Things are moving fast. If you're not quite up to speed on the Dawn Rowan Saga, please read the summary at http://tinyurl.com/3ybjyg.
1. The Prime Minister, Hon. Kevin Rudd, has responded to an email, and forwarded the matter to the Attorney-General.
2. Dawn's case has now been bounced to The Hon Jenny Macklin MP who is the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
See the letter from Lindsay Tanner below:
From The Hon Lindsay Tanner:
Thankyou for your email of January 9 2008.
I have raised Ms Rowan's case with the Attorney-General, who has advised me that the issue is being handled by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. He has indicated that he will brief me on the case in the near future.
As I am the Minister with responsibility for deciding on Act of Grace payments and waivers on behalf of the Commonwealth, it would be inappropriate for me to meet with Ms Rowan. It is conceivable that I may be faced with an application of this kind at some point. It would be difficult to fulfil my responsibility in this instance if I have previously engaged in lobbying or actively investigating with respect to the matter.
Lindsay Tanner MP
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Federal Member for Melbourne
2. So it's now up to us to contact Jenny Macklin - JMacklin.MP@aph.gov.au. Send a nice, polite letter, maybe something like the one below, (you can probably omit the reference to me, unless you think it's important), from a Baptist minister/colleague (and copy it to your local member, and maybe others):
Dear Mr Tanner,,
I have emailed you before on this matter--as have many others, full of hope that a new Government would bring a 'breath of fresh air' into a sordid case of legal vindictiveness by the previous Howard Government. So far there is no news of action, though there may well be action going on behind the scenes. But no action means disaster for an innocent woman, so we are daring to risk making a nuisance of ourselves for her sake!
May I again underline, that Rev. Dr. Rowland Croucher is a highly respected Baptist Minister, who, within the John Mark Ministries with its many overseas links, and the Victorian Baptist Ministers Network, has very wide and influential internet connections. There is widespread dismay about this case, and it is simply NOT going to go away.. On the other hand, action NOW to stop the bureaucratic wheels from crushing an innocent woman will win widespread acclaim. This is an appalling precedent in our Australian public life!
To a non-lawyer like myself, the crux of the matter is that, in 2002,
Justice Debelle found that the two main players in this matter--Dr John
Cornwall, a Minister of the Crown in South Australia,, and Ms Judith
Roberts, AO, guilty of malicious defamation, with misfeasance in Dr
Cornwall's case. They had submitted evidence that both knew to be false.
Dawn Rowan was completely exonerated, and damages awarded.
To my knowledge, that apportionment of blame/innocence has never been
legally overturned. Yet it is the innocent that is being pursued and
crushed. But by some judicial "sleight of hand" all costs have been awarded against the innocent party, and she is being pursued into bankruptcy.
While in my opinion, only a Judicial Inquiry can reverse that legal travesty of justice--a painful process to all concerned--the urgent need is to make the decision NOW to act against injustice, and to STOP the bureaucratic process..
I am sending a copy of this email to my local member, Nicola Roxon, and the the Attorney General, Robert McClelland--as I have done on previous occasions.. May I stress again how closely many of us are following this matter.
Alan Wright (Rev.)
Westgate Baptist Copmmunity.
3. Let's go - now! Thanks!
Shalom/Salaam/Pax! Rowland Croucher