Category Archives: Latest news from Media Outlets

Comments from other media commentators

Federal diversity jurisdiction

NCAT Fact Sheet
Federal diversity jurisdiction
Do the parties in your matter permanently reside in different States? If so, NCAT may not be  able to determine your matter due to federal constitutional law.

(Open original document here – ncat_factsheet_federal_diversity_jurisdiction )


What types of matters are
In February 2017 the Court of Appeal handed down
a decision (Burns v Corbett; Gaynor v Burns
[2017] NSWCA 3) that indicates that NCAT may not
be able to determine matters between residents of
different States. These matters are sometimes said
to be within ‘federal diversity jurisdiction’. It is a
complicated question which matters might be
affected. Generally there must be two natural
people involved and at the time of lodging one must
be a permanent resident of one State and the
opposing party must be a resident of a different
There is no ‘diversity jurisdiction’ problem if one of
the parties is a corporation, a NSW government
agency, a resident of a territory, or a non-permanent
resident of a different State. In addition, there is no
problem if the matter does not involve the Tribunal
exercising judicial power, for example because it is
an administrative review matter in the Administrative
and Equal Opportunity or Occupational Divisions.

What happens if there is a
‘diversity jurisdiction’ problem?
You still apply to NCAT and NCAT will attempt to
help you come to an agreed settlement with the
other party. However, if you do not settle your
dispute or you want to have the agreed settlement
registered and enforced, you will need to go to the
Local or District Court, depending on the size of the
claim. The court is able to make the same orders
that NCAT could have made.

If you go to one of the courts, you will need to take
the following documents with you.

• A copy of the letter from NCAT that tells you that
NCAT declines to hear your matter.

• A copy of the application you lodged at NCAT
• If settlement reached, a copy of the agreed

You will also need to complete the relevant court
Summons and Affidavit. There is a link to these
documents on the NCAT website.

Can you go to the court

If an Act says that NCAT is the only body which can
deal with your matter (for example, the AntiDiscrimination
Act 1977 or s 119 of the Residential
Tenancies Act 2010) – no. For those matters, the
Local or District Court can grant leave for the
application or appeal to be made to the court only if it
is satisfied that the application or appeal was first
made to NCAT.
If a court as well as NCAT can determine your
matter – yes, you can go directly to the court.
Will I have to pay additional
In most cases, you will not need to pay any
additional fees. An additional fee may be payable if
there is a significant change compared to the
application originally lodged with NCAT.
When will the changes
These arrangements are effective from 1 December
2017 due to the commencement of the Justice
Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 2017. If your
matter has been dismissed/declined prior to that
date you will receive a letter shortly outlining your
options or you can contact the NCAT Registry on
1300 006 228.

Further information
If you want more information about how the court will
deal with your matter, go to Part 3A, Diversity
Proceedings of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Act 2013.

Getting help
LawAccess NSW provides legal information,
referrals and in some cases, advice for people who
have a legal problem in NSW.
Tel: 1300 888 529 TTY: 1300 889 529 TIS: 131 45
Contact NCAT
1300 006 228 |
For more information and assistance visit the NCAT
website or contact NCAT
1300 006 228


Sydney firm acts pro bono in HCA vilification case

Legal proceedings, scales of justice

A self-proclaimed “out loud and proud” law firm based in Sydney’s Newtown has appeared in the High Court of Australia on behalf of Garry Burns.

Mr Burns appealed to the HCA following a determination in 2016 that despite being a victim of homophobic vilification, he had no standing to pursue the matter in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal because the alleged perpetrators were not residents of New South Wales.

The gay rights activist was attempting to sue political aspirant and Katter Party of Australia candidate Tess Corbett, who made comments in the Hamilton Spectator in 2013. Ms Corbett told the publication that she did not want “gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in my kindergarten” and associated homosexuals with paedophiles.

“Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights,” Ms Corbett was quoted as saying.

When Queensland’s Senate hopeful Bernard Gaynor later endorsed Ms Corbett’s statements, he was suspended him from the Katter Party Australia.

In January last year the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Ms Corbett’s comments had vilified homosexual people. She was ordered by the tribunal to place a public apology in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Burns sought a court-imposed fine against the former candidate for the federal seat of Wannon in western Victoria when she failed to publish an apology.

On appeal, the Supreme Court of NSW said that the tribunal did not have the jurisdiction to deal with either Ms Corbett or Mr Gaynor. Mr Burns subsequently took the matter to the HCA.

Dowson Turco partner Nicholas Stewart (pictured) offered to represent Mr Burns pro bono for the costs aspect of his HCA appearance.

“This is a very technical matter and we are grateful for Garry’s instructions to act pro bono,” Mr Stewart said.

“Without Garry, the LGBTI community would be behind the times and the fact that his matter is before the highest court in our country is testament to his drive for justice for our community.”

The lawyers appeared before the court last week. [Outcome here].

Sonja Freeman, one of the lawyers at Dowson Turco, said that the firm had celebrated recent legal milestones for LGBTI rights, such as marriage equality and LGBTI rights in the Family Court. She noted that efforts to help Mr Burns’ vilification case were just as important.

“Garry Burns is a brave and unrelenting advocate of the Australian LGBTI community. He has fought tirelessly to prevent homophobic discrimination and to bring about a safer environment for the LGBTI community,” Ms Freeman said.

“We want to assist Garry to ensure that tribunals in NSW can assist victims of discrimination and vilification even when perpetrators are located interstate,” she said.

Stop Unlawful Vilification Against Gays


My name is Garry Burns. I am a gay Australian Anti-Discrimination Campaigner who lives in Sydney.

I have been a victim of a gay hate crime on three separate occasions suffering serious injury on one of those occasions.

