Category Archives: NEWS

John Sunol must show cause why he shouldn’t face Supreme Court contempt proceedings

Referral: Former Newcastle taxi driver John Sunol has until May 11 to show why he should not face contempt proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court after a history of online rants.
 Referral: Former Newcastle taxi driver John Sunol has until May 11 to show why he should not face contempt proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court after a history of online rants.

Joanne McCarthy –

SINCE 2005 former Newcastle taxi driver John Christopher Sunol has been in trouble for his online rants against “gays and atheists”, the Sydney Mardi Gras, Muslims and complaints and findings against him by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Now he faces possible contempt action in the NSW Supreme Court – and a possible jail term – after a long history of failing to comply with tribunal orders and “contemptible”, incorrect and “abhorrent” blog allegations against a tribunal member in 2017.

Mr Sunol told a tribunal hearing that he did “not attack people, I debate ideas and philosophies only”, and he was the “victim of a campaign of harassment and vilification” being directed at him.

But tribunal member Acting Judge Francis Marks said Mr Sunol’s constant failure to honour apologies made to the tribunal, failure to remove and refrain from publishing unlawful material, and failure to pay $55,000 in penalties to anti-discrimination activist Garry Burns, “cast considerable doubt” on his undertakings to the tribunal.

“It appears to me, on my own view, that Mr Sunol has conducted himself in a manner which is capable of constituting contempt of this tribunal,” Mr Marks found in a decision on Tuesday, in which Mr Sunol was given until a hearing on May 11 to show cause why a contempt referral should not be made to the Supreme Court.

It appears to me, on my own view, that Mr Sunol has conducted himself in a manner which is capable of constituting contempt of this tribunal.

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal member Francis Marks

Judge Marks did not accept Mr Sunol’s submission that the blogs were written by another man. He found Mr Sunol’s online rants that he would “never accept” some tribunal orders or “be willing to apologise” to Mr Burns showed a “readiness to defy compliance” with tribunal orders that could be seen as deliberate.

In a rant in 2011 Mr Sunol said he was “speaking out because.. the homo-nazis and femi-nazis are taking away our right to speak against them”, and in a later post he said he believed “we are living in the last days for Christ returns”.

Mr Sunol has repeatedly declared his goal of “ridding Sydney of this Mardi Gras” which he described as a terrorist risk. He described the Anti-Discrimination Board as the “spearhead of the homosexual agenda in NSW”.

Judge Marks noted Mr Sunol claimed to have tertiary qualifications including a Bachelor of Social Science from Newcastle University, and postgraduate degrees from Wollongong University.

In 2014 Mr Sunol lost an appeal to have his taxi licence reinstated after the tribunal heard evidence of 17 complaints against him between 2003 and 2012, including that he fell asleep at the wheel and made “inflammatory comments” about religions and homosexuals to passengers.


Blogger ordered to remove ‘hate speech’ against member of small religious order

A NSW-based blogger has been ordered to take down material from his site that described a small and mysterious religious order as a “satanic paedophile cult”. A Canberra tribunal found that the material was archetypal hate speech.

In January last year, David Bottrill complained to the ACT Human Rights Commission that he had been discriminated against because of his membership of the Ordo Templi Orientis.
He said blogger John Sunol operated a number of sites which had publicly vilified him on the basis of his religious conviction.
Mr Bottrill said the allegations made against him and the organisation were all untrue.

In the complaint, which was referred to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Mr Bottrill said he wanted the pages removed and an apology. He later also asked for compensation.

In a decision published last month, the tribunal describes the blog posts as asserting that the Ordo Templi Orientis is a “satanic paedophile cult”, and that they had a picture of Mr Bottrill next to that description.

“In addition, ‘child rape’ and ‘boy murder’ are words used to describe [Mr Bottrill] and adherents of the OTO,” the tribunal said.

The tribunal found against the blogger and ordered he remove the posts and refrain from publishing similar content in the future.

Mr Bottrill did have the religious conviction he had described, the tribunal said, and Mr Sunol’s blog content would “incite, among other responses, hatred and contempt towards [Mr Bottrill]”.

“The acts ascribed to him and his religion were written in totally undisciplined language and with no attempt to provide any evidence that might warrant such claims. To use the vernacular, it is archetypal hate speech,” tribunal Senior Member Bryan Meagher SC said.

“As Mr Sunol, himself, said, ‘We all have our own rights to our beliefs and own religions, our own areas of theological belief. Mr Bottrill has his rights. I have my rights’.”

At the hearing, Mr Bottrill said the Ordo Templi Orientis was about 100 years old and that it had been created out of a collection of Masonic rights in Europe.

“Since about 1912 it’s been the main vehicle for promoting the religion of Thelema … It’s a religion based on revelations given to and then published by Aleister Crowley.”

The tribunal heard there were probably about 100 members of the order in Australia at any one time.

The tribunal referred to an earlier decision in a separate matter involving Mr Bottrill in which a Professor Douglas Ezzy from the University of Tasmania described the order as a small religious movement modelled on Freemasonry.

Professor Ezzy, a member of the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group and the American Academy of Religion, said he thought it was “extremely unlikely” that child sacrifice, paedophilia and cannibalism were “systemic or organisationally organised aspect” of the order.

Mr Sunol told the tribunal he did not write the offending post and therefor should not be held responsible. He said he took it down as soon as he became aware of it. He said he could not apologise to Mr Bottrill because he was a pentecostal Christian.

He also said the site had about 2400 hits a day and told the tribunal he was bankrupt, agreeing that he was immune from orders for the payment of money.

Mr Sunol eventually took the content down after Mr Bottrill contacted him.

Burns v Sunol [2018] NSWCATAD 78

NSW Crest

Civil and Administrative Tribunal
New South Wales

Medium Neutral Citation:
Burns v Sunol [2018] NSWCATAD 78
Hearing dates:
14 November 2017, 9 January and 21 March 2018.
Date of orders:
10 April 2018
Decision date:
10 April 2018
Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division
The Hon F Marks, Principal Member
I make the following orders consequent upon the finding that the respondent has engaged in conduct as described in [91], [92] and [93] above that is capable of constituting contempt of this Tribunal;
These proceedings are stood over to enable the respondent to provide such evidence and to make such submissions as he may wish at a further hearing as to whether the Tribunal should refer his conduct to the Supreme Court.
The applicant may file and serve before 20 April 2018 any evidentiary material which he wishes to make available to the Tribunal limited to whether or not the respondent has complied with orders made by this Tribunal. Such evidence must be in sworn form, or, if not, the applicant must be prepared to be sworn as to its truthfulness at the next hearing.
Any evidence which the respondent wishes to provide should be filed in the Registry before 4 May 2018 and served on the applicant.
The proceedings are stood over for further hearing at 10 am on 11 May 2018.

Contempt-application for referral to Supreme Court-additional material considered-history of failure to comply with Tribunal orders-publication of material disparaging of Tribunal members-held capable of constituting contempt- respondent asked to show cause why matters should not be referred to Supreme Court
Legislation Cited:
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act
Cases Cited:
Burns v Sunol [2012] NSWADT 246
Burns v Sunol (No 2) [2012] NSWADT 247
Burns v Sunol [2014] NSWCATAD 2
Burns v Sunol [2014] NSWCATAD 61
Burns v Sunol [2014] NSWCATAD 62
Burns v Sunol [2014] NSWCATAD 63
Sunol v Burns [2015] NSWCATAP 207
Burns v Sunol [2016] NSWCATAD 16
Burns v Sunol [2016] NSWCATAD 74
Burns v Sunol [2016] NSWCATAD 81
Burns v Sunol (No 2) [2017] NSWCATAD 236
Burns v Sunol [2017] NSWCATAD 215
Burns v Sunol (No 2) [2017] NSWCATAD 236
Burns v Sunol [2018] NSWCATAD 10
Attorney-General v Times Newspapers [1974] AC 273
Witham v Holloway [1995] HCA 3
A.M.I.E.U. v. Mudginberri Station Pty Ltd [1986] HCA 46
Mohareb v Palmer [2017] NSWCA 281
Principal judgment
Garry Burns (Applicant)
John Christopher Sunol (Respondent)
Applicant self-represented
Respondent self-represented 
File Number(s):



Introduction and background

  1. These proceedings have their genesis in an Application filed by the applicant Garry Burns on 17 October 2017. In that application the applicant sought a finding by this Tribunal pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act (“the Act”) that the respondent John Christopher Sunol was in contempt of this Tribunal. The basis of the application was a publication of certain material by the respondent on a website concerning a Principal Member of this Tribunal and which was alleged to have been published in connection with certain proceedings in this Tribunal being conducted by her between the applicant and the respondent.
  2. The proceedings were amended pursuant to an order made by me with the consent of the respondent by which the applicant in lieu of seeking an order of contempt from this Tribunal sought an order that the proceedings be referred to the Supreme Court of NSW pursuant to the provisions of section 73 (5) of the Act.
  3. Section 73 of the Act is in the following terms;


(1) The Tribunal has, if it is alleged, or appears to the Tribunal on its own view, that a person is guilty of contempt of the Tribunal committed in the face of the Tribunal or in the hearing of the Tribunal, the same powers as the District Court has in those circumstances in relation to a contempt of the District Court.

