RiotACT seeks legal advice – tell us what you think?

By 12 December 2007 60

It’s nice to know that with everything going on his life, including being flung out of the Assembly Liberals to a lonely existence on the cross benches, Richard Mulcahy has time to keep an eye on RiotACT.

To the point where his staff had time to threaten us with dire consequences for quoting the text on the AIRC’s website.

It started with this email:

Please see attached order from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

In order to comply with the order of the Commission, please remove the below post.
Any subsequent posts attempting to publish transcripts from this matter should not be allowed to appear on the RiotAct.

Yours sincerely

Robert Ayling
Senior Adviser to Richard J Mulcahy MLA
Member for Molonglo

Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory
Civic Square, London Circuit (GPO Box 1020)
PH: (02) 6205 0111
FAX: (02) 6205 3002

You should scan this message and any attached files for viruses. The author accepts no liability for any loss caused either directly or indirectly by a virus arising from the use of this message or any attached file. This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient then you should not disseminate, distribute or reproduce this email. If you have received this message in error, can you please notify the author immediately and delete the original message.

Please consider the environment before printing this email.


I can not see what all the fuss is about:

Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Case: 2006/76
s.278(1) RAO Schedule – Commission to be advised of breaches of Part or rules Application/Notification by Australian Hotels Association-New South Wales Branch


15 November 2007
09 October 2007
18 September 2007
23 November 2006

Comment by sallyann60 — 12 December, 2007 @ 10:29 am

The attachment he’s referring to can be found here.

I had some problems with this and answered thusly:

From: John Griffiths []
Sent: Wednesday, 12 December 2007 1:30 PM
To: Ayling, Robert
Subject: Re: Post on thread ‘So it goes.

I’m sorry Robert but I’m struggling to see how that order prohibits quoting from the AIRC website.

Which got me this reply:

Thank you for your response.

Suggest that you take legal advice on publication.

This exchange is coloured by a history of wild threats by Richard when he wants to silence comment he finds inconvenient.

So RA legal eagles… Surely if the AIRC has left it on it’s website we’re hardly in contempt to quote it?

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60 Responses to
RiotACT seeks legal advice – tell us what you think?
el ......VNBerlinaV8 10:01 pm
12 Dec 07

el ……VNBerlinaV8 said :

So RA legal eagles… Surely if the AIRC has left it on it’s website we’re hardly in contempt to quote it?

I can’t figure out what the fuss is all about, either. Do we assume that:

The AIRC received a similar threat?

Or, that it’s just attempted (and likely to fail) bullying over something that no-one is really likely to have that much interest in in the first place?

el ......VNBerlinaV8 10:03 pm
12 Dec 07

Oh, I get it – they want it removed because it’s a document relating to the alleged corrupt behaviour of Richard Mulcahy.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 10:03 pm
12 Dec 07

(Hi Google!)

Deadmandrinking 10:21 pm
12 Dec 07

I don’t know much about the internet legal jungle, but I have seen bits on and other sites of that ilk where website owners have demanded that links to areas of their sites be taken down.

But I assume that would warrant an email from the AIRC itself, not Richard Mulcahy. He’s in the bloody opposition anyway, it’s not like he works for them.

johnboy 10:24 pm
12 Dec 07

No question, if the AIRC wanted a takedown we’d jump to it.

Cameron 10:29 pm
12 Dec 07

I doubt that Mulcahy could challenge the existence of that very limited information on RA when it already exists on the internet (and will forever anyway).

He could possibly challenge the fact that it is on the internet at all, but then he’d be taking on the AIRC and internet caches everywhere.

Let the AIRC ask you to remove it. Then we can just replace it with a link to the information on the AIRC website anyway.

It occurs to me VNBerlinaV8 that the more mentions we get in here (in contextual relevance) regarding the alleged corrupt behaviour of Richard Mulcahy, the higher the pagerank this page will likely receive when people search for it.

Merry Christmas, Dick.

Vic Bitterman 10:30 pm
12 Dec 07


Ignore it. Pathetic really.

mojo filter 10:38 pm
12 Dec 07

The AIRC order looks clear to me. It says: “Thou shalt not poblish the TRANSCRIPT of proceedings.”

But that doesn’t prevent anyone from referring to the case or referring to the transcripts. Given that the AIRS has now pulled them off its website it would be very difficult to publish them anyway.

I suggest you write back to Mr Ayling and say that you have taken legal advice and it suggests he take legal advice about his legal advice

johnboy 10:38 pm
12 Dec 07

The thing I find most disturbing is to think what environments Richard came through which reward this sort of bullying.

Cameron 10:41 pm
12 Dec 07

Oh, and hi to Jessica Wright and the other ‘journalists’ at the CT who are no doubt going to be using this (without attribution) for their ‘opinion piece’ in tomorrow’s ‘news’paper.

