Menu
My Bag

Your bag is currently empty.

Menu

Breach of trust - Anti-corruption policies need to be used in anti-corruption reforms and strategies. Corruption metrics and corruption risk assessment are good governance

 

Chapter 6

Arbitration

It is time I introduced Cathy. We met in 1993 when she brought a group of underprivileged children to the camp from Ballarat. She was a very warm and competent coordinator in the field of family support. We stayed in touch after that, and she assisted me from Ballarat in various camp operations over the next year or so. Then in May 1994, she agreed to come and work at the camp while I concentrated on my arbitration. By the end of the year, we were partners.

Her assistance was timely, for in the course of preparing for my arbitration came new nightmares. I discovered things I thought I’d faxed to my advisers or to the arbitrator had not got through. I was regularly contacting Austels two nominated representatives with evidence of pages of my faxes which came out at the receiver’s end as blank pages, often with a small symbol at the top of each page, on the left or the right.

And, of course, Telstra charged me for these blanks (as it also continued to charge me for unconnected 1800 calls), each of these pages appearing on my Telstra account in terms of minutes to transmit. I asked Telstra repeatedly, in writing and through various legal processes, why these pages should arrive at the other end as blanks, but I never received an answer.

I told my arbitrator I believed he was not receiving all the faxes I was sending him. Regarding one instance, on 23 May 1994, Telstra insisted the problem had occurred because the arbitrator’s fax was busy when my fax was attempting to get through. Whatever happened to my fax, hearing a busy signal and trying again? And besides, why was I charged for the call? In fact, my phone account showed, on this day, charges for seven non-connected calls to the arbitrator’s office. The question is, where did those seven faxed claim documents end up? It is clear who benefited from their disappearance, but still, the arbitrator was not interested in investigating this.   

Because of the need to be in constant contact with Garry Ellicott and George Close, my claim advisors in Queensland, my Telstra account for this period reached more than $16,000 by May 1995. My home account was another $2000. Telstra, meanwhile, had set up a special office just to deal with the COT arbitrations, and in 1996 admitted that the COT arbitrations had, up to then, had cost Telstra in excess of $18 million. All this to fight a small group of small-business people who were looking only for Australian justice!

Anti-corruption policies need to be used in anti-corruption reforms and strategy. Corruption metrics and corruption risk assessment is good governance. Had these policies and good governance been in place during our arbitrations I would not be writing to the Commonwealth Ombudsman asking them to investigate why Telstra would not supply our discovery documents. The longer we were kept waiting, the longer our advisors and researchers were kept waiting, and the more it cost us to participate in this so-called ‘fast tracked’ procedure. Telstra seemed deliberately delayed the supply of the discovery documents, giving them more time to prepare their defence or giving their legal unit more time with the discovery documents before our advisors saw them. Either way, it seemed to me the whole arbitration was being orchestrated by Telstra as an exercise in thwarting any investigation into their dubious conduct. Certainly an exercise in power imbalance, with the arbitrator weighing in on their side in a myriad of ways.

Absent Justice - Telstras FOI Game

The FOI documents were unreadable or totally blank

In June 1994, I was obliged to ask the arbitrator for extra time to prepare my claim and was allowed one extra week. By contrast, the records show that Telstra was allowed an extra 72 days. A Telstra representative was in the arbitrator’s office when Graham Schorer and I arrived with my interim claim documents on 15 June 1994. My documents were taken away by Telstra’s defence counsel. I could not understand how the arbitrator could allow Telstra access to my interim claim documents when he knew I was still waiting for vital discovery documents to complete my submission. Moreover, the arbitration rules were clear that Telstra was allowed only one month to prepare their defence of my claim, but they did not present that defence until 12 December 1994, six months later.

On 11 July 1994, Steve Black, Telstra’s arbitration resource unit, writes to Warwick Smith, stating:-

Telecom will also make available to the arbitrator a summarised list of information which is available, some of which may be relevant to the arbitration. This information will be available for the resource unit to peruse. If the resource unit forms the view that this information should be provided to the arbitrator, then Telecom would accede to this request.

