Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Ruth Harley's dilemma
Ruth Harley is confronted with a dilemma. If she sues me for defamation, as she has hinted Screen Australia might, she will have to identify the correspondence which, she claims, contains evidence that I have placed Screen Australia staff at risk. If the correspondence does not support Ruth’s claims it is she who will have a lot of egg on her face. The same applies to any form of conciliation or mediation that might occur and which I have suggested. This would also necessitate that an independent arbiter scrutinize the correspondence looking for evidence of harassment, intimidation and placing Screen Australia staff at risk. If no such evidence can be found, the conciliation route also has the potential to result in a lot of egg on Ruth’s face. More importantly, a lack of evidence in support of Ruth’s claims would raise the question: How is it that a filmmaker can be banned on the basis of correspondence that does not exist? Or, to put it another way: How is it that a filmmaker can be banned on the basis of correspondence that does not contain evidence of harassment, intimidation and placing Screen Australia staff at risk?
I had hoped that lodging a complaint with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal would at least force Ruth to identify the offending correspondence but to lodge a complaint would cost me in excess of $700 – money that I do not have.
Something else that would emerge from an independent enquiry would be that there is only one member of Screen Australia staff to whom I have sent emails who is not a member of senior management or Chair of the Screen Australia Board. With this one exception, all of my correspondence has been directed at Ross Mathews, Fiona Cameron, Ruth Harley and Glen Boreham. I have copied this correspondence to others in the documentary section of Screen Australia who have an interest in my dispute or who have played some small part in it. I could, if need be, publish my emails to the one staff member who is not a member of senior management but am loathe to do so – not because they contain evidence of the crimes for which I have been accused but because the publication of them would cause unnecessary hurt to someone who is actually an innocent bystander.
Excuse me for belabouring the point but in none of my letters or emails have I ever used abusive language or made threats of any kind. All that I have done is ask questions and requested that I be provided with answers based on facts and not spin. This will become apparent in the fullness of time one way or another.