Federal

Jul 3, 2017

Australian Border Force head ‘on leave’

One of the government's most senior bureaucrats is on leave while "a matter" is investigated.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

“May God bless you, may God bless your work, may God bless the country you are helping to protect and prosper,” said Tony Abbott when he "launched" Australia's new paramilitary border protection body, Australian Border Force, in June 2015. Standing by his side was the inaugural commissioner, Roman Quaedvlieg.

It's fair to say the good lord has been sparing in his blessings since then. Within two months, the spectacular debacle of Operation Fortitude humiliated the body and raised serious questions about both the role it saw for itself and its powers. The savage restrictions on free speech and whistleblowing contained within the body's establishing legislation came under repeated assault until the government was forced to back down last October. The Australian National Audit Office found instances of the ABF using its powers inappropriately. The merger with the Department of Immigration has coincided with massive staff turnover, slumping morale, industrial action and constant rejections of the departmental executive's paltry enterprise bargaining offer. 

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8 comments

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8 thoughts on “Australian Border Force head ‘on leave’

  1. Draco Houston

    ABF Do Not Run An Open Commentary On On-Leave Matters As That Would Empower Their Enemies

  2. klewso

    They can’t follow their own rules.
    Why would media outlets be sitting on this? Because it’s embarrassing for their side of politics?
    They’d Limit News for that?
    Like they’d sit on it if this was a Labor government?
    And they whinge about “government censorship” ….. what does it matter who’s doing it – for the politics?

  3. lykurgus

    That the NSW police drew the line should’ve been the canary in the mineshaft.

    So, who did he root? The Immigration Ministers wife? The Immigration Minister?
    They said it was a personal matter, so his weenus went SOMEWHERE it shouldn’t.
    Perhaps he or she will call his or her biog “All In”. Giggity.

  4. Pamela

    Seriously this secrecy follows a pattern of lack of transparency in this portfolio area which is criminal. The ABF are a law unto themselves. They have taken over the Immigration Detention Centres and turned them into high security, high surveillance cages. They bring dogs in with togged up ERT guards in the middle of the night to run boys own adventures, tying up detainees and throwing them into vans to airports where they are sent without notice. Women have anaesthetic face masks clamped on them to stop them screaming in terror.
    Australians generally do not know or maybe do not want to know what is done in their name. All communication has been closed and reduced to a website Global Feedback box. GFU- the acronym escapes the ABF stupidity.
    https://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/provide-feedback
    Cases of sexual assault by guards are heard in closed courts. Men who are raped on Christmas Island dare not make police statements because they are not given protection or moved out of the reach of the rapists.
    Crimes against humanity are no exaggeration. This has been done under the regime of Quadvleig, Pezzullo and Dutton. Justice can only be done if it is open transparent and fair. Media- it is in your hands to bust it open.

    1. zut alors

      Don’t expect News Corp or Sky News to touch this – Murdoch is forced to tread carefully while he patiently waits for the changes to Australia’s media ownership legislation. His puppets (Coalition) currently dominate the stage & he wants no upsets.

  5. AR

    The Roman maxim “quis custodiet ipsos custodes” (who watches the watchers) is often used referring to the unaccountable actions of the over powerful LEAs. It is usually forgotten that Juvenal was referring to the chastity of the women folk left behind at home, under the watch of servants, whilst he & others of the great and good were struggling in the Senate for the common weal, as those watchers often slipped in the odd meat sword.
    Heaven forfend that this is the case here.

  6. Lablover

    Please don’t tell me that he was playing ‘hide the truncheon’ on government time at about $352 per hour or maybe minutes are more appropriate $5.88. What a dreadful waste of public monies. They wouldn’t be investigating him for a harmless game that cost say around $117.83 per ‘game’, would they? Given the current fiscal crisis, maybe they are!!!!

    1. lykurgus

      Well he certainly wasn’t playing cache le sausage with a subordinate young enough to be his daughter, and it most definitely wasn’t the 20-something who just got promoted in return for not telling his wife.

      And his not-at-all-suspicious leave-taking has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the two Aussie citizens who just got Xmas-Island-jailed by non-passport-checking Angry Fly* subordinates.
      Which hardly ever happens – just those 200 isolated incidents.

      What do you mean, “I never heard about this”? What are you implying?

      *(Quaedvlieg, translated)

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