Monday, March 21, 2016

Yet another attempt to get the Commonwealth Ombudsman to ask the obvious question in relation to Screen Australia's ban.

Mr Colin Neave AM
Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
ACT 2601                                                                                           

1st March 2016

Dear Mr Neave

Following on from my letter to you of 7th Dec. 2015, to which I have received no reply. My letter to Richard Harris at Screen Australia dated 1st March 2016 (attached) speaks for itself.

I need only add a little to what I have written.

If Alyssa Harris had, back in 2011, done her job properly, asked just one question, she would have learnt that Fiona Cameron had lied and the ongoing dispute that led to my ban would never have arisen.

If your office had, in May 2102, asked Ruth Harley and the Screen Australia Board to provide at least one instance in which I had intimidated and/or placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff with my correspondence, it would have become apparent that Ruth Harley had lied and the ban would have been lifted within weeks of it being imposed.

Why has your office, for four years now, failed to ask the most obvious question:

“Where is the evidence that Mr Ricketson is guilty as charged?”

Why, in March 2016, does the office of the Ombudsman continue to refuse to ask this question? Especially when, as is abundantly clear, an Australian filmmakers career (mine) has been destroyed as a result of such a ban? Surely natural justice, if not common sense, demands that you ask this question? And if not, why not?

As I have made clear on countless occasions now, if Screen Australia can produce just one instance with which I am guilty as charged, I will accept my punishment – though I believe it to be absurd to ban a filmmaker  for any reason other than under the most exceptional of circumstances. Do such circumstances prevail here?

If you were to ask this one question Mr Neave,  and find that I am not guilty as charged, I will be vindicated. I no longer have any interest in having the ban on me lifted. Nor do I have any interest in an apology of any kind. I am interested only in having it publicly known, within the industry of which I have been a part for more than 40 years, that I neither intimidated nor placed at risk any member of Screen Australia’s staff with my correspondence.

I trust, Mr Neave, that you can bring yourself to ask this one question.

Yours sincerely

James Ricketson

cc  Senator Mitch Fifield

Three weeks after sending this letter I have yet to receive, from the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, acknowledgment that it has been received.

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