<%@ Master language="C#" %> WORLD YOUTH DAY HIGH COURT CHALLENGE: SECTARIAN POSITION PROTECTED
 

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL

FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.

PRESS RELEASE 258 #.

1 JULY  2008

 WORLD YOUTH DAY (WYD) HIGH COURT CHALLENGE

INITIAL HALT PROTECTS SECTARIAN POSITION  

FOUR PRIVATE TO ONE  PUBLIC SCHOOL GRADUATE

 

 

Sectarian Position Protected.

 It comes as no surprise to DOGS that a challenge to WYD activities at public expense has been halted at the initial stages. In the past DOGS were involved in the longest and expensive high court challenge on the question of separation of church and state in Australia. They also suffered setbacks at the initial  legal stages. See http://www.adogs.info/dogs_high_court_case1.htm and the dissenting judgement of Justice Lionel Murphy at http://www.adogs.info/section_116_murphy_judgement.htm.

 Congratulations to Richard Ackland and the Sydney Morning Herald

Richard Ackland and the Sydney Morning Herald are to be congratulated for informing taxpayer/citizens on 27 June 2008 of developments in the High Court Challenge to taxpayer funding of the sectarian WYD activities. We have learnt that neither the Age nor the Australian initiates this kind of information.

Private School Influence Overwhelming

Federal Expenditure:

The Federal expenditure on WYD was commenced by John Howard with $22 million of Commonwealth money provided five days before the last election. John Howard is a well known promoter and patron of private schools.

Tax Deduction:

Peter Dutton, a product of St. Pauls Anglican school, Queensland, on 11 September 2007, launched deductibility of gifts to the WYD 2008 Trust. This amounts to a taxation expenditure the amount of which may not be available for public information.

Peter McGauran:

The applicant in the High Court Challenge to taxpayer expenditure on WYD is Carmelo Vescio, a non-practising Catholic. According to the Sydney Morning Herald when the applicant became aware of the money being splashed around in an effort to win the vote of wavering Catholics, he immediately contacted the relevant minister in Canberra, namely Peter McGauran( Xavier College, Melbourne). He asked the Minister: On what basis are you doing this?'

He received no reply.

Politicians in Thrall to Private School Interest:

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, neither Howard nor his staff responded to the queries of Carmelo Vescio. The appropriate Ministers in the new Rudd Government have also failed to respond to his queries.

The role of Kristina Keneally

The key Ministerial spokeswoman on WYD is Kristina Keneally. She is the Member of Parliament overseeing this religious event. Not unsurprisingly, Kristina Keneally MP for Heffron is a graduate of an American Church school and University. In her maiden speech to Parliament Keneally enunciated her connection with the Roman Catholic faith.

Problems at the High Court:

Justices from Private Schools Frustrate Legal Action at Initial Stages:

Reading from New South Wales sources, DOGS discover that:

  • Chief Justice Murray Gleeson ( St. Josephs Hunters Hill) refused to accept it ( the Writ). He directed the Court Registrar to decline to issue the proceedings without leave of judge. Vescio and his lawyers then sought leave from Justice Susan Crennan.

  • Justice Susan Crennan ( Our Lady of Mercy Heidelberg) refused it saying the documents were ''confusing, prolix and embarrassing,' adding that the complaints were political in nature.

  • Justices J.D. Heydon ( Sydney Church of England Grammar School ) and W.M. Gummow ( Sydney Grammar) on 27 June 2008 in the majority decision rejected an application of leave to appeal by the applicant after Justice Susan Crennan refused leave. Justices Heydon and Gummow said, amongst other things, the application did not meet requirements and would be vexatious.

  • Justice Kirby ( Fort Street High School)  a State school graduate on the High Court was outvoted on the issue. Kirby criticized the argument of the Commonwealth that the plaintiff did not have reasonable standing to raise questions about the Constitution. He said that citizens should be entitled to their day in court. He rejected Justice Crennan's argument that the submission was overly political in nature and therefore not appropriate for a legal challenge. Kirby said: that : 'problems in the form of the Writ could be addressed and its political  undertone was irrelevant. All such challenges reliant  upon the Constitution are political in nature.

John Watkins and WYD Regulations:

If the pattern of the above WYD decisions is not enough, then  consider the latest actions taken by the self acknowledged practising Roman Catholic John Watkins the Deputy Premier of NSW. Last Friday afternoon, he gazetted WYD regulations described as extraordinary new powers to allow police to arrest and fine people.

These powers are described in the Sydney Morning Herald of July 1, 2008 as follows:

Extraordinary new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for causing annoyance' to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip-searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today...

Police and volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service will be able to direct people to cease engaging in conduct that causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event.'

People who fail to comply will be subjected to a $5,500 fine.

The President of the NSW Bar Association, Anna Katzmann, described the regulations as unnecessary and repugnant....Civil libertarians said they had never seen anything like the new powers and believed they are more extreme and broader in scope than those used during last year's APEC summit and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, Cameron Murphy said the broad meaning of šauses'and 'annoyance' had the potential to encompass any activity. 'This sort of amendment is extreme, unnecessary, and is likely to escalate conflict when officers issue directions....

Ms Katzmann said:  'The mere presence in the vicinity of a person wearing the apparel or insignia of another religion might be annoying or inconvenient to a participant in a World Youth Day event. ''

Ms Rhiannon said:  'Regulations were setting down protests and quarantining the Pope and visiting Catholics away from messages World Youth Day authorities don't approve of. '

Cancer in the Body Politic

When readers take account of the above information, we urge them to think about the DOGS statements about the Cancer in the Body Politic and a State within a State. The dangers of State Aid and the power of sectarian interests in our democracy  was recognised by the Founding Fathers when they inserted Section 116 into the Australian Constitution. The billions of dollars of taxpayers' money channelled into  private/church school interests since the 1960s has adversely affected the basic liberties and  rule of popular consent in our broader society.

We are now being told that separation of church and state in Australia has been transmuted into a Church/State settlement. If there is such a settlement, it is a settlement of the fox with the chickens.

 The actions of the private/church school faction and their supporters are affecting the relationship between Church and State in Australia together with  the basic institutions and processes of our liberal democratic State.

 

 

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AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT  SCHOOLS

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Last modified:Tuesday, 01 July 2008