Brian Toohey reveals secrets

How Australian governments love to talk about adhering to values they don’t practice, such as the protection of individual liberties. Instead, they behave more like authoritarian countries. India is one. Australia’s lack of a bill of rights also allows Government’s to introduce harsh new laws that don’t exist in other western democracies.

Brian Toohey’s talk
 Wednesday, 8 September 2021 at 7:00 pm (AEST)
Brisbane Workers’ Community Centre2 Latrobe Terrace
#Shop 11
Paddington, QLD 4064
Australia(View on map)

The talk will show how our national security laws are far more draconian than under Bob Menzies, when the long established crime of murder applied to terrorists as well as everyone else. While PM, Malcolm Fraser was hosting 12 foreign leaders at the Hilton Hotel in 1978 , a bomb killed three people and injured 11 others just outside the  entrance. Instead of introducing a stack of terrorism laws and trying to wedge Labor as soft on terrorism, he was content to apply the existing laws against murder.

Today there are 85 terrorism laws. After a court convicted two ASIO officials of kidnapping an innocent student, the Coalition government in 2014 introduced a new law authorising ASIO to use violence stopping short of murder.

 In 2018, the Turnbull government introduced savage new influence and espionage laws that included an ill-defined clause with a 20 year jail sentence for almost saying anything that harms relations with another country, presumably about the US not China.

Australia now has secret trials reminiscent of Stalin. One example is the trial of Bernard Collaery and “Witness K” for revealing that Australia misused its intelligence services to cheat East Timor out of a fair share of its offshore petroleum resources.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media has played a deeply disturbing role in all of this. Some key journalists have flipped from an earlier role of scrutinising the intelligence services to accepting alarmist background intelligence briefings as well as spreading American propaganda.  The head of the Home Affairs Department Michael Pezzullo says he regularly briefs over two dozen journalists. Most also beat the drums in support of a war with China.


Brian Toohey was born in Brisbane. He attended the  U of Q.

He was editor of Semper Floreat at U of Q in 1965.

He has been a journalist since 1973. He was Canberra correspondent for the Australian Financial Review, then its Washington correspondent. He was also Washington correspondent for the National Times, then its editor.  Next followed editorship of The Eye, Columnist for the West Australian and the Sun Herald.

Contributor to the Sunday Age, the Canberra Times, Inside Story, Nikkei Asia Review, Eureka Street. Now contributing to the Sydney Morning Herald, Pearls and Irritations and Michael West Media among others. He has been a regular guest on Radio National’s Breakfast Show, the ABC’s Insiders, Ten’s Meet the Press and a similar SBS program. He occasionally appears on Radio National’s Late Night Live.

Toohey faced repeated court action from the Hawke government after publishing leaked national security documents letting the public know what unacceptable things it was secretly doing in their name. The Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans even got an injunction against Toohey in the High Court over an article which did not exist.

New laws since 2001 make it much easier for governments to prevent publication.

2 thoughts on “Brian Toohey reveals secrets

  1. Dan O'Neill says:

    Hi to all on 17 Group lists

    Just a brief reminder. Our next speaker is Brian Toohey, author of Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State, on Wednesday the 8th of September. That is, if he is able to be released from his current role as a bit player in Sydney’s current long-playing Rehearsal For The End of The World. Many of you will be interested in this recent article of his:

    Please Note: WBT also encourages people to comment and subscribe to the website at
    We have been going since 2006 in response to Israel ruthlessly bombing Lebanon.

  2. Postponed says:


    I’m writing to inform you that Brian Toohey: The rise and rise of Australian authoritarianism. has been postponed due to the Covid situation in NSW. A future date will be arranged.

    Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you at our next event in the future!

    Mitch Thompson

    Brian Toohey: The rise and rise of Australian authoritarianism.
    Wednesday, 8 September 2021 at 7:00 pm (AEST)
    Brisbane Workers’ Community Centre
    2 Latrobe Terrace
    #Shop 11
    Paddington, QLD 4064

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