In mid-2015 I faced being hit with over $1 million in fines. And the prospect that if I ever spoke about marriage, family or morality again that I would face jail for contempt of court.
Tess Corbett, a Victorian grandmother, was facing jail for contempt of court.
John Sunol, a brain-damaged man from Newcastle was almost destroyed and he was bankrupted.
Garry Burns was riding high.
In the hard slog that followed, the New South Wales Crown Solicitor’s Office threatened to bring contempt proceedings against me for writing about breaches of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s (NCAT) code of conduct by Magistrate Nancy Hennessy. And my own solicitor was almost forced out of practise by the New South Wales Law Society.
- Garry Burns has been bankrupted;
- The New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB) has been forced to admit that Garry Burns lodges vexatious complaints;
- Garry Burns has been found by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to have made statements against my solicitor that ‘were untrue and without foundation’ and that these statements were ‘malicious, insulting and offensive’ and that they, prima facie, were capable of constituting contempt;
- The New South Wales Law Society action against my solicitor was dismissed with costs;
- The ADB has admitted to me in writing that it has failed to meet its own statutory duties under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW);
- Law reforms have been commenced by Mark Latham in the New South Wales parliament to address systemic abuses by the ADB;
- The New South Wales anti-discrimination system has been found to be unconstitutional by the High Court of Australia;
- Magistrate Nancy Hennessy has been forced to recuse herself from matters involving Garry Burns after evidence was presented that she had been involved in private conversations with him. She is no longer responsible for the section of the Tribunal that deals with anti-discrimination matters.
Prior to this, Magistrate Hennessy had ruled in ten decisions involving Garry Burns. In all of them she ruled in his favour.
This amounts to a remarkable turnaround. Indeed, it amounts to a catastrophe for the anti-discrimination industry in New South Wales.
Yet you most probably have not heard a single word about this in the mainstream media. There has hardly been any coverage of this farce, although I do wish to thank the following journalists and presenters for having the courage to provide some coverage:
- Nicola Berkovic of The Australian;
- Steve Austin of ABC Brisbane radio;
- Ben Fordham of 2GB;
- Miranda Devine and Clarissa Bye of The Daily Telegraph; and
- Andrew Bolt at Sky News.
- Neil Johnson at Vision Christian Radio; and
- Marilyn Rodrigues of The Catholic Weekly.
Taking stock at the present time, it is clear that what we have been able to achieve is, indeed, enormous.
It is proof that conservatives can win. It is also proof that those who attack us do so with complete disregard for the rule of law.
We are the side of order. They are side of capriciousness and chaos.
But the battle is still not over.
I still face four complaints from Garry Burns in three matters currently before the New South Wales Local Court. There are several reasons why these matters should be dismissed, even without Garry Burns’ bankruptcy. But there is still a process to go through, including hearing a motion I filed two years ago for security for costs in these matters.
I am also involved in an appeal within NCAT relating to Burns’ complaints seeking to have them dismissed.
And just yesterday my legal team filed submissions in reply in an application for special leave before the High Court of Australia. It seeks leave to appeal to the High Court to determine the validity of Part 3A of the NCAT Act, which was rushed through New South Wales parliament in response to my victory against the constitutional validity of the previous system.
This bizarre law, passed years after Burns lodged his complaints and in a state I do not even live in is the only reason I am still in court at all.
I also have commenced proceedings to examine Garry Burns’ financial affairs. This process could be explosive.
However, I do not wish to pre-empt the outcome of any of these matters and it is important to note that there is still work to be done.
And when these battles are fought and, hopefully, won there will be no time to rest. That is when the real war will begin.
The Anti-Discrimination Board needs to pay for its central role in this shambles. It is only when individuals in that organisation are held accountable that we can truly declare victory.
I will not rest until that happens.
In the meantime I thank you for your prayers, support, encouragement and generosity. The victories achieved to date have only been possible with your help.