ICAC: Former NSW minister Ian Macdonald to be prosecuted over Doyles Creek mine licence-GUILTY gets 10 years


Ex-NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald charged over lucrative coal deal. No more $1800 dinners for you in jail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wipe that bloody smile off your face McDonald, there will be no happy meals in jail when they finish with you (well apart from the I’m dying, have 34 cancers, amnesia and dementia and so on, which will be a disgraceful defence to those that suffer from those diseases

Long time waiting for this, with more crooks to come, including the outrageously corrupt and greedy Obeid Tribe


Update 02/06/2017

Ian Macdonald jailed for 10 years for misconduct in public office

Updated 5 minutes ago

Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald is sentenced to 10 years’ jail over the decision to grant a mining licence to a company run by former union boss John Maitland, who will spend four years behind bars.

In March, Macdonald was found guilty of misconduct in a public office.

Maitland, once the head of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), was found guilty of being an accessory.

The decision to grant the licence was made in 2008, when Macdonald was the NSW minister for Primary Industries and Mineral Resources in the Iemma Labor government.

Macdonald was given a non-parole period of seven years, while Maitland was sentenced to six years in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until 2021.

Macdonald clasped his hands and folded his arms at times during the three-hour sentencing hearing in Sydney, and appeared composed when Justice Christine Adamson eventually announced his punishment.

In sentencing, Justice Adamson described Macdonald as “devious” and said he had betrayed the people of NSW.

“The coal resources of New South Wales, which should have been used for the benefit of the whole society, were squandered by the criminal conduct of the very person who was trusted to safeguard them,” she said.

She said Macdonald had a misplaced sense of entitlement and that both men did not have good prospects of rehabilitation and had shown no remorse for their crimes.

During the trial, Macdonald’s lawyers argued he granted the Hunter Valley mining licence to Maitland’s company, Doyles Creek Mining, because of the merits of the proposal, not because they were “mates”.

However, the Crown alleged during the trial the decision by Macdonald to give the licence to Maitland lost the state tens of millions of dollars at a time of “budget constraints”.

The charges in court followed an Independent Commission Against Corruption finding against Macdonald in 2013.

Macdonald will also be stripped of his parliamentary pension, after the Berejiklian Government yesterday passed legislation to stop payments to former politicians who are convicted of serious offences after they leave office.

More to come.


Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald jailed for up to 10 years over coal deal

  • Michaela Whitbourn

Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald will join his one-time political ally Eddie Obeid in prison after the Supreme Court jailed him for a maximum of 10 years for criminal misconduct for giving a lucrative coal exploration licence to a former union boss.

Macdonald, 68, is the second Labor figure to be jailed after explosive corruption inquiries that kicked off in November 2012.

Ian Macdonald found guilty

Ian Macdonald is a former NSW Labor resources minister who has been at the centre of one of the state’s largest and most complex inquires into corruption.

In a scathing judgment on Friday, Justice Christine Adamson said Macdonald knew giving a multimillion-dollar coal exploration licence to a company chaired by his political associate John Maitland “looked bad and was bad”.

He had engaged in a “desperate attempt to justify the unjustifiable” and “sought to cloak his misconduct” in the “apparently worthy” venture of a training mine to promote mining safety.

John Maitland is escorted to a prison truck after his sentencing hearing last FridayJohn Maitland is escorted to a prison truck after his sentencing hearing last Friday

John Maitland is escorted to a prison truck after his sentencing hearing last Friday. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Justice Adamson said the deal with Doyles Creek Mining was deliberately announced on Christmas Eve 2008 so that it would “pass unnoticed”.

“The people of NSW were betrayed by Mr Macdonald’s conduct,” Justice Adamson said.

In a detailed judgment lasting more than three hours, she said Macdonald was “devious” and had a “misplaced sense of entitlement”.

While the Crown had argued Macdonald was motivated to benefit his “mate” as an act of friendship or as political payback for supporting his preselection, Justice Adamson said no clear motive was established and she could not rule out a financial motive.

Former MP Ian McDonald sentenced to 10 years jail

Ian Macdonald is led into the Supreme Court on Friday to be sentenced.  Photo: Nick Moir

She sentenced Macdonald to 10 years in prison with a non-parole period of seven years, expiring on May 25, 2024.

In a statement issued by his lawyer immediately after the sentence, Macdonald said he intended to “appeal my conviction for these offences” and “strenuously” denied wrongdoing.

He said he was always motivated by a desire to further the public interest and “save miners’ lives”.

A jury found the former upper house MP guilty in March of two counts of misconduct in public office for awarding the licence to Doyles Creek Mining to benefit Maitland.

A former head of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Maitland made $6 million from the deal and was found guilty as an accessory.

Justice Adamson said Maitland knew he and Doyles Creek Mining “were being given a gift”.

He was sentenced on Friday to a maximum of six years in prison with a non-parole period of four years, starting on May 25, 2021.

His daughter said outside court: “It is a very dark day when an innocent man has just been sent to prison.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions is taking steps to claw back his profit under proceeds of crime laws.

Obeid was found guilty in June last year of misconduct in public office over his family’s secret business dealings at Circular Quay.

He was jailed in December for a maximum of five years.

Justice Adamson said Obeid’s conduct in that case was “not nearly as serious” as the offending involved in Macdonald’s case.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption heard the Doyles Creek deal, famously toasted at an $1800 dinner at the upmarket Catalina restaurant in Rose Bay, was “a financial disaster for the people of NSW”.

“The state gained almost nothing for this disposition of hot property to Mr Maitland and his associates,” counsel assisting the ICAC, Peter Braham, SC, said in his opening address in March 2013.

Justice Adamson said Macdonald was involved in a “cynical” plan for Maitland to acquire letters of support for a “training mine” at Doyles Creek in the Hunter Valley from high-profile business and political figures.

She said the “ultimate audience” for the letters was neither Macdonald nor the mining department, which was unlikely to be taken in by the scheme.

The letters were designed to “forestall criticism” from the public once it became clear Macdonald had awarded a lucrative coal licence to a political associate without a competitive tender, Justice Adamson said.

The training mine was “little more than a device” to hide Macdonald’s real motivations to benefit Maitland.

Justice Adamson said Macdonald knew the state of NSW was “foregoing” a potentially significant additional financial contribution by failing to put the licence to tender.

The Supreme Court heard a BHP subsidiary paid $91 million in 2006 to explore for coal at Caroona in NSW while China Shenhua Energy Ltd paid $276 million in 2008 for its Watermark licence.

Doyles Creek Mining did not make such a payment.

Justice Adamson said Macdonald’s own department did not support the Doyles Creek plan and he did not take it to cabinet because “he did not want to subject the direct allocation to scrutiny”.

Macdonald had insisted the training mine proposal made the Doyles Creek deal unique and in the public interest.

But Crown prosecutor Michael McHugh, SC, told the jury Macdonald “misused his power” by placing the interests of Doyles Creek Mining, the company chaired by his “mate” Maitland, above the interests of the state.

Justice Adamson said the deal was not the result of “true friendship” and was not pay-back for a political debt but it was never acceptable for a minister to use their position to benefit their mates.

High-profile backers including broadcaster Alan Jones had courted controversy by rallying around Macdonald in character references submitted to the court to support his bid to avoid a jail sentence.

Macdonald and Obeid, along with Obeid’s middle son Moses, are now facing a trial over a $30 million coal deal involving the Obeid family’s rural property at Mount Penny in the Bylong Valley.

On Tuesday, the trio formally waived their right to a committal hearing to test the strength of the prosecution case and will proceed directly to trial.

They will enter their pleas in the District Court on June 9.

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal will hear his three-day appeal against his conviction and sentence next week.

