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Roman’s holiday – what else could go wrong?

“May God bless you, may God bless your work, may God bless the country you are helping to protect and prosper.”

So said Tony Abbott in July 2015 at the swearing-in of Roman Quaedvlieg, the former Queensland cop who rose to become the commissioner of Australia’s newly created Border Force, merging the frontline functions of Customs and Immigration, and who was/is expected to head Dutton’s new super agency.

Mr Quaedvlieg regularly used Twitter to update us on the doings of his new force, posting every day or two until May 24, 2017 when he all of a sudden went silent.

It was not until former Immigration Department spin doctor, Sandi Logan, asked some questions on Twitter on July 3rd that the public found out there was anything amiss.

.@DIBPAustralia co-boss @ABFComm’s long absence from duty arises from external investigation into his “activities”. Care to speculate?

.@DIBPAustralia @ABFComm has other interests these days which may be compromising his “integrity” I hear. How much longer suspended?

The next day, Michael Keenan’s office told the Sydney Morning Herald: “The ABF Commissioner is on leave. A matter is under consideration by appropriate authorities.”

A few hours later, we found out that the 52-year-old, who separated from the mother of his three children last January, had allegedly engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” with a colleague who was more than 20 years his junior and who was subsequently promoted.

Roman has been on holidays ever since on his full pay of $731,000 pa.

On October 27, Sharri Markson reported in the Telegraph that the Australian Commission for Law ­Enforcement Integrity, the independent anti-corruption agency charged with overseeing the inquiry into Mr Quaedvlieg, had “not interviewed Mr Quaedvlieg or sent him submissions. Neither has the agency seized his phone to access text messages, phone records or any other files.”

Considering the source, take this next part as you will.

Ms Markson suggests there are bigger things afoot.

Apparently, the ACLEI is “now pursuing top-secret secondary line of inquiry.”

This “second line of inquiry, not related to Mr Quaedvlieg’s girlfriend’s promotion at work, is understood to now be the focus of a separate investigation by ACLEI.”

What’s more, instead of Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo being consulted, “the report has been referred to secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, as the head of the ­public service.”

The government’s national auditor has recently produced two scathing reports which revealed how badly the offshore detention centres have been managed.

When consolidating contracts for Nauru and Manus Island in 2013 and 2014, the bid for Manus Island exceeded historical costs by between $200 million and $300 million. The report went on to state that contracts did not take into account per capita costs so, due to falling numbers of asylum seekers being detained, the cost of said detention had risen from $201,000 under Labor to $573,111 per person by December 2015.

The day the first report was released, 13 September 2016, Peter Dutton released a statement saying “Total responsibility for the problems and processes outlined in the report falls upon Labor.”

It takes some gall to say that when you are two months into your second term in government and it was your government who renegotiated the contracts.

A second report from the ANAO in January last year stated that “$1.1 billion was approved by DIBP officers who did not have the required authorisation and for the remaining $1.1 billion there was no departmental record of who authorised the payments.”

The report further stated that contract variations totalling more than $1 billion were made without a documented assessment of value for money.

The audit report also criticised the Department’s response to the issue of mould in tents on Nauru. They were warned in February 2015 that the growth on the tents did not meet the Australian Mould Guideline.

Five months later, the department entered an arrangement with Transfield to clean the mould but as of August 2016, no progress had been made in the compound housing single men.

The ANAO has conducted six audits since 2004 — a period when both Labor and Coalition governments were in power — and each identified shortcomings.

It stated that when viewed together, “the audit findings point to serious and persistent deficiencies in the department’s administration”.

Mike Pezzullo was with Australian Customs and Border Protection Service in a leadership role from 2009 until October 2014 when Tony Abbott appointed him Secretary of the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. He is now Home Affairs secretary-designate about to run a much larger and more complex department.

With a team like Dutton, Pezzullo and Quaedvlieg in charge, what could possibly go wrong?



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  1. David Bruce

    Excellent report! Where did you get the ape men photo?

  2. diannaart

    The latest shenanigans of the “do as I say, not as I do crowd”


    David – expect cry of outrage from offended apes. 🙂

  3. John Higgins

    Lock them up

  4. Alpo

    When this mob is booted out of office at the coming federal election, please check everything in and around their office…. they are going to leave taking with them everything: toilet paper, light bulbs, stationery…. they are greedy, liars and dishonest beyond comprehension…

  5. Frank Smith

    A Home Affairs Super-DepDutton, Pezullo and Quaedvliegartment headed and administered by Dutton, Pezullo and Quaedvlieg – the Third Reich’s SS is being rekindled under our noses.

