60. Hearing 08 December 2021

This was a directions hearing.

At 10:00 AM Mossop SCC/195/2019 R v BERNARD COLLAERY Directions Hearing

An interesting insight into the involvement of the Attorney-General, Ms Michaelia Cash:


Michaelia Cash pulls out of event about the Religious Discrimination bill
OutinPerth – 8 December 2021

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash has pulled out of an event where she would have discussed the government’s Religious Discrimination bill.

Attendees who had registered for Family Voice Australia’s online forum with Senator Cash were informed the politician would not be appearing just 30 minutes before the online event was scheduled to begin.

The Attorney-General’s absence has been explained as being due to “urgent priorities”. Organisers of the event have described the no-show as as a disappointment.

“This is most disappointing given the various unresolved issues that need to be urgently addressed in the Religious Discrimination bill.” said Greg Bondar, the National Spokesman for Family Voice Australia.

Since announcing the third iteration of the Religious Discrimination bill the Attorney-General has only undertaken a selective number of interviews, usually leave the Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General Amanda Stoker to explain how the bill will work in practice.

Earlier this week Labor’s Senator Kristina Keneally took part in online discussion with Family Voice Australia about Labor’s analysis of the bill, and their overall message to communities of faith ahead of the federal election.

The Attorney-General’s absence from the forum could be due to the government’s action in the High Court where they are arguing that parts of the trial into lawyer Bernard Collaery should be kept secret on national security grounds. On Tuesday night Justice David Mossop denied the government’s request to add more evidence to their application, but left the door open for them to make a new application.

Collaery is facing trial in the ACT Supreme Court for his alleged role in revealing an Australian intelligence operation that bugged the offices of the Timor-Leste government during 2004 oil and gas negotiations. He and his client Witness K, a former spy, helped Timor-Leste mount a case before the international courts on behalf of Timor-Leste.

Graeme Watson, Senator Cash’s office was contacted for comment.