Attorney-General Christian Porter

Attorney-General Christian Porter has put out the latest list of re-appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and this time there’s a refreshing dose of honesty.

In the fine print comes the political declaration that the announcement is “Authorised by Christian Porter, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra” — which seems right given how thoroughly the government has stacked the AAT with ex-staffers, retired politicians and failed candidates.

Two notables stand out: Brendan Darcy, a former adviser to Kevin Andrews, first appointed in 2015, has had his term as a full-time member extended. Former Liberal senator Karen Synon, who joined the young Liberals at 16, has also had her role as a part-time member extended.

For the sake of completeness we should add Porter’s final line: “All of the appointees are highly qualified to undertake the important task of conducting merits review of government decisions'” — though as far as we can tell there was no open appointments process.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey