Wednesday, August 8, 2012

letter to Screen Australia re FOI request

Nick Coyle
FOI co-ordinator
Screen Australia
Level 4
150 William St
Woolloomooloo 2011

Dear Nick

Your response to my FOI request makes it clear that Screen Australia considers that all of my correspondence with the organization this past few years contains evidence of my “intimidating, harassing and placing Screen Australia staff at risk.” This pretty much guarantees that the Supreme Court case will be a long one and it will not surprise me if the presiding Judge scratches his or her head in wonderment at the argument being presented by Screen Australia’s counsel to back up this assertion.

The first and most obvious observation to make about the result of my FOI request is that it does not include, as requested, the correspondence Fiona Cameron refers to in her letter of 10th Nov 2010. To refresh your memory:
“Unfortunately it appears from your correspondence that you came away from that meeting with an understanding that your application for further funding for Chanti’s World had been effectively green lit. This is not the case. Nor could it be.”
If the correspondence Fiona claims I have written does in fact exist I have been wasting the time of a lot of people by continuing to ask for it this past 18 months. (Mind you, Fiona could have identified it 18 months ago when first asked to do so!) If the correspondence does not exist, which I claim to be the case, Fiona has allowed this dispute to fester this past 18 months based on a false premise. So too have Ruth Harley and the Screen Australia Board.  Indeed, it is clearly Screen Australia’s contention that my continuing to ask Fiona to produce the correspondence is evidence of the crime for which I have been banned, as you make clear, Nick, by including the following on the first page of evidence you sent to me of my “intimidating, harassing and placing Screen Australia staff at risk,” written by myself to Fiona on 25th Nov. 2010.

Contrary to what you say in your letter, I have never suggested, in any of my correspondence that the meeting with Ross and Julia on August 25th. was “to discuss, let alone pre-empt a funding decision on, the merits of any particular documentary project.” You have set up a straw man here, Fiona, misrepresenting the context to make it seem that I came away from the meeting in the expectation that CHANTI’S WORLD “had been effectively green lit.” (The word ‘disingenuous springs to mind!) Please, Fiona, point to any one statement in any of my correspondence that suggests or even implies that I believed CHANTI’S WORLD had been green lit? You will not find one. To suggest this is an insult to both my professionalism and my integrity.

This is the question I have been asking for more than 20 months now – my continued asking of it now constituting evidence of my placing Screen Australia staff at risk!

Nick, could you please, at this late hour, provide me with copies of the correspondence that Fiona Cameron claims I wrote in which I made it clear that I believed ‘Chanti’s World’ had been greenlit. Please do not send me every email or letter I have ever sent to Fiona. I would like to have copies of the specific correspondence that Fiona is referring to. Given that it is now five months since I made this request through FOI could you please provide me with copies of this correspondence today or identify by date and mode of transmission (email or letter) when I sent them.

best wishes

James Ricketson

1 comment:

  1. James, you deserve a gold medal for perseverence and a silver medal for stupidity. You will probably win your case in the Supreme Court and have the ban lifted but it will be a Phyrric victory. All that will change is that the ban will become unofficial rather than official and there will be not a thing you can do about it.