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Friday, December 21, 2012

Allan Kessing deserves more than a medal

The revelations this week about Customs won't give solace or much comfort to Allan Kessing, even of the cold kind. But they vindicate his warnings in reports written 10 years ago that were ignored by authorities and perhaps provide just a little satisfaction.

From the report of his media conference with Senator Nick Xenophon today:
Mr Kessing said in April 2005 he approached Anthony Albanese, the then-opposition transport spokesman, and briefed one of his staffers about his concerns surrounding the reports, before meeting personally with Mr Albanese. Information contained in Mr Kessing's reports appeared in The Australian newspaper a few months later. Mr Kessing claims he then was the subject of a witch hunt. His home and that of his recently deceased mother were raided in 2005, and the Australian Federal Police spent $250,000 tapping his phones and putting him under surveillance, he said. In 2007 Mr Kessing was convicted for breaching Section 70 of the crimes act, but denies he supplied The Australian with the report. Mr Xenophon said in the wake of this week's revelations about alleged corruption and criminal activity at Sydney Airport, Mr Kessing should be pardoned and his two reports publicly released."The scandal is that this man who deserves a medal for the work he did 10 years ago was actually persecuted through the courts, had his life effectively ruined," Mr Xenophon said.
Have the best Christmas you can, Allan.

And the same to former Customs bosses, Mr Albanese and current and former staffers, ALP leaders who made much of the injustice to Kessing before the 2007 election propelled them into government, and Minister Jason Clare and those that drafted for him the refusal of the Kessing pardon application.

When the government gets around to legislating for comprehensive whistle-blower protection after five years of promise, let's call it The Kessing Act.


  1. Anonymous11:48 am

    If only the damage were quantifiable - in terms of lives affected by drugs run by corrupt customs over the past decade. Imagine the quantities. Imagine the numbers of drug related deaths. Imagine how much money was made over the past decade by corporate bodies within the airport - whose interests were paramount, so Kessing always claimed - who could not be disturbed by such petty nonsense as security. The waste of police resources. The human wreckage. All needless, needless, needless.
    If the sums could be done - what price an Australian citizen's life?
    Not much I fear.
    And hard to fathom is why Albanese is not subject to intense media scrutiny as to WHY he did not act upon Kessing's report.
    Has the media got no investigative edge? No principles? No appetite? No political intelligence?
    It casts a large shadow on Australia's capacity to view itself as anything more than - jeez i wouldn't like to say what.

    Still - you restore faith here on Open and Shut - as has Chris Merritt over the years and Nick Xenophone.

    Happy Christmas to you all.

  2. Thanks Anonymous. Glad to know there are questioners out there.

  3. I've been raising these issues since 1999, and plenty of people well before me, unfortunately Kessing isn't the first victim of Customs management not wanting anyone (including Members of Parliament) to be told what is really going on.

    A few groups including this one I'll link to below have kept some of the info online, at the time I was so busy doing other things I didn't post everything online but some of it still is

    a copy of the first part of one of the submissions I made to the Coastwatch Inquiry, the attachments are neither on this site and were never posted to the parliamentary inquiry's website but they were the real knuckle dusters of evidence submitted and slipped into bottom drawers never to see the light of day

    though a bit long (was written to drag out the points and I'd re write it differently now but at the time was fighting a sever nuerological illness that fatgued me quickly so the team putting this together did the best we could under the restrictions we had, which included not being able to officially speak to currently serving customs officers. Fortunately the President of the Officers Association - union - was able to speak publicly and to the parliament but was constantly being legally harassed by Customs management for doing the same way others before him and now what we've seen with Kessing. In short management doesn't want anyone speaking out of turn, especially not to members of parliament and certainly not putting evident to parliamentary inquiries. It is now a crime for a customs officer to provide evidence to a parliamentary inquiry, even in camera, unless management approve them doing so.

    Does anyone seriously thing management is going to give the OK to anything but good news?)

  4. Thanks Turn It Up, sounds like you know quite a bit on the subject.