Update Thu 20 Nov 2014, 4:57pm

ICAC: Former NSW ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald to be prosecuted after corruption findings

Former New South Wales Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald have been ordered to appear in court after prosecutors decided to act on the findings of the state’s corruption watchdog.

Mr Obeid is being prosecuted for alleged misconduct in public office relating to restaurant leases at Circular Quay in Sydney.

Mr Macdonald is being prosecuted for two alleged offences of misconduct in public office over the awarding of a mining licence.

In June, Mr Obeid was found to have acted corruptly by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which said he “misused his position as an MP” to lobby ministers and a senior public servant over the retail leases.

The commission heard Mr Obeid had a secret stake in cafes and restaurants in the area through his brother-in-law, and he failed to disclose the stake when he lobbied other Labor ministers not to put the leases to a competitive tender when they expired in 2005.

“A court attendance notice was served on Mr Obeid this afternoon, following advice received from the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions,” ICAC said in a statement.

The court notice alleged Mr Obeid induced Stephen Dunn, a senior manager with the Maritime Authority of NSW, to “deal favourably” with Circular Quay Restaurants’ tenancies.

Mr Obeid fronted the media assembled outside his Hunters Hill home and said he would plead not guilty to the charges laid against him. Fraud from day 1, and the were ALL scared of him if you did not go past EO you got nothing back in the day in NSW parliment. Barely made a speech ever it at all, but was a POWER BROKER…WTF with the gutless party tribe (robbo)

“Those inquiries are nothing but sham inquiries that wanted to make ICAC look good,” he said.

He maintained his innocence and said he welcomed the prosecution.

“I have no concern whatsoever that in a court of law we’ll be able to fight the evidence, and I’m very confident,” Eddie Obeid said.

“I’m looking forward to telling the evidence we have. I’m innocent in every instance.”

ICAC’s Operation Acacia investigated Mr Macdonald’s decision to award the Doyles Creek mining licence in 2008, when he was resources minister.

The commission heard the then-Labor minister “gifted” the licence, in the Hunter Valley, to then-chairman of Doyles Creek Mining John Maitland without a competitive tender and against departmental advice.

The corruption watchdog recommended both Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland be charged.

ICAC said a court attendance notice had been served on Mr Macdonald earlier today, after the DPP provided advice that Mr Macdonald should be prosecuted for two offences of misconduct in public office.

Mr Maitland was being prosecuted for being an accessory to misconduct in public office, ICAC said.

The action follows widespread criticism of a lack of prosecutions resulting from the commission’s corruption findings.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said it was “about time” Mr Macdonald was prosecuted.

“Ultimately, what you need to see is prosecutions,” he said.

“Those prosecutions coming forward is going to give great confidence to the community.

“That is exactly what they want to see – if someone does the wrong thing and if they abuse public office, if they act in their own interest, if they undertake corrupt activity, well, there are consequences and they need to face them.”

The notice alleged Mr Macdonald “did in the course of and connected to his public office wilfully misconduct himself by granting Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd consent to apply for an exploration licence under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable cause or justification”.

He was also involved in misconduct “by granting to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd Exploration Licence No. 7270 under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable justification”, the court notice alleged.

A court attendance notice was also served on Mr Maitland for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office “in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Mr Macdonald”.

Mr Macdonald has previously described the ICAC findings as “false” and “based on guess work and conjecture”.

Mr Maitland has also rejected the findings.

The matters are listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on December 18.


 

Thu 20 Nov 2014, 12:34pm

Former New South Wales government minister Ian Macdonald has been ordered to appear in court after prosecutors decided to act on a corruption inquiry’s findings.

Mr Macdonald is being prosecuted for two alleged offences of misconduct in public office, after an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry relating to the awarding of a mining licence.

ICAC’s Operation Acacia investigated Mr Macdonald’s decision to award the Doyles Creek mining licence in 2008, when he was resources minister.

The commission heard the then-Labor minister “gifted” the licence, in the Hunter Valley, to then-chairman of Doyles Creek Mining John Maitland without a competitive tender and against departmental advice.

The corruption watchdog recommended both Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland be charged.

ICAC said a court attendance notice had been served on Mr Macdonald earlier today, after the DPP provided advice that Mr Macdonald should be prosecuted for two offences of misconduct in public office.

Mr Maitland was being prosecuted for being an accessory to misconduct in public office, ICAC said.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said it was “about time” Mr Macdonald was prosecuted.

“Ultimately, what you need to see is prosecutions,” he said.

“Those prosecutions coming forward is going to give great confidence to the community.

“That is exactly what they want to see – if someone does the wrong thing and if they abuse public office, if they act in their own interest, if they undertake corrupt activity, well, there are consequences and they need to face them.”

The notice alleged Mr Macdonald “did in the course of and connected to his public office wilfully misconduct himself by granting Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd consent to apply for an exploration licence under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable cause or justification”.

He was also involved in misconduct “by granting to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd Exploration Licence No. 7270 under the Mining Act 1992, without reasonable justification”, the court notice alleged.

A court attendance notice was also served on Mr Maitland for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office “in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Mr Macdonald”.

Mr Maitland is also being prosecuted for giving false evidence at ICAC.

The matters are listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on December 18.

More on this story:

ICAC recommends cancellation of coal licences

ICAC finds Macdonald corrupt over Doyles Creek mine

Official advised against coal licence: ICAC

Coal licence a ‘goldmine’ for union boss: ICAC

 


  • Former Labor minister Ian Macdonald facing prosecution over Doyles Creek mine deal

    Date
    November 20, 2014 – 11:30AM

    Sydney Morning Herald State Political Editor

     Ian Macdonald facing prosecution over mining deal

    http://media.smh.com.au/news/nsw-news/ian-macdonald-facing-prosecution-over-mining-deal-6007934.html

    Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald is the first person to be prosecuted after an ICAC inquiry into the Doyles Creek mine deal

    Former Labor minister Ian Macdonald is being prosecuted for misconduct in public office following a corruption inquiry into the issuing of lucrative mining licences at Doyles Creek in the Hunter Valley.

    In a statement, the Independent Commission Against Corruption announced a court attendance notice was served on Mr Macdonald on Thursday on the advice of the NSW director of public prosecutions.

    Last year the ICAC found Mr Macdonald acted corruptly as a minister in 2008 by granting a licence at Doyles Creek to a company then headed by former union official John Maitland.

    Former Labor Minister Ian Macdonald exits the ICAC hearing in February 2013.Former Labor Minister Ian Macdonald exits the ICAC hearing in February 2013. Photo: Nic Walker

    The company, Doyles Creek Mining, was later taken over by NuCoal Resources. Mr Maitland made millions of dollars from the deal.

    The ICAC found Mr Macdonald awarded the exploration licence – without tender and against departmental advice – to his “mate” Mr Maitland, a former national secretary of the Construction, Mining, Forestry and Energy Union.

    The court notice says that Mr Macdonald “did in the course of, and connected to his public office, wilfully misconduct himself” by granting Doyles Creek Mining consent to apply for exploration licences “without reasonable cause or justification”.

    The ICAC has also announced Mr Maitland is being prosecuted “for two counts of being an accessory before the fact to misconduct in public office, in relation to aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of the two offences by Mr Macdonald”.

    He is also being prosecuted for giving false and misleading evidence to the ICAC.

    The announcement represents the first time prosecutions have been launched against key players in a series of major corruption inquiries into the handling of coal licences held by the ICAC involving Mr Macdonald and former Labor minister Eddie Obeid.

    The ICAC has also indicated more prosecutions could flow from its inquiry into Doyles Creek, codenamed Operation Acacia.

    The businessmen who bankrolled Doyles Creek Mining, Craig Ransley and Andrew Poole, were also found to have acted corruptly by the ICAC last year.

    The ICAC found Mr Ransley, Mr Maitland and Mr Poole deliberately set out to ensure they did not face a public tender for the licence and made false statements to the government to obtain the exploration approval.

    “The Commission is awaiting advice from the DPP in relation to further briefs it has provided with respect to Operation Acacia,” the statement said on Thursday.

    The Doyles Creek licence has been “torn up” by the NSW government on the advice of the ICAC, prompting legal action by NuCoal which has flagged it is seeking compensation of “at least” $500 million.

Save

Advertisements

Michael Williamson jailed for at least five years over HSU fraud


Another greedy union official bites the dust, jailed for 5 years, that’s good, but not enough when one considers what he got up to. Filling his own and his families pockets with as much money as they could grab from the low paid workers this bastard was supposed to represent. Paying family owned companies hundreds of thousands of dollars for non existent or grossly over charging for work in the union.

I posted about his antics here several years ago along with Craig Thompson and the high living they felt was a free for all “Entitlement”

I will piece together my other posts and add them here shortly. Tip of the iceburg people…

Michael Williamson jailed for at least five years over HSU fraud

Updated 5 minutes ago

Former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson has been sentenced to up to seven-and-a-half years in jail for fraud.

The New South Wales District Court was packed as sentencing Judge David Frearson described Williamson as “brazen and arrogant”.

The judge said Williamson was in a position of power when he defrauded the union of nearly $1 million.

The 60-year-old will be eligible for parole after serving five years in prison.

Williamson had been facing a possible 20 years in jail after pleading guilty to four charges including fraud and recruiting others to hinder a police investigation.

Prosecutors say Williamson, who was already on a salary of about $500,000, was motivated by greed.

The court has been told the former Australian Labor Party president submitted false invoices to the union from a company in his wife’s name.

Williamson’s lawyers say he has apologised and taken full responsibility for his actions, noting he has also suffered depression since his behaviour was exposed.

More to come.

Michael Williamson apologises for fraud as Health Services Union claims back funds

Updated Wed 16 Oct 2013

Disgraced former ALP president Michael Williamson has apologised to members of the Health Services Union (HSU) for his large-scale fraud, as the organisation moves to recoup millions of dollars.

Williamson appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court yesterday and admitted funnelling almost $1 million of union funds into companies he had an interest in as well as recruiting union members to help cover his tracks.

Williamson admitted claiming $340,000 for a business called Canme Services – which was registered in his wife Julieanne’s name – although no services were ever provided.

He also admitted to defrauding the union out of $600,000 through a consulting company called Access Focus.

The HSU says it has now finalised its civil claim against Williamson in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

He has been ordered to pay the union $5 million for breaches of his duty, overpayments of remuneration and negligence.

But it is unclear how much of the money will be recovered because Williamson has declared himself bankrupt.

Branch secretary Gerard Hayes says the union will still be able to claw back significant funds.

“We are able to withhold $1.1 million out of his superannuation and we are withholding $600,000 of unpaid entitlements,” he said.

“And very importantly as well a public apology will be issued to our members.”

Members of the HSU include some of the lowest-paid health workers such as cleaners and support staff.

In his letter of apology released by the union, Williamson urges members not to quit saying he accepts responsibility for what he did:

“I wish to place on record my sincere apology to all of you.

“You placed your trust in me when I was the general secretary and I abused that trust.

“I apologise unreservedly to all of you for my actions, which were not in keeping with the position I formerly held.

“I have agreed to assist the union in recovery actions against others, and will honour that agreement.

“The court will determine the penalty I am to receive, but it won’t remove the fact I have to live with this matter until the day I die.”

The HSU says the settlement was reached with the help of independent mediator, the former federal attorney-general Robert McClelland.

Mr Hayes says it is a line in the sand for the beleaguered union.

“This puts the last couple of years of turmoil to bed and it gets the union focused on what the union should be focused on,” he said.

Sentencing for Williamson begins in two weeks.

Former HSU boss Michael Williamson admits fraud offences

Updated Tue 15 Oct 2013

Former Australian Labor Party president Michael Williamson has pleaded guilty to funnelling almost $1 million from the Health Services Union (HSU) to businesses he had an interest in.

Williamson, who was arrested when detectives raided his Maroubra home in Sydney’s east last year, now faces jail for the offences.

The police investigation probed allegations of corruption during his time at the HSU aired by the union’s national secretary, Kathy Jackson.

He was accused of dozens of offences, including money laundering, dealing with the proceeds of crime and dishonestly dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars of union funds.

Williamson appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court this morning with his solicitor Vivian Evans.

The prosecutor told Chief Magistrate Graham Henson that several offences had been folded into four formal charges that Williamson would plead guilty to.

Williamson admitted funnelling nearly $340,000 into a business called Canme Services, which was registered in his wife Julieanne’s name.

Dozens of cheques were made out to Canme for services that were never provided to the union.

He also admitted to defrauding the union out of $600,000 through a consulting company called Access Focus.

It is believed Williamson received a massive windfall from the company due to inflated fees billed to the HSU.

The former unionist also pleaded guilty to fabricating invoices to cover his tracks in returns to the union in February last year.

Caught shredding evidence

The final guilty plea came in relation to recruiting of other union members to help destroy evidence and hinder a police investigation.

Last year, Williamson was caught trying to shred documents when he was confronted by the NSW Fraud Squad at the union offices in Sydney’s CBD.

He has pleaded guilty to recruiting Carron Gilleland to help him destroy evidence in the case.

‘Absolutely outrageous nepotism’

SMH investigative reporter Kate McClymont broke the story that led to the charges. She has told the ABC it is a case of “absolutely outrageous nepotism”.

“Especially when you think that the members of the HSU are hospital cleaners, orderlies, among the lowest paid unionists in the country,” she said.

McClymont is not surprised Williamson pleaded guilty, saying there were “certain pressures put on him” to do so.

“For instance, his son Christopher was one of those that was possibly facing criminal charges. So I think that there has been some argy bargy going on over the last couple of months that has led to his guilty plea today,” she said.

Listen to McClymont’s interview with the ABC.

Williamson stayed quiet through the proceedings today, with the prosecutor informing the court of the amended charge sheet.

He emerged from court speaking on a mobile phone and ignored the hive of media that had assembled.

Williamson resigned from the HSU late last year, less than two weeks after a leaked report into the union’s internal workings alleged he engaged in nepotism by funnelling union funds to himself and his family.

The report, by Ian Temby QC and Dennis Robertson, detailed allegations of multi-million-dollar instances of nepotism, maladministration and cronyism.

It said Williamson had a salary of almost $400,000 and alleged five members of his family were among the union’s best paid employees.

The magistrate committed Williamson to sentencing on October 28 in the District Court.

Police have previously said they expect to make more arrests in the case.

Closure for union members

The Australian Council of Trades Union (ACTU) says it hopes Williamson faces the full force of the law.

ACTU president Ged Kearney says he deserves whatever punishment he receives.

“Defrauding union members of their money is something that the union movement cannot abide and will not stand for,” she said.

“These offences are very serious and we’re very pleased that they will be dealt with properly by the criminal law.”

The New South Wales secretary of the HSU, Gerard Hayes, says today’s guilty pleas by Williamson will help bring closure for the union’s members.

“There are 30,000 victims in this matter,” he said.

“They needed closure and this certainly brings closure for them.”

Craig Thomson


This bloke who earned 6 figures a year for many many years had the audacity to go to court asking to pay his $25,000 fine at 50 dollars a month. (would take 41 years) Poor bugger is only earning 3 grand a month and  struggling. Welcome to the real word Craig! means he can only visit a brothel once every 10 months these days

Update 15/12/15

Former MP Craig Thomson ordered to pay $458,000 for breaching Fair Work Act

Updated about 2 hours ago

Former federal MP Craig Thomson has been ordered to pay $458,000 for breaching the Fair Work Act.

