Queen’s honours for liars and thieves

Publishers Note: The federal government has awarded a ‘dishonest’ mayor an Order of Australia medal.

mayor brent

It places John Brent right up there with Prince Phillip  wearing privilege and esteem as a medal of honour. And who better to announce the award, but the Murdoch press.

Mayor Brent’s reputation has been shaken by the findings of Tasmanian Supreme Court judge Alan Blow, who attacked his evidence in a case involving a signature on a deed giving rise to a debt of about $900,000 to Tasmanian farmer, Mr Moore.

In a surprising move, the Mayor of the Scenic Rim claimed the signature on the contract to be a forgery.  Justice Blow could not rule whether Mayor Brent’s signature was forged because  the witness of the signature was never called to give evidence.  One possible scenario is that the signature had been forged by John Brent.  Another is that his daughter forged the signature.

View of Aboriginal Lands of Jagera, Ugarapul, Mununjali and Yuggera people from the Mistake Mountains labelled ‘Scenic Rim Shire’ where John Brent is currently Mayor. Photo: Ian Curr 2006


Mayor branded a ‘dishonest witness’ gets Queen’s Birthday honour

“Mayor branded a ‘dishonest witness’ gets Queen’s Birthday honour” – The Australian 9 June 2015 p7

A Queensland mayor with close links to the Liberal National Party has been awarded a Queen’s Birthday honour, just days after being slammed as a “dishonest witness” by a ­Supreme Court judge.

The Medal of the Order of Australia for John Brent, whose agriculture business in southeast Queensland has left a trail of debts, yesterday prompted a top grower, Glenn Moore, to criticise the awards process.

Heart of the Scenic Rim

“I would have thought that this is a very embarrassing result — a judge calls him a dishonest witness one day, and a few days later he’s getting the national award,’’ Mr Moore, of Scottsdale in Tasmania, told The Australian.

“He should not have received any award, in my opinion.”

Mr Brent, who has been a confidante of former premier Campbell Newman and a strong supporter of the LNP, is the long-time mayor of the Scenic Rim, which is centred on the town of Beaudesert. He is also head of family company Bunjurgen.

His reputation has been shaken by the findings of Tasmanian Supreme Court judge Alan Blow, who attacked Mr Brent’s evidence in a case involving a forged signature and a debt of about $900,000 to Mr Moore’s business.

The Australian has previously reported on concerns among Brent family members over Mr Brent’s role in controlling funds belonging to elderly acquaintances. He strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

Justice Blow said in his judgment published last Friday: “I am satisfied that he was a dishonest witness. I am not prepared to place any reliance on anything he said as to any matter of controversy unless his evidence is corroborated. Some of his evidence simply does not ring true.

“If it is true that his signature was forged without his knowledge, and that he first learned of the forgery after the plaintiff had demanded over $900,000 from him and his brother in reliance on the forged document, then one would expect him to have ­initiated inquiries as to who had forged his signature, to have ­notified Bunjurgen’s liquidator of the forgery, and to have reported the matter to the police.”

The finding by Justice Blow came after the Queen’s Birthday honours were decided in a confidential process run by the federal government, but Mr Moore said bureaucrats should have been aware of the court case.

Mr Brent, 66, described his award as humbling. After the judge’s description of him as a dishonest witness, he told local media he had been “cleared and vindicated” by the finding that his signature was forged on a ­financial guarantee document sent by his daughter, Sally Brent, to Mr Moore in Tasmania. The question of who forged his signature may be pursued by police.

The Australian
June 09, 2015 12:00AM
Hedley Thomas
National Chief Correspondent

One thought on “Queen’s honours for liars and thieves

  1. Halle Browne says:

    There should be more Justices like Justice Blow who are not afraid to tell the truth. Unfortunately this is not always the case as time and time again dishonest people who have lied under oath earn themselves a huge promotion.

    Most Australian citizens are intelligent so any type of honour may be seen as the continual paradigm of lies, cover up and corruption. These types of people have no regard for the destruction they cause to the families of the victims they lie about. This covert culture is evident in many departments and organisations. It can never be eradicated unless Whisteblowers are truly protected under The Discrimination & The Whisteblowers Acts.

    It appears that rewarding bad behaviour has become the norm. How often do we hear about celebrities found to be drug addicts but it’s ok for them because they apologize publicly. But the poor or unemployed are not looked upon the same way. They may apologize for their addictions but they won’t have the same job opportunities.

    Shame on the people in power who approve covert wrong doing to others under the pretence of Investigation. Investigative processes at all levels should not be done by their own departments. This is not transparent and usually noone is held accountable.

    For some we rely on Karma and hope not too much time passes before it comes.

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