The statement in Telstra’s letter: -

 “if the resource unit forms the view that this information should be provided to the arbitrator.

This confirms that both the TIO and Telstra were aware that the TIO-appointed resource unit had been assigned to vet most, if not all, the arbitration procedural documents en route to the arbitrator

If the resource unit decided a particular document was not relevant to the arbitration process, it would not be passed on to the arbitrator or other parties. This particular secret deal has been linked to further clandestine dealings and is discussed further on our website link  (see Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman/Chapter Four.  Could this secret deal be directly related to the very important 24 January 1995 arbitration letter, which is discussed later in our story which the TIO states did not exist when our exhibit file shows it did exist and was clearly received at the arbitrator’s office as the 24 January 1995 fax-footprint shows,

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is an Australian National Telecommunications Industry Regulator, which seems like a good idea except that this Ombudsman is funded by the telecommunication carriers themselves, which means that it can hardly be called impartial, on any level, but particularly when they are involved in an arbitration, and their wages are actually paid by the defendants in that arbitration!

It is also important to point out that page 5 of the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984, under Part 11 – Appointment of Arbitrators and Umpires states:-(6) Presumption of single arbitrator

An arbitration agreement shall be taken to provide for the appointment of a single arbitrator unless –
(a) the agreement otherwise provides; or
(b) the parties otherwise agree in writing.

The arbitration agreement the four COT Cases, signed in April, 1994 mentions only one arbitrator.  They have never seen any written agreement that allows the seond -appointed arbitrator to determine what information the first-appointed arbitrator may see or may not see. 

 

Ann Garms, Graham Schorer and I only found out after our arbitrations had been concluded that these exonerated consultants had been given a secret charter by Warwick Smith with the approval of Telstra's arbitration defence officer Steve Black to vet all of the arbitration material going to the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes and that they were allowed to decide on what was viewed by the arbitrator and then passed onto us three claimants. 

Absent Justice - Deception Continues

Hiding behind a tainted confidentiality agreement - Section three

Although the 19th April 1994 Arbitration Agreement issue has been addressed elsewhere on absentjustice.com, it is important to link it here to the issue when the arbitrator's secretary faxed a copy of the FTAP Agreement to lawyers, Mr Goldberg and William Hunt. Mr Hunt was seeking a legal opinion on the agreement before Graham Schorer and I were to sign it on 21st April 1994.  The following three clauses are included on page 12 of the version of the agreement faxed by the arbitrators secretary:-

Clause 24: Neither the Administrator nor the Arbitrator shall be liable to any party for any act or omission in connection with any arbitration conducted under these Rules save that the Arbitrator (but not the Administrator) shall be liable for any conscious or deliberate wrongdoing on the Arbitrator’s own part.

Clause 25: The liability of Ferrier Hodgson and the partners and employees of Ferrier Hodgson for any act or omission in connection with any arbitration conducted under these rules (other than in relation to a breach of their confidentiality obligations) shall be limited to $250,000 jointly.

Clause 26: The liability of DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd and the directors and employees of DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd for any act or omission in connection with any arbitration conducted under these rules, other than in relation to a breach of their confidentiality obligations) shall be limited to $250,000 jointly.

In the agreement presented to the COT claimants for signing two days later, on 21st April 1994, clauses 25 and 26 were removed and only some of the wording was added to clause 24

The final version of Clause 24 reads“Neither the Administrator, the Arbitrator, the Special Counsel, a partner or employee of the legal firm of which the Special Counsel is a partner, a member of the Resources Unit, Ferrier Hodgson or a partner or employee of Ferrier Hodgson, DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd shall be liable to any party…”

Clause 24 now had a different meaning to that presented by the original three separate clauses and it freed Peter Bartlett and Minter Ellison from any risk of being sued for misconduct in their role as Legal Advisors to the process and thereby provided no incentive for them to ensure the COT claimants were involved in a fair and just process.

