Callinan Calls Time on AAT Being Used as Liberal Employment Agency

The former High Court Justice hand-picked by the Morrison Government to review the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has called time on the Attorney-General and his colleagues treating the AAT as a Liberal Party employment agency.

MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

CALLINAN CALLS TIME ON AAT BEING USED AS LIBERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY 

 
The former High Court Justice hand-picked by the Morrison Government to review the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has called time on the Attorney-General and his colleagues treating the AAT as a Liberal Party employment agency.
 
Ian Callinan – who was appointed to the High Court by the Howard Government because of his credentials as a “capital C conservative” – has found the AAT faces an "intimidating backlog of cases" and recommends all further appointments, re-appointments or renewals of appointment to the membership of the AAT should be on the basis of merit.
 
This idea will no doubt come as a rude shock to the Morrison Government.
 
The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Governments have appointed at least 57 Liberal mates to lucrative jobs on the AAT, where full-time Senior members are paid over $380,000 a year and even junior members are paid at least $190,000.

The appointments include failed Liberal candidates, dumped Liberal MPs, and long-time staffers straight out of the office of the Attorney-General, Mr Porter who hands out these appointments.
 
Suggestions that Labor engaged in the same kind of practices are not supported by any evidence: when last in government, we are only aware or two people with Labor Party backgrounds being appointed to the AAT, both experienced lawyers whose appointments were supported by the Liberals.
 
The fact that Ian Callinan felt the need to recommend that all further appointments to the AAT should be made on the basis of merit speaks volumes about the practices of the current Government.
 
It highlights the damage done by the Government to this important Tribunal – putting mates before merit, and the bank balances of failed Liberal candidates, Liberal staffers and dumped Liberal politicians before the interests of the Australian taxpayer.

Mr Callinan’s report is a scathing indictment of this Liberal Governments and its now it’s time for the Attorney-General and his colleagues to stop treating the AAT like a Liberal Party employment agency.
 
WEDNESDAY, 24 JULY 2019


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