Canberra Times responds to ANU "death threats" story


Weak response

The (warmist) journalist who broke the ANU death threats story in the Canberra Times last June responds to the article in The Australian. Beeby is “surprised” that I dared make an FoI request, apparently. She claims the “death threats” were “irrefutable”. Sorry, the “trust us” line doesn’t work on me, nor on the Privacy Commissioner.

So it came as a surprise to learn last week that a Sydney climate blogger had made a freedom of information request to obtain examples of these emails from the Australian National University. The ANU initially refused to release the documents, and in response to a formal appeal by the blogger, the Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim was asked to a adjudicate. He is reported as ruling that 10 of the 11 emails sought under FoI ”do not contain threats to kill” and the other ”could be regarded as intimidating”. The emails in question pertain to one scientist, ANU Climate Change Institute director Professor Will Steffen.

How could she possibly know this without access to the emails? It isn’t stated in the FoI decision that they “pertain” solely to Steffen, so it appears the ANU are clearly happy to provide this information to a sympathetic journalist when it suits them, but are fighting every step of the way to prevent their release to me. Hypocrisy.

We eventually get to the point, namely, that according to Rosslyn Beeby, the single “threat” was made verbally to one of Steffen’s staff, and she won’t discuss it (I assume that this may relate to the infamous “11th document” from the FoI judgment):

He was among the group of 30 contacted by The Canberra Times, and revealed the worst threat he received – and we will not divulge it – was made verbally to one of his staff. It was the chilling nature of that threat – and the casual way in which it was made – that prompted the ANU to question its security arrangements. If they had not, they would have been guilty of ignoring staff safety requirements. (source)

And despite all this, there is still no explanation as to why the police were not involved if the threats were so serious. And no explanation as to why the ANU are so desperate to avoid releasing the emails. Show us the evidence – it’s very simple.

(h/t Tim Blair here)

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