The judgment was handed down in the Federal Court this morning and relates to Thomson’s improper use of union funds between 2003 and 2009.

Justice Christopher Jessup ordered Thomson, who was not in court, to pay the Health Services Union $231,234 compensation plus $146,937 in interest.

In addition, Thomson will also be required to pay a $80,000 fine to Fair Work.

Thomson spent tens of thousands of dollars on payments of hotels and the use of credit card for personal functions. He also spent the money on travel for him and his wife.

The money was also spent for his campaign to get elected as the federal member for Dobell, the court heard.

Justice Jessup said Thomson had improperly used the money and his position to gain personal advantage, to the detriment of the union.

Previously, the court has heard that Thomson had no capacity to pay any fines.

The Health Services Union said it was pleased with the judgement.

Fair Work Commission general manager Bernadette O’Neill said the decision sent a message about improper use of funds.

“I am particularly pleased that this decision recognises the impact of Mr Thomson’s actions on the union’s membership by the awarding of compensation to the HSU,” she said in a statement.

“Today’s decision sends a clear message to all officers of registered organisations that a failure to meet their obligations under the Fair Work Registered Organisations Act 2009 is a serious issue and will be treated accordingly.”

Thomson was the National Secretary of the HSU from August 2002 to December 2007.

In December last year Thomson escaped a jail term after being found guilty of 13 charges of theft against the HSU but was fined $25,000.

He was acquitted of 51 charges, which were the majority of offences against him.

Update 11/09/15

Craig Thomson found to have misused HSU funds

Fri 11 Sep 2015, 12:17pm

Disgraced former Labor MP and ex-head of the Health Services Union (HSU) Craig Thomson used tens of thousands of dollars in union funds to pay for his 2007 election campaign, the Federal Court has found.

  • Court upheld FWA’s claims Thomson used union funds without authority
  • Penalty will be decided in November
  • Thomson escaped jail in criminal proceedings last year

In deciding on a civil case against Thomson, the court found the former member for Dobell used the funds without authorisation.

Justice Christopher Jessup upheld a number of claims pursued by Fair Work Australia including that Thomson paid for escort services on several occasions in 2005, 2006 and 2007, using union funds in contravention of his duties as a union official.

Justice Jessup wrote in his 46-page judgement that Thomson had made “improper use of his position to gain advantage for himself”.

The judgement detailed unauthorised spending by Thomson totalling tens of thousands of dollars for advertising fees, charitable donations, campaign mail-outs, and furniture for his campaign office and office services.

He also spent money on personal travel for himself and his wife in 2005, as he sought to relocate from Melbourne to the NSW Central Coast to run for election.

The judgement was also critical of Thomson’s 2005 hiring of Criselee Stevens, who was paid by the HSU, but did little work for the union.

Justice Jessup found “for the most part she was occupied doing the respondent’s bidding in building his profile as a community/political campaigner on the Central Coast [of NSW]”.

The court also found he negotiated almost $100,000 in sponsorship for the Central Coast Division of Rubgy League from 2006 to 2008, without authorisation.

In December last year Thomson escaped a jail term after being found guilty of 13 charges of theft against the HSU but was fined $25,000.

He was acquitted of 51 charges, which were the majority of offences against him.

The court will determine what penalty will be imposed at a hearing in November.

Update 13/02/15

Craig Thomson’s bid to pay fine in $50 instalments rejected by court

Fri 13 Feb 2015, 1:16pm

Former federal MP Craig Thomson’s request to pay his $25,000 fine for theft in $50 instalments has been denied by the Victorian County Court.

Following a protracted court case and appeal last year, Thomson was found guilty of theft against the Health Services Union during his time as national secretary and was handed the fine.

Thomson told Judge Lisa Hanna on Friday his income was less than $3,000 a month, and requested paying off the fine in $50 monthly instalments until things improved.

Ms Hanna said to allow the suggested payment plan for such a large fine would be “simply unacceptable”.

Under the suggestion, it would take 41 years to pay off the whole fine if Thomson’s financial situation did not improve.

Ms Hanna reminded Thomson the fine was the only thing standing between him and days in jail.

She asked him to return to court in a month with a more viable payment plan.

Thomson refused to talk to media outside court.

Craig Thomson found guilty on fraud charges over union funds used for prostitutes

Update November 25 2014

Thompson warned my judge appeal could end up with LARGER sentence. Lets bloody hope so…read this

Former MP Craig Thomson lied about using a union credit card to pay for prostitutes because he was ashamed, his barrister says.

Thomson publicly came under attack in 2012 for misusing union funds while national secretary of the Health Services Union. His barrister Greg James QC told an appeal hearing that Thomson was embarrassed by accusations that he’d spent the HSU members’ money on prostitutes and trips to brothels.

“To rebut that he lies,” Mr James told the Victorian County Court on Tuesday.

“He was under direct attack for moral turpitude.

“He was divorcing himself from moral turpitude.

“He was trying to divert the inquiry from himself for that moral turpitude.” Mr James said Thomson lied in a media interview in 2012 out of embarrassment, not because he believed he’d committed a crime. “That does not establish one way or another a lack of authority, or a belief of a lack of authority,” he said.

Thomson is appealing his conviction and 12 month jail term, with nine months suspended, for misusing $24,538 while head of the HSU.


Craig Thomson warned he could face lengthy jail term over HSU fraud case, judge warns

Craig Thomson
Craig Thomson Former MP Craig Thomson appears in court as part of his appeal against his conviction and jail term for the misuse of HSU funds. Picture: Nicole Garmston Source: HeraldSun

FORMER MP Craig Thomson has been warned he could face a lengthy stint behind bars if convicted of dozens of dishonesty offences on appeal.

Thomson’s fraud case has returned to the County Court today as he tries to clear his name over a string of convictions.

Sitting in the criminal dock of the court Thomson looked unmoved as Judge Carolyn Douglas warned him she was not obliged to take into account his earlier sentence because the matter was a hearing “de novo”.

Judge Douglas said it meant she could impose a more severe penalty if he was re-convicted.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/c1bDh2cTqqYiSHm8y2xeYKOjRiL6TpCM/promo241063482&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

Thomson was jailed for 12 months, nine months of which was suspended, by a magistrate in March after being found guilty of 65 offences.

They related to the misuse of $24,538 while national secretary of the Health Services Union, including more than $5500 spent on escorts.

With a boosted legal team, led by former NSW Supreme Court judge Greg James QC, Thomson today pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court heard Thomson would argue the charges laid against him were improperly put.

They allege he used union members’ funds from credit cards and cash withdrawals to pay for personal expenses and including prostitutes.

Some of the charges allege Thomson stole from the HSU.

Mr James told the court if any theft had taken place it was from the banks, not the union.

Prosecutor Lesley Taylor, QC, said said there was no doubt that Thomson never had the authority to access union funds as he did.

“Mr Thomson was never authorised to trat the funds of the union as his personal funds,” she said.

“They were at all times union funds.”

Ms Taylor said it was known by Mr Thomson that the funds were only to be used for the good of the union.

The hearing continues.

UPDATED February 18, 2014

So the lying cheating rorting ex MP and senior union official has been found guilty. All the lies on TV and in Parliament to his fellow MP’s has been proven. What now? well 10 years of appeals probably, forget jail, he will not do any time for this, most likely keep his parliamentary pension and perks BUT It is yet to be seen what the union will now do about him to save face with union members, spend 3 million to sue him for 40 grand? Sick and wrong isn’t it…

Craig Thomson entering court this morning to learn his fate on fraud charges.
Craig Thomson entering court this morning to learn his fate on fraud charges.

67 comments

UPDATE: THE former union official accused of setting Craig Thomson up “with a bunch of hookers” says he feels vindicated after the disgraced former MP was today found guilty of using members’ funds to pay for sex.

Thomson accused Marco Balano, former deputy general secretary of Health Services Union East, of setting him up after threatening to destroy his career before allegations of misusing his union credit cards surfaced.

A defiant Thomson publicly denied the allegations as untrue for several years before his arrest by police at his parliamentary office in January last year.

He even made an impassioned plea to parliament in 2012 during which he claimed Mr Bolano “threatened to set me up with hookers”.

“There was a particular threat made … by Marco Bolano … to the effect that he would seek to ruin any political career that I might have sought by setting me up with a ‘bunch of hookers’,” Thomson claimed.

Craig Thomson found guilty on fraud charges 2:53

Play video

He also claimed to have several witnesses who signed statements of complaint in 2005 claiming they had witnessed Mr Bolano threatening to try and set Mr Thomson up with prostitutes.

Mr Bolano later responded to the claims calling them “fantastic” and “dishonest”.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg today found Thomson was guilty of six charges of using HSU credit cards to pay for sex, as well as other charges including theft.

Other charges involving hiring pornographic movies and spousal travel were dismissed.

“He’s got the hide of a rhinoceros,” Mr Bolano said

“I knew there was no way he could get out of it,” he said.

“It is a vindication though, that he has been found guilty.

“It is a vindication that the lies he told about me under parliamentary privilege have been proven to be c — p.”

Mr Bolano said he believed Thomson had an “overwhelming sense of entitlement”.

“I actually believe in his mind, even though he knows he breached the law, he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong,” he said.

“But these offences took place immediately after he took office (in 2003).

“It was the culture within the union.”

Escort says former MP Thomson ‘lying’ 1:30

Play video

An escort who says she met with Craig Thomson claims he denied using union credit cards to pay for sex.

Mr Bolano said the planned Royal Commission into unions would uncover more skeletons in union cupboards.

HSU acting national secretary Chris Brown said the union would look at options to recover the money defrauded by Mr Thomson.

“I promised the HSU members that we would seek to recover any monies stolen from the union and that is exactly what we intend to do,” he said.

Mr Thomson is still facing civil proceedings in the Federal Court brought by the General Manager of Fair Work Australia.

In his decision announced today, Mr Rozencwajg found Thomson must have known he didn’t have authority to use the card for sex.

“It was an affront to common sense to say it allowed paying for sex workers,” he said.

Thomson slumped back in his chair as Mr Rozencwajg read his way through his ruling, which lasted more than 30 minutes.

A packed courtroom watched as Mr Rozencwajg, who has presided over Mr Thomson’s case since he first appeared in court last February, handed down his decision just after 11am AEST.

Mr Thomson, who pleaded not guilty to 145 dishonesty charges over the alleged misuse of $28,449 between 2002 and 2008, has persistently denied any wrongdoing.

But police argued he used members’ funds while head of the HSU to pay for porn, prostitutes, travel for his then wife, and cigarettes.

During a lengthy contest hearing last month prosecutors tendered more than 80 witness statements including some from escort workers.

One, who used the name Misty, said she remembered Mr Thomson clearly.

She said she met him on a series of occasions while she was working for Room Services escort agency in Sydney’s Surry Hills between 2007 and 2008.

In her statement, tendered at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court during the hearing, the woman said she regularly met him in Sydney’s CBD.

He had introduced himself as Craig, a solicitor from the NSW Central Coast.

“Sex always occurred on the bed and he would shower before and after,” she said.

“On the occasions when Craig and I met, as part of my services he started by offering me a glass of champagne.

“From memory he already had the champagne ready.”

They met on about six occasions, she said.

“He was a person who I noticed did not wear a wedding ring and did not speak of having a wife or whether he was in any form of committed relationship,” she said.

“He was one of three men who I would have called a regular client.’’

Nelson Da Silva, a former director of escort service Tiffany’s Girls, said Mr Thomson would have been one of about 200 to visit the Sydney brothel on a Saturday night in June 2005.

He told police his records matched a $418 transaction on Mr Thomson’s HSU Commonwealth Bank MasterCard.

“It stated the time frame for the booking was 1.5 hours with $190 for the room rental,” he said.

“The room was RT which was a Red Turbo Spa Room — this room was one of our expensive rooms.”

Mr Thomson’s defence barrister, Greg James, QC, said Mr Thomson did not deny making the transactions but argued about his authority to do so.

The case had been thrown into turmoil after closing submissions by both parties last month, when Mr Rozencwajg asked prosecutors about the wording of the charges.

He said many of the theft and deception charges were unnecessarily confusing and complex and may have been charged incorrectly.

The Abbott Government wants Mr Thomson and Bill Shorten to say both sorry following the verdict.

“Mr Thomson owes an apology to the thousands of honest union members he defrauded, in addition to the Parliament and public, whom he also misled,” Employment Minister Eric Abetz said.

The Senator believes the Opposition Leader should follow on behalf of the Labor Party, “for its role in promoting and protecting Craig Thomson for so many years”.

“Until he does so, Australians can have no confidence that the party has learned any lessons from the Thomson saga.”

The Coalition claims the results proves the need for a Royal Commission into union corruption.

Mr Thomson will return to court on March 18 for a plea hearing.

Update-This poor excuse of a public official has spend more than an hour under parliamentary privilege, blaming everyone else, pointing fingers, justifying the unjustifiable, declaring that all sorts of frauds are possible.BUT non include anything he has ever done. He is a saint according to him…He has not ADDRESSED one accusation and try to justify it…

This joke will go down in history as the most embarrassing speech ever…Think Pauline Hansen and Migrants…this tops everything…

Well you thieving little moron. I have scanned documents, sent to me by many sources, (some from your so called allies) and  I think I will release them one a day at a time, to ridicule your pathetic attempts to defect your illegal, behaviours…

Let us disregard your moral misdemeanours… Here is this disgusting PM’s email he sent to his colleagues bragging about Fairfax last year……

Craig Thomson Email he spoke about today...I have 30 more you loser....
Craig Thomson Email he spoke about today…I have 30 more you loser….


Thomson resigns from ALP as PM seeks to distance govt from scandals

Craig Thomson is expected to still vote with the Labor government from the crossbenches.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has sought to salvage her government by distancing it from embattled MPs Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson, who has quit the Labor Party at her request.

Mr Thomson, who has been battling allegations for several years that he misused his credit card as a union official before entering parliament, will join the cross-benches as an independent.

Ms Gillard spoke to Mr Thomson on Saturday night and told him it was no longer in the interests of the government for him to remain part of the Labor caucus.

On Sunday morning, she told Mr Slipper that she thought he should remain out of the Speaker’s chair “for a further period of time”.

Mr Slipper stepped aside as Speaker last week amid allegations of misuse of tax-payer funded Cabcharge vouchers and sexual harassment of a staffer.

She added that it was her understanding that Mr Slipper would not be able to vote in Parliament.

Ms Gillard, who returned on the weekend from an Anzac Day trip to Turkey, said she had acted because “a line had been crossed” and she wanted to restore the public’s faith in the parliament.

“I feel keenly Australians are looking at this parliament and at the moment they see a dark cloud over it,” she said on Sunday.

“I want to be sure that Australians can look at this institution and feel respect for this institution.”

Mr Thomson’s move to the cross-bench reduce Labor’s numbers to 70 votes in the House of Representatives. The Coalition has 71 votes.

Labor also has the casting vote of Acting Speaker Anna Burke. Mr Thomson is expected to still vote with Labor.

