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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Statement from CMC Chairperson Ross Martin SC – 08.03.2013
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Statement from CMC Chairperson Ross Martin SC – 08.03.2013
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Statement from CMC Chairperson Ross Martin SC – 08.03.2013

Statement from CMC Chairperson Ross Martin SC – 08.03.2013

03.04.2013 - Update: Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) Chairperson Ross Martin SC has today formally tendered his resignation as the final step of a process of ill-health retirement, as announced on 8 March 2013.

Mr Martin tendered his resignation to the Attorney-General.

Assistant Commissioner, Misconduct, Warren Strange, in accordance with relieving arrangements approved by the Governor in Council, is performing the role of Chairperson in an acting capacity.

15.03.2013 – Update: The Governor in Council has approved relieving arrangements during a vacancy in the office of Chairperson or any absence of the Chairperson. This new standing delegation takes effect as of 15 March 2013. It authorises the appointment of Assistant Commissioner, Misconduct, Warren Strange, as Chairperson in an acting capacity, and further authorises two of the CMC’s four part-time Commissioners to assume the role if required.

11.03.2013 – Clarification: The standing delegation referred to below, authorised by the Governor in Council, has expired. Governor in Council approval is currently being sought to renew the terms of the standing delegation that covers acting arrangements in the absence of the Chairperson.

Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) Chairperson Ross Martin SC has announced a leave of absence, effective immediately, as the first step of ill-health retirement. This is a personal decision.

Assistant Commissioner, Misconduct, Warren Strange, in accordance with a standing delegation by the Attorney-General, has assumed the position of Chairperson in an acting capacity. 

Copy of statement from CMC Chairperson Ross Martin SC:

You are all aware of circumstances of recent days as they have been made public.

What you may not be aware of are matters relating to my health. I would not ordinarily make them public, but circumstances compel me to.

I have not ever made public that I have cystic fibrosis. It has been a private matter, and nobody’s business but my own. Notwithstanding the troubles it brings, I have been able to craft what I hope has been a valuable career in public service at a very high level.

When I took this job, I took medical advice that as things then stood, I had every expectation of being able to complete my term. That was not unreasonable – I had, after all, been able to practise as a senior prosecutor for a very long time. I have been, to this point, physically well able to do my present job.

That has changed, and it has now ceased to be solely my business.

There has been a very recent marked deterioration in my health, illustrated by the fact that I have in fact been in hospital till yesterday morning for some 10 days.

I have left from time to time to attend to these and other pressing matters.

My primary specialist physician (who is not contactable at the moment) has in the course of this hospitalisation advised me that he has or will very shortly refer me to the lung transplant team at Prince Charles Hospital. Preparing for that operation, I am advised, is an enormous commitment.

My family have suffered my pursuit of a career for too long. They are entitled to as much of my time as I can give them. I don’t seek sympathy; I do seek to explain my actions today.

Turning to the specific issues that have arisen in recent days, the cloud hanging over the CMC by my continued presence will stand in the way of responding to the Callinan/Aroney review and to advancing a number of important reports that are pending.

The Attorney-General has spoken recently of Ministerial responsibility as an informing principle in regard to my position. There is force in that view. Whatever emerges from the forthcoming PCMC review will emerge, but a principle similar to ministerial responsibility has force in the present context whatever might emerge from that review.

That said, a CMC chair should not be too ready to resign lest the organisation’s independence be too readily undermined.

On the other hand, the CMC chair’s position has powerful statutory entrenchment to defend its security against political whim. That security should not be clung to by an incumbent when circumstances make it inappropriate to do so.

Absent the circumstances relating to my health, I would of course be giving careful thought to those matters. I am pleased the part time CMC Commissioners do not, on the information presently available, believe it would be appropriate for me to resign.

In this highly unusual, and likely never to be repeated, collection of circumstances, but of course for health reasons, I have decided to take leave to progress as quickly as possible the process of ill-health retirement. I no longer have the resources of health to continue to perform the job with the vigour that is necessary, and as soon as I became conscious of that, I have decided to leave.

I will not be coming back. I wish my successor and the CMC generally the very best in its vital work.

I thank my staff for their dedicated, largely unsung, devotion to the virtues of fighting crime and of integrity. I thank them for the support I have received in the past year.

Most importantly, I thank my family for their love and patience with me.

Last updated: 10 April 2013
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