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Chapter Four - The Seventh Damning Letter

Arbitration in Australia has served as a shield for big corporations, seemingly undermining democratic values. The nondisclosure clauses within government-endorsed arbitration have obscured a range of offenses committed by public servants. Terms such as bribery, exploitation, fraud, and nepotism accurately characterize the improprieties uncovered. This stark revelation underscores the detrimental impact of arbitration on individuals who trusted the appointed arbitrator.

Before I disclose below, my alleged telephone call to the arbitrator's wife at 2 am one morning was nothing but total fabrication so that my complaints to the Institute of Arbitrators Australia would not investigate my claims against Dr Hughes (the arbitrator to my arbitration). It is quite possible that neither Dr Hughes nor John Pinnock (the administrator to my arbitration) wanted the two December 1995 letters my accountant Derek Ryan wrote to Senator Richard Alston and Mr Pinnock discovered (re to Chapter 2 - Inaccurate and Incomplete). Had Laurie James, President of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia (AAT) seen these two letters, they might have shown more truth to my claims raised with the AAT than just my claims. Reading those two letters, dated 6 December and 20 December 1995, shows Dr Hughes did have questions about his allowing only part of the financial findings on my claim to be valued rather than the whole claim.


Absent Justice - Prologue

On 27 February 1996, John Pinnock wrote to Laurie James (see point 4 above), attacking my credibility. The TIO deliberately misinformed Mr James that I had telephoned the arbitrator’s wife at 2 am one morning:

“Mr Smith has admitted to me in writing that last year he rang Dr Hughes’ home phone number (apparently in the middle of the night, at approximately 2.00am) and spoke to Dr Hughes’ wife, impersonating a member of the Resource Unit.” (See page 3, Arbitrator File No /49)


Who advised the TIO that I telephoned at approximately 2 am? The telephone account for the evening in question (also in Arbitrator File No /49) confirms I called at 8.02 pm. It is terrible to see the lies told regarding the actual time I made this telephone call, but it is perhaps even worse to discover that my reason for making that call was concealed from Mr James. I phoned the arbitrator to alert him I had, that day – 28 November 1995 – received vital arbitration documents that I should have received during my arbitration, and these documents definitively proved Telstra's TF200 EXICOM arbitration defence report was manufactured to pervert the course of justice.

It was exciting to read that Telstra staff proved beer could not have stayed wet and sticky for 14 days – the time between the TF200 EXICOM leaving my premises and arriving at their laboratory. It was already evening, but I rang the arbitrator's home number in the heat of the moment. His wife answered and told me he was overseas and not due home for some days.

It is also alarming, to say the least, that Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) and John Pinnock (the administrator of the arbitration) allowed Dr Hughes’ wife’s name to be used to stop Laurie James (the President of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia) from uncovering Telstra’s conjured TF200 report (refer to Tampering With Evidence).

I doubt, even now, 20-plus years after the event, Dr Hughes’ wife knows he used her to stop a transparent investigation by Laurie James, (then president of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia) into why her husband and John Pinnock (the second TIO) would not investigate the fresh TF200 EXICOM evidence that arrived on 28 November 1995, confirming that 11 months previously Telstra fraudulently manufactured their TF200 EXICOM arbitration report. I am sure Mrs Hughes would be alarmed that John Pinnock deceived Mr James by advising me that I telephoned Dr Hughes at 2.00 am when no such letter ever existed. John Pinnock’s letter, dated 27 February 1996, was also copied to her husband. Why did Dr. Hughes allow such a letter to be sent when he must have known I did not telephone his wife at 2.00 am? I telephoned at 8:02 pm to tell Dr Hughes what this fresh evidence finally revealed (see Tampering With Evidence).

This tampering with evidence, after it left my premises, raises a most important question: why has the Australian government not advised the Telstra board that Telstra have both a legal and moral obligation to rectify these as a matter of public interest because this tampering with evidence, during a litigation process, was committed when the Australian Government and its people owned the Telstra Corporation.

It is bad enough to have to live with the knowledge that the Arbitration Resource Unit and the Arbitrator failed to investigate my complaints of the multiple, ongoing telephone problems that continued to haunt my struggling business throughout my arbitration process. Still, the situation becomes even worse when you consider what was to come when John Pinnock (the new administrator of the process), who also held the role of TIO advised Australian politicians that all of the problems I was still complaining about had been fixed during the arbitration, even though Mr Pinnock (the new TIO) were actually still receiving correspondence from Telstra, thirty-three months after my arbitration had ended, claiming that it ‘appeared’ as though the problems had continued to occur after the so-called ‘end’ of my arbitration.  What this does highlight, however, is a clear indication of how corrupt the whole COT arbitration process was: it had been designed, from the very beginning to cover up Telstra’s bad workmanship, regardless of the cost, and the cost of that cover-up was the destruction of anyone who was prepared to stand up and raise legitimate complaints, with the Government, in relation to Telstra, on any level.

Let us look at this 27 February 1996 letter from Mr Pinnock and the tampering with evidence issue, namely, the TF200, again.  

The marked Telstra FOI documents folio A64535 to A64562 (see Tampering With Evidence File No/5), are clear evidence that Telstra did do two separate TF200 tests on my collected phone two weeks apart. FOI folio A64535 confirms with this handwritten Telstra laboratory file note, dated 26 May 1994, that when wet beer was poured into a TF200 phone, the wet substance dried up within 48 hours. The air vents within the phone itself allowed for the beer to escape. In other words, how could my TF200, collected on 27 April 1994, have been wet inside the phone on 10 May 1994 when it was tested at Telstra’s laboratories?


Absent Justice - A disturbing twist


It has been brought to the attention of the undersigned that Telstra, a telecommunications company, tampered with evidence during an arbitration process. The undersigned had previously volunteered for the Cape Bridgewater Country Fire Authority (CFA) for many years before this incident came to light. During the arbitration process, Telstra deliberately misled the arbitrator by twisting the reason as to why the undersigned was unable to test their TF200 telephone at their premises during a scheduled meeting on 27 April 1994. Telstra had recorded in their file notes, which were later submitted to the arbitrator, that the undersigned had refused to allow them to test the phones due to feelings of fatigue. However, Telstra failed to mention that the undersigned had informed the fault response unit that they had been fighting an out-of-control fire for 14 hours and that their sore eyes made it impossible to observe the testing.

It is evident from the Tampering With Evidence page that Telstra set out to discredit the undersigned by implying that they were too tired to have their TF200 phone tested and, after the phone was removed, someone from Telstra poured beer into it before it arrived at the Melbourne laboratories. Telstra then alleged that sticky beer was the cause of the phone's ongoing lock-up problems rather than an issue with the Cape Bridgewater network. These actions and the threats the undersigned received from Telstra during the arbitration process demonstrate that their claims should have been investigated years ago. Despite the undersigned carrying out their civic duties as an Australian citizen, providing vital evidence to the AFP and fighting out-of-control fires, they were still penalised during the arbitration process.

It is worth noting that the undersigned could not have spilt beer into their telephone, as Telstra had claimed, given that they had been fighting a fire. They would not have been drinking beer while driving the CFA truck or assisting their colleagues. This part of the undersigned's story highlights the unprofessional conduct that COT Cases endured from Telstra as they fought for a reliable phone service. When the undersigned provided the arbitrator and the arbitration Special Counsel with a statutory declaration prepared by Paul Westwood's forensic documents specialist, both refused the undersigned's request to investigate Telstra's report on the grounds of fraud.

A second look at Telstra’s doctored technical report, i.e.,


Absent Justice - Telstras Doctored Technical Report


After a claimant has provided it to an arbitration process, this sort of tampering with evidence must really be one of the worst crimes a defendant (in this case, the Telstra corporation) could commit against an Australian citizen. So why, when evidence of this tampering was provided – more than two decades ago (see Open Letter File Nos/3637 and File No/38) to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, John Pinnock, the chair of the TIO counsel, The Hon Tony Staley, the chair of the Telstra board, David Hoare and Telstra’s then-CEO Ziggy Switkowski AO – was it not investigated immediately? After all, it was Telstra’s internal investigations after the initial report that uncovered this unlawful conduct during my arbitration. However, that didn’t stop Ziggy Switkowski from accepting an Order of Australia award in 2014 despite sitting on this crime for more than two decades ago years. Ziggy Switkowski, the new Telstra CEO, and chair have a moral and legal obligation to investigate the criminal misconduct committed by previous employees during my litigation with Telstra.

The conclusion of Telstra’s original arbitration TF200 defence report, prepared and signed off by Telstra, states:

“The cause of the fault condition has been confirmed by Telecom Research to be due to the presence of a foreign substance possibly beer inside the telephone case which directly caused the incorrect operation of the telephone membrane hookswitch. When the hookswitch was removed from the foreign substance, the telephone operated correctly.

“The state of the telephone when received suggested that the telephone was not well cared for by the customer.

“If the customer had reported the liquid spillage when it occurred the telephone would have been replaced under standard maintenance procedures with no resultant loss of business.”

A drop of silicon 

Telstra eventually sold two containers of T200s as scrap to Liberty USA Pty Ltd, who in turn moisture proofed the phones with silicon and resold them to Poland. The person who secured the lucrative deal to sell these faulty TF200s was John Tuczynski, managing director of Liberty Australia Pty Ltd, who was also an ex-Polish national, like Mr Switkowski.

Absent Justice -Absent Justice - T200s

Mr Tuczynski’s method, using silicon on TF200 hookswitches to moisture-proof the phones, was a technique Telstra did not know. This could have saved the corporation a lot of money and EXICOM customers years of heartache. Remember, the Australian government and its citizens owned the Telstra Corporation at this time, but instead of looking for a solution to fix the EXICOM problem, Telstra decided it was easier and cheaper to tamper with the TF200s and blame the customer for any faults.

Had John Pinnock not written this 27 Fevruary 1996 letter to Laurie James and Dr Hughes had stopped this letter he knew was false from being supplied to Laurie James President of the Institute of Arbitrators all my arbitration unresolved issuse would have been seen in a different light as they have been these past two decades. 

Could there have been another reason Dr Hughes did not want the Institute of Arbitrators investigating my matters because Dr Hughes was aware at early as 23 May 1994, that my arbitration related faxes were not arriving at his office, but he did not allow me to have these lost claim documents re-submitted when I was able to prove this had happened: 

To answer this question I need to 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 early 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 of 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 official diclose these faxing problems between his Sydney and Melbourne office prior to is hinging on criminal negligence

Next Page ⟶
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.

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“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

“…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

“A number of people seem to be experiencing some or all of the problems which you have outlined to me. …

“I trust that your meeting tomorrow with Senators Alston and Boswell is a profitable one.”

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

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