"The current use of the separation of powers allows for both police and the judiciary to operate without accountability to the people.
Government must claw back the power to direct policy and have the ability to hold the judiciary and police to account for performance.
The days of unfettered freedom for both are numbered ..."
From the Community Advocacy Alliance, a group of retired senior Victorian police officers advocating more law n' order. The Australian, April 17, 2017
"That was entirely inappropriate ... It was gratuitous, it was uncalled for. I'm not even going to tolerate that kind of comment."
Justice John Sackar, NSW Supreme Court, throwing a wobbly after Julian Burnside QC, for Amber Harrison, correctly described Channel Seven as "one of the country's biggest boys' clubs". April 6, 2017
"Senator Brandis is the best attorney general I've ever experienced. His knowledge of the law is impeccable."
Senator Ian Macdonald (LNP Qld). March 30, 2017
"I think political correctness has become a problem in Western societies, we've become far too apologetic about our Western identity and anything that's some kind of defence of cultural traditionalism or national identity is in many ways frowned on."
Former Prime Minister John Howard making the case on behalf of his inner bigot, speaking at a CEDA lunch, March 3, 2017
"At the end of the day it has been stressful for he [sic] and his family. Of course it has. We recognise that. We appreciate a great deal the diligence he has put in under the circumstances and how he has driven the company to where it is at the moment."
Kerry Stokes, chairman of Seven West Media, supporting chief executive Tim Worner, at the half-year results where a 91 percent drop in profits was announced. February 15, 2017
"Ms Harrison's protracted legal matters are between her, her legal team and the board of Seven West Media. Mr [Jeff] Kennett's role as a board member of Seven West Media is unrelated to his position as chairman of beyondblue."
A spokeswoman for beyondblue in response to questions about whether Amber Harrison has been treated appropriately by Seven West Media while she was suffering anxiety and depression. The Australian Financial Review, February 8, 2017
"So a reporter for Time magazine - and I have been on their cover, like, 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time Magazine. Like, if Tom Brady is on the cover, it's one time, because he won the Super Bowl or something, right? I’ve been on it for 15 times this year. I don't think that's a record ... that can ever be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think?"
President Trump speaking at the CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia. January 23, 2017
"She's very glamorous but she is one of the people. When you say you have Julie Bishop on your guest list, you can be excited - it's so powerful."
Judy Romano, who looks after the guest lists for Emirates at Flemington and Portsea Polo. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 12, 2017
"I have made it a principle all my life never to ask for anything from any prime minister."
"John Howard gave me advice many years ago. He said, 'Josh, when you get a call from a prime minister, you take all of 1.5 seconds to say "Thank you prime minister". It doesn't matter whether it's up, down or sideways. You take it."
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg explaining the process of ministerial appointment. The Australian Financial Review, December 4, 2016
"Study law, get admitted and become the Chief Justice of Australia."
Prime Minister Turnbull extolling the inspiring example of Susan Kiefel at the announcement of her appointment as chief justice of the High Court. November 29, 2016
"The High Court's incoming chief justice falls well short of the mark set by great conservative judges of the recent past - Dyson Heydon and Ian Callinan ..."
Chris Merritt, legal affairs editor of The Australian commenting on Susan Kiefel's appointment as chief justice of the High Court. November 30, 2016
"One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected president was because, despite all the criticism and all the other issues, people looked at him and they said - he is a practical experienced businessman, who has been successful, he knows how to get things done. He is, as he says, a deal maker. He will do good things for America."
Prime Minister and former deal-making businessman Malcolm Turnbull on tax avoiding and multiple corporate bankrupt, president-elect Donald Trump. ABC Radio, November 11, 2016
"I'm not sure whether I'm gonna participate in any High Court jurisdiction and if I do I'll simply go down, shear a sheep and take the belly fleece and stick it over my head and represent myself, because I'm a true Australian standing up for the Australian people."
Senator Rod Cullerton (One Nation, WA) on the government's proposed challenge to his election in the Court of Disputed Returns. Media conference, November 2, 2016
"[Justin] Gleeson might have been wise not to attend a launch that was so wildly and openly antipathetic to the government's policies, politics and personnel. Yet Canberra insiders say Gleeson has given the book to at least one senior bureaucrat and possibly other senior judicial figures."
Chris Kenny, right-wing toad, ticking-off the solicitor general for attending the launch of his daughter's book, Offshore - Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru. The Australian, October 22, 2016
"I want to be at pains to emphasise to you, none of this ... had in any way affected the cordially [sic], professional relationship between me and the second law officer... The fact is, the ordinary relationship between Mr Gleeson and me as two senior professional lawyers has not been compromised or affected."
George Brandis on solicitor general Justin Gleeson's senate submission accusing the attorney general of misleading parliament. SkyNews. October 6, 2016
"This is so close now you can touch it."
Attorney General George Brandis trying to persuade the Opposition to support legislation for the same sex marriage plebiscite. September 14, 2016
"I salute the Chancellor of the Australian National University, Gareth Evans, an eloquent advocate for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. He has declared that it captures the life and times and culture of Australia in 'a distinctive and irreplaceable' way. The Honourable Gareth Evans will in due course (but not too soon we hope) attract a mega entry in the ADB for his huge contributions in diverse positions, held in Australia and overseas. An entry no larger, I trust, than my own. I first met him when he was President of the University of Melbourne Students' Representative Council in the mid-1960s. I had been elected to the equivalent post at the University of Sydney - twice. When I first laid eyes upon him, I suspected that he was a Welsh revolutionary. Now he is clothed in a Chancellor's gold. However, I have only lately admitted that I also considered him a 'good looker'."
Michael Kirby, speaking at the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. From the newsletter of the National Centre of Biography, ANU, August 2016
"It is the role of the Australian Human Rights Commission to promote tolerance, not to encourage a culture of grievance."
Attorney General Senator George Brandis, responding to Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane's suggestion that the AHRC is available to consider complaints by Aboriginal Australians about an offensive cartoon by Bill Leak. August 12, 2016
"When you get the opportunity to get behind and support a government that has delivered for the future, you have to ask yourself in real terms, what is more important? Is it more important to be perfect ... or is it better to actually have the courage to deliver?"
Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett in Darwin supporting the reelection of the Northern Territory's Giles government and criticising the ABC's "unbalanced" story about the mistreatment of youths at the Don Dale detention centre. August 14, 2016
"One of the most remarkable men I have ever met. His integrity has just staggered me."
Senator-elect Malcolm Ieuan: Roberts, on One Nation's political adviser James Ashby. Media conference, Brisbane, August 4, 2016
"Pauline's a pretty good judge of character."
James Ashby, political adviser to Senator-elect Pauline Hanson. SBS documentary Please Explain, broadcast July 31, 2016
"Well, Mr Giles's contribution to this process has been exemplary."
Attorney General George Brandis, on the role of the Chief Minister of the Northern Terrirory in establishing the Royal Commission into abuse of children in detention. Adam Giles had told the NT parliament in 2010: "If I were prisons minister, I would build a big concrete hole and put all the bad criminals in there ... I might break every UN convention on the rights of the prisoner, but 'get in the hole'." ABC radio, July 29, 2016
"I believed that the decision to go into Iraq was justified at the time and I don't resile from that because I thought it was the right decision."
Former prime minister John Howard, speaking after the findings of the Chilcot report. July 7, 2016
Q: One of your policy documents says that Islam has no place in Australia if we're to live in a cohesive society.
Hanson: You love your Islam bit, don't you?
Q: Not necessarily. I'm reading from your policies and quoting it to you.
Hanson: Fine. What do you have a problem with? A lot of countries around the world don't want Islam. We pull back.
Hanson: Everyone must be treated equally in Australia.
Q: How would you determine who is Muslim and how would they have to prove it?
Hanson: You can't deport the Muslims that are here and, look, I've spoken to Muslims, I think I've got a couple of Muslims who are members of my party actually and ...
Q: So you'd allow them to stay or how would that work?
Hanson: Don't take me out of context what I'm saying here at all. It is that you have our values, our culture and our way of life, that's in Australia ...
Press conference with senator-elect Pauline Hanson (Qld). July 4, 2015
"National security has played almost no part in this campaign, even border security has been just an intermittent visitor to the campaign. So I guess if those really big issues aren't front and centre, less substantial stuff will be front and centre."
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott complaining that same sex marriage has been allowed to raise its head during the election campaign because not enough time has been devoted to national security. Sky News, June 29, 2016
LEIGH SALES: But I think people watching this also want to know that you're listening to them and what those polls tell you is that there's something that you're doing which they don't like.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well why don't you ask me a question about it?
LEIGH SALES: Well I am asking you a question about it. What do you think - what do you think - what do you think has happened that you have lost that ginormous chunk of approval?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Leigh, I am not going to be drawn into that kind of introspection ...
Interview with PM Turnbull on the ABC's 7.30, June 8, 2016
"I think Greg Hywood has done a great job in getting us to where we are."
Sean Aylmer, head of Fairfax news media, explaining the job losses, shredding of content and general decline of the company's newspaper business - orchestrated by CEO Greg Hywood. Mumbrella, May 25, 2016
Question: What's the one thing about you that would surprise people?
Answer: I practise meditation and am deeply fascinated by what I would call secular humanist spirituality.
Australia of the Year, David Morrison, interviewed in the Qantas inflight magazine. May 2016
"[Two QUT students were] at all times treated by the Australian Human Rights Commission with absolute, unequivocal and flagrant indifference, disregard, contumacy, hauter, distain, vilipendency and insouciance."
Submission by Anthony Morris QC (Lord Eldon) on behalf of two students who claim the AHRC breached their human rights in the way a racial discrimination complaint was handled. Report by Australian Associated Press, May 1, 2016
"I suppose it's because they’re always getting up and down and helping somebody and putting something in a dishwasher or whatever they're doing, because they don't have enough staff."
