February, March 2013

The Ombudsman

 We have lodged a complaint with the ombudsman based on the material in this website, stripped of the hyperbole put in here to spike your interest.  We, that is Chris Price and myself, have had enough feedback from the investigator to believe that our complaint was not completely in vain.



 Both Chris and I received a defamation notice from Mr Cox, whose name appears repeatedly in this website, sometimes in less than complementary terms.

 Defamation actions require an initial notification of the complaint, which is what we have received, and a statement of the redress required.  We have both replied to Mr Cox’s lawyer indicating that we will not be responding to any of the demands.

 We checked out the basis for a defamation action, and it seems as though Mr Cox is wrong, again.

We haven't heard from his lawyer for some months now.



 We put through a couple of followup FOIs to ACTPLA, based on statements that have appeared in correspondence sourcing ACTPLA officers. (ACTPLA now seems to be Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, ESDD).  They have ignored one request which is a big no-no, and replied that they do not have any of the documents that would be a source for the information they supplied.  More details in the ACTPLA chapter.

 Naturally these failings have also been reported to the ombudsman.



There are four ACT Government officers who have primarily been responsible for the misrepresentation of our proposal to their ministers.

Mr Robert van Aalst has moved to the Commonwealth public service.

Mr Dan Stewart, responsible for more or less reversing the advice of the action officer to Mr Barr is now in the Chief Minster and Treasury Directorate.

Mr Ben Ponton.  His name is copied into all of the dodgy stuff in ACTPLA.  He claims to know nothing. He has been promoted to Director General of ESDD.

Mr Ian Cox retains the position he has held for some time in Mr Barr's Directorate where his only compensation is his salary of around $200,000.  Details of his job description and his interpretation of it are here.


A Glimmer of Light

 We have been attempting to talk to the Chief Minister, and alert her office to this information.

A couple of weeks ago Ross Glare rang into ABC 666 for the Chief Minister’s phone in.  She stated that the issue of the Canberra Second Airport was now within her office.  It is not exactly clear what this means but it does suggest that Mr Cox is no longer the sole gatekeeper.  She also indicated that there was an intention to make contact with us.

 I followed up by ringing in on the 22nd February 2013. She stated that her office would be in touch with me.  This has to be some advance on a blank refusal to talk to any of us.


The Glimmer Flickers Out

Despite the comments above, I received this letter from the Chief Minister. Note that there is no indication that her staff have actually looked at the issue.

It is also worth noting that in the radio comments she had suggested that the matter was receiving some attention.  Her comment to me on 666 that her office would be in contact does not actually suggest that her office was going to tell me where I can shove any idea about an airport.

I do find it extraordinary that there is an absolute refusal by the Governement to even discuss the issue, and find the tone a bit contemptuous.

So, we plug away and see if we can find out why.