Neocom 10:45 pm
12 Dec 07

Have you contacted the AIRC to ask if they consider your actions in contravention of the order?

It appears to me you are not breaking any laws by posting a link to something that is clearly on the public record.

Perhaps you could seek advice from a site like Crikey?

grundy 10:48 pm
12 Dec 07

Here comes the ‘Streisand effect’!

johnboy 10:51 pm
12 Dec 07

Hmmm “Streisand effect”, a new term for good old fashioned craphouse media relations.

ant 10:53 pm
12 Dec 07

Scientologist Effect, more like. Tried and true tactics for them.

Cameron 10:56 pm
12 Dec 07

You know JB, I would suggest that RA is more at risk (a not at all significant risk, just more of one) as a result of publishing the email from this Robert Ayling character (unfortunately, my quick Google search only tells me he shares a name with a prominent pom businessman and that he is – or probably now was the Woden branch secretary of the libs) when the email quite clearly identifies it as confidential.

But then again, Mr Ayling would have a few hoops to jump through to make that happen.

hk0reduck 10:58 pm
12 Dec 07

There’s a typo in that document.

There is no s 365(5) in the workplace regulations act.

There is however a section 356(5) which states “Trade secrets etc. tendered as evidence … The Federal Court or Commission may direct that evidence given in a proceeding before it, or the contents of a document produced for inspection, must not be published.”

In the same way that Torrent websites are considered illegal for ‘making available’ or ‘publishing’ stolen material even though they don’t host this material and are simply pointing out where to get it. It could be seen that you are breaking the act.

Then again I’m not a lawyer :)

johnboy 10:59 pm
12 Dec 07

Au contraire Cameron:

intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed

We are the intended recipient, and we are making use.

If there had been some “not for publication” flags we would have at least spent more time weighing the public benefit considerations.

johnboy 11:00 pm
12 Dec 07

There is no s 365(5) in the workplace regulations act.

There is however a section 356(5) which states “Trade secrets etc. tendered as evidence

Interesting, mis-citing legisaltion has been a recurring theme of our dealings with Richard’s goons.

hk0reduck 11:04 pm
12 Dec 07

Mojo, the AIRC haven’t pulled them down from their website.

Cameron 11:04 pm
12 Dec 07

Well, one could argue that sole use means do not publish.

Anyway, I was trying to point out that the flimsy disclaimer at the bottom of his email signature carries more weight re: his email than his threat re: the AIRC stuff does.

jemmy 11:18 pm
12 Dec 07

Just to note that spin doctors in particular often claim various legal privileges that they don’t have or that don’t even exist. It’s just to intimidate the recipient.

If someone writes to you and claims the contents have various caveats (confidential etc), it’s entirely up to you. You didn’t agree to them before they wrote to you, and merely reading them doesn’t mean you then agree to them then either. It’s similar to those old-style EULAs that were inside the box and that you accepted by opening the box. Not valid at all.

Cameron 11:41 pm
12 Dec 07

Exactly. Given how useless his email disclaimer is, and it is more of a realistic threat than his other rubbish…

I was in a year-long legal battle fought based on the plaintiff claiming the validity of similarly worded documents where there was supposed to be implied acceptance of terms based on passive action. We won.

Pandy 1:12 am
13 Dec 07

Frack him

Cameron 3:59 am
13 Dec 07

Ah, the obligatory BSG reference. Love it.

nyssa76 7:21 am
13 Dec 07

I wouldn’t worry about it. If they are available on the AIRC website, then the AIRC have ‘breached’ their own order by publishing the details for all to see.

It’s just a case of PR madness and childish tantrums.

Until you are formally ordered by the AIRC to take it off the site, I wouldn’t do it.

chester 7:23 am
13 Dec 07

Contact them.

They’re the sort of people you want to make friends with anyway.

I’m surprised you’d say this JB:
“The thing I find most disturbing is to think what environments Richard came through which reward this sort of bullying.”

It’s the way business is done in this town on both sides of politics and the extent to which information is being successfully withheld via such stonewalling is staggering.

I love that I need to know that Michael Hutchence may have hung himself while indulging in some risky auto-eroticism in a London hotel room, but apparently I don’t need to know why the ACT Chief of Police knocked herself in similar circumstances.

From the sublime to the ridiculous………..

hk0reduck 7:51 am
13 Dec 07

The penalty for this infringement is $2,200.00.

Thumper 8:18 am
13 Dec 07

So, a public document is not allowed to be public?

barking toad 8:19 am
13 Dec 07

Methinks Robert is struggling to make his position seem relevant seeing as he’ll be looking for alternative employment soon.

He is on a power trip, probably getting off on Kate’s failed old slogan.

Just another idle threat by someone with relevance deprivation syndrome. He should join the greens.

Thumper 8:32 am
13 Dec 07

I’m starting to think that Stefaniac and co, for all their shortcomings, have done the correct thing by removing the erstwhile Mulcahey from the party.

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