    It is totally outrageous that Quaedvlieg continues to be paid a salary of $731,000 pa whilst being stood down for this length of time. How can this be possible – you are not doing the job, you don’t get paid.

  6. David Stakes

    Romans busy building dirt files, while pretending to be incapacitated in some form. Stock standard tactic is this.

  7. Miriam English

    Wow! $14,000 per week to go on holiday while screwing his job, and an underling, and the taxpayers. He must be exhausted, poor dear. Where can I get a paid holiday like that?

    What a pack of crooks.

  8. Miriam English

    The adults in charge.


  9. John O'Callaghan

    Just substitute prison garb and a number across the chest on that photo above and you have these four arseholes labeled correctly!

  10. Matters Not

    Entertain the thought that Quaedvlieg and Dutton have ‘dirt’ on each other with Roman now reminding Peter that he won’t go quietly.

    Re suspension with or without pay – that’s tricky. Witnessed people suspended without pay for months, even years, only to be found not guilty by the Court. They and their families went through very tough financial times. In at least one case, there was the loss of the family home. if a teacher, for example, is accused of child abuse, broadly defined, then it’s not wise to leave that teacher in that location until an investigation is held and legal proceedings are concluded. Sometimes it’s possible to transfer that person to a location where children are not involved but at other times that’s not possible. Hence suspension with pay becomes a realistic option.

    Over time different States proceed differently – often doing a complete somersault when a miscarriage of justice elicits public sympathy. No easy answers. But something about – justice delayed is justice denied – but I don’t think Roman would be too stressed – financially at least.

  11. Miriam English

    $14,000 a week… nah, I don’t think he’d be very stressed, financially.

    Maybe the overpayment of these idiots is half the problem.
    This TED talk comes to mind:
    Daniel Pink – The puzzle of motivation

  12. lawrencewinder

    And with a nobbled ABC, a MSM happy to produce ruling rabble/ IPA propaganda this corruption, incompetence continues generally unnoticed by the public….there would be wide-scale jailing if this were a Labor regime doing this .

  13. Cool Pete

    Rather than what could go wrong, ask what could go right? With Tone The Apribott, Adolf Heinrich Goebbels Mutton Carcass and Quadrifiddle While Rome Burns, we have an unmitigated disaster! Let us hope that prison cells await these arseholes.

  14. Kaye Lee

    I can understand leave with pay whilst an investigation is carried out. But does it take 8 months to find out if you helped your girlfriend get a job? I suppose if you never ask the question then you don’t need to deal with it.

    Kathy Jackson’s partner Michael Lawler got away with paid sick leave for over 12 months before he resigned rather than being kicked out. Cash used that as an excuse not to reveal the inquiry’s findings. He’s gone so you don’t need to know if his claims to keep his $435,000 a year salary were fraudulent or not.

    Speaking of Kathy Jackson, despite facing a total of 147 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception, 18 counts of theft and one charge of obtaining property by deception, and despite a successful lawsuit by the union ordering her to pay back $1.4 million, she will likely not face a jury until 2019.

  15. Jack Russell

    An inside job. A lot of missing money. Many clues. Plenty of mug shots and fingerprints.

    It seems that what could go wrong already has.

    The aftermath: Book? Movie? Maybe a series? Gaol sentences seem unlikely.

  16. totaram

    The way these people get away with crimes involving huge amounts of money is to be contrasted with the harsh punishment meted out to children found to have caused a small transgression, especially if they have the wrong skin colour.

    Yes, I would be terrified if I went to a restaurant in Melbourne and the waiter was “African”. No hope of getting out of there alive! Please Mr. Dutton, save us!

    And John Howard continues to live it up on millions of Govt. funds every year, when he should be in front of the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. Disgusting!

  17. GraemeF

    Were Roman and Peter even too nasty and stupid for the Qld police? They found their natural home verballing and kicking people while they are down for the Liberals.

  18. Glenn Barry

    Are we careering inexorably towards the federal equivalent of a Fitzgerald Inquiry

  19. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Currently, The ACLEI are solely responsible for the oversight of the integrity of conduct of all personnel deemed to be involved in aspects of ‘federal law enforcement’ within the entire new ‘Home Office’ super-ministry (, as well as some of the bio-security officials working within Ag & Water.

    “There are no independent mechanisms supporting federal parliamentary integrity (other than AFP investigations into criminal conduct)”.

    If, theoretically, super-minister Dutton were to fundamentally corrupt the proper functioning of the AFP, what body would be currently enabled to effectively investigate him?

  20. Kronomex

    The photo from left to right – The Four Dorkmen of the Acrapolypse


  21. crypt0

    It would seem a bit mean for roman to be sent on indefinite leave with no pay … on the other hand $14,000 per week for doing nothing seems a bit extravagant.
    How about the equivalent of Newstart Allowance without the onerous job search and form filling requirements ?
    Countless people are expected to get by on that, so I see no problem for roman while the wheels of justice grind on.
    Over generous ? Maybe.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Peter Dutton is such a turkey. In his response to the ANAO report he said “The hardworking men and women of the Department and Australian Border Force have been sleighted in this process and at various times by Labor MPs and this report demonstrates Bill Shorten owes the DIBP staff an apology.”

    FFS the man is delusional. Why the hell do people vote for him? Where is the apology to the Save the Children staff that were defamed by Morrison, Dutton and co as shown by their own Moss review?

  23. Matters Not


    does it take 8 months to find out …

    Sometimes it does. Sometimes it can take a lot longer – depending on the nature of the investigation – the allegations made – the credibility of the accuser(s) – the priority afforded by the police and then by the DPP. Is it criminal? An infringement of PS Regulations? Lots of variables.

    There’s so much we don’t know about Roman’s alleged indiscretion(s). But that’s the downside of the ‘operational matters’ non-disclosure cover-ups. Keep the punters in the dark (deliberately) and they will speculate. Thus – I’ve heard on good authority that Roman was engaged in unnatural acts with a Border Force Labrador. And he was caught in this act by his current girlfriend who is a dog fancier. It’s she who made the allegations but the canine in question refuses to co-operate. Both then and now. Hence the delay. (That ‘delay” being the Dutton explanation.)

    Now prove me wrong!

  24. Kaye Lee

    Ms Markson reported “After she won the job [at Sydney airport], an employee who discovered their relationship lodged a complaint about her promotion. It is believed the nature of communications on their mobile phones could shed light on the issue.”

    Seems to me it would take 5 minutes to find out if Quaedvlieg organised the job for his g/f. Ask whoever gave her the job. It may take a little while to find out the truth but to not even have questioned him during his 8 months’ leave (or look at the reportedly incriminating phone messages) doesn’t present any concerns to you MN?

    Is Markson right about there being another secret line of inquiry about a different matter? Because a job for the g/f seems a somewhat trivial matter to take this long. Jobs for the boys and girls is a matter of course with this lot.

  25. Michael Taylor

    As an ex-Public Servant who was active in some rather complex investigations I can attest that eight months is somewhat of a stretch.


    1. Someone keeps throwing a spanner in the works.
    2. They develop into a criminal investigation.
    3. The findings don’t pan out as planned (more prevalent under a LNP Government, in which case No. 1 is reverted to).

    But I repeat, eight months is a bit over the top.

  26. Matters Not

    KL, I suspect (strongly) that Roman is guilty as sin – But I suggest that he made some efforts to distance himself from the appointment process. (Again I don’t have a clue as to that process.) It may take time to unravel (and then work out how best to mask same.)

    Seems to me that Dutton has a big problem.

    As I suggested earlier, Roman and Peter know how important it is to get compromising info. Thus, Peter can’t throw Roman to the wolves at this point.

  27. Matters Not

    Re compromising info and the role of the constabulary. Worked with Ministers who became Police Ministers and Public Servants who either headed up the civilian side of the police force or who became significant players in same. They quickly learnt that the police force is highly political – in the sense that members are always on the look out for potentially compromising info. Any ‘happenings’ that can be recorded and used against you – somewhere down the track. It’s a case of never let a chance go by.

    Some may recognise the name Ken Wiltshire – a recent reviewer along with Kevin Donnelly of the National Curriculum – and some may recall that once upon a time the Nats and the Libs were at each other’s throats here in QLD. Nothing was off limits. Thus Wiltshire, when driving, was subject to repeated breath analysis. I don’t think he mentions that these days – but he did!

