Gillian Triggs gave only a token reference to the Party that caused 2,000 children to be held in detention and no reference at all to the hundreds who drowned. Her love affair with Labor was on display and her lack of impartiality has destroyed her personal political plaything, The Human Rights Commission.
Mark Dreyfus has referred his claim to the AFP that Attorney General, George Brandis, may have committed an offence by “bribing” Triggs with alternative employment if she wished to leave her post.
It will be given the short shrift it deserves by the AFP. Dreyfus’s charge is laughable and probably explains why he is no longer a practising QC.
Triggs quite understandably had palpitating trepidations over the release of her outrageous report, “The Forgotten Children”. Amid chatter from both sides of Parliament that her role had become untenable, she had asked that Senator Brandis clarify where he stood in relation to her report and if he still had confidence in her.
Brandis then sent a Departmental envoy to Sydney to discuss the matter with her (he was unable to go himself). She was told if she wished to depart the Commission the Government would provide an alternative legal position for her within the Public Service.
Triggs promptly dismissed the proposition as “disgraceful”, preferring to publicise and politicise the issue (she is very good at those things) despite the fact that Brandis was offering her a way out of a self-inflicted, unsustainable mess.
Senator Brandis understood that even a person like Triggs would know her position had become untenable but he was not prepared to hang her out to dry where there was a possibility of losing a salary package of $500,000 per annum.
Despite my criticisms of Senator Brandis, no Minister responsible would have handled it differently.
After a Government has publicly declared a lack of confidence in the head of a government agency, that position, as a matter of course, becomes instantly untenable. Decency and procedural propriety requires that person to resign immediately.
In Triggs’ case she is now dead wood and can no longer carry out her role as an independent Commissioner for human rights.
She has openly and foolishly disclosed a hostile anti-Government bias that has rendered her impotent and ineffectual for as long as this Government remains in office. She must do the right thing and resign.
But Gillian Triggs has rarely done the right thing… particularly in regard to forgotten children.