Section 44iv

Judith Sloan raised a fascinating question this morning – whether Ministerial advisors are an office of profit under the CrownPresumably this would include all parliamentarian staffers.

But further to that question, what about persons who receive any governmental transfers?

  • health fund rebates
  • childcare rebates
  • Centrelink benefits

What about persons who work for businesses whose main or only client is Government?

  • Consulting firms
  • IT suppliers
  • Caterers

If owning a share of a shopping center where Australia Post is a tenant may expose David Gillespie and warrant High Court review, why not the above?

It is unlikely that most of the members of the ALP and Greens , and several of the current Liberals will have ever worked for a business, but what the hey.

Given the length and breath of Government in Australia, that might not leave too many people who would be eligible for Parliamentary services.  Maybe it might create the incentive to reduce government.  One can only dream.

Over to you Attourney Brandis QC.

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20 Responses to Section 44iv

  1. Roger

    But further to that question, what about persons who receive any governmental transfers?

    Short answer: No.

    Receiving such transfers does not, in and of itself, equate to holding an office of profit under the Crown.

    And just because Spartacus can post his own threads on the Cat doesn’t mean he should.

  2. And just because Spartacus can post his own threads on the Cat doesn’t mean he should.

    Roger, Spartacus McSpartyface posts here at the behest of the Doomlord, as do many guest posters.

  3. Procrustes

    Roger, where is the law that states you must read Sparty?

  4. wal1957

    If only it were true….

    We could get rid of the bloody rabble that currently inflict themselves upon us. Happy dreams!

  5. Jim Rose

    By the way, if the mayor or an academic do not hold offices of profit under the Crown, they can keep their jobs as mayor or as professor and be a senator or member of Parliament

  6. a reader

    I’d go out on a limb and say (with no legal expertise) that an office under the Crown would refer to the Queen of Australia. The Devonport Mayor’s authority is granted by the Parliament of Tasmania at the behest of the Queen in right of Tasmania. If the Queen of Australia is different to the Queen of New Zealand etc, then surely the Queen in right of Tasmania is a different Crown to the Queen of Australia.

  7. Empire

    Receiving such transfers does not, in and of itself, equate to holding an office of profit under the Crown.

    Sure, but why isn’t a Centrelink payment considered a pension?

    (iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth; or

  8. Empire

    then surely the Queen in right of Tasmania is a different Crown to the Queen of Australia.

    I don’t think so. The “states” are not really States. Tasmania is a component of the Commonwealth of Australia. Tasmania has sovereign powers, but the Sovereign is common.

  9. a reader

    Again I’m not sure because I vaguely remember their being some debate about what would happen if, say, NSW voted no the the republic and it had been carried; i.e. could the NSW Government retain the Crown in Right of NSW as head of state whilst within the republic of Australia. I think there might have even been draft legislation drawn up just in case.

  10. I’m guessing Andrew Hastie receives some sort of pension from the army.
    That stupid sheila from Sky news who pretended to be the Premier of NSW is probably receiving some sort of pension from the NSW Government, the provision of which was signed by the Governor on behalf of the Crown.
    What happens in these circumstances, does anybody know?

    Also, I’m thinking our “Founding Fathers” weren’t half as smart as the USA ones.

  11. Empire

    Baa Humbug

    Military pensions are excluded.

    SECT 44

    Disqualification
    Any person who:

    (i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; or

    (ii) is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer; or

    (iii) is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or

    (iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth; or

    (v) has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons;

    shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

    But subsection (iv) does not apply to the office of any of the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen’s Ministers for a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen’s navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.

  12. Sydney Boy

    If owning a share of a shopping center where Australia Post is a tenant

    So if I am a member of a superannuation fund and it owns shares in a shopping centre where Australia Post is a tenant … How long do you want to draw the bow?

  13. Sydney Boy

    I’m guessing Andrew Hastie receives some sort of pension from the army.

    Military pensions are excluded.

    Regardless, Andrew Hastie does not draw a military pension. He joined in 2001 which means he contributed to a military superannuation scheme and he will not receive any benefit until he turns 65 – just like any other superannuation. The days of military pensions well over, and only those who joined up prior to 1991 are possible beneficiaries.

  14. Crossie

    That stupid sheila from Sky news who pretended to be the Premier of NSW is probably receiving some sort of pension from the NSW Government, the provision of which was signed by the Governor on behalf of the Crown.
    What happens in these circumstances, does anybody know?

    Kristina Keneally, and I agree with you description of her.

    I would like to see a law passed that says a pollie cannot keep receiving a pension for a previous stint in any parliament if they embark on a new political career.

  15. Shy Ted

    Maybe it might create the incentive to reduce government. 
    No, no, no. After consulting with two senior lawyers (initials MT and GB) we need a whole new gubberment department to look into this.

  16. Empire
    #2556862, posted on November 17, 2017 at 11:08 pm
    other responders.

    Thanks mate

  17. .

    So if I am a member of a superannuation fund and it owns shares in a shopping centre where Australia Post is a tenant … How long do you want to draw the bow?

    The trustee owns it beneficially for you. Now if you work for said fund…

  18. Aristogeiton

    10/10 legal analysis. Eat your heart our Jim Allan.

  19. JohnA

    Dot #2557425, posted on November 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    So if I am a member of a superannuation fund and it owns shares in a shopping centre where Australia Post is a tenant … How long do you want to draw the bow?

    The trustee owns it beneficially for you. Now if you work for said fund…

    Maybe but the question draws out the selective nature of screams about “conflict of interest.”

    If the pollies are doing their job for the “good” of the nation, then every citizen (including them) benefits. Therefore they are the beneficiaries of their own decisions.

    A claim of “conflict of interest” needs to demonstrate that the benefit obtained is artificial and/or special rather than accruing to the population as a whole. But even that definition has holes in it.

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