Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is a banned filmmaker entitled to be provided, by Screen Australia, with evidence of his alleged crime?

Senator Mitch Fifield
Minister for Communications and the Arts
Level 2
4 National Circuit
Barton, ACT 2600                                                                                          

18th Jan 2016

Dear Senator Fifield

It is now close to six weeks since I wrote my second letter to you regarding the ban placed on me by Screen Australia. And 12 weeks since I wrote my first.

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that whoever deals with correspondence to yourself has decided that mine can be (and should be) ignored. This has been the case for close to 4 years now!

I have been waiting now for around 44 months to be provided with evidence that I am guilty of the crime I have been charged with committing – intimidating and placing at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff with my correspondence. The truth of the matter, if anyone in your office were to look at the facts, as opposed to the spin, (and this applies to the Office of the Ombudsman as well) is that both Fiona Cameron and Ruth Harley played fast and loose with the truth in order to silence a critic; defamed me to the SA board in order to dispose of a filmmaker whom they considered to be a nuisance for defending myself when statements were placed by Fiona on file that were demonstrably untrue.

I have said all this countless time and will continue to do so until justice prevails.

If this letter makes it to your desk, if it is not binned by whoever is acting on your behalf, I trust that you will remember your responsibilities as minister:

• it is the expectation of the people who write to ministers that they will receive a reply, however brief;
• correspondence should be handled expeditiously and, where a timely reply is not possible, an interim acknowledgment giving reasons for the delay should be sent;
• replies should contain an expression of genuine appreciation of the correspondence and make specific reference, however minimal, to at least some of the key points or issues raised; and
• replies should be signed by someone at an appropriate level.

Please instruct Screen Australia to provide me with one instance in which I have, with my correspondence, intimidated and/or placed staff members at risk. If no instance can be found an acknowledgment of this should be forthcoming from the Screen Australia board.

best wishes

James Ricketson

cc Graeme Mason, Nerida Moore
     Commonwealth Ombudsman
     Screen Australia Board

     Australian Directors Guild

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