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Chapter 1 - The Collusion Continues

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The statement made by DMR & Lane at point 2.23 in their 30 April 1995 report provided to the arbitrator as their final report has haunted me ever since the conclusion of my arbitration i,e;  

“Continued reports of 008 faults up to the present. As the level of disruption to overall CBHC [Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp] service is not clear, and fault causes have not been diagnosed, a reasonable expectation that these faults would remain ‘open’,”  (see Exhibit 45-c -File No/45-A)

Arbitrator False Evidence File 1) I'm wondering if Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd pressured DMR Group Inc (Canada) to refrain from diagnosing my ongoing Ericsson AXE telephone billing problems because Lane was already in negotiations with Ericsson to sell itself to the latter, which it eventually did in 1996.

Or was it because Dr Hughes, the arbitrator, rejected DMR & Lane's request for additional time to investigate these billing issues, which they advised him on 30 April 1995? They had suggested that more time was needed to look into these faults because Telstra had informed Dr Hughes that these billing issues were widespread across Australia. Dr Hughes was reluctant to officially rule my claim because it would have left the door open for similar claims from the 120,000 other COT-Type Telstra customers complaining of the same faults refer to Chapter 1 - Can We Fix The CAN

During my phone conversation with Dr Hughes on 4 May 1995 and in my fax of 5 May 1995, I asked why DMR & Lane had not yet investigated my ongoing billing issues in their final 30 April 1995 report.

However, as evidenced by Dr. Hughes's letter of 5 May 1995 (Arbitrator False Evidence File 1), he refused to discuss these billing issues or let me present evidence that these problems were still affecting my business. It seems strange that an arbitrator can be considered impartial when his technical consultants, DMR & Lane, provided him with a preliminary evaluation report on my claim on 30 April, stating that they had not investigated my ongoing phone problems or identified the cause of the fault. I am also curious why the arbitrator removed the statement: There is, however, an addendum which we may find it necessary to add during the next few weeks on billing, i.e. possible discrepancies in Smith’s Telecom bills.”

 

Forces at Work - Part 1

Absent Justice - The Collusion Continues

Corruption and Misleading and Deceptive Conduct 

There are discrepancies between the arbitrator’s version and my version of Lane's prepared technical consultant report titled Resource Unit Technical Evaluation Report. Mr Alan Smith. CBHC. 30 April 1995. The second paragraph on page one consists of only one short sentence, “It is complete and final as it is,” (see Arbitrator File No/27). However, the second paragraph on the equivalent page (page two) of the arbitrator’s report, also dated 30 April 1995, says:

“There is, however, an addendum which we may find it necessary to add during the next few weeks on billing, i.e. possible discrepancies in Smith’s Telecom bills.” (See Arbitrator File No/28)

The arbitrator’s version contains more information than mine. For example, the reference to my ongoing billing problems states that extra weeks are required to complete the investigation, but the arbitrator did not provide the extra weeks.

Page two of this report (provided as the final report) Open Letter File No/47-A to 47-D shows no mention of my billing claim document being discussed in my version. However, page three in the arbitrator’s version notes:

“One issue in the Cape Bridgewater case remains open, and we shall attempt to resolve it in the next few weeks, namely Mr Smith’s complaints about billing problems.

“Otherwise, the Technician Report on Cape Bridgewater is complete.” (See Open Letter File No/47-A to 47-D)

It is curious how two technical reports, prepared by the same consultants and with the same 23 technical assessments, dated 30 April 1995, can have different versions. One version notes the “… case remains open, and we shall attempt to resolve it in the next few weeks”, while the other version does not mention the case still being open and requiring weeks to complete.

Both reports state that a comprehensive log of Mr Smith's complaints does not seem to exist. However, this log did exist along with 76 letters. AUSTEL acknowledges that these letters could have been from clients; all were separate testaments. They included the Cape Bridgewater Telstra's Falsified SVT Report and Telstra's Falsified BCI Report, that exposed how degraded the Ericsson AXE telephone equipment was. The same Ericsson AXE ongoing telephone problems continued for years after the completion of my arbitration.

A fault complaint log was also provided to the arbitrator, Dr Gordon Hughes, on 15 June 1994 and is attached on pages 19 to 34 in my Letter of Claim (AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings).

 

Corruption in the government-endorsed arbitration process continued. 

 

Absent Justice - Missing Complaints

 

To be clear so that the reader understands, a dated chronology of my 008/1800 billing issues was submitted to the arbitrator as a chronology of events. Why didn't the arbitrator look for it or call for a second copy when I provided evidence that my claim advisers had sent it? Were these 008/800 claim documents lost in Telstra's fax screening process en route to Dr Hughes's office (see the Scandrett & Associates report Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13), or did they arrive at Dr Hughes' Melbourne office before being diverted to the Sydney office, where that office failed to send the information back? 

I must take the reader forward fourteen years to the following letter dated 30 July 2009. According to this letter dated 30 July 2009, from Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) and ex-client of the arbitrator Dr Hughes (see Chapter 3 - Conflict of Interest) wrote to Paul Crowley, CEO Institute of Arbitrators Mediators Australia (IAMA), attaching a statutory declaration (see" Burying The Evidence File 13-H and a copy of a previous letter dated 4 August 1998 from Mr Schorer to me, detailing a phone conversation Mr Schorer had with the arbitrator (during the arbitrations in 1994) regarding lost Telstra COT related faxes. During that conversation, the arbitrator explained, in some detail, that:

"Hunt & Hunt (The company's) Australian Head Office was located in Sydney, and (the company) is a member of an international association of law firms. Due to overseas time zone differences, at close of business, [the company's] Melbourne's incoming facsimiles are night switched to automatically divert to Hunt & Hunt Sydney office where someone is always on duty. There are occasions on the opening of the Melbourne office, the person responsible for cancelling the night switching of incoming faxes from the Melbourne office to the Sydney Office, has failed to cancel the automatic diversion of incoming facsimiles." Burying The Evidence File 13-H.

The fact that Dr Hughes did not officially disclose these faxing problems between his Sydney and Melbourne offices before he was appointed an arbitrator to seven arbitrations, all coordinated collectively over a twelve-month period, where COT claimants, two in Brisbane and five in Melbourne, often complained of the arbitrator's office not responding to faxes, is hinging on criminal negligence. 

 

Forces at Work - Part 2

 

In Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter, a little more than two hours after Warwick Smith received Dr Hughes’ 12 May 1995 letter, he put out a media release stating:

“The Administrator noted that the arbitration process, under the direction of the independent Arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes, appointed with the agreement of the parties, had been run in accordance with principals of natural justice.” (See Open Letter File No 55-B)

Warwick Smith both misled and deceived the public in this media release headed 1st Telecom COT Case Arbitration Finalised: even though this release didn’t name which claimant he was referring to, it is well known I was the first to go through the process.

 

Eight Damning Letters 

 

Letter One 

The first of these eight damning letters was from John Rundell, the Arbitration Project Manager, on 18 April 1995, advised the TIO, the arbitrator and the TIO counsel that:  “Any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes will be signed off and appear on the letter of DMR Inc." (Prologue Evidence File No 22-A).

“It is unfortunate that there have been forces at work collectively beyond our reasonable control that have delayed us in undertaking our work.

“Any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes will be signed off and appear on the letter of DMR Inc.” (see Prologue Evidence File No 22-A)

When Dr. Gordon Hughes, Warwick Smith, and Peter Bartlett, the three legal experts, allowed the critical letter of 18 April 1995 to be hidden from the four COT cases, they directly assisted the "forces at work" to disrupt all four COT cases' arbitrations. If John Rundell had sent a copy of his letter to the four COT cases, as he should have, all four of us could have approached the Federal Government at once.

With Mr Rundell's letter as evidence, we would have had a reasonable chance of having all four processes reviewed and amended, at the very least. It's worth noting that the federal government initially endorsed those first four Fast Track Arbitration Procedures.

Also in this 18 April 1995 letter, the arbitration project manager John Rundell (FHCA) was so openly deceptive he wrote to the first administrator of my arbitration TIO Warwick Smith, copying the same to arbitrator Dr Hughes, stating, “Any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes will be signed off and appear on the letter of DMR Inc.” (See  Prologue Evidence File No 22-A

On 26 September 1997, John Pinnock, the second TIO to be appointed to oversee the COT arbitrations, alerted a Senate Estimates Committee (see  Prologue Evidence File No 22-D) that: 

“… Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process because it was a process conducted entirely outside of the ambit of the arbitration procedures”.  

It is important to note that the government and the arbitration administrators did not act on the information presented. This failure to act strengthens the claim that had the COT cases been provided with a copy of John Rundell's letter dated April 18, 1995, and had they been informed that their arbitrations were being conducted outside of the arbitration procedures and that Dr Hughes had no control over the process, they would have had enough information to convince the Federal Government to abandon the process and design a new one. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the arbitration process was administered under the Supreme Court of Victoria's jurisdiction. This raises the question of how appalled the members of the Supreme Court would have been had they been aware of the appalling behaviour of Dr Hughes and Warwick Smith throughout the COT cases' arbitrations, particularly when:

  1. Dr Hughes and Mr Smith allowed Telstra to manipulate the process without any oversight in place to stop them, and
  2. Secretive "forces at work" infiltrated the process to benefit themselves to the claimants' detriment.

The "forces at work" threatened me for assisting the Australian Federal Police in their investigations into Telstra. Despite bringing this to the attention of the Senate and highlighting the manipulated legal process, no action has been taken to support all twenty-one COT cases. Shockingly, only five of these cases received assistance in acquiring the necessary documents to prove their case. The remaining sixteen COT cases were disregarded and left as collateral damage by the John Howard government, as seen in An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens. Our duty is to ensure that justice is served for all without discrimination or bias.

One cannot help but ponder whether the Federal Government, which initially endorsed the arbitration process, would have abandoned it and implemented a more secure, fairer process had it been privy to the information now available on absentjustice.com.

The Second Damning Letter

John Rundell admitted he knowingly submitted this incomplete financial report into my arbitration process, not running two arbitration centres, one in Collins Street Melbourne and the other In Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.  I wonder how many other arbitrations he has been involved in where known incomplete reports have been used to the other party's detriment?

 

Forces at Work - Part 3

Absent Justice - The Second Damning Letter

Corruption in Arbitration 

My arbitration billing issues were raised in my Letter of Claim on June 15, 1994. Open letter File Nos/46-A to 46-J The exhibits also show that I raised the 008 billing issues on May 27, 1994.

John Rundell, in this 15 November 1995 letter (see Open letter File No/45-A), states:

“As no further progress was likely to be made on these matters, the formal version of the Technical Evaluation Report did not leave the billing issues open.”

In this 15 November 1995 letter, Mr Rundell mentions nothing about my claims of ongoing 008/1800 false, recorded message faults telling the callers to my business I am no longer in business. How could a genuinely independent arbitration resource unit not investigate the worst possible fault being experienced by my business?

Yet the formal DMR and Lane Report, at point 2.23, notes:

“Continued reports of 008 faults up to the present. As the level of disruption to overall CBHC [Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp] service is not clear, and fault causes have not been diagnosed, a reasonable expectation is that these faults would remain ‘open’.”

This report proves beyond all doubt these ongoing unaddressed billing faults were left ‘open’. At no time did DMR & Lane run a series of test calls so that they could hear the RVA recorded message when dialling my 1800 number: “The number you are calling is not connected.”

Open Letter File No/47-D is page 40 from the final version of the report I received during my arbitration. It includes 14 more sets of claim documents than what is on the list contained in Open Letter File No/47-C.

The unresolved 008/1800 billing problems were a central and significant factor in my arbitration claim. As a result, these problems were raised persistently throughout absentjustice.com. The 008/1800 free-call service fault, which seriously affected the viability of my business, had three components. Firstly, despite Telstra's knowledge of the severe problems my 005 267267 lines had been experiencing for many years, the company routed the 008/1800 service through it. Secondly, incoming calls to my 055 267267 service and the 008/1800 free-call service failed to connect, with the caller receiving a message indicating that the number was not connected. Additionally, the same service line locked up after each terminated call.

The findings of AUSTEL's investigation into my complaints, as documented in Open Letter File No/4 File No/5 File No/6 File No/7), condemn the entire phone system that Telstra supplied to my premises. Moreover, the RVA message, triggered by the 008/1800 service faults, suggested to AUSTEL's records and Telstra's that my business was no longer functioning. This situation is terrible for any business owner relying on telephone services. Despite these issues, the arbitrator handed down his findings prematurely.

The arbitrator's technical consultants had warned him that the fault causes had not been diagnosed, and as such, a reasonable expectation was that these faults would remain unresolved. It is, therefore, regrettable that I experienced multiple 008/1800 RVA telephone faults for years after the arbitration process. This situation raised the question of what the arbitrations were intended to achieve if they did not investigate all the phone problems that brought the claimants into the process in the first place. In conclusion, the persistence of the 008/1800 service faults severely impacted my business.

The arbitrator's premature findings further compounded the situation. Therefore, the arbitration process's outcome left unresolved issues that persisted for years after the conclusion of the proceedings, raising questions about the effectiveness of the process in achieving its intended outcomes.

 Open Letter File No/4 File No/5 File No/6 File No/7),

On page one of Mr Rundell’s letter, dated 15 November 1995, he also advised Mr Pinnock Open letter File No/45-A that:

“Discussions were held with Telecom (Mr Peter Gamble) in Mr Smith’s presence during the visit to Cape Bridgewater in April 1995 which provided the following information.

“A second matter involved 008 calls. Again, this matter was current at a late stage (April 1995) of the Arbitration process”.

Mr. Rundell's letter to Mr. Pinnock contained four bullet points on page two. These points contained allegations that, during a site visit, Peter Gamble and I discussed issues regarding 008/1800 faults. It was also stated that Lanes, the arbitration technical consultants, and I agreed with Peter Gamble's explanations of the 008/1800 issues I had raised in my claim. These statements are entirely false and suggest that Mr Gamble's assertions that there was nothing wrong with Telstra's 008 services were grossly incorrect. Furthermore, my arbitration claims concerning a deficient 008 service were not a figment of my imagination, as the government's AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings finding at Points 2 to 212 confirm. 

Had Mr. Rundell told the truth in his letter dated 15 November 1995, he would have acknowledged that my claims were valid. He would have also admitted that I had first raised the ongoing telephone billing problems as a significant issue affecting my business's viability, as my Letter of ClaimCAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9 shows. This was in my 27 January 1994 Fast Track Settlement Proposal (FTSP) interim letter of claim. This claim was jointly addressed to Warwick Smith (the first TIO), Dr Hughes (then the assessor), Peter Bartlett (the TIO's counsel), and Mr Rundell. A 37-page chronology of evidential material, Arbitration Reference Number-P-1289, attached to my submission, was proof that my business was experiencing a significant telecommunications problem that needed a full investigation. Warwick Smith advised me to sign up for the arbitration process because he assured me that the ongoing billing issues would be addressed as part of that process.

My arbitration Letter of Claim  → CAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9provided to the arbitrator on June 15, 1994, referred to my 27 January 1994 settlement letter of claim and Arbitration Reference Number-P-1289. Furthermore, the final versions of the DMR and Lane (arbitration technical consultants) 30 April 1995 report twice directed the arbitrator's attention to the fact that my complaints were still ongoing and being reported up to the date of their reports. In writing on 30 April 1995, they also advised Dr Hughes that they had not investigated this part of my claim and required extra weeks to do so.

“I write concerning charging discrepancies raised in 1994 by Mr Alan Smith of Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp regarding his 008 service, and the wider issue these discrepancies raise for Telstra’s 008/1800 customers. These matters have been the subject of previous letters from AUSTEL to you and to [Telstra], dated 4 October 1994 and 1 December 1994, respectively. The charging discrepancies have again been raised with AUSTEL by Mr Smith following the conclusion of his Fast Track Arbitration Procedure.” (See exhibit 46-K / Open letter File No/46-A to 46-l).

On 14 October 1995, AUSTEL’s Darren Kearney wrote to me under the subject heading Charging Discrepancies Related to Telstra’s 008/1800 Service:

“As noted in my letter to you of 4 October 1995, AUSTEL has written to Telstra regarding the issues originally raised by you in 1994. The letter refers specifically to charging discrepancies raised in 1994 by Mr Alan Smith of Cape Bridgewater Holiday camp regarding his 008 service. …

“As previously advised, you will be informed of the outcome of this matter.”

When the government regulator allowed Telstra to address civil arbitration issues outside of my arbitration, which prohibited me from legally challenging Telstra (as part of the original arbitration process), the government breached their statutory duty of care towards me as an Australian citizen.

Telstra’s previous CEO, Frank Blount, acknowledged, publicly in a manuscript published jointly with Bob Joss and titled Managing in Australia, that Telstra suffered from systemic faults. However, we did not acknowledge that when the government communications regulator AUSTEL (now ACMA) allowed Telstra to address some of my 1800 billing faults outside of the arbitration arena on 16 October 1995, they denied me natural justice because:

The statements concerning my billing problems raised by Mr Rundell in his letter of 15 November 1995 (see above) do not coincide with the comments made by Frank Blount in his publication in Managing in Australia or the comments made by the other Alan Smith, living in Cape Bridgewater who Mr Rundell and Dr Hughes, were alerted were having the same ongoing telephone billing problems as me. In my arbitration claim documents, I explained that my 008/1800 free client service line was also routed through my 055 256 267 service line and had billing and locking-up problems. Still, no one in the arbitration process seemed to understand the significance of these ongoing billing problems or even wanted to understand how these ongoing billing problems were a twofold problem. 

The following link  CAV Exhibit 92 to 127) confirms Frank Blount, Telstra’s CEO, after leaving Telstra he co-published a manuscript in 1999. entitled, Managing in Australia. On pages 132 and 133, the author exposes the problems Telstra were hiding from their 1800 customers:

“Blount was shocked, but his anxiety level continued to rise when he discovered this wasn’t an isolated problem. 

The picture that emerged made it crystal clear that performance was sub-standard.” (See File 122-i CAV Exhibit 92 to 127)

Frank Blount's Managing Australia https://www.qbd.com.au › managing-in-australia › fran can still be purchased online. 

 

Alan Smith of Discovery Bay 

Absent Justice

The other Alan Smith at Cape Bridgewater also had billing problems.  

Just as bad, another Alan Smith, who used to live in Discovery Bay, on the other of Cape Bridgewater like me before and leading up to my arbitration, had been battling Telstra over many months, receiving legal letters from a leading Victoria (Warrnambool law firm) acting for a financial debt collector issuing summons (two I still have) for non-paid Telstra accounts. Freehills Hollingdale & Page fax identification stamp is visible on these documents. This is the same Alan Smith who later informed me of regularly receiving my arbitration-related documents from Telstra. Had Dr. Hughes investigated my claims of lost faxes and road mail deliveries, that investigation might have uncovered Telstra's arbitration defence unit, Freehills, mistakenly sent some of my arbitration material to Alan Smith. I misuse the word because I have no proof it was a deliberate part of Telstra's COT Cases strategy to 'stop me at all costs' from proving my claim.

This download link Prologue Evidence File No/6 008/1800 billing issues … – Absent Justice  confirms Telstra’s previous CEO Frank Blount’s acknowledgement, in Managing in Australia (1999), that Telstra had a major 1800-free-call billing software problem: the same problem Dr Gordon Hughes, the arbitrator of my case, disallowed his technical consultants the extra weeks they advised was needed to investigate these ongoing problems. Had Dr Hughes allowed his arbitration unit the extra weeks their draft findings stated they needed to investigate my 008/1800 claims (see also Open letter File No/46-A to 46-l), they would have also uncovered that the 1800 service to my business was trunked through the 055 267267 service line.

When Dr Hughes stopped DMR and Lane, his technical consultants, from investigating my 008/1800 arbitration claims, did he realise he was also stopping them from investigating my 055 267267 services? This line was still fault-ridden—and remained that way for a further nine years after my arbitration was supposed to have fixed these faults. (See Burying The Evidence File 10-A to 10-C and Chapter 4 The New Owners Tell Their Story)

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Absent Justice Ebook

Telstra is run by 'thugs in suits' 

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Telstra threats carried out. 

Page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard dated November 29, 1994, details Senator Ron Boswell's inquiry to Telstra's legal directorate regarding withholding my 'Freedom of Information' documents during arbitration. This issue arose from my assistance to the AFP in their investigations into Telstra's interception of my telephone conversations and related faxes. Notably, forty-three arbitration-related claim documents faxed to the arbitrator never arrived, as indicated in his arbitration document schedule. This alarming event, which has not undergone a transparent investigation as of June 1994, demands attention.

“Why did Telecom advise the Commonwealth Ombudsman that Telecom withheld FOI documents from Alan Smith because Alan Smith provided Telecom FOI documents to the Australian Federal Police during their investigation?”

After receiving a hollow response from Telstra, which the senator, the AFP and I all knew was utterly false, the senator states:

“…Why would Telecom withhold vital documents from the AFP? Also, why would Telecom penalise COT members for providing documents to the AFP which substantiate that Telecom had conducted unauthorised interceptions of COT members’ communications and subsequently dealt in the intercepted information by providing that information to Telecom’s external legal advisers and others?” Senate Evidence File No 31)

As mentioned on this website, the threats against me during the arbitration proceedings have materialized, and the deliberate withholding of crucial documents is deeply troubling. Unfortunately, neither the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) nor the government has taken steps to investigate the harmful effects of this misconduct on my overall case presented to the arbitrator. Despite my cooperation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in their inquiry into the illegal interception of phone conversations and faxes related to the arbitration, I still await their assistance.

Quote Icon

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

Hon David Hawker

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“…the very large number of persons that had been forced into an arbitration process and have been obliged to settle as a result of the sheer weight that Telstra has brought to bear on them as a consequence where they have faced financial ruin if they did not settle…”

Senator Carr

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

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