The altered clause 24 also has the original $250,000 liability cap against FHCA and DMR removed from the Arbitration Agreement faxed to Mr Goldberg and William Hunt on 19th April 1994.

This letter in June 1994, from Telstra’s Arbitration Liaison Officer to the TIO Special Counsel, who had been exonerated from all liability for his part in the first four COT arbitrations, included the new version of the arbitration agreement that would be used for the next 12 COT claimants. Point 11.2 of this new agreement states that

“The liability of any independent expert resource unit used by the arbitrator, for any act or omission on their part in connection with the Arbitration, shall be limited to $250,000.00″.

Thus, a few months after the $250,000 liability caps had been removed from my arbitration agreement, they were reinstated into the agreement for the remaining 12 COT claimants. Why were the claimants NOT advised of the reinstatement of the liability clauses? Why were we not offered the opportunity to go back to the original agreement that the arbitrator’s secretary had faxed to Alan Goldberg and William Hunt (our lawyers) as the approved final agreement? Why were the three claimants (including me) forced to continue with an arbitration agreement that allowed the Resource Unit to be safely exonerated from all liability, YET in the agreement used by 12 other COT claimants; they were mandated to conduct those arbitrations within the law? Three COT claimants, Graham Schorer, Ann Garms and I, were discriminated against, without question. Exhibit Hacking-Julian Assange File No/42 is from the TIO’s Standard Arbitration Rules used for other COT-type claims against the Telstra Corporation. Liability is covered in Rule 31, which states:

“The liability of any independent expert used by the Arbitrator is limited to $250,000 for any act or omission on their part in connection with the Arbitration”.

This means that any Australian citizen who enters into a TIO-administered arbitration could sue any independent expert used by the arbitrator, to the limit of $250,000 “for any act or omission on their part in connection with the Arbitration”. Graham Schorer and I were not afforded these same entitlements. This was, in fact, illegal as well as discriminatory. That the defendants (Telstra) in an arbitration were able to discuss with the official administrator of the process (in this case the TIO) whether certain discovery documents or pieces of evidence should be released to the arbitrator, and even whether they should be released at all, shows just how much control the defendants (Telstra) had over the administrator.

If this forced removal of the $250.000.00 liability caps for one section of the COT group and not all of the COT cases is not criminal discrimination by Australia's Establishment of the worse possible kind, then what is.  

Maureen Gillan was the first of the four COT Cases to sign her arbitration agreement with 10.2.2, 24, 25 and 26 firmly in place. COT Cases Ann Garms, Graham Schorer, and I advised our legal advisers that Maureen Gillan had signed her agreement. Our lawyers asked the arbitrator's office to fax a copy of the agreement that Maureen had signed. Our lawyers compared the faxed arbitration agreement with Maureen's signed agreement, advising us to do the same.

After considering it was not worth fighting over, I accepted the removal of 10.2.2 as a compromise. 

The minutes of a secret meeting (see Chapter 5 Fraudulent conductwith Steve Black (Telstra's arbitration officer), Telstra's Mr Krasnostine (legal directorate), Dr Hughes (the arbitrator), Peter Bartlett (TIO Counsel) in Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct show this meeting discussed alterations to the arbitration without the claimants being represented. Telstra's transcript of this meeting notes at point six that:

Mr Bartlett [TIO Special Counsel] stated that he was unhappy that Telecom did not appear prepared to allow his firm an exclusion from liability. …

“Mr Smith [TIO Warwick Smith] stated that he thought it was reasonable for the advisers to incur some liability, and that the only matter left to be negotiated on this issue was the quantum of the liability caps.

“Mr Black [Telstra] said that he thought the liability caps proposed by Telecom in the amended rules were already reasonable.” (See Open letter File No 54-A)

The fact that Warwick Smith stated: "he thought it was reasonable for the advisers to incur some liability, and that the only matter left to be negotiated on this issue was the quantum of the liability caps shows the liability caps were always supposed to have been in our arbitration agreement the same agreement that Maureen Gillan signed. 

 Since the conclusion of my arbitration all parties, icluding Telstra, the arbitrator, Peter Bartlett and TIO Warwick Smith are using the confidentlity agreement (attached was attached to the altered agreement) as the reason they will not discuss the secret alterations to clauses, 24,25 and 26 and the other unlawful conduct that festered all the arbitrations. 

In Open letter File No 54-B is a letter dated 12 April 1994 from Dr Hughes to a member of the TIO counsel. This letter discusses how to overcome that one of the four COT cases (Maureen Gillan) had already signed the arbitration agreement on 8 April 1994. This version was the agreement Senators Richard Alston and Boswell, all four COT cases and their lawyers agreed to. But now, John Rundell’s arbitration resource unit wanted to be exonerated from all liability for any act or omission in connection with the remaining three arbitrations. Removing the $250,000 liability caps from the original agreed-to agreement removed any incentive for the resource unit to act responsibly towards the three remaining claimants. And as our Open letter File No/45-A to 45-I and File No/46-F to 46-J show this is what happened: i.e., the arbitration resource unit withheld some of the most important relevant documents from my arbitration process – aware they could NOT be sued for that unacceptable conduct.

Service Verification Testing, September 1994

Absent Justice - Prologue

On 29 September 1994, when this SVT process was supposed to bee carried out, [it had not been carried under the government mandatory specifications] my partner and I sent individual statutory declarations to the arbitrator, the TIO, AUSTEL and Telstra and I continued to write letters regarding this failed process until 15 February 1995 (see Bad Bureaucrats File No/15). After my letters to the TIO and arbitrator on 2 and 10 October 1994, I telephoned the TIO’s office to demand that, as administrators of my arbitration, they call on DMR Australia Pty Ltd, the organisation assigned to assess any technical matters that arose, to fulfil their role in relation to the SVTs: my request was denied.

A Telstra internal email, dated 13 December 1993, shows AUSTEL’s deputy chair Dr Bob Horton allowed Telstra to limit their mandatory parameter testing to only those customers that Telstra stated required testing, i.e.,

“This E-Mail is to alert you to a possible regulatory interaction with the current work on ‘COTS Cases’ and ongoing work with AUSTEL on network performance.

“As you know, a Ministerial Direction gave AUSTEL power to set end-to-end network performance standards. …

“The AUSTEL staff member leading the group originally wanted a very wide list of mandatory parameters but after discussion with Bob Horton and a presentation to the Standards Advisory Committee by [name redacted], AUSTEL have agreed to limit the scope of the initial work to the few parameters our customer surveys had shown as being of most concern.” Arbitrator File No/72

Dr Horton was AUSTEL’s acting chair at the time. It is easy to see just how bad this situation was for me by simply linking this limiting of the mandatory testing with another Telstra internal email, dated 15 November 1993, which states that:

“Parameters for Cape Bridgewater RCM have been obtained, but I don’t believe them – I am attempting to check them. Some of the people supplying this information live in ‘old Telecom’!” (See Arbitrator File No/73)

The following is from the transcript of an oral interview of AUSTEL’s representatives, Bruce Matthews and John McMahon, conducted at the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office on 22 September 1994. On page 7 of this transcript, John Wynack asks, What was the date the report was issued, the AUSTEL report?”

AUSTEL’s representative replies, “The final report was April – I can’t remember the date in April, but April 1994. The draft report was produced in March 1994 and Telecom received their copy of that at the time.” (As we have shown throughout this website, See Falsification Reports File No/4)

While this statement by one of AUSTEL’s representatives makes it clear Telstra received a copy of AUSTEL’s draft findings, NONE of the information in this report, which enabled the government communications regulator (AUSTEL) to arrive at their adverse findings against the Telstra Corporation, was ever made available to the COT claimants during their arbitrations. The version we received in 2007 was certainly not the draft version we viewed in the lock-up meeting.

PLEASE NOTE:

Meanwhile, on 29 September 1994, Telstra’s Chief Engineer brought Service Verification Testing (SVT) equipment to the Camp. Telstra was obