Unfortunately, for some time my life has felt like this:
Every time I think I get to the top, well, I just find that I’m back at the bottom again.
I am, of course, referring to my bizarre and unhappy adventures in the land of the Anti-Discrimination Act (NSW) 1977.
It’s been a while since I updated you on the latest shenanigans. And there have been quite a few.
But let’s start first with the phrase, ‘the legal system’. Whatever that phrase refers to, it does not refer to my almost four years of litigation in New South Wales resulting from the expression of my views regarding the morality of homosexuality from the relatively unsafe distance of Queensland.
What I have experienced does not appear to be legal, as evidenced by rulings in my favour in both the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and the NSW Court of Appeal. And it certainly cannot be described as a system.
Instead, I have been living in a nightmare. And that means my long-suffering wife and our eight children have been as well.
It was unleashed by a self-described anti-free speech activist, Gary Burns. It has been lovingly overseen by a state-funded body of ‘Thought Police’ who refuse to exercise their legislative power in relation to vexatious complaints (looking at you New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board). And it has been aided by the NCAT, which has acted so completely at odds with all concepts of whatever the legal system may be that even the Queensland Court of Appeal has made note of its roguish ways.
Given that, it should come as no surprise that NCAT also chooses to decide when it will pay attention to legislation that has been passed by the New South Wales parliament acknowledging the limits of its power. And it has taken no action against its magistrates who help fundraise for LGBT legal activist groups while presiding over matters in which they act.
And given that, it should also come as no surprise that even though NCAT itself has ruled that the Anti-Discrimination Act (NSW) 1977 does not apply to actions in Queensland and even though the New South Wales Court of Appeal has ruled that NCAT does not even have the power to hear complaints against me, NCAT has continued to hear complaints against me.
And they have continued. Up until this day.
A month ago NCAT booted a bunch of them (10 to be exact) and my favourite obsessive reader simply decided, after what appears to be well over three years, to drop three more.
I can’t give you a definitive answer as to what actual complaints were dropped because NCAT had a numbering system and then it appeared to change the numbers at random and has never made it quite clear what old numbers corresponded with the new numbers.
Yet somehow, in all of this, I can quite comfortably say that not knowing what the actual complaint against me is continues to be the least of my worries. And you’ll soon see why.
Anyway, I think one of the complaints that Burns phlegmatically withdrew was lodged on 24 December 2014. What a sad way of getting ready for Christmas is all I can say.
I was then forced to spend considerable time responding to this complaint. It took a great deal of effort over a number of days. That response rattled around in a draw at the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board for 10 months while they worked out how to ignore everything I said. And then it was sent off to the NCAT and who knows how many hours have been wasted on it there.
All up, it’s been in the anti-discrimination system for over 1,200 days. Someone, in that time, has been paid to nurture this complaint into full bloom. Often it has involved a number of highly paid public servants to manage it across various organisations and through complex legal processes.
So it is quite possible that this one complaint has cost the New South Wales taxpayer in excess of $50,000. And that’s a conservative guess. It has certainly cost me thousands.
Yet Gary Burns just rocked up to the Tribunal and withdrew it. No ifs. No buts. No costs. And he did this with two additional complaints as well. On his behalf, I’d like to thank all the poor schmucks in New South Wales who funded this farcical frolic for Burns.
Importantly, the bottom line is that, as of this minute, I do not believe there are any more complaints against me in the NCAT.
You’d think that would be a good thing. But, actually, it’s not. Instead, it’s just the start of my next nightmare.
That’s because the day before the High Court deliberated on the jurisdictional question of the NCAT in December last year, new laws were enacted in New South Wales. They appear, to me, to be nothing more than a cunning attempt to get around whatever the High Court may decide.
In a nutshell, the bright sparks down south who call themselves a conservative government simply decided that if Burns’ complaints against me couldn’t clog up the tribunal, well, they’ll simply package them up and clog up the courts with them instead.
That’s why the NCAT booted them. In mid-February it accepted that it was not a court and that it could not hear Burns’ complaints so it declined them all. And now Burns is busily arranging a fleet of forklifts to place them into a convoy of trucks so he can dump them on the steps of some soon-to-be overwhelmed courthouse somewhere in the vicinity of Sydney.
Now, my legal team does not think this is all as cherry pie as the New South Wales government makes out. So we’ll be fighting this for a number of reasons which I will not elaborate on here. But suffice to say, there goes the next four years of my life.
But it doesn’t end there.
Because just a few days before NCAT accepted that it wasn’t a court and would therefore allow Burns to run off to an actual court, NCAT decided that it was a court. And it did so even though the Court of Appeal ruled that it was not a court on the basis of precedent and even though every party to that matter agreed that it wasn’t a court and even though NCAT itself was a submitting party to that matter and even though the High Court has not handed down its judgement and even though every state in Australia and the Commonwealth all agreed from the outset in front of the High Court that NCAT wasn’t a court.
In other words, the NCAT is a tribunal that is a court and isn’t a court at the same time depending on how it feels and regardless of what all the actual courts have said or what’s been said in them. And also regardless of legislation passed by the parliament of New South Wales precisely to allow NCAT matters to be transferred to a real court because it is no such thing.
To top it all off, Burns has also lodged at least three more complaints against me.
One of them, appropriately, is that I ‘victimised’ Burns by publishing his emails in which he threatened to ‘chop my balls off’ and contacted Islamic organisation to provide them my address. A New South Wales Gay Liaison police officer has already informed me that such emails are fine and dandy because ‘they amount to free speech’ ‘in the context of our relationship’.
But it is nice to know now that publishing the exact words of someone who has threatened you with assault is against the law in New South Wales because it makes the bully upset, even though the bully is allowed to publish those same words without consequence because ‘free speech’.
I think they’ve got it just right there in this delicate balancing act of competing rights.
By the way, for those who are interested, the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales refused to accept these and other emails as evidence of Burns’ vexatiousness because they were deemed ‘irrelevant’ to his complaints. But now, suddenly, it has decided that these emails are so relevant to his complaints that they cannot be published without victimising him.
In that spirit I will be randomly publishing Burns’ outrageous emails on this website until every single one of them has been accepted by the Anti-Discrimination Board in the form of a complaint. It’s my cunning plan to get them accepted as ‘evidence’. Here is today’s helping of three fun-filled diatribes:
Just for context, the man Burns is so concerned about in this email (Junaid Thorne) has been jailed for travel related offences. And he’s backed the Islamic State.
Just for context, I am not sure what complaints Burns refers to in this particular email, but so far none of (at least) 35 complaints against me since 2014 has led to a single finding against me. But still he persists.
Just for context, it seems pretty vexatious to be touting for others to lodge complaints to help Burns seize my home. But fortunately for me, it appears that even Burns’ mates think he’s a loser and not one of them have taken up his offer.
As for the other new complaints, a second relates to my comments about the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s support for homosexual marriage (who said that we’d all be free to participate in that debate) and the last is an expression of anguish because I dared to suggest that holding drag queen shows for kids at the Mardi Gras was not absolutely fabulous.
And I have not the foggiest idea of what ‘legal’ ‘system’ any of them will be dealt with in.
But I can hazard a guess that whatever spare time I do have in the next four years fighting Burns in one system will be evaporate in a parallel fight in the other. And this will happen despite the ruling that has already been made that, regardless of whatever system they come up with in New South Wales, the Anti-Discrimination Act (NSW) 1977 does not apply to actions in Queensland.
I wish I could ignore it all the way they ignore that judgement in New South Wales. But I can’t. Tess Corbett, a Victorian grandmother, tried that and the next thing she knew was that she was facing jail for contempt due to yet more legal action instigated by one Mr Burns.
All of this has been frustrating, time-consuming, stressful and expensive.
It has cost well over $300,000 to fund this fight and the matter against the Chief of Defence Force. Much of it has come from your support and for that I am both humbled and enormously grateful.
But in December my wife and I were forced to sell the home we purchased shortly after our marriage.
And, I really hate to say this, I need help again. I still have bills outstanding from the High Court hearing. And with these latest developments there are plenty more headed my way.
This battle must be fought. If it is not the result will be a flood of complaints against ordinary Australians from activists using jackboot laws to silence anyone they don’t like. And they will be able to have those complaints heard in a system that has been allowed to run amok.
This fight, more than any other, is at the front line for freedom of speech in Australia. To win, it will require sustained effort and continued resistance against rogue government agencies.
I have no doubt that we can win. We have already had significant victories that have dented the activities of all the organisations of oppression in New South Wales.
But I also have no doubt that we will lose it all if we give up.
I am happy to be in the fight to defend our culture and heritage, despite the fact that it regularly raises my frustrate-o-metre to ‘Code Nuclear’.
But, to be honest, the hardest part is asking for help knowing how much has already been generously given and how few I have been able to thank. I have more than 2,500 donation-related emails sitting in my ‘in box’ waiting for a response.
I am getting closer to them every day (I’ve cut back on writing since November to concentrate on administration and to prepare for the launch of an organisation to make all this effort sustainable – more on that after Easter). But it is a long, slow process and they are the last task left after sifting through more than 50,000 emails in the past three months.
It weighs me down knowing that I have not responded appropriately to the generosity I have received. I also feel the burden of trust and responsibility that so many have given. And it literally make me feel sick to the stomach to ask for more assistance.
But ask I must.
If you can donate, please click here.
If you can’t donate, please pray. Pray for me and my family. Pray for my lawyers. Pray for Burns. And pray for those in authority.
We all need prayers. This is the one that has sustained me since this all began:
O God, who has appointed Mary, Help of Christians; St Francis Xavier, and St Teresa of the Infant Jesus Patrons of Australia; grant that, through their intercession, our brethren outside the Church may receive the light of faith, so that Australia may become one in faith under one shepherd, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.
St Francis Xavier, pray for us.
St Teresa of the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Christ is our King!