On the cross-bench, the government retains agreements with Greens MP Adam Bandt and independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.

Ms Gillard said it was important to respect Parliament but also to respect the presumption of innocence in relation to both Mr Slipper and Mr Thomson.

“Coming back to Australia, being right here now, I have felt very sharply the judgments and concerns of the Australian people,” she said.

“I’m not going to put myself in the position of adjudicating these matters … There is not one person standing here today, not me or any of you, who is in possession of the full facts of either or these matters.

“I don’t believe as a nation we want to get to the situation where people are prejudged.”

Questioned on whether she would now revisit independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s poker machine reforms, Ms Gillard said the proposal did not have enough support to pass Parliament and maintained her commitment to Labor’s proposed reforms.

Mr Wilkie tore up his agreement to support Labor earlier this year over its failure to deliver his reforms on pokie machines but has resumed talks, while independent MP Bob Katter and WA Nationals MP Tony Crook vote with the Coalition.

Ms Gillard reiterated her intention to bring the budget back into surplus.

Grubby politics destroying public confidence

As Labor grapples with the extreme politics of minority government, it is becoming clear that, driven by desperation to stay in power, this government has lost its bearings.

Neither the Peter Slipper affair nor the Health Services Union imbroglio have fully played out. It is not clear which, if any, current or former HSU officials, including MP Craig Thomson, may face charges over alleged rorting of union funds. Nor is it apparent whether the sexual harassment and travel entitlements misuse allegations against Mr Slipper are true.

With respect to the Slipper affair, we do not know if there has been any involvement by members of the Coalition, their staff, or the Liberal or National parties, in bringing the Slipper allegations to light. Certainly Tony Abbott’s responses when queried on this have not ruled anything much out.

What is obvious to the public at large is that in an atmosphere where the government’s grip on power is up for grabs every day, there has been a weakened sense of propriety.

Minority government has left the Labor Party, with Julia Gillard at the helm, seemingly incapable of making the wise choices necessary for good government.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigations, Mr Slipper was a very unwise choice as the Speaker of the House, and should never have been appointed to that role.

Given its pivotal role in our Parliament, this position should be filled by someone whose behaviour at the very least is not going to distract from the business of presiding over the Parliament.

Had the Prime Minister the fortitude, or even the interest, she should have investigated suggestions that Mr Slipper’s behaviour made him unsuitable.

Before he was appointed it was known that Mr Slipper was prone to errors in his travel entitlements. He had already been forced to pay back expenses wrongly claimed. Other questions were circling, and his own Liberal National Party, having tolerated his behaviour for years, was moving, glacially, towards disendorsing him.

And even though Mr Slipper has this week strenuously denied signing blank Cabcharge dockets, The Australian Financial Review reported on Friday that the payments listed on the dockets showed peculiar and extraordinary coincidences.

It is all very well to try to excuse the Slipper appointment as one that was made necessary by politics. At the time the Financial Review said that some regarded the move as using the Speaker’s role as a pawn in an arrangement of political convenience.

But forgetting for a moment the responsibility that Ms Gillard had to appoint someone as Speaker who was fit for the job, even if she was making a purely cynical political calculation, as she most surely was, the selection of Mr Slipper was ridiculously risky. If there is even the sniff of evidence of wrongdoing, it is dangerous to leave a government’s standing dependent on that person.

Ironically she made the Russian roulette-like move to appoint Mr Slipper because she had recanted from a high stakes promise made to Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie to implement poker machine reforms, in order to secure his backing for her minority government. That promise had unleashed a wave of lobbying by the poker machine industry and one James Packer, so Ms Gillard retreated. But in burning Mr Wilkie, she had to find another live body to vote for her government.

In the Financial Review this week, former Clerk of the Senate Harry Evans described Mr Slipper’s appointment as a low point in the degradation of the speakership and of the House of Representatives, which has been going on for decades.

The public’s appetite for politics is already at one of its lowest ebbs. This grubby episode, on the eve of one of the most important federal budgets in many years, further destroys public confidence in the political process. It will distract from, and may even subvert, the good the government is trying to achieve by restoring the budget to surplus.

The common thread between the HSU matter and the Slipper affair is that both involve an apparent abuse of entitlements by individuals on whose vote the government relies to maintain its grip on power, and the government has been doing whatever it takes to protect them. Thursday’s high level involvement of Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten in deciding to install an administrator to take control of the HSU, again raises questions about motive, as the immediate beneficiary is the government.

Rather than thinking only of its own survival, the government should start making some good choices. That could involve ruling out Mr Slipper’s return to the speakership even if he is cleared of all allegations of wrongdoing. The fact that Mr Wilkie would not support his return to the role has seemingly forced the government’s hand on this.

Good governance would also involve the government allowing the release of the Fair Work Australia report of its investigation into the HSU, as well as the HSU’s report by barrister Ian Temby and accountant Dennis Robertson, and even considering an independent process which can deal with allegations of misconduct or fraud within unions.

UPDATE: PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has asked embattled Labor backbencher Craig Thomson to quit the party and move to the cross-bench.

Brothel slips forged in Thomson affair

Craig Thomson battles report

Superman finally runs out of steam

In an effort to assert her leadership, Ms Gillard made the announcement in Canberra this morning, ahead of Mr Thomson’s own press conference outside his electorate office in Tuggerah on the NSW Central Coast at 1pm.

“I understand the matters concerning Mr Thomson and Mr Slipper have caused Australians to become concerned about standards in public life today,” Ms Gillard told reporters.

She said Australians were looking at parliament and “seeing a dark cloud”.

Ms Gillard said after returning from overseas she spoke to Mr Thomson yesterday.

“I indicated to Mr Thomson I have decided it’s appropriate for him to no longer participate in the Labor caucus,” she said.

She has also asked Peter Slipper to step aside as Speaker for a period of time.

Mr Thomson has been the focus of claims of misuse of Health Services Union (HSU) funds during his time as its national secretary.

He allegedly used a union credit card to pay for prostitutes, lavish meals and cash withdrawals during his time as head of the union.

He is among several former and current HSU officials who are the subject of two Fair Work Australia investigations, police probes in NSW and Victoria, and an internal inquiry by former corruption buster Ian Temby QC.

Mr Thomson denies any wrongdoing during his time with the union from 2002 to 2007.

The move changes the make-up of the federal parliament, reducing Labor to 70 MPs, after deputy speaker Anna Burke takes over the Speaker’s chair from Mr Slipper, who is embroiled in allegations over taxi voucher misuse and sexual harassment.

It’s believed Mr Thomson will continue to support Labor as an independent.

The move comes as Mr Thomson will attempt to distance himself from the Government with the potentially damning release of a Fair Work Australia investigation into his alleged misconduct during his time as the Health Services Union boss.

Mr Thomson will continue to vote with the Gillard Government and will back any movement to quash no-confidence motions in the Government and the speakership of Peter Slipper, leaving Ms Gillard’s narrow grip on power intact, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Thomson’s announcement is another potential crippling blow to the prospects of Ms Gillard retaining power.

Friends of Craig Thomson, who have spoken to him in the past 24 hours, told the Herald Sun this morning that the embattled MP was trying to give Ms Gillard “clear air”.

“He is a formidable character and always Cabinet material but he’s done what he has to do to give the Prime Minister clear air,” the friend said.

“There was no pressure brought to bear, this was his call.”

But sources said last night Prime Minister Julia Gillard had asked Thomson to step aside.

But Mr Thomson will still vote with the Labor government from the crossbenches.

“He will still vote with Labor, he’s a Labor man but he had to do something to stop the continuing attacks by the Coalition and Kathy Jackson who are trying to make the Gillard government less stable,” the friend said.

“Craig wants to clear the air and give the Prime Minister a clear run, despite Kathy Jackson’s attempts to remove him.”

Health Services Union national secretary Kathy Jackson first raised allegations against Mr Thomson in April, 2009, which led to a Fair Work Australia investigation and to separate inquiries by Victorian and New South Wales police.

Mr Thomson was accused of making $100,000 worth of cash advances on a union credit card without providing receipts for expenses and of using the same card to pay for prostitutes.

Ms Jackson said this morning that Mr Thomson could not avoid the allegations by moving to the cross benches.

“He claims he is innocent, I hope he doesn’t sit there on the cross benches and stay silent,” she said.

“This doesn’t solve anything; he still needs to address the allegations. He owes the members of the HSU an explanation.”

Ms Jackson said she was not trying to destabilise the Gillard Government, but merely standing up for her members.

“It’s his actions, it’s not my actions. This is a little too late for the Labor Party and the union movement – the damage has already been done,” she said.

Mr Thomson’s lawyers have asked Fair Work Australia not to release an 1100-page report into the HSU, arguing it may prejudice a criminal investigation.

Victorian and New South Wales police investigations are ongoing.

UPDATE 21/05/12

Sorry if there is a draft that has been published…I was working on a piece related to Thomson’s joke of a speech, and it disappeared…

(I pressed publish and the post vanished) Shit I cannot be that popular I garnish Political attention in a Government falling apart leading up to an election…

(Even If they do,I have 3 backups, time stamped….)

I have a massive document I have been compiling for what seems years.

Rest assured (I know via the current survey, You have been enthusiastic in contributing to the truth. What a wanker)

2 weeks training for those massive sighs…re the wife…(drag her in for justification…)

The facts will make my blog…Am I being interfered with? I wonder…

I have you covered…

Here is an email, where he bragged to his comrades in Parliament…About the riches of suing those who dare question him.

I have copies of thousands of your emails, sent to me by serious parliamentarians who take their position, Honestly and  seriously…Not as a free for all…

Another Labor Leadership Challenge #2012 Rudd v Gillard


Just to lighten the load folks here is my view on the challenge on Monday….Childish maybe, but so is the antics of these 2 egotistical power freaks… I was inspired by an article in the Herald Sun I saw last night asking, if this was a movie, what would it be…Well does anyone remember the franchise called REVENGE OF THE NERDS?

Julia Gillard v Kevin Rudd…………………Just remember this is a light-hearted topic out of context in the criminals and crooks arena…Or is it? The whole thing reeks…(backstabbing, spillage of blood on the party floor, corruption, false accusations, secret leaks, waste of public money, sleazy back room deals, etc) = huge waste of our taxpayer money no matter what…

Which also means the next sitting of Parliament is going to be a huge waste of time (But then again what has changed, apart from Slipper the self-appointed Grand master….)

AS always Wikipedia is on the pulse they even have a page on this issue here

If only it were a Movie folks! Anyway I hope you enjoy my little piece of art…Feel free to pass it around.

Outgoing MPs take “Farewell Tours” on the gravy train


Outgoing MPs take “Farewell Tours” on the gravy train

Outgoing MP's just cannot help themselves...

Like bloody fading movie stars, or old crooners these public servants somehow feel entitled to farewell tours, one last greedy grab for a free holiday, shamefully barely masked as a study tour or some other nonsense. How out of step with the community is this rot? How much longer are we going to be treated as fools?

These little piglets need to realise Google is their friend and there is absolutely no need in this day and age with the technology available  that they are doing US a service on these junkets, to wine and dine, stay at the best hotels, why we all struggle to pay our weekly bills, little less care about the construction of hand rails in a tourist resort in never never land…

RETIRING federal MPs have splurged almost $400,000 of taxpayer funds on global jaunts that took in the US, France, Italy – and Mongolia.

In the latest example of public waste, It has been revealed a cosy deal between the Coalition and Labor allows departing MPs to have a final lap of honour – at the public’s expense.

They are usually rewarded with first-class airfares to global travel hot-spots.

Only three of the MPs who travelled overseas during the past year or so did not stand at last year’s election.

Of the 19 MPs who spread their wings in the past year, the most expensive trip was taken by Tasmanian Kerry O’Brien.

The ex-Labor senator spent $65,000 over three months in New York from September to December last year as a delegate to the United Nations.

Michael Forshaw, another ex-Labor senator, visited France twice in the space of a few months last year, also travelling to Sweden, the UK and Switzerland on ”overseas study”. His costs were $38,000.

Related Coverage

David Hawker, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, led a four-person delegation to Bhutan and Mongolia just weeks before Julia Gillard called the election.

The trip cost about $75,000 but Mr Hawker – who also qualifies for the lifetime gold pass – yesterday said the delegation had done ”good work”.

The trip included former Labor minister Bob Debus, the Nationals’ Kay Hull and ex-Labor senator, Annette Hurley.
Wilson Tuckey, the outspoken ex-Liberal MP, spent almost $25,000 on a ”study tour” of Canada, China and South Korea. He was overseas when the election was called, and subsequently lost his seat.

Among highlights of his 16-day overseas trip, Mr Tuckey wrote of travelling ”to the Canadian ski resort of Whistler to observe the use of rail assets for tourism”.

Danna Vale, who was one of John Howard’s favourite colleagues, also enjoyed her last months in the Parliament.

The former Liberal MP spent almost six weeks in Britain at the height of the European summer last year – at a cool cost of $14,800. Of the 19 former MPs and senators who went global, 11 were members of the Coalition and seven were ALP.

Senior political figures confirm an ”informal agreement” exists that ensures retiring MPs are ”rewarded” with overseas junkets.

But they are not restricted to the major parties. Steve Fielding, the former Family First senator, spent $16,000 on a trip to Europe.

Gordon Nuttall-Parliament finds him Guilty fined $82,000


It will be very interesting today in the Qld parliament, when history is made with disgraced politician Gordon Nuttall appearing from court to address the house…He is a lying thieving conniving corrupt criminal who was caught out. Now he may be about to spill the beans on others.

UPDATE 4.30 pm 12/05/11 FOUND GUILTY IN PARLIAMENT

STATE Parliament has found Gordon Nuttall guilty of contempt charges and fined him $82,000.

Mr Nuttall was this afternoon handed a $2000 fine for each of the 41 instances of contempt, which relate to corrupt payments he received from Queensland businessmen.

Summing up this afternoon’s debate, Leader of the House Judy Spence said Mr Nuttall “didn’t give us any evidence to want a lesser judgment”.

She said handing down the maximum fine recognised “the seriousness of this crime”.

Earlier, Premier Anna Bligh dismissed Mr Nuttall’s appeals for leniency on the grounds he could not afford the fine or that he had already been convicted in the courts..

“I listened hard to hear a sense of remorse or regret,” she told State Parliament this afternoon as she seconded a motion that he be given the full $82,000 fine.

Ms Bligh said Mr Nuttall spent half the time of his speech levelling allegations against the DPP and the CMC but that he provided no evidence to back up his claims and had not made any official complaint.

Ms Bligh said she had initially defended Mr Nuttall publicly as a “decent and honest person” and that he had used elaborate schemes to hide his deceit.

“I join the Leader of the House in how I felt betrayed by actions of Mr Nuttall,” she said.

Mr Nuttall has referenced the biblical story of Daniel in the lion’s den, Al Capone and even Breaker Morant in an emotional address to Parliament.

And the disgraced former minister ended with a reference to the biblical quote “judge not lest ye be judged”.

Nuttall took the floor in Queensland Parliament to defend contempt charges, making history as the first convicted criminal to do so.

Wearing a suit with a red tie and blue shirt, he looked gaunt and sombre as he prepared to speak.

Disgraced former Labor Government Minister Gordon Nuttall speaks before State Parliament to defend himself on contempt charges.

FORMER Labor minister and convicted criminal Gordon Nuttall is making wild allegations as he seeks revenge for his imprisonment, says former Queensland premier Peter Beattie.

Gordon Nuttall, disgraced politician

Nuttall will appear at the bar of state parliament on Thursday when, for the first time, MPs will hear from a prisoner defending himself against charges of contempt of parliament.

The former Health Minister was jailed in 2009 for 36 counts of receiving secret commissions from businessmen while a minister in the Beattie government.

Interactive: The rise and fall Of Gordon Nuttall

He is set to face the bar of parliament at midday (AEST), when he will be given 45 minutes to argue why he should not be fined $82,000 for not disclosing the payments under parliamentary rules.

Nuttall will wear a suit and will not be handcuffed when he addresses the House, his barrister John Rivett said.

Mr Beattie said Nuttall would seek revenge for the allegations levelled against him that had led to his imprisonment.

“The first words Nuttall should utter to the assembled members are an apology for his disgraceful criminal behaviour and betrayal of his oath of office to the people of Queensland,” Mr Beattie told The Courier-Mail.

“Nothing Nuttall can say to Parliament will remove the permanent stain on his name for his corruption that includes five convictions for perjury. In my view, because of Nuttall’s betrayal of his ministerial duty, both his criminal sentence and Parliamentary penalties are far too light.”

“Nuttall refuses to accept the consequences of his corrupt behaviour.

“Nuttall is out for revenge because I referred allegations relating to him to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

“The subsequent investigation was widened by the CMC and led to his conviction and imprisonment. I gave evidence against him in court. It is little wonder Nuttall’s motive is to seek revenge.

NUTTALL TAPES

 (placeholder for audio to come)

“Let me deal with Nuttall’s lies.” Mr Beattie said.

“Lie number one: two ministers were the “voice at the Cabinet table” for a hotel group.

“I ran a very centralised cabinet process. Nothing went to cabinet without my approval or support.

Cabinet would not have been improperly influenced by a hotel group. Hotels were consulted along with the club industry when changes were considered to the Liquor Act or poker machine laws. After cabinet, any decision pertaining to the hotel industry was publicly announced.”

“Lie number 2: Former Minister Bob Gibbs and I were improperly enticed to quit Parliament.

“The details of Bob Gibbs’ appointment as Trade Commissioner to LA were released at the time of his appointment and subjected to media scrutiny. All questions were satisfactorily answered then. There was no sweetheart deal with Gibbs who indicated to me he was retiring from Parliament. Subsequently I offered him the LA position to use his skills for Queensland.

“There was no CJC investigation of the Gibbs appointment at the time because it was in accordance with the law.

“After my retirement as Premier I was offered a number of board appointments. I subsequently declined those appointments after Gary Crook, the Integrity Commissioner advised in a detailed opinion that a period of time needed to elapse before I accepted such positions. Subsequently Anna Bligh offered me the LA Trade Commissioner role.

“Lie 3. Nuttall alleges that a formal selection processes were improperly aborted to appoint a high-ranking public servant who was “on side” with Labor.

“I sacked the Director General of Health while Nuttall was Minister over the tragedies at Bundaberg hospital. Nuttall was very bitter about this and my decision to move him from health and eventually out of the ministry. The appointment of Ushi Schriber as the DG of the Health Department was done properly.”

Mr Beattie said no “sane person” would now believe one word Nuttall said given he is a convicted perjurer.

“In my view, because of Nuttall’s betrayal of his ministerial duty, both his criminal sentence and parliamentary penalties are far too light,” Mr Beattie said.

Mr Beattie said Nuttall had no credibility left.

“Why would any sane person now believe one word that is said by this convicted perjurer?” he said.

Mr Beattie said he had explained his position on Nuttall’s allegations in a letter to the head of Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, Martin Moynihan QC, written before he left for Latin America on April 28.

Nuttall’s barrister says the disgraced former minister never intended tape recordings of him making allegations against former and current Labor MPs to be made public.

John Rivett said this morning Nuttall is grateful that LNP MP Rob Messenger had taken up his fight, tabling recording of conversations between the pair in state parliament, however

“I think he’s grateful for Rob’s support,’’ Mr Rivett said.

“I don’t think Gordon really realise that the tape he allowed Rob to tape would be played in parliament. That wasn’t agreed to by Mr Nuttall.’’

Mr Rivett said Mr Nuttall would find it humiliating fronting parliament after once being a member.

He told morning radio Mr Nuttall will appear before the bar wearing a suit. He will not be handcuffed.

Mr Nuttall has been working on today’s speech for a couple of months.

Speaker John Mickel has told radio that at the conclusion of the speech, Nuttall will be taken by the parliament’s sergeant at arms to the custodial officers who will be just outside the doors of the chamber.

After he leaves, the house will determine if he is guilty of the 41 contempt charges and if so, what is the penalty.

Mr Mickel said it’s an emotional day for him as he went to the same school as Nuttall and has known him since he was a young man

Premier Rann to speak on charged MP's future


About bloody time this supposed leader spoke up. let’s see what he has to say, he has made a comment as a father, which at least says something, but this fat sicko MP Bernard Filthy Finnigan

has to be banished from public life forever. never ever to be seen (or paid) on behalf of the Government again! I hope he goes to jail, but who knows, the standard excuse these days is “Doing research blah blah”

SPECULATION on the future of the Labor MP on child pornography charges has grown, with Premier Mike Rann about to make a statement in Parliament.

MP Bernard Finnigan alleged Kiddie Porn pervert


Many Labor MPs are concerned about their colleague trying to take his seat in Parliament and believe he should not return until his case has been resolved.

Mr Rann said it was extremely difficult to talk about the issue of the Labor MP at the centre of the child pornography storm.

“I will not talk about that particular case,” he said.

 “But as a father and as a Premier I can’t think of anything that sickens my stomach any more than child pornography or child sexual abuse.

“Anyone found guilty of such offences is unfit for public life.”

Asked about whether the MP had been asked to stand down, Mr Rann said it was up to the MP and he could not be forced to step aside unless he was found guilty.

“I will be making a major statement to Parliament when it returns,” he said. “I am not counselling him (the MP) at all. I don’t think it would be appropriate to make any contact with that MP during a police investigation.”

Premier Rann to speak on charged MP’s future


About bloody time this supposed leader spoke up. let’s see what he has to say, he has made a comment as a father, which at least says something, but this fat sicko MP Bernard Filthy Finnigan

has to be banished from public life forever. never ever to be seen (or paid) on behalf of the Government again! I hope he goes to jail, but who knows, the standard excuse these days is “Doing research blah blah”

SPECULATION on the future of the Labor MP on child pornography charges has grown, with Premier Mike Rann about to make a statement in Parliament.

MP Bernard Finnigan alleged Kiddie Porn pervert


Many Labor MPs are concerned about their colleague trying to take his seat in Parliament and believe he should not return until his case has been resolved.

Mr Rann said it was extremely difficult to talk about the issue of the Labor MP at the centre of the child pornography storm.

“I will not talk about that particular case,” he said.

 “But as a father and as a Premier I can’t think of anything that sickens my stomach any more than child pornography or child sexual abuse.

“Anyone found guilty of such offences is unfit for public life.”

Asked about whether the MP had been asked to stand down, Mr Rann said it was up to the MP and he could not be forced to step aside unless he was found guilty.

“I will be making a major statement to Parliament when it returns,” he said. “I am not counselling him (the MP) at all. I don’t think it would be appropriate to make any contact with that MP during a police investigation.”

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: