On Monday (1-7-19) General David Hurley, former Chief of the Defence Force from 2011 to 2014, was sworn in as the Governor-General. But was due diligence done given David Hurley was up to his neck in the infamous ADFA Skype sex-tape cover-up scandal in Canberra? The obvious question is will David Hurley become another Peter Hollingworth who was forced to resign as Governor-General when he was exposed for covering up child sex abuse when he was Archbishop of Brisbane.
David Hurley was Governor of NSW from 2014 until May 2019 but that position does not get anywhere near the scrutiny or publicity as the Governor-General and the media in Canberra should have been asking a lot of questions but they haven’t.
We’ll first have a quick look at former Governer-General Peter Hollingworth and his resignation as that gives an indication of what could possibly be ahead for David Hurley. The fact that Hollingworth’s past cover-ups keep being raised today, 15 years after his resignation, suggests very strongly that is likely what will also happen with David Hurley and his cover-ups at the Australian Defence Force which might lead to another Governor-General resigning.
Peter Hollingworth was Australia’s Governor-General from the 29th of June 2001 until his commission was revoked on the 29th of May 2003 after his resignation. He resigned after a drawn-out scandal that he covered up child sex abuse when he was Archbishop of Brisbane and an internal investigation by the Diocese of Brisbane found Hollingworth had also allowed a “known paedophile to continue to work as a priest”. The report by the Diocese of Brisbane was tabled in the Queensland parliament in May 2003 and Hollingworth resigned a few weeks later. (Click here to read more)
Perjury by Peter Hollingworth at the Royal Commission
In 2012 the federal government announced it would set up the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which ran from 2013 with a final report handed to the government in December 2017.
The Guardian reported in August 2018:
Hollingworth admitted to the child sexual abuse royal commission in 2016 that he poorly handled a complaint of sexual abuse by a priest, and he apologised to the victim. He also accepted that he failed to protect child sexual abuse victims within the church. Hollingworth was head of the Brisbane diocese from 1990 to 2001.
A report from the child abuse royal commission found Hollingworth misled the commission when he said he believed a report of abuse made to him about paedophile priest John Elliot at the Church of England Grammar School in 1993 was an “isolated incident”.
“This evidence was inconsistent with the other evidence before the royal commission that Dr Hollingworth was aware of there being multiple boys Mr Elliot had abused,” the report found.
Eight months after the royal commission delivered its final report, survivors are questioning why the Anglican church has yet to take disciplinary action against Hollingworth. (Read more)
In August 2018 it was reported that Queensland police are reviewing new evidence into the crimes that Peter Hollingworth helped cover-up.
The SMH reported:
Queensland police have confirmed detectives are reviewing new evidence that has come to light against former governor-general Peter Hollingworth.
There was no allegation of sexual abuse levelled against Dr Hollingworth but rather, the spokesman said, police were investigating whether the former governor-general could be charged as an accessory after the fact for failing to act while he was archbishop. (Click here to read more)
David General Hurley
I April 2011 the “Skype sex scandal” engulfed the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra (ACT) and made headlines around the country. It involved an 18-year-old female cadet being filmed, without her knowledge, having sex with a male cadet. It was also live streamed via Skype onto a computer into a nearby room where there were 6 other cadets watching. They also took pictures and showed them to other cadets.
The ADFA went into a full-blown cover-up mode and started lying and deceiving like there is no tomorrow. The lies by the ADFA were backed up with even more lies by the Federal Police including by the then Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Tony Negus.
The Defence Force told the 18-year-old female cadet that they had spoken to the Federal Police and were told what happened would be illegal in any of the Australian States but it was not illegal under ACT law so virtually nothing would happen.
When the story hit the media the federal police said after further review the incident happened on federal land so it is also covered by federal laws so they would investigate further. That was scandalous and such an obvious attempt at a cover-up as all of Australia is covered by federal laws whether it is federal land or not and the AFP always had the ability to investigate and the AFP and ADFA knew it.
I wrote an email to the Tony Negus when the cover-up was in full flight in April 2011:
From: Shane Dowling [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, 11 April 2011 12:17 PM
To: email@example.com; brendan.o’firstname.lastname@example.org; R.McClelland.MP@aph.gov.au; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Stephen.Smith.MP@aph.gov.au; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Defence Force Sex Tape – Breach of Section 474.17 of the 1995 Criminal Code
Dear Commissioner Negus
One of the laws that has been breached in the Defence sex tape scandal is:
Section 474.17 of the 1995 Criminal Code:
474.17 Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person uses a carriage service; and
(b) the person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.
It took me all of 15 minutes to skim through the 1995 Criminal Code to find a section that covers the exact situation.
I have done a posting on my website which covers the matter, It is titled “Pigs On The Run – The Australian Federal Police”
If you need any more help please do not hesitate to contact me. (Given the situation is obviously beyond the capabilities of the Australian Federal Police)
Shane Dowling (Click here to read more)
The only reason the cover-up was exposed is that the 18-year-old female cadet went to the media and the cover-up started to unravel.
In 2012 I wrote:
Over the last few days some of the media and others have been calling for the resignation or sacking of Defence Minister Stephen Smith over the defence force Skype sex tape scandal. Yet have failed to call for the same from the Chief of Defence General David Hurley and the commander of the Australian Defence Force Academy Commodore Bruce Kafer.
Criminal offences have taken place in their attempt to cover up criminal offences in the defence force and there needs to be a Royal Commission as the cover-up is being directed by the highest levels of the defence force. (Click here to read more)
David Hurley has been in senior roles in the defence force over numerous years when it has been accused of cover-up after cover-up and I have no doubt it will only be a matter of time before something in his past where he did wrong will come out in the media.
Not long after the Skype scandal broke numerous reviews were announced but not much had changed 2 years later as the ABC reported:
What’s most disturbing is that the media never asked serious questions of the government about how suitable David Hurley is or isn’t for the role of Governer-General. I can only find one article that even raises his background and involvement in the Skype sex scandal cover-up.
On Monday, the day David Hurley was sworn in as Governor-General, The New Daily published a story titled “From hula-hooping to the Skype sex scandal, who is our new governor-general?”. It’s really too little too late but better than nothing I suppose but it is the type of story that all the media should have been running when it was first announced, in December 2018, that David Hurley would be the next Governor-General.
The article did raise some relevant issues such as:
In 2015 then independent senator Jacqui Lambie accused then Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Mr Hurley of “covering up” or “turning a blind eye” to rape and abuse in the defence force.
“Those crimes were covered up or turned a blind eye to by those in the highest leadership positions in Australia, including our national governor-general and our NSW governor,” she said.
Mr Hurley had publicly apologised to defence force personnel who suffered abuse. (Click here to read more)
The retiring Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove was also a former Chief of the Defence Force before he was appointed Governor-General and he managed the position without any real controversy. But there was a nine-year gap between Cosgrove’s retirement from the ADF in 2005 until his appointed as Governor-General in 2014 and there doesn’t seem to have been the same amount of scandals in the Defence Force when Cosgrove was leading it. Or at least not as many that made it into the media.
Time will tell but Hurley was likely appointed for his ability to oversee government cover-ups if need be but Hurley’s own background in cover-ups at the Australian Defence Force could end up embarrassing the government.
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