HM The Queen's explanation why her grandchildren find it difficult to communicate with each other. The New York Times, April 23, 2016
"Well this has been a very substantial political career there’s no doubt about that, and even before she was in Parliament she was the President of the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party in the 1980s. So Bronwyn Bishop has a very secure and honoured place in the Liberal Party pantheon. She’ll be remembered as one of the great warriors, a lifelong warrior for the Liberal cause."
Attorney General George Brandis on Bronwyn Bishop's deselection as the Liberal candidate for Mackellar. Sky News, April 17, 2016
"As journalists, we do stories that we think are right and are ethical. The question is about ethics and about the morality and the right and wrong. I think in this case, as I understand it, I think the 60 Minutes crew have been ethical and I think they have done the right thing."
Former A Current Affair presenter Ray Martin on the 60 Minutes Lebanese children snatching case. ABC Radio, April 15, 2016
"I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a [Supreme Court] nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Fox News, March 20, 2016
"[Margaret Cunneen had done] no more than what any ordinary member of the community as a mother would do upon learning of a motor accident involving her son's girlfriend."
ICAC Inspector David Levine to a NSW parliamentary committee, March 14, 2016
"I am pleased to report that I've killed lots of elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards, kudu, deer and the last legally shot black rhinoceros, together with more than 150,000 birds of various species. When the last duck comes flying over with a sign around his neck 'I am the last duck,' I will shoot it."
C. Allen Foster, shooting companion of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The New Yorker, March 2, 2016
"Most Reverend Eminence, first of all may I beg you to accept my warmest congratulations for your appointment as Secretary for the Economy. Meantime, I am pleased to inform your eminence that the most eminent cardinals are eligible for the following concessions: the purchase of groceries in quantities compatible with your family requirements ... at a discount of 15 per cent; a discount of 20 per cent on the list price [already tax free] of up to 200 packs of cigarettes of the 500 packs allowed on a monthly basis; a discount of 20 per cent on the list price of clothing items; an allowance of 400 litres of petrol on the following terms: a) 100 litres paid by the Vatican; b) 300 litres at a discount of 15 per cent on presentation of Cardinal Vouchers (the white ones), to be used inside the Holy See … While I remain at your service for every eventual elucidation, I am pleased to take this opportunity to assure you, in line with my most devoted respect for Your Most Reverend Eminence, that I remain your most devoted Fernando Vérgez Alzaga."
Letter to Cardinal Pell from the secretary of the Vatican Governorate. From "The Passion of the Bureaucrats", London Review of Books, February 2016
"Oh yes. She's an outstanding person. They have always invited distinguished people to address their function and she's certainly a distinguished crown prosecutor."
David Flint, national convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, welcoming the selection of Margaret Cunneen SC to speak at the Commonwealth Day lunch in Sydney (formerly Empire Day). The Sydney Morning Herald, February 20, 2016
"In just two years, Tim Wilson has single handedly reshaped the human rights debate in Australia. He has restored balance to a debate which had previously been dominated by the priorities and prejudices of the Left ...
The Australian people owe Tim Wilson a huge debt of gratitude for his passion and commitment."
Attorney General George Brandis on the resignation of Tim Wilson from the Human Rights Commission. Wilson is seeking preselection for a safe Liberal Party seat. February 15, 2016
"The whole thing is a total attempt to annihilate what they think is a very political conservative, when I was told I had a chance to be a Supreme Court judge."
NSW deputy senior crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen explaining why the Crime Commission provided tapes containing her conversations to ICAC. Australian Financial Review, February 5, 2016
"This is the last feather with which some of the crossbench are seeking to fly to vote against the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation and my view was that last feather should be plucked out, then they would have no feathers to fly with at all and they would be duty-bound to support the ABCC legislation."
Opposition senator Eric Abetz on whether crossbench senators should be given access to the secret volume of the report of the trade union royal commission. Australian Financial Review, January 19, 2016
"The Hon. Michael Kirby is out of his office. Between 7-13 December 2015 he will be in New York for the inaugural meeting of the UN High Level Panel on Health Technology Innovation and Access, to which he has been appointed by the Secretary-General. He will also be chairing the Expert Advisory Group of the Panel. Between 15-22 December 2015 he will be in New Delhi, India. During this time he will address the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest (16 December); launch a book on Indian law and Australia (16 December); address the Habitat India Centre on LGBT Law Reform (18 December); deliver a keynote address to the University of Chicago Conference on Tuberculosis and Human Rights (18-20 December); and preside in an international commercial arbitration (21 December). He will return to chambers in Sydney on 23 December 2015. Emails will be monitored; but replies will be delayed."
Former High Court judge Michael Kirby's out-of-office automated email reply. December 2015
"[People have criticised] the way you spoke, the way you walked, the way you ate an onion, the fact that you're a [surf] lifesaver."
Broadcaster Alan Jones interviewing, and defending, Tony Abbott MP. 2GB December 11, 2015
"By some crazy twist of fate, I've found myself in the midst of the most defining decision of our time: do we save the planet, or do we revel in the sauna of our collective technological success and watch it melt and burn? I seem to be making a habit of this. Just a few weeks ago, I was at UN Climate Week in New York and found myself quoted alongside the Pope on the front page."