Note : Section 27 (1) provides that, in the case of proceedings for contempt of the Tribunal, the Tribunal may be constituted by one or more members (being members who are the President or any other member who is a current or former NSW judicial officer).

(2) A person is guilty of contempt of the Tribunal if the person does or omits to do any thing that, if the Tribunal were a court of law having power to commit for contempt, would be contempt of that court unless the person establishes that there was a reasonable excuse for the act or omission.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), the Tribunal may vacate or revoke an order with respect to contempt of the Tribunal.

(4) For the purposes of this section:

(a) sections 199, 200 and 202 of the District Court Act 1973 apply to the Tribunal and any members constituting the Tribunal in the same way as they apply to the District Court and a Judge of the District Court, and

(b) a reference in section 200 of that Act to the registrar of a proclaimed place is taken to be a reference to the principal registrar, and

(c) section 201 of that Act applies to a ruling, order, direction or decision of the Tribunal under those provisions as so applied.

Note : Section 201 of the District Court Act 1973 (as applied by this subsection) provides for appeals to the Supreme Court against contempt decisions of the Tribunal under this section.

(5) Without limiting the powers of the Tribunal under this section, if it is alleged, or appears to the Tribunal on its own view, that a person is guilty of contempt of the Tribunal (whether committed in the face or hearing of the Tribunal or not), the Tribunal may refer the matter to the Supreme Court for determination.

(6) The Supreme Court is to dispose of any matter referred to it under this section in the manner it considers appropriate.


  1. As will be readily seen, the applicant by the amended application sought that the question of whether the respondent was in contempt of the Tribunal should be determined by the Supreme Court of NSW.
  2. In the course of the proceedings documentary evidence was tendered on behalf of both parties and both the applicant and the respondent gave oral sworn evidence. I shall refer to such parts of the evidentiary material as is relevant in the course of these reasons for decision.

The basis for the allegations of contempt by the respondent as contained in the application

  1. The basis for the allegation that the respondent was in contempt of this Tribunal is contained within an Internet site by which the respondent published material from time to time, known as a blog.
  2. A copy of material published on this Internet site became evidence in the proceedings. The applicant gave evidence that he accessed the site on 15 October 2017 at 10:42 am and on that date printed a copy of the material contained on the site which is in evidence. That material indicates that the site was known as and was hosted by The respondent conceded for the purpose of these proceedings that he was the publisher of this Internet site, although, as will be seen, he denied personally placing the alleged contemptible material on the site.
  3. The publication as searched by the applicant, and as attested to by the printed copy which is in evidence contained a number of references to a named Principal Member of this Tribunal bearing date 28 January 2017. Included within this material are the following matters;
  1. a reference by name to the Principal Member “@NCAT NSW” as having “let’s trainee hitchhiker killer out of jail and run around a woman’s prison with AIDS AND RAPE”. Explanatory material states that the named Principal Member was the “NCATNSW judge who ruled (in effect) young boys who were pimped out to gay men by their lesbian mothers….. are doing hate speech by criticising their own life of being urged into child prostitution by their lesbian mothers…”
  2. a repeat of the information contained above with a photograph of the Principal Member
  3. a reference to a decision of the named Principal Member “that the June 25 case against John Sunol should not be appealed…..”
  4. A reference to certain aspects of the employment engaged in by the named Principal Member prior to appointment to NCAT.
  1. The printout also contains material placed in a margin under a heading entitled “The Link” to the effect that “vexatious litigation happened to me, Burns vs Sunol and Colikier vs Sunol. This is the definition of vexatious litigation which what happened to me on many occasions over the years I have been in and out of court. The battle lines have been drawn.”
  2. I should immediately state that the conduct of the Principal Member described in paragraphs (1) and (2) is beyond any power or jurisdiction of this Tribunal. This Tribunal has no power to make orders allowing any prisoner to be released from prison. It is difficult to comprehend how anyone could make an assertion that a Member of this Tribunal could have engaged in any conduct of the kind described in this publication.

