We refer back to the legal case of Alex Mericka against the SA Premier Mr Weatherill, who is accused of not having acted in Mericka’s best interests, when Weatherhill owned a law firm.
We were quite disturbed by Gail Gago’s “nursing ethics” – Mr Mericka, accompanied by a staff member from the office of the Hon. Ann Bressington, attended the Parliament House office of the Premier, while the House of Assembly was sitting. Mr Mericka attempted to serve a notice of charge on the Premier. The Premier’s Chief of Staff met with Mr Mericka. He formed the opinion that service of court documents on the Premier within the precinct of Parliament while it was sitting was inappropriate.
Background of Mr Mericka’s workcover case
As posted in our article “SA Premier accused of unprofessional conduct as previous workcover lawyer“, Alexander David Mericka filed action against Mr Weatherill in the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.
His complaint against Mr Weatherill, who owned a law firm until he entered Parliament in 2002, stems from a long-running WorkCover claim.
Mr Mericka has alleged that, in 1997, his claim was being handled by Mr Weatherill’s law-firm partner Stephen Lieschke, who is now an industrial magistrate.
Mr Weatherill allegedly acted in Mr Lieschke’s place and brokered an agreement with a WorkCover solicitor to swap Mr Mericka’s ongoing compensation entitlements for a lump-sum payment.
Mr Mericka says that alleged act resulted in the “poor” settlement of his claim, meaning Mr Weatherill had not acted in his best interests.
Disturbing extract from the Hansard Parliament SA
Of great interest is the following extract from the Hansard
In reply to the Hon. A. BRESSINGTON (6 March 2013).
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for State/Local Government Relations): I have been advised of the following:
Mr Mericka, accompanied by a staff member from the office of the Hon. Ann Bressington, attended the Parliament House office of the Premier, while the House of Assembly was sitting. Mr Mericka attempted to serve a notice of charge on the Premier. The Premier’s Chief of Staff met with Mr Mericka. He formed the opinion that service of court documents on the Premier within the precinct of Parliament while it was sitting was inappropriate. He advised Mr Mericka of this opinion.
It appears that the attempt to serve the notice of charge constituted a breach of Parliamentary privilege (WTF): see Erskine May, 24th Edition, page 248.
Subsequently that day, the Premier’s Chief of Staff emailed the Hon. Ann Bressington to advise that he had arranged for solicitors to accept service of the notice on behalf of the Premier, and that those solicitors would contact Mr Mericka, care of the office of the Hon. Ann Bressington, to arrange service.
The notice of charge was served shortly thereafter.
Kindly shared by our co-author Trinny
The following, unrelated but workcover-related Hansard (Parliament SA) extract has also come our injured attention
The Hon. I.F. EVANS (Davenport) (15:05): Another week, another leak against the Premier and against the cabinet. Today’s leak of the Premier’s campaign diary between now and Christmas was a leak designed to damage the Premier, a leak designed to damage the cabinet, a leak designed to undermine this Premier and a leak designed to undermine this cabinet. It was a leak designed to send a message to the media, a message to the opposition and a message to the public that this government is divided to the core. It is divided to the core.
This leak came from an enemy within the Premier’s office or the cabinet itself. It came from an enemy close to the Premier. Who else gets access to the Premier’s diary for the next two months leading up to Christmas? This government is divided, this government is tired, this government has become dysfunctional, and the Premier has no-one to blame but himself. It is this Premier that set out to sow the seeds of division right from the 2010 election and before.
We all remember the great battle between the former treasurer, Mr Foley, and now this Premier. We all remember the battle straight after the election: this Premier, then minister, decided he was going to challenge the then deputy premier for the position. It was this Premier that openly sowed the seeds of division within the Labor Party. It was this Premier that openly went out and attacked the then deputy premier to try to take him out straight after the election.
We all remember leak after leak after leak out of the government from the left wing of the government about how bad the government’s own WorkCover changes are. They were not designed to help the then treasurer Foley: they were designed to damage, and we all know who they were designed to help. They were designed to help the left wing poster boy, the now Premier, Mr Weatherill. Mr Weatherill, the Premier, sowed the seeds of division that are now coming home to roost.
We all remember the day when treasurer Foley stood up in the parliament and told the whole parliament that his good friend, the member for Cheltenham, had helped him make all the unpopular decisions in the budget—all of them. He could not understand where all this criticism was coming from. This battle is going on forever. Remember all the cabinet leaks leading up to this budget? We remember now of course today this absolutely treacherous leak of the Premier’s diary.
This government is divided. How can you have a Premier write to members of his own staff a six-page letter saying, ‘You won’t be allowed to go to the upper house inquiry in regard to the education matter’ and a week later, the Deputy Premier comes out and says, ‘Well, actually, they are going to go; otherwise it will look like we’re trying to hide something.’ What is going on? I will tell you what is going on. We have three contestants lining up for the leadership—the Minister for Transport, the Minister for Health and the Deputy Premier.
I can advise the members of the caucus: don’t worry, the numbers have been done. I have never seen the right wing so happy. We have the Minister for Transport with a spring in his step. Yesterday we had the Minister for Health—Humphrey B Bear on steroids. Unbelievable, but don’t worry, caucus. I’ll let you know the numbers have been done. The silver fox, the Deputy Premier, is the man. He is the man. The decision has been made. It only comes down to this question: does the Deputy Premier have the courage to flick the switch? The numbers are there; the numbers are done and I say to the Premier, if you hear a knock on the door, if it is Jack Snelling and Peter Malinauskas, we all know what is going to happen.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Hon. P Caica): Order! Please show a bit of respect to the member for Taylor.