    For a more detailed analysis; here’s a good read. Follow the links.

    ROGER SCOTT. Joh Bjelke-Petersen – 1987 in retrospect.

  28. Kaye Lee

    What a sorry existence some people have gathering and saving dirt on each other. It seems to be particularly popular in Queensland. When James McGrath paid for dirt files on Labor MPs he was “strongly reprimanded” until the next election where he all of a sudden moved from disgraced campaign worker to Senator.

    Ooh Ah James McGrath

  29. Matters Not

    It seems to be particularly popular in Queensland.

    Maybe? But I suspect that it’s the nature of base politics – wherever and whenever. But perhaps it’s not for tender ears? If so then I apologise for ‘truth telling’ and encouraging people to come out of Plato’s metaphorical cave into the harsh reality of everyday political life.

  30. Kaye Lee

    If I ever had “tender ears” they have long since grown the resilience necessary to commentate on political shenanigans. I am continually reminded that the behaviour I would never accept from the children I taught, or my own children, or my colleagues and acquaintances, is just every day business for politicians. It disgusts me.

  31. Matters Not

    Kl while it may disgust most people (and it ought), it’s the political reality

    Want to change things? Then recognise the is before advocating the ought. Politically – it helps.

    Or maybe there’s another path or process I haven’t heard of? If so? Then please advise.

  32. Kaye Lee

    You have read enough of what I write to know that I recognise what is. That does not mean I must condone or accept it.

  33. Matters Not

    Kl. I am the cynic. You’re not there yet. And perhaps you will never arrive. That’s probably a good (and right) result. So I encourage you to continue your endeavours. Until then, I enjoy your contribution(s) because I think you encourage others to wake from their slumbers.

  34. Kaye Lee

    My mantra in life has always been tell me the truth and we can sort it out from there. I was quietly minding my own business until the possibility of Tony Abbott becoming PM reared its ugly head. Having known Tony during our uni days, I was flabbergasted. I HATE being lied to so they made me get off my bum and start calling them out. I share your cynicism but I refuse to lie down and roll over.

  35. Rob

    Eight months is way too long. As long as the L-NP are in charge they hope this will disappear and everything will be back to normal or pay out ABF Commissioner or blame someone else. Nepotism is the scourge of the APS these days why shold the ABF be any different. Conflict of interest but not on turnbuills watch

  36. Terry2

    The Integrity Commission though well-resourced, has conceded that it has had an increased workload since the Immigration Department was included in its remit two years ago. Nearly half of all its corruption investigations relate to the Immigration Department (now Home Affairs), according to its 2016-17 annual report.

    Back in October they anticipated that they would have this matter of Quaedvlieg resolved before the end of 2017. That hasn’t happened, does that mean that this investigation has opened a can of worms at ABF under Dutton’s chaotic ministerial oversight ?

    To have dragged on for so long is either because they are not receiving cooperation from those involved or it’s a much bigger problem than they originally thought.

  37. Zathras

    I can only imagine the howling and screeching from the media if this happened under Labor’s watch.

    I thought the “personally anointed-by-Abbott” Kathy Jackson and the subsequent Michael Lawler sick leave was bad enough but again, the voters and taxpayers are being played for mugs while the Government’s buddies continue to plunder the taxpayer vault with impugnity.

  38. corvus boreus

    The Jackson + Lawler fiasco is perfect demonstration of the cracks in the current systems of oversight and investigation.
    I shall present the saga in 3 parts due to multiple links..

    I am unaware of Tony Abbott having any direct involvement in the rise of Kathy Jackson, but he personally appointed Michael Lawler to the commissioned position of 2IC at Fair Work Australia back in 2002.
    In this role, Lawler met Jackson and they proceeded to mesh and meld..
    Lawler subsequently not only directly influenced, interfered, arbitrated, and adjudged in matters of his job that directly pertained to his live-in sexual partner despite obvious conflicts of interest, but was the direct beneficiary of Jacksons misdeeds..

    Lawler was a shacked-up shag-mate of Jackson throughout the time she was stealing funds from various work sources and splurging lavishly on personal luxuries (trips abroad, shopping sprees, nights on the town, baubles, bubbles and blow)
    When Jackson eventually faced charges in both civil and criminal courts (civil came first), Lawler took a six-figure nine month sickie and used his time off time to vigorously help his beau conduct her legal defense. .


  39. corvus boreus

    Before Kathy Jackson was successfully sued in the civil courts by the HSU (for $1.4m), she transferred most of her accumulated wealth directly to Michael Lawler (including ‘selling’ him a $1,300,000 property for $65,000) before declaring herself bankrupt.

  40. corvus boreus

    Now Kathy Jackson is in the criminal courts .
    It is possible we may even end up having to foot the money for her legal defense.

    Meanwhile, there is the strange case of the deceased former bigwig who, whist dying doddered with dementia, bequeathed power of attorney and a lerge slice of his fortune to the dubious duo.


  41. corvus boreus

    My original point being, as Kathys case drags interminably on, all the while subject to legal restrictions on media report, there seems to be absolutely no pursuit of any investigative avenues to bring some accountability to Lawler for all his nefarious actions, let alone any consequential blowback for the the politician who appointed and enabled him.

    We need a federal ICAC ASAP.

  42. Kaye Lee

    Jackson lost the civil case in August 2015. The criminal case will have yet another directions hearing in May 2017 “but she appears unlikely to face a jury until 2019.”

    Four years when the RC already had all the evidence.

    Craig Thomson, on the other hand, was found guilty in March 2014 and sentenced to 12 months jail, a decision which he appealed.

  43. Zathras

    Both Abbott and Pyne publicly lauded Jackson in Parliament for her “heroic whistleblowing” and she was later invited to speak at a meeting of the HR Nicholls Society where she railed against Union corruption to an appreciative audience.

    Her legal costs were initially provided “pro bono” by the Right Wing Legal firm of Harmers – the same deal as provided for James Ashby when he looked like claiming Slipper’s seat for Abbott.

    When their usefulness had passed, political and financial support was removed and both were dumped.

    If that isn’t deliberate political involvement by the Liberal Party in the affair, I don’t know what is but they were helped enormously by a compliant and conspiratorial media who published several false and distorted stories.

    I just hope it eventually all comes back in a big way into the public arena and shows the Liberals for the conniving, lying hypocrites they really are. That’s not to totally absolve the ALP but it’s the Libs who are proven Masters of the Smear.

    I totally agree with the need for a Federal ICAC.

  44. corvus boreus

    Meanwhile, as the fates of the two union people are weighted with variant scales of justice, Lawler, an Abbott appointment into a senior public service commission, thus far appears to be skating away not only entirely scot-free but substantially enriched.

  45. Evelyn Hogan

    I do not know why Kaye Lee even raised the issue of the new girlfriend who, at 20 years younger than a 52 year old man, is around 32 and therefore well and truly over the age when these consenting adults should be of concern to the general public. Nepotism is another matter. You need to prove lack of merit and proper recruitment process. But I understand with replacing permanent, full-time public servants with contractors, merit, a proper recruitment process, and value for money considerations is out the door in many cases not just regarding Quaedvlieg’s new lover.

  46. Phil

    The Turnbull alleged government is surely doing a damned good impersonation of the NSW Rum Corps.

    This alleged government is furiously digging in behind a huge law and order propaganda campaign and it is going to extend right through 2018.

    Its already well underway – punishing people lower on the pecking order (always a winner with febrile Aussies), vilifying people with dark skin, especially folk with origins in African countries (few such nations most Aussies can even name).

    This is exactly what happens when a national government refuses to even consider setting up an independent commission against corruption.

    The Turnbull alleged government is rotten to the core, corrupt and corrupted, and none of its ministers gives a shit – why should they – the Australian public has thrown up their hands and simply walked away as they always do when the going gets tough.

    The conservative sharks are circling – they intend to kill, and given the opportunity thats exactly what they will achieve.

  47. corvus boreus

    Since 1901 federation, no Australian federal government (and few of those in opposition) has countenanced the notion of establishing an independent federal anti-corruption commission, which is why we have never had one.
    I would say it seems that, when asked, most (4/5) of us common plebs seem very amenable to the idea;
    but add that, on this issue, the wishes of this majority demographic are not particularly well represented, democratically speaking.

  48. paul walter

    Well, children.

    Welcome to the New Reich.

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