Peter Dutton covered up a lot of corruption in the previous government and one of his puppet’s he used to do the dirty work was Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) Commissioner Jaala Hinchcliffe.
After Jaala Hinchcliffe was appointed Commissioner of the ACLEI in 2020 she ended “16 corruption investigations, 13 of which were into Home Affairs”. And who was Minister for Home Affairs? Yep, Peter Dutton.
One of the biggest corruption scandals being investigated by the ACLEI that Jaala Hinchcliffe swept under the carpet was the fraudulent $39 million paid to a company called Austal.
I published an article in October 2020 titled “Federal MP Peter Dutton covers up $39 million fraud and theft at the Australian Border Force” which starts off:
A corrupt payment of $39 million was made by the Australian Border Force to a company called Austal in 2015/2016 when federal MP Peter Dutton was in charge of Border Force. Two barristers who were meant to be investigating the matter on behalf of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) were sacked by the newly appointed commission chief, Jaala Hinchcliffe this year.
Border Force is Peter Dutton’s responsibility as he was appointed Minister for Home Affairs in December 2017 which also has oversight for Border Force. Prior to that Peter Dutton was Minister for Immigration and Border Protection from 23/12/2014 to 28/8/2018 which covers the period when the $39 million fraud and theft took place.
And as we all know Peter Dutton rules his department with an iron fist so the $39 million would not have been paid without his approval. Yet his name hasn’t, at this point, been mentioned in reports on the scandal so maybe we should start calling him Teflon Pete or Magic Pete.
In the same year Austal received the corrupt $39 million payment they donated $60,000 to the Liberal Party and $1500 to the ALP. (Click here to read more)
You don’t have to search far to know that Jaala Hinchcliffe has huge questions marks over her credibility, her performance as ACLEI Commissioner and the fact that Peter Dutton and the previous government were big beneficiaries of her questionable conduct. But more on that in a minute.
The ACLEI is now no longer operational and its staff have been rolled into the National Anti-Corruption Commission with Jaala Hinchcliffe being appointed a Deputy Commissioner of the NACC for 12 months or “until a third substantive Deputy Commissioner is appointed”. Only being given a 12 month term might be because even the NACC don’t trust her.
Jaala Hinchcliffe – Appointment as Commissioner of Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI)
Christian Porter, who was then the federal Attorney-General, announced on Friday the 7th of February 2020 that Jaala Hinchcliffe being appointed as Commissioner to lead the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI). Her start date was the following Monday the 10th of February 2020 which is very odd.
Why did Christian Porter only announce her appointment on Friday the 7th of February with her starting on Monday the 10th of February. Maybe it was because of the fact that the previous Commissioner was about to start public hearings into government corruption and they needed him gone fast.
Jaala Hinchcliffe’s background doesn’t seem one you would expect to head up a anti-corruption body like the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and in fact she seemed extremely unqualified unless you were appointing a puppet who would do as they were told. Below is from her LinkedIn profile:
The cover-up by Magic Pete who can make any corruption disappear
The SMH reported on Thursday (22/10/20):
The chief of Australia’s national anti-corruption commission rejected advice from external barristers that her agency should hold private coercive hearings as part of its investigation into suspected corruption in the Australian Border Force.
Instead, Jaala Hinchcliffe, head of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, sacked the barrister who made the recommendation and ignored his memo laying out a plan to interrogate officials suspected of making tens of millions of dollars in corrupt payments.
As well as removing Mr Hyde and Ms Tang in April, Ms Hinchcliffe also scrapped Mr Griffin’s planned public coercive hearings into corruption allegations surrounding gaming giant Crown Resorts. She removed Sydney barrister David McLure, SC, and his colleague Shipra Chordia as counsel assisting that inquiry, and instead released a limited report. That found Home Affairs gave preferential visa treatment to Crown Resorts’ high-roller gamblers, including people who had initially been refused entry on character grounds, but it made no finding of corruption. (Click here to read more)
The SHM reported (22/10/20):
“the corruption investigation into the two payments totalling $39 million had been scaled back, including scrapping hearings and standing down counsel assisting, Jonathan Hyde and Dianna Tang.”
Ms Hinchcliffe, who became head of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity in February, said she was briefed on the legal team’s strategy but a “divergence of views” over the use of further private hearings resulted in counsel leaving the case.
Senator Patrick listed Mr Hyde’s qualifications and said this disagreement “raises concerns in my mind” before alleging that Ms Hinchliffe was influenced by politicians to wind back the investigation.
“I want to be really fair to you, that this has been put to me that someone has leant on you, someone’s put pressure on you and there are so many senior people involved in this that you simply don’t want to go there,” Senator Patrick said.
These comments prompted backlash, including from deputy chair Senator Amanda Stoker who labelled it “slander” and “defamatory”. (Click here to read more)
I have no doubt based on the facts above that Jaala Hinchcliffe was appointed as Commissioner of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) to sweep under the carpet, the numerous corruption investigations she stopped, because at the least they would have been embarrassing to Peter Dutton and the government and at worst they might have exposed corruption by Peter Dutton and other Ministers and/or MP’s.
The key issue as per above is Jaala Hinchcliffe “ended 16 investigations, 13 of which were into Home Affairs” and Peter Dutton was the Minister for Home Affairs from 2017 to 2021 and the previous Commissioner of the ACLEI Michael Griffin was about the have public hearings into the $39 million Austal fraud. I suspect that would have been the end of Peter Dutton’s political career if the public hearings had taken place.
While the above raises many issues for Peter Dutton to answer it also raises many questions for Jaala Hinchcliffe, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the current government to answer.
The NACC needs to stand down Jaala Hinchcliffe until her above conduct is investigated
The NACC needs to suspend Jaala Hinchcliffe from her position at the NACC until it conducts a thorough investigation into her conduct while Commissioner of the ACLEI and the reasons behind her sweeping serious corruption allegations under the carpet when she was appointed as Commissioner of the ACLEI in 2020. For example, why she went against the legal advice of 2 barristers investigating the $39 million fraud and why she sacked them?
And was she leant on by Peter Dutton and/or the then government to cover-up the corruption which the government were well known for doing?
And why did the current government appoint her as a Deputy Commissioner of the NACC and why only for only 12 months or “until a third substantive Deputy Commissioner is appointed” when the Commissioner and 2 other Deputy Commissioners where appointed for 5 years?
As it stands there would have to be a huge concern Jaala Hinchcliffe might cover her tracks while she is at the NACC and maybe leak to Peter Dutton and/or other coalition MP’s.
Formal compliant to the NACC
I will make a formal complaint to the NACC today, Wednesday the 12th of July 2023, and keep on pushing the issue.
Obviously for the NACC to be investigating one of their own Deputy Commissioners would meet the “exceptional circumstances” rule to have public hearings which is what the public would expect and what I will push for. Failure to have pubic hearings into my complaint against Jaala Hinchcliffe would undermine the public’s confidence in the NACC and its staff.
I will update this article when I have had a response from the NACC and maybe with a video as well so check back here over the next day or so.
Update 12/7/23: I have just made a complaint to the NACC as per below:
I published the below video on the 13th of July titled: “Complaint against Peter Dutton to the NACC & also his puppet Deputy Commissioner Jaala Hinchcliffe”
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Categories: Peter Dutton