Clive Palmer has lost a bid to get a suppression order concealing the already widely known fact that he owns a private airplane after a judge rejected claims the knowledge could put his life in danger.
Mr Palmer, who has repeatedly been photographed next to the estimated $70 million aircraft during the 2013 federal election campaign, now believes fresh media coverage about its existence poses "safety issues".
The application for the confidentiality order was made as part of Mr Palmer's fight against the public release of flight records for his jet that was ordered by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
The departure and arrival records for all aircraft that use Australia's airspace are held by commonwealth regulatory agency Airservices Australia, which has traditionally ruled that release of this type of information is in line with public policy about transparency and does not violate privacy laws.
Fairfax Media was supposed to be granted access to the flight plans under freedom-of-information laws, a decision that is now being challenged by Mr Palmer's company, Palmer Aviation, in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Mr Palmer's legal counsel argued the existence of the legal proceeding should be suppressed from the public and a pseudonym used in all documentation that refers to the politician and mining magnate and his company.
"Our submission is that the basis of the business of Palmer Aviation is to provide confidential business travel to Mr Palmer and his invited guests. At the crux of that business is the confidential nature of the transportation and Mr Palmer and his invited guests' whereabouts…," Tracey Miley said.
"The only issue I can point to is safety issues if the registration of the plane is ... registration number of the plane is made known publicly."
But AAT deputy president Philip Hack found the submission was "at too high a level of abstraction".
"As I understand it, Mr Palmer is a figure of some notoriety. He is a member of the House of Representatives. He is frequently in the media," he said.
Deputy president Hack noted that aircraft registration numbers were already a matter of public record and refused to grant the confidentiality order.
The application was made despite Mr Palmer routinely using the intercontinental Bombardier Global Express - which has been emblazoned with a logo of the Palmer United Party - as a backdrop for photo opportunities and press conferences. The plane is registered in the Isle of Man, an off-shore tax haven.
PUP is under increasing pressure from factional splits, with Mr Palmer recently blasting fellow member Jacqui Lambie as a "drama queen".
Mr Palmer, whose legal counsel is now seeking to suppress all administrative documents relating to the FOI application, is also hoping to make a personal submission to the tribunal over concerns about whether his "personal information and safety" have been adequately considered.
msn.com 21 Nov 2014
Another corrupt politician!!!
Would you trust this piece of garbage running the country?