Characterisation of the published material

  1. The applicant formulated a charge of Contempt for the purpose of the original application brought by him in which he described the statements published on the Internet site concerning the Principal Member as being “defamatory, insulting, pernicious and offensive.” Furthermore, they were said to be untrue, false and malicious and had the effect of discrediting and impugning the character of the Principal Member with a consequence that that Member “cannot be trusted and accepted as a person likely enable to fulfil” the duty of a Member.
  2. The characterisation of the published material is not contentious because the respondent conceded that it was incorrect, was “totally abhorrent” and that there was no factual basis for the publication of that material. He spoke of the Principal Member as being a person who performs duties in a professional and appropriate manner and he said he did not condone in any way the publication of the material. I shall, however, returned to this apparent declaration of praise expressed by the respondent for the purpose of avoiding a referral of these proceedings to the Supreme Court.

Some further evidentiary material

  1. For the purpose of determining these proceedings it is necessary that I make reference to some other matters concerning the relationship, or more accurately the lack of any relationship, between the applicant and the respondent. Unfortunately, there have been many proceedings before this Tribunal between these two parties conducted over several years. In his evidence the respondent said that since 7 March 2014 the applicant has lodged 18 complaints concerning his conduct to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW “resulting from material published directly on by him and another person whom he named as Luke McKee. He said that those 18 complaints, of which he provided details, had been referred to this Tribunal “for public hearings in which I was deemed responsible and made the respondent of the complaints.” He relied on those complaints as evidence of a course of harassment conducted against him by the applicant. Furthermore, he characterised the applicant as participating in vexatious litigation against him.
  2. The respondent filed a document on 14 November 2017 which he described as being an “initial response” to the contempt application made by the applicant for the purpose of the directions hearing. A number of documents were annexed to this document including a spreadsheet listing all of the proceedings between himself and the applicant before this Tribunal and its predecessor. Other documents which were annexed referred to other proceedings between the same parties together with police proceedings initiated against the respondent alleged to have been instigated by the applicant. There is also annexed some historical material concerning the personal circumstances of the respondent.
  3. One matter which pervades this documentation and which the respondent repeated on several occasions in his evidence and submissions in these proceedings was a claim that the bulk of the offending material was placed on his blog by Luke McKee without his knowledge and consent. I shall return to this matter later in these reasons for decision.
  4. Annexed also was a statement made by the respondent on 22 June 2017 in relation to police proceedings brought against him. In that statement the respondent accused the applicant of colluding with a member of Parliament “and a certain very high officer in the NSW Police Force to get a criminal conviction on me because of what I know about the corruption in the administration of “homosexual vilification” antidiscrimination law in New South Wales…..” He also accused the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of abusing his statutory obligation “in using and encouraging (the applicant) to produce so many complaints against me, to make case law……”
  5. Importantly, for present purposes, the statement includes the following material;

23. Most of the case law under section 49 ZT of the Anti-Discrimination Act (Homosexual Vilification) comes from decisions made by biased panels in the many Burns v Sunol cases when I was unrepresented in front of the panels and unable to coherently defend my comments in the public interest (there is then a reference to a spreadsheet of the several decisions). The problem is that the NCAT panels are hand-picked to have on them people who either support the homosexual agenda as a result of their political convictions or support the homosexual agenda due to their minority sexual orientation. Either way they will always substantiate homosexual vilification complaints from Garry Richard Burns because they are referred by the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board. He (or the acting President see at the present time) are not asking NCAT to dismiss the complaints. They want them legally substantiated in order to deepen and strengthen homosexual vilification case law in line with the homosexual agenda.

23. The homosexual vilification panels at NCAT do not serve the interests of the respondent’s human rights, in dealing with the torrent of complaints by Garry Richard Burns, but serve the interests of the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board. And the Anti-Discrimination Board is the spearhead of the homosexual agenda in New South Wales, Australia.


I shall refer to this material further.

