate of the Liberal party was corrupt? Could the government get away with not taking legal action against them? Commissioner Heydon may have made recommendations in his secret volumes to charge 40 people, and the government may decide to only charge two people. This is how the Government can game or corrupt the system. And this is why Senator Cash is looking shifty,” said Senator Lambie.

“When I view the secret volumes of the Royal Commission, I want to double check and receive a guarantee that all the corrupt people and criminals identified by Commissioner Heydon are the subject of appropriate legal action.

"Ordinary Australians know corruption in Australian is not only found in the workplace. It’s in government departments – all political parties, our military, sport, banks, multinational companies, judiciary, law firms and big finance.

"I don’t want to waste any opportunities we have with the Heydon Royal Commission - to go after all corrupt individuals – not just a select few on one side of politics. Mr Turnbull is a fair man. He will understand what I’m trying to do in the national interest – and I don’t think he’ll put up with shifty behavior from Senator Cash,” said Senator Lambie.