Gary Burns – Australian Anti-Discrimination Campaigner

My recovery has been to become a successful and prolific political activist against gay hate vilification / discrimination.

My work under the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act ( 1977 ) is public interest work. I do not seek any personal damages for myself but run those cases in the promotion of tolerance & understanding for GLBTI community.

I am now seeking special leave to the High Court of Australia in relation to Jurisdictional & Constitutional issue in relation to one of my matters.

I receive no public funding from the Federal or NSW Government’s to assist me in this work. I have been doing this work since 2002.

I fund all this work by myself but costs are escalating and I’m now seeking donations from those in the community who support the removal of discrimination / vilification against everyone regardless of sexual orientation.

I have costs to pay in relation to filing fees, ink , paper, travel expenses etc. There are fees to pay and I now need your help. I also have to pay part costs to a Plaintiff in a Court of Appeal decision that went against me earlier this year.

Any monetary help no matter how small is greatly appreciated.

Gosford Anglican Church Lifts Billboard Game With YES YES To Marriage Equality

Gosford Anglican Church Lifts Billboard Game With YES YES To Marriage Equality

According to Bower, before last night’s 6 o’clock mass, 200,000 people had read the above post, while by Sunday morning that number had gone up to three quarters of a billion.

The Facebook page updated their profile photo yesterday to Australian Marriage Equality‘s rainbow Australia logo. They also updated their cover photo to a picture from the Republic of Ireland‘s Yes Equality campaign, which saw the notoriously religious nation vote ‘Yes’ in a referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015.

Gosford Anglican Church posted a pro-marriage equality billboard on Monday as the LNPmet to discuss the issue, and another on Friday, which pushed congregants to register with the Australian Electoral Commission.

In that post, Bower says that while he is opposed to the plebiscite, he will participate and vote yes. He also points to the unintended consequences of the huge amount of extra people now registered to vote – “several hundred thousand millennials start[ing] to participate in the political process“.

In Bower’s sermon today, he tried to extrapolate the dynamics of the same-sex marriage debate already unfolding in this country by talking about people who fit neatly into mainstream society as ‘on a boat’, while those on the fringes in marginalised communities are outside of that boat.

He used that metaphor to talk about people being disrespectful of other’s views on social media, and the opportunity presented by – whodathunkit? – actually listening to each other.

It will be a conversation between people who are firmly in the boat, and people who have always been tossed around, on the margins, outside the boat in the storm.

No matter whether we agree with marriage equality or whether we think marriage is between a man and a woman, we oughta be able to be in our boat, but we need to be able to hear the cries of those who are being tossed around on the waves.

There is an insistent call to grow, to develop, to get out of the boat. When we get out of that boat and start engaging with people who may be different to us – who may have different views, who may have a different idea about what that boat should be like – when we start getting our feet wet, we’ll all of a sudden discover that we have begun to climb the mountain.

Mr GayNor had no chance of leave being granted – Looses AGAIN

Far-right campaigner Bernard Gaynor fails to overturn dismissal from army

Iraq war veteran-turned-reservist sacked from Australian defence force after saying he did not want gay people teaching his children

  Australian Associated Press – Friday 18 August 2017 
Bernard Gaynor says Australian Defence Force is ‘marching to the beat of a very political tune, drummed up by those who demand gay marriage’.
 Bernard Gaynor says Australian Defence Force is ‘marching to the beat of a very political tune, drummed up by those who demand gay marriage’. Photograph: Richard Wainwright, STR/AAP

Far-right campaigner Bernard Gaynor has lost his bid to overturn his dismissal from the Australian defence force.

Gaynor won a case against the ADF in 2015, claiming that sacking him in 2013 for publicly criticising policies aimed at reducing discrimination towards women and homosexuals had breached his right to free speech.

But the federal court later ruled the ADF was within its rights to sack the former major and Iraq war veteran-turned-reservist.

During a complex hearing at the high court in Brisbane on Friday, justices Anthony Keane and James Edelman were told the appeal against the chief of defence force’s decision hinged, in part, on military regulations about the suitability of officers to serve.

Those included following orders and official ADF policy, which prohibits its members from making political statements.

Gaynor had argued he was not in uniform, on base or assignment when he made the comments and as a reservist had a different status to a regular officer.

The high court justices, however, said that sufficient grounds to establish special leave to appeal the federal court ruling had not been made out and dismissed the appeal.

Gaynor had been sacked after saying he did not want gay people teaching his children, and engaged in a public stoush with high-profile transgender army officer Cate McGregor.

“The supposedly apolitical ADF is now marching to the beat of a very political tune, drummed up by those who demand gay marriage and take pleasure in ridiculing Christianity,” Gaynor said in a statement in 2015.

Gaynor was also dumped as a Queensland Senate candidate for Katter’s Australia party over his comments, and was recently affiliated with the anti-Islam Australian Liberty Alliance party.

Sunol Pleads Guilty –

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses, hat, glasses and close-up

John Sunol – Found Guilty

John Christopher Sunol pleaded guilty in the Newcastle Local Court on the 2 March 2017 to using a carriage service to cause offence.

The Magistrate’s orders were that the offender John Christopher Sunol, is to be released under section 19B ( 1 ) ( d ) of the Crimes Act 1914 ( Commonwealth ), without proceeding to conviction on the following conditions ;
The offender gives security in the sum of $1, 000. The offender to be of good behaviour for 2 years. Sunol is not to continue any activity with a Commonwealth carriage service which identifies me or names the victim Garry Burns.

His Honour made it very clear to Mr Sunol that if he breaches the orders he could receive a jail penalty on his return.

A celebrity stoush has erupted between cartoonist Larry Pickering and former NRL player Ian Roberts.