  1. In the course of his submissions and evidence in these proceedings, the respondent repeated his assertion that the material about which the complaint is made in these proceedings was published by Luke McKee. However, he could not provide any evidence to substantiate this assertion, and was unable to provide any evidence about any steps taken by him immediately upon becoming aware of that publication. Indeed, some of the respondent’s evidence was to the effect that he was not looking at the website regularly, but when he had occasion to do so he eventually closed it down and started another one. Again, he was unable to provide any evidence to substantiate these assertions. Nevertheless, the respondent acknowledged that because the material had been published on “his” website he had ultimate responsibility for any adverse consequences.
  2. During the course of his submissions I asked the respondent, having regard to his concession that the published material was abhorrent, whether he intended making an apology. The respondent was granted an adjournment to enable him to formulate an apology in his own words. That apology, with minor amendments which I have made for the purpose of its publication in these proceedings, is in the following terms;

1 The material that was complained about on (the named Principal Member) is totally abhorrent, disgusting and of serious defamation. It lies within the reach of criminal defamation and for this to be put on my blog for the public to see and read without evidence meets the criminal threshold of serious vilification – defamation, – this if it does not meet criminal standards in my mind it should. I see no use of this part to attack a member of the public Judiciary but without evidence as anything but to attack the common law and other members in the public. This (Member) is a hard-working member of the discrimination tribunal who does not deserve this.

2 Whilst I do not accept being the writer of this and ethically I do not accept responsibility, I understand that with me being the owner of the blog and the fact that the blog was in my own name, I have to accept legal responsibility as a publisher of a news media does about the articles written on their media outlets.

Whilst I had no real knowledge of this article until after it was published I still offer my apology to (the named) Tribunal member and take responsibility of this only being under my name whilst I am not the author of the so-called post.

3 I will in future keep a check on my blog every day – never write such articles that disparage people like this article and not allow such vilification/defamation/slander on my blog again. I will also check on this blog and delete any such comments as well to other articles that other people put on the blog.


I do not attack people – I debate ideas and philosophies only.



  1. I observe that the respondent has emphasised in this form of apology his respect for judicial and Tribunal members and his abhorrence concerning the type of criticism contained in the published material which is at the heart of the applicant’s application. However, I observe also that the respondent personally engaged in similar scurrilous criticism of members of this Tribunal in the material which he made available during the course of this hearing which I have extracted in [17] above. The named Principal Member who is referred to in the material published on the respondent’s blog was a member of the Tribunal which determined a number of the proceedings brought against the respondent by the applicant. There must be considerable doubt about the sincerity of the respondent and the genuine nature of his apology in this regard. Moreover, as will be seen, the respondent has previously been ordered by this Tribunal to make apologies to the applicant on many occasions and, whether or not given, has continued to persist with the same conduct.


27 March 2018

Former councillor Julie Passas

In November of 2017 Ashfield gay man Daniel Comensoli raised a gay rainbow flag on his balcony to celebrate the “ YES “ vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Julie Passas, a Liberal Councillor on the Inner West Council and resident of the Cecil Street Block where Mr Comensoli lived demanded the rainbow flag be taken down because she found it offensive to her religion and culture.

It was also alleged that Passas harassed the housemate of Mr Comensoli and pressured his neighbour to contact the owner of his unit informing that owner that they ( referring to Mr Comensoli and his room mate ) were “ not good people. “

It’s also alleged a note was slid under the door of Mr Comensoli’s unit by a man named Allan Jones in error as that note was meant for Passas unit and that Passas then encouraged the maintenance man to try and retrieve the note from under the door while Mr Comensoli was at home.

Mr Jones can be contacted on 0403-015-852 for verification.

Mr Comensoli was scared in his own home because of this pernicious conduct allegedly orchestrated by the well known gay jihadist Julie Passas.

Anti-Discrimination Campaigner Garry Burns has taken legal action against Passas under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 ( NSW ) where a Directions Hearing will take place at 12.30pm on Wednesday 28 March 2018 at Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Mr Comensoli has made a statement along with a number of others in the unit block and all will attend the court and give evidence against Ms Passas over her alleged intimidation, stalking, harassment and unlawful vilification on the ground of homosexuality.

Mr Burns will subpoena all those who have signed letters and those letter writers will all have to attend court and be cross examined on what they’ve written and why and who encouraged them to write those letters.

Mr Burns alleges Passas has deliberately encouraged third parties to incitement of hatred against Mr Comensoli by getting neighbours and residents from outside the unit block to write letters that the rainbow flag hanging off Mr Comensoli’s apartment balcony was offensive.