Mark Burrows, "global" investment banker, Credit Suisse. The Weekend Financial Review, December 5-6, 2015
"Integrity is uppermost in everything that I have ever done and that I will always continue to do."
Special Minister of State Mal Brough, responding to the AFP raid on his home. He had previously admitted procuring James Ashby to make copies of the diaries of Speaker Peter Slipper, which were then leaked to the media. November 26, 2015
"Were he to be successful I am sure [it] would contain nothing more interesting than a day-by-day study of the weariness and drudgery of my life."
Attorney General George Brandis, responding to AAT proceedings by Opposition spokesman Mark Dreyfus, who is seeking the release of the AG's diary schedule under FOI -- proceedings which Brandis is vigorously resisting. November 6, 2015
"Across the entire panoply of human rights Australia has not only been an activist, but those rights are integral to what we Australians regard as our sense of nationhood ... As a Liberal, I am proud that Australia has been so active, both domestically and internationally in the promotion of a vigorous, ambitious human rights agenda."
Attorney General George Brandis speaking at the launch of a campaign for Australia to become a member of the UN's human rights council. October 19, 2015
"I learned so much from John Howard. Every day I'm prime minister, I'll be benchmarking everything I do against how John Howard would have handled these challenges."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, October 13, 2015
"If I wasn't strong, determined, controlling and got them into government, from opposition I might add, then I would be weak and not up to it and should have to go and be replaced.
You will want to have women like me in politics. You will want to have women like me sitting in power."
Peta Credlin, chief-of-staff to former prime minister Tony Abbott, speaking at the Australian Women's Weekly Women of the Future Awards. September 22, 2015
Hastie: Look, as I said I believe there is a God. I believe he is the first mover. OK? All right?"
Journalist: Are you a creationist?
Hastie: You're not hearing me mate. I'm talking about public policy. People are sick of this crap."
On the campaign trail with Andrew Hastie, Liberal candidate for the Canning by-election. The Sydney Morning Herald, September 12, 2015
"Free speech has no greater friend than I [sic.]"
Attorney General George Brandis, Daily Telegraph, September 4, 2015
"As an SAS officer with active service experience, I have demonstrated a capacity to fight for the Australian way of life."
Preselection application of Andrew Hastie, Liberal candidate for the Canning by-election. Australian Financial Review, August 23, 2015
Tony Jones: "Would you agree there's a suggestion that Dyson Heydon already knew of a Liberal Party connection to this event?
George Brandis: Look Tony I'm not going to parse email exchanges between individuals ..."
Attorney General George Brandis, trying to clear royal commissioner Dyson Heydon of accusations that he is conflicted and biased. Lateline, ABC, August 13, 2015
"I land in Rome at lunchtime ... This is my first visit since 2010, when I stayed here with Amanda Vanstone in her last weeks as Ambassador to Italy ... In the courtyard at Hotel de Russie, shaded by its white linen parasols, there is no sign of house regular Matthew Grounds. Instead, I take my ease across from company director Rod McGeoch and Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio (at separate tables) acknowledging them both with a grave nod over the rim of my Aperol Spritz. It's 36 degrees.I rove the Italian capital in my white Pal Zileri linens and tangelo Car Shoes, grazing on lemone gelato from San Crispino."
Joe Aston, Financial Review columnist, AFR August 2, 2015
"After nearly 20 years in public life I took this action to stand up to malicious people intent on vilifying Australians who choose to serve in public office to make their country a better place ... I do not regret taking this action."
Treasurer Joe Hockey after substantially losing his "Treasurer for Sale" defamation case and being awarded only 15 percent of his costs. July 22, 2015
"From where I sit Bronwyn Bishop is doing a very good job as speaker."
Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann on Sky News, July 18, 2015
"The law's greatest benefits are for the minority man - the individual."
Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications, in a speech to the Sydney Institute, July 7, 2015
Scott Morrison: I mean he has got his silks at the dry cleaners waiting to defend them when they come back and I think that really betrays the heart of Labor on many of these things. Mark Dreyfus wants a lawyers' picnic over these things and bringing these people back.Ray Hadley: This is the problem minister. He can't forget he's a lawyer, he can't forget this, you see, and that's a dangerous thing - particularly if you've got a hand-wringing, left-leaning lawyer as your shadow attorney general.Scott Morrison: I don't think it inspires confidence.
Scott Morrison discussing the government's citizenship laws on radio 2GB, June 22, 2015
"The government is not going to have the courts second-guessing ministerial decisions ..."
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton saying he alone should act on "reasonable suspicion" to cancel someone's Australian citizenship. June 5, 2015
"For [Tim] Carmody to use the megaphone of the media to make demands of the government, as conditions of his leaving judicial life, is akin to putting a gun to his own head and saying, 'One more move, the chief justice gets it'."
Brisbane solicitor Bill Potts, Guardian Australia, May 27, 2015
"If the campaign against the Queensland chief justice succeeds and he is forced from the bench, it would undermine one of the core principles of the state's constitutional arrangements."
