Back in Jacksonville, Peter Wicks has some new revelations, including details about who Kathy Jackson had been in contact with on her official HSU phone.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE since I took a peek inside Jacksonville, so I thought I should cross the border and boldly take a few steps into the abyss.
Some of you may think that things there have been quiet, but on the contrary — there has been plenty going on. As you know, the Temby Report in the HST East branch has just been leaked to the ABC. I will be offering my analysis of it in the near future — after I have gone through it all. That is, rather than going off half-cocked before taking it all in, like Eric Abetz appears to have done — out there in the media today making all sorts of allegations about Craig Thomson. We will reveal some information about Eric Abetz – who may be far more intimately involved in the HSU affair then he has so far let on – later in this piece.
But there is a lot more to talk about before then.
As some of you may remember, Kathy Jackson's interview on the ABC's 7 30. That was the one Kathy told us she didn't deserve to be paid so highly and had done all she could to have her pay reduced!
For those of us who live in the real world, our suspicions were confirmed at the end of July. That was when Kathy decided to fight for the $150,000 she thought she should receive suddenly after all.
Kathy, it seemed, had a plan to get more of that money she says she doesn't deserve. She had thought of what to say, and how she was going to say it, and was set to take on the HSU National Council and tell them what for. She had her ticket to Perth booked, her speech prepared, her bank manager consoled, her hair primped and preened, she was ready to rock.
Imagine both her and the committee's surprise when she rocked up just as the meeting finished.
It’s an almost comical situation — and one can only imagine the look on her face. She must have been shattered after travelling all that way for nothing, but it may warm her heart a little to know that it wasn't all for nothing. Those who attended the meeting thought it was one of the funniest things they'd seen all year.
As reported in the Weekend Australian’s ‘Strewth’ column on June 30:
“She didn’t ask at the national executive meeting the following day, but she did stick around to hear criticisms of her and to return the favour by calling various individuals traitors and the like. United they stand.”
In Canberra, a Senate Committee linked up with FWA investigator Terry Nassios by video. Nassios was still on holiday from FWA, he seems to have been on leave of some sort ever since the "investigation" became public. No-one wants a little thing like a Federal investigation or a Senate Inquiry to disturb his rest, hence the video hook up. Now he is due to leave the country for a while.
Nassios told the enquiry a few things of interest.
He explained that the information he
“…was able to obtain as a result of the settlement in the Fairfax proceedings … were crucial for me making conclusions in terms of expenditure on escort services.”
Really? That information? Information that Fairfax themselves now seem to want to distance themselves from, having removed all of the so-called "evidence" from their company websites? I would have thought that someone who is supposed to be “independent” may have sought evidence themselves, rather than be crucially reliant on commercial media organisations. In fact, here is a list of other investigations that Nassios could have taken into account when looking at allegations regarding Craig Thomson:
- 2 NSW Police Investigations
- 2 Australian Electoral Commissions
- BDO Kendall Investigation
- Operation Carnarvon
Alas, none of that “evidence” appeared to have been “crucial” for Terry Nassios. Could it be because they came up with nothing? No charges laid, no evidence of any crime committed?
Maybe these investigation results were buried under a pile Neranto invoices, Minifie Child Care receipts, Wai Quen Legal Payment details, or maybe just endless piles of cheque requisitions for cash payments...
In regards to who Nassios interviewed and any accountability for their statements, the Committee was told:
“They are not public. They have not been made public.”
When asked if he stood by claims that his investigation was forensic enough to be given to the police, as Nassios explained that
"... would not have stood up to the scrutiny that those conclusions would no doubt have been subject to."
Well, well… Just to think that this investigation – that took years to complete, relied heavily on media reports and evidence hand-delivered by the secretary of the union being investigated, yet ignored reams upon reams of evidence that seemingly incriminated this same person, who also happened to be the partner of the second most senior official in this investigator’s organisation – would not stand up to policy scrutiny? That does come as a shock.
That sort of investigation wouldn't stand the scrutiny of a game of Cluedo, let alone police scrutiny.
This investigation appears to be well below the standard any reasonable person would expect, and has many question marks over it and the way it was conducted. It is no wonder FWA President, Iain Ross, when he was interviewed by Leigh Sales on 7.30, repeatedly distanced himself from the investigation and flat out refused to endorse any of its findings.
Some of you may also remember the hullabaloo over Kathy Jackson's affidavit that Justice Flick suppressed so it could not be made public. The affidavit was a lame attempt to smear the name of Federal Minister Bill Shorten.
Although the affidavit was suppressed it still managed to be leaked out to the public in a bizarre manner.
Jackson claimed, bringing her children into it once again, that one of her children playing on the computer must have “accidentally” sent it out. This was not to be confused with contempt of court, oh no... Apparently this kind of thing happens all the time. Kiddies get into their mummies email, stumble onto files that are suppressed by the Federal Court, accidentally attach them to emails, and then somehow manage, quite by chance, to stumble onto journalists’ names in the email address book, and accidentally email them to these same journalists... happens all the time.
But only in Jacksonville.
Nobody took the information leaked seriously. It only ran in the Financial Review, and no other major media gave it much attention, choosing to ignore it. The story died faster than a “kid” can send an email.
A couple of weeks back, there was a report that a couple of HSU members had produced statutory declarations with further allegations regarding Bill Shorten. Again, this received virtually no attention — only really appearing on a couple of right wing websites that are usually associated with holocaust denier types. These stat dec’s were written and signed by Fleur Behrens and Lorraine Di Pietro — one running Kathy Jackson's ticket in the HSU executive election in Victoria and the other the sister of Jackson's sister-in-law.
At the same time, an official letter of complaint was received by Acting General Secretary Peter Mylan and acting National President Chris Brown, regarding a request allegedly made for Jackson.
Sherida Jacks stated that Fleur had approached her on Kathy Jackson’s behalf and attempted to coerce her into writing and signing a statutory declaration with false allegations regarding Bill Shorten. Unfortunately for Jackson, Sheridan is not running Jackson's ticket, she is not a relation and she is, apparently, honest. Hence the letter of complaint which throws the other stat dec's into question. But again, those stat dec’s had not been taken seriously at any rate.
Whilst this has been going on, I thought it would be interesting to see who Kathy Jackson had been chatting with before the HSU Administrator took her phone away.
Due to privacy reasons, I will not be so irresponsible or childish as to reprint, or display, the phone numbers of those who probably don't wish to have their numbers made public. However, below is a link to the front page of the phone bill so you can see that I indeed have a copy of Jackson's HSU phone bill. Some of you may even recognise the number. (And for those who think they have caught me out, this number is no longer in use by her.)\
See the front Page of Kathy Jackson's HSU phone Bill
There are some curious calls in there, among them the Shooters and Fishers Party, NSW Liberal and Finance Minister Greg Pearce, and even the media liaison for none other than Eric Abetz, our favourite nephew of a Nazi war criminal and, of course, Liberal Senator.
I wonder what HSU business Jackson was discussing with Eric Abetz's office, while Abetz was asking questions of FWA President Iain Ross, and later Terry Nassios, at the Senate hearings into the FWA investigations? Note: the phone number not only appeared in the dialled numbers list, but also in the SMS part of the bill.
Maybe the Senator may like to fill us all in? I suspect more will come to light in the near future.
Below are the details of the Freedom of Information request that IA has in place at Fair Work Australia.
See the FOI Request for FWA
I am of the understanding that this request is in progress, and that the information has begun to be gathered. It will be interesting to see whom both Michael Lawler and Terry Nassios were in touch with during Fair Work Australia's so called "investigation". Also, how often they were in touch with each other. Unfortunately, however, we cannot be supplied SMS details.
There is another thing that I have been informed of, from a number of sources, that may make you smile.
At FWA, there are committees that cover various categories of actions, one of which is Health — where, of course, any HSU matters are heard. It so happens that Michael Lawler headed the Health committee at one time (he has wisely been moved to another now). Upon hearing a case which involved the HSU, a letter of complaint was sent to FWA querying a conflict of interest by Michael Lawler. According to the author of this letter, Lawler was involved in a romantic/sexual relationship with Kathy Jackson, the HSU Secretary. The author of this complaint letter was allegedly none other than Jeff Jackson himself — angry over his wife’s affair. I cannot verify this story 100 per cent, but I have heard it from several people, and it is not the funniest or strangest I have heard...
I have never declared that Thomson is innocent, I have just suggested that there are numerous holes in the so called evidence against him.
Even if Thomson is guilty, however, that certainly does not make Jackson innocent — far from it. In fact if the amount of money that has allegedly been misappropriated from HSU members was chocolate, even if Thomson was guilty of all his alleged wrongdoings, his crimes would be an M&M on the Chocolate Mount Everest of allegations facing Michael Williamson, and Kathy and Jeff Jackson.
Michael Williamson once again appeared in the news over the weekend. It would appear that he had a bit of a chat with Gerard Hayes regarding the upcoming union election. Gerard Hayes was allegedly offered the backing of Williamson and his faction. In return, Williamson was looking to act as a consultant for the HSU once Hayes, or Williamson's man on the ground, Bob Hull, took over. One can imagine the sort of hourly rates Williamson would charge for consultancy fees.
Mind you, most suspect a similar deal has been done between Fleur in Melbourne and Kathy Jackson.
In my view, members need to ensure that anybody associated with either Jackson or Williamson is not elected. But that is just my opinion, based on the evidence I have seen.
Jackson took her case to the full bench of the Federal Court today, hoping to set a date for a hearing. I don't mean to make her sound childish, but her appeal is to have everybody but her friends booted out of their jobs and her factional buddies put in their place.
I don't fancy her chances, but you never know with court. How she managed to escape her last court appearances without being charged with contempt is anybody's guess.
All I can be sure of is this: I know this won't be the last time in venture into the world of Jacksonville.
I just hope the poor HSU members don't end up back there again.
(Read the full story at our dedicated Jacksonville page. You can also read more by Peter Wicks on his blog WIXXYLEAKS and follow him on Twitter @madwixxy.)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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