Passas in her Affidavit to the President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board ( ADB ) stated she complained to the former Ashfield Commander about one of his male officers who she found offensive because unlike her he didn’t find the gay rainbow flag as offensive as the ISIS flag is a untruth because the Commander at the time was on leave.

The ISIS Flag and it’s believers calls for homosexuals to be killed by beheading and or be thrown off a roof top to their death.

Mr Burns said, “ Ms Passas you better hire yourself a good lawyer love because all of your well known homophobia is going to come back and bite you on your bottom like a pack of hungry piranha fish in a feeding frenzy and your duplicity will finally unravel like you’ve had a dose of uncontrolled flatulence.”

Mr Burns first met Ms Passas in 1993 when she was allegedly down in Ashfield Park in the early hours of the morning looking for homosexuals.

Mr Burns will also be a witness at the hearing because he has gone on the record by Affidavit setting out the events involving his knowledge of Julie Passas in 1993.


Media Enquiries
Garry Burns

Julie Passas

Daniel Comensoli

Otto Stichter
Solicitor for Passas

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.

Same-sex marriage: ‘Profound’ shift in community sentiment in favour, HILDA survey says

Updated 2 Aug 2017, 7:48am

Australia’s longest-running annual lifestyle survey has revealed women are having second thoughts about whether a husband is for life, while support is growing for same-sex marriage.

The University of Melbourne surveys the same 17,000 people each year for the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia report (HILDA).

It found Australian attitudes were becoming more progressive, with 67 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men stating that homosexual couples should have the same marriage, parenting and employment rights as heterosexual couples.

“We’ve seen a very profound shift in attitudes to this statement,” report author Professor Roger Wilkins said.

In 2005, only 43 per cent of woman and 32 per cent of men agreed to the statement.

“It’s quite clear that community sentiment has shifted in favour of marriage equality,” Professor Wilkins said.

The survey noted a smaller percentage of agreement among immigrants, Indigenous Australians and lower-income earners.

The HILDA report was commissioned by the Federal Government and its release comes as the Coalition grapples with an internal push for a Parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, rather than a plebiscite.

The Senate has rejected the plebiscite but conservative Liberal Party members insist the party should stick with the policy.

Liberal senator Dean Smith is drafting a private members’ bill to legalise same-sex marriage and MPs are expecting a partyroom debate on the issue when Parliament returns next week.

Meanwhile, same-sex relationships can now be legally recognised in South Australia by signing onto a special register.

Couples on the register will be provided legal certainty in areas such as entitlements and medical care.

It is also available to heterosexual couples in a de facto relationships and comes with a certificate of registration.

See how attitudes have changed over time

Here are some of the questions from the survey. A response of 1 indicated strong disagreement while 7 indicated strong agreement.

Question: Is it alright for an unmarried couple to live together even if they have no intention of marrying?

Males 2005 Females 2005 Males 2015 Females 2015
5.1 5.0 5.6 5.6

Question: Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do?

Males 2005 Females 2005 Males 2015 Females 2015
3.3 4.0 4.8 5.3

Question: Children will usually grow up happier if they have a home with both a father and a mother?

Males 2005 Females 2005 Males 2015 Females 2015
5.8 5.1 5.2 4.4

Question: Is it alright for a woman to have a child as a single parent even if she does not want to have a stable relationship with a man?

Males 2005 Females 2005 Males 2015 Females 2015
3.5 3.7 4.3 4.6

‘Til death do us part?

The survey also found that on average, men agreed with the statement “marriage is a lifetime relationship and should never be ended”, however, women, on average, did not.

Question: Is marriage a lifetime relationship and should never be ended?

Males 2005 Females 2005 Males 2015 Females 2015
4.6 4.4 4.3 3.8

“This is, I guess, part of a broader tendency towards more traditional attitudes,” Professor Wilkins said.

“It’s always a good thing for men to be doing what they can to keep their partners happy.”

Professor Wilkins said the survey also revealed a desire for more gender equality in the home and workplace, but he noted the male respondents were more likely to stick to traditional views.

“I guess one explanation for that is that more progressive attitudes tend to improve women’s lot,” he said.

“So men, I guess, may be more reluctant to have progressive views because they may perceive it as harming their interests.”

Topics: marriagefamily-and-childrencommunity-and-society,australiavicmelbourne-3000

First posted 2 Aug 2017, 12:00am