Legal affairs writer Christopher Merritt, The Weekend Australian, May 23-24, 2015
"The disclosed correspondence comprises of private and ordinarily confidential exchanges between judicial officers. Robust - and sometimes strongly expressed - communications are essential to the efficient administration of the court."
Queensland chief justice Tim Carmody, releasing emails and memoranda between the judges, sufficiently robust that the efficient administration of the court saw the refusal of Margaret McMurdo P to sit with the CJ. Banco Court, May 7, 2015
"The decision could have wide-reaching ramifications for past decisions made by ICAC as well as current and future investigations, according to University of New South Wales associate of law Gabrielle Appleby."
Guardian Australia, reporting on the High Court decision in ICAC v Cunneen, April 15, 2015
"Dr Gabrielle Appleby from the UNSW Law School told Lawyers Weekly many important cases will not be affected by last week's decision."
Lawyers Weekly, reporting on the High Court decision in ICAC v Cunneen, April 22, 1015
"It would be more accurate to say, however, that if there is any circularity in the majority's reasoning [NSW Court of Appeal], it is constituted of assuming the purpose of the Act and then reasoning, as if syllogistically, that, because a meaning of 'adversely affect' limited to an adverse effect on probity is more consonant with the assumed purpose of the Act, that meaning should be preferred."
From the majority's reasons in ICAC v Cunneen, High Court of Australia, April 15, 2015
"If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse and in front of my entire family I would put petrol on her and set her alight."
Indian defence barrister A.P Singh, who acted for convicted murderer and rapist in the case of 23-year old medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey. ABC Four Corners, India's Daughter, April 6, 2015
"Palazzo Ducale - it's an Italian restaurant in an elite palace, an ornate mansion, with an old rococo-style interior. It's one of my favourite areas on the Bulvar, the 19th century boulevard around the heart of old Moscow. The clientele is a combination of connected plutocrats, their hangers-on, families, and their girlfriends, who are stunning Russian models. There are always big black Mercedes and Bentleys parked outside. Once I was asked to chose the wine and was told by my host that the one I chose was not expensive enough. He sent it back."
John Denton, chief executive of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and former diplomat, with his insider's guide to Moscow. Weekend Financial Review, March 14-15, 2015
"Well, he's got many strengths. It will take too long, we haven't got time tonight but he's a very intelligent, courageous, brave man, a very thoughtful guy. He's got a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour."
Malcolm Turnbull on Tony Abbott. ABC TV 7.30, March 2, 2015
"He touched us all."
Inscription on the gates of Knox Grammar School in memory of art teacher Bruce Barratt, accused in the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse of molesting school pupils. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 25, 2015
"The Government notes the decision by the United States Court of Military Commission Review into Mr Hicks' conviction.
The review was about the validity of the US law under which he was convicted, not about whether he carried out the activities of which he was accused ...
"This is a blatantly partisan politicised exercise and the Human Rights Commission ought to be ashamed of itself. I reckon that the Human Rights Commission ought to send a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison to say, 'well done mate'."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott responding to the Human Rights Commission's report on children held in immigration detention. February 12, 2015
"I want to say thank you to you, Commissioner, and thank you to all of the AFP staff this morning for the briefing that you provided to the Minister and myself on metadata and its importance in fighting crime, whether it be child abuse, whether it be terrorism, whether it be fraud, drug importation. Whatever it is, metadata is vitally important - absolutely critical."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Australian Federal Police briefing on data retention. Feburary 5, 2015
"[Scott] Roulstone claimed that 'disappointing' press coverage of unfolding events overshadowed positive outcomes.
'Keddies had been unfairly subjected to negative publicity ... over many years,' he said.
He is confident, however, that his reputation among lawyers remains strong and will serve him well at the bar."
Scott Roulstone, former partner of the grossly overcharging law firm Keddies, who has now been admnitted to the NSW bar with an interim practising certificate. Report from Lawyers Weekly, January 30, 2015
"One of the reasons why so many members of the team are able to perform so well is because they have got a very good captain. It takes a good captain to help all the players of a team excel."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, January 30, 2015
"He has been the consort to our Queen of Australia for so long, he's stood beside her. He's never been paid, there's going to be no golden handshake or anything like that. It's a job he's done as a volunteer."
Monarchist David Flint, welcoming the award of an Australian knighthood for Prince Philip. January 26, 2015
"The cartoon's linkage between the Jewish faith and the Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza was reasonably likely to cause great offence to many readers."
Australian Press Council ruling that a cartoon in The Sydney Morning Herald breached standards of practice because it "caused greater offence than was justified in the public interest". January 17, 2015
"The key parts of her evidence were the product of many months, in a sense nearly 20 years, of thought about the issues – the product, too, of iron willpower which drove her very able mind into the most intense and thorough preparation. All this – her intense degree of preparation, her familiarity with the materials, her acuteness, her powerful instinct for self-preservation – made it hard to judge her credibility. Normally cross-examination of a non-expert witness is a contest between a professional expert who is familiar with every detail of the case and a relatively unwary member of the public who is not. But Julia Gillard had 20 years’ knowledge of the case and immense determination to vindicate her position. She was, so to speak, a professional expert on her own case."
Dyson Heydon, interim report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, complaining that the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was well-prepared and deprived counsel assisting of the opportunity to score points. December 19, 2014
"You don't expect to run into a terrorist at a human rights awards event."
Attorney General Senator Brandis after David Hicks heckled him at the Human Rights Commission awards night. December 11, 2014
"Doughty Street Chambers - where Geoffrey Robertson reigns as one of the defining legal minds of our age."
Family Confidental on Geoffrey Robertson QC and Kathy Lette. ABC TV, December 1, 2014
"It stemmed from a view that public service was what my family did. It was a question of where you were best able to be of use to the public."
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, on why he wanted a career in politics. The Australian Financial Review, November 22-23, 2014
"I don't think we will ever have a Bill of Rights in Australia and I hope we never do. There are three things that keep Australia democratic: a vigorous parliamentary system; a free and sceptical press; and an incorruptible judiciary that administers laws in a fair and effective manner."
Former Prime Minister John Winston Howard, Law Society of NSW Journal, November 2014
"That complaint has come not just from the usual suspects of the paradoid fantasist left, but from reputable conservative commentators as well, including [The Australian's] Greg Sheridan. I respectfully disagree with their criticism."
Attorney General George Brandis defending security laws that criminalise reporting of special intelligence operations. October, 14, 2014
"I felt embarrassed. I did, I couldn't believe it, because I had genuinely believed it."
Former prime minister John Howard, explaining his reaction when he discovered Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Seven Network, September 21, 1014
"Forget the former lover stuff. Everyone makes mistakes and has a charity shag along the way. I just could not believe he had the audacity to sit there and want to cross-examine me."
Kathy Jackson, national secretary of the Health Services Union, on Melbourne barrister Mark Irving, with whom she'd had a sexual liason. August 29, 2014
"All my life I have fought for and tried to help the most disadvantaged people in the community."
Treasurer Joe Hockey apologising for his attempt to justify an increase in the fuel excise by saying, "the poorest people don't have cars or actually don't drive very far". Radio 2GB, August 15, 2014
"I had to throw in a Watson, it's rubbing off on me. I know I'm spending too much time down here, Commissioner. I've got to get back to the Court of Appeal."
Arthur Moses SC, counsel for former NSW police minister Mike Gallacher, explaining the nature of one of his questions at ICAC. Gallacher is accused of facilitating an illegal donation to the Liberal Party. August 13, 2014
"Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir likened [Mike] Carlton's responses to readers to, 'someone in a restaurant complaining to a waiter that the food or the service has not been good enough, and the waiter using expletives to deal with that complaint'."
Report on the resignation of columnist Mike Carlton after Fairfax Media sought to suspend him for using "inappropriate and offensive" language in correspondence with readers responding to his column on the war in Gaza. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 8, 2014
"I have expressed and the Attorney has expressed very clearly our respect for the courts of Queensland and the great work that they do.
I also put on the table issues that have concerned the government and I guess there are some agreements about the way we are going to work together going forward.
In summary, there is a very clear commitment from this government and I believe the people we have spoken to today, to work together for Queenslanders."
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman after a "productive" meeting with the Chief Justice, the Chief Judge of the District Court and the Chief Magistrate. July 24, 2014
"I think Mr Assange should be man enough to face the allegations against him of being a sexual predator."
Attorney General George Brandis, July 17, 2014
"Any nation that has lost the art of collective self-improvement has stepped on the escalator of decline. Australia is on that escalator."
Paul Kelly, editor-at-large, The Australian, July 2, 2014
"We were invited formally by, I think, the Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George, though at the kind instance of the Gibbs family, to the annual service in St Paul's Cathedral in the presence of the Duke of Kent ...
As it happened, Kaye [Mrs de Jersey] and I were planning travel to Europe including principally Trier in Germany (for a European law conference), and could be in London on the very day of the Service. With some adjustment, we ensured we were. The Agent-General John Dawson accompanied us in Queensland House's Jaguar car with the Queensland flag flying: the long-serving driver Robin told us afterwards that intrigued Queensland tourists came up to him during the service asking what was going on inside of relevance to their home State."
Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey addressing the Seldon Society, Brisbane, June 20, 2014
"I've often said and I'm sure nobody will argue that I may not be the smartest lawyer in the room, and if you were in a room with me and I was the smartest lawyer it would be a good time to leave it. But there's more to being a Chief Justice than a black letter lawyer. There are plenty of them already on the Supreme Court, and I don't aspire to compete with them for intellectual rigour."
Chief Magistrate Tim Carmody at the announcement that he has been appointed the next Chief Justice of Queensland. June 12, 2014
"I like Lachlan [Murdoch]. He's a nice man, but he's not a great businessman. He's not a big and good decision maker in my opinion ...
[The Australian is] pathetic."
Former News Ltd CEO Ken Cowley to The Australian Financial Review, June 1, 2014
"I have great respect for Lachlan Murdoch ... and I've always enjoyed his friendship ...
I think [The Australian] is the best newspaper in the country."
Former News Ltd CEO Ken Cowley to The Australian, June 2, 2014
Senator Kim Carr: How do you respond to the charge that your actions have not only damaged our relationship with East Timor but have also seriously embarrassed Australia internationally?
Senator Brandis: My response to that is that it's arrant nonsense. For an attorney general to appropriately exercise powers invested in him under the ASIO Act on the application of ASIO, on a clear case to protect Australia's national interest, is not only what the attorney-general should do but what any competent attorney general would do.
George Brandis on the ASIO raids he authorised on the office of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer representing Timor-Leste in the case alleging spying by Australia. Senate Estimates, May 28, 2014
"I know that he kind of thought, 'I've had enough of being chief justice of NSW', and I had had enough of it. My only encounter with the High Court was in Melbourne [in 1963] and I thought I had never come across such rude people."
Robyn Gleeson, wife of Murray Gleeson, on the appointment of her husband as chief justice of the High Court. From The Smiler, by Michael Pelly, the Federation Press. Published May 23, 2014
"They always say glass half full, glass half empty ... call me old-fashioned, but I'd rather see a glass thrown at some bastard's face ... Remember Ray, mate, you got a long way to go ... you got three [marriages] to go to get me ... so get used to it buddy."
John Singleton, head of Macquarie Radio Network, commenting on the marital woes of 2GB shock jock Ray Hadley. The Sydney Morning Herald, May 18, 2014
"The Attorney General will continue to carry out, with full and appropriate independence, his office and functions within that framework.
Administrative changes aimed at a more seamless approach to ensuring the community has the benefits of the full ambit of the legal system is a positive [sic]."
NSW government spokesperson explaining new arrangements that saw the Attorney General's Department axed and brought under the control of the Police Minister. April 24, 2014
"It's not for us to disprove the negative. I don't feel the need to disprove the negative about our operations."
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, responding to criticism of Australia from the UNHCR that returning asylum seeker boats to Indonesia was a breach of the Refugee Convention. The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24, 2014
"Even in the members stand, you walk around and think - I can see bra, I can see cellulite and everything is very short. When you go to where Fashions on the Field is held, everyone looks impeccible and it would be nice if that started filtering through to the racecourse as a whole."
Marlia Saunders, lawyer at Ashurst, Sydney, finalist at Derby Day's Fashions on the Field at Randwick. The Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2014
"The Hon Dyson Heydon AC QC will deliver the Acton Lecture under the auspices of The Centre for Independent Studies in the Banco Court, Queens Square at 6pm on Thursday April 10, 2014. The topic will be 'Catholic Resistance to State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia'."
NSW Bar Association announcement. InBrief, April 7, 2014
"Let us not forget the man against whom this disgraceful smear is being made. Arthur Sinodinos is one of the greatest Australians who has participated in the public life of this country over the last two decades. For more than a decade, he ran the Prime Minister's office of Australia's most successful recent government, the Howard government. He is an officer of the Order of Australia. He is a person of the highest integrity and the greatest personal decency."
Attorney General Senator Brandis two hours before Senator Sinodinos resigned as Assistant Treasurer amid mounting evidence before ICAC of corrupt conduct. Senate Hansard, March 19, 2014
"I told my news desk our standards had to be high. We have to be above the law ... sorry, within the law."
Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World, in evidence at the Old Bailey, denying she approved her reporters going through people's rubbish bins ("binology"). Tricks of the trade, Fairfax Media, March 9, 2013
" ... Eric [Schmidt, executive chairman of Google] saw me looking so gorgeous and so fantastic and so young, so cool, so chic, so stylish, so funny and he cannot have me. I'm not ever feel sad ... out losing Eric ... Plus he is really really ugly. Unattractive ... and fat. Not stylish at all try to wear hip clothes ... I'm so so soo soooo happy I'm not with him."
Wendi Deng, former wife of Rupert Murdoch, in a note to herself, reported in Vanity Fair, March 2014
"There may have been a period where people thought that Australia's attention was wavering, but when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit and when Her Majesty visits ... and when the young princes visit ... the country comes alive ... There's a buzz in the air."
Peter Cosgrove, Governor General designate, in London after meeeting the Queen. Sydney Morning Herald, February 20, 2014
"Most valuable to me is an iron and ironing board. Not to carry, although I have owned travel irons and steamers, and taken them everywhere. Now, the first thing I do at a hotel is to check that there's an iron and ironing board."
Travel tips from Justice Annabelle Bennett, Federal Court of Australia. Qantas Magazine, February 2014
"Heydon may have a traditional mindset, but he is very much his own man. No one could reasonably suggest that he will do anything other than the job put before him.
With these qualities and background, Heydon brings credibility to the commission."
Prof. George Williams on Dyson Heydon's appointment by the Abbott government as the Royal Commissioner to inquire into allegations of union corruption. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 11, 1014
"First, the Institute of Public Affairs is a free market think tank, not a conservative one. Second, some of my former colleagues at the IPA have argued for full privitisation [of the ABC], but, and I am happy to be proven wrong, have never publicly advocated for it ... My view is that the ABC should be scaled back to services that do not compete with commercial providers."
Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson. Letter to the Australian Financial Review, February 4, 2014
"It dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everybody's side but our own. I think that is a problem."
Prime Minister and free speech advocate Tony Abbott criticising the ABC for independent reporting. Interview with 2GB shock-jock Ray Hadley, January 29, 2014
"Early exposure to any form of advertising is vital to protect young minds against the seductive powers of capitalism."
From a submission by Woolworths to Liverpool Council in support of a proposed Dan Murphy's store opposite a school. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 11, 2014
"I am a corporate solicitor. I know what is appropriate and not. I am not some hick from wherever."
Lynda Reid, whose dress was deemed too short for the members' stand at the SGC. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 7, 2014
"News Limited's $1.8 billion takeover bid for Herald & Weekly Times in 1986 broke-up the concentration of media assets in Australia and new forms of media continue to provide diversity, says Paul Keating."
The Australian, January 2, 2014
"Dear Wonderous Colleague ..."
Email greeting from Hong Kong office of King & Wood Mallesons to partners in Australia. Australian Financial Review, December 27, 2013
''As Australia's Human Rights Commissioner I will seek to reverse the incremental dilution of human rights and reassert their essential status in our community.
I will unapologetically approach this important role with the strong belief that human rights are important, consistent and universal and provide the foundations for a free society.
As Human Rights Commissioner I will put freedom on the offensive: where it belongs."
IPA policy director Tim Wilson on his appointment to the Human Rights Commission. December 17, 2013
"The former Labor Government's weak sex offender laws have again let Queensland families down ..."
Queensland attorney general Jarrod Bleijie. Weak sex in Queensland - there ought to be a law against it. December 6, 2013
"We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make."
Prime Minister Abbott supporting education minister Pyne's backflip on the Coalition's Gonski promise, before the government flipped again and reembraced Gonski's funding model. December 1, 2013
"Michael, your shoulder just doesn't know how important you are."
Physiotherapist Stuart Baptist to Michael Rose, after the chief executive partner of Allens experienced debilitating pain following surgery. The Australian Financial Review, November 6, 2013
"This is not some wog Lebanese [thing where] we all eat from the one bloody plate."
Eddie Obeid at ICAC, defending the accusation that he was involved in joint business ventures with his sons. November 18, 2013
"It doesn't matter how much education you've had, it doesn't matter whether you've come from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, anywhere else, it doesn't matter whether you're a child, it doesn't matter whether you're pregnant, it doesn't matter whether you're a woman, it doesn't matter whether you're an unaccompanied minor, it doesn't matter if you have a health condition - if you're fit enough to get on a boat then you can expect you're fit enough to end up in offshore processing."
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, at the Sovereign Borders briefing, November 15, 2013
"Australia feels totally different to six months ago. Govt will cut massive regulations giving real optimism. Should cancel wild spending."
Rupert Murdoch via Twitter. November 2, 2013
"What we need to see is those involved in the court system, the insiders in the legal system, start to realise that that's what the community wants and they need to act accordingly to protect the community."
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman instructing the judges to do what the community wants. October 23, 2013
''Your honour, if you have concerns then I certainly accept that they are well-grounded. I accept that it's very likely that the remarks were wrongful and I mean, if somebody such as yourself has those concerns then I certainly regret making them ...
Your honour, I apologise if by what I said or did I have in any way compromised the conduct of the current proceedings or done anything to embarrass myself professionally or any of the other participants in this proceedings.''
John Hyde Page responding to concerns by Justice Nye Perram following the Sydney barrister's description of the tax haven taskforce Project Wickenby as a "Gestapo unit". Federal Court, Sydney, October 17, 2013
"Prince Harry, I regret to say that not every Australian is a monarchist, but today everyone feels like a monarchist."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, October 5, 2013
"I considered that those costs were within parliamentary entitlements, since they were incurred in the course of attendance at a function primarily for work-related purposes. I remain of that view."
Attorney General George Brandis "QC", justifying a claim of nearly $1,700 for attending the wedding of right wing shock-jock Michael Smith. September 29, 2013
"Indonesian flagged boats with Indonesian crews are breaking our laws bringing people into our territorial waters. Their people, their boats, their crews are breaching our sovereignty.
Indonesians need to understand that, instead of a lot of pious rhetoric about the Australian government threatening their sovereignty."
Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer displaying his grasp of obligations under the Refugee Convention. September 26, 2013
"This is not about me. This is about our country."
Sophie Mirabella announcing she did not wish to be a contender for the Abbott ministry while the vote count continued. September 12, 2013
"The Australian Government’s dealings with Mr Hicks, at all times, have been in accordance with Australian laws."
Attorney General George Brandis, responding to the decision of the CMCR to overturn the conviction of David Hicks and vacate his sentence. February 19, 2015