Thursday, July 14, 2016

I wonder if any letters sent to the Minister for the Arts ever reach his desk?!

Senator Mitch Fifield
Minister for Communications and the Arts
Level 2, 4 National Circuit
Barton, ACT 2600         
12th July 2016

Dear Senator Fifield

Receipt of my letter of 19th April has not been acknowledged by your office.  The same is true of all correspondence I send to you.

Since April 19th I have copied various letters to you relating to Screen Australia’s ban on me.

Perhaps this matter has not been brought to your attention by members of your staff whose task it is to read my correspondence?

For more than four years I have been asking Screen Australia to provide me with evidence that I intimidated, harassed and placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff with my correspondence prior to May 2012. Ruth Harley, Fiona Cameron, Graeme Mason and the Screen Australia board refuse to do so. I have requested of the Ombudsman that he ask Screen Australia to provide evidence. He refuses to do so. And I have asked you several times now to request of Screen Australia that it provide me with evidence. I have done so in accordance with the Screen Australia Act of 2008:

Part Seven – Other matters

44  Ministerial direction
             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, give written directions to the Board:
                     (a)  in relation to the performance of the functions of, and the exercise of powers of, Screen Australia; or
                     (b)  requiring the provision of a report or advice on a matter that relates to any of Screen Australia’s functions or powers.

At any time since you became Minister for the Arts you could have given “written directions to the Board… requiring the provision of a report…” relating to the ban on myself. You have chosen not to do so. My multiple requests for evidence in support of the ban on me have fallen on deaf ministerial ears.

In the absence of any resolution to this dispute based on facts, evidence, and not mere allegations in the very near future I will be left with no choice but to commence legal action against Screen Australia.

best wishes

James Ricketson

cc Graeme Mason Chief Executive Officer, Screen Australia
Ms Louise Vardanega, Australian Government Solicitor (acting)
Mr Kent Purvis, Office of the Ombudsman

Kingston Anderson, Australian Director’s Guild.

As with all my correspondence to the Minister for the Arts I sent this letter via Caroline Fulton, with the following note attached:

Dear Caroline Fulton

You are, it appears, the gate-keeper who decides which matters are brought to the attention of the Minister for the Arts and which can be safely ignored. Given that you have not had the professional courtesy to respond to any email from me this past four years and do not return phone calls my guess is that I fall into the “can be safely ignored” category. Please do place the attached letter on file, however, along with the many others I have written this past four years as I have sought to be provided with evidence that, prior to May 2012, I intimidated, harassed and placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff.

best wishes

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