Australian taxpayers foot the bill for Dyson Heydon’s sexual harassment and abuse of power

By CFMEU National Construction Secretary, Dave Noonan

Yesterday the Morrison Government announced a settlement with the women who were sexually harassed by disgraced Liberal Party appointee to the High Court, Dyson Heydon.

The financial settlement reached between the Federal Government and the women Dyson Heydon was found to have sexually harassed is an important recognition of the harm they experienced and acknowledgement of their bravery in coming forward to expose the activities of this powerful man.

But it must be noted that Heydon continues to refuse to accept any responsibility for his behaviour and bears no sanction, financial or otherwise, for his actions.

Australian taxpayers paid for Dyson Heydon’s hatchet job on unions and workers, now we are paying his victims when he should be personally footing the bill.

The Thom inquiry into the working environment of the High Court showed Dyson Heydon to be an abuser of power.

This came as little surprise to the working people who experienced his misuse of institutional power while he headed up the Trade Union Royal Commission in 2014.

It’s telling that the Abbott Government chose to put this man in charge of their ideological pursuit of working people. The Trade Union Royal Commission was itself an abuse of institutional authority which misdirected the wide-ranging powers of a Royal Commission for purely political purposes.

It sought to destroy lives and reputations to deliver a political benefit to the conservative side of politics and has resulted in a string of wrongful arrests and failed prosecutions, along with financial payouts arising from them.

Dyson Heydon’s abuses of power should never have been enabled in the first place. They can never be allowed to be repeated.

And they sure as hell should not have to be paid for by Australian taxpayers and wage-earners who were themselves the victims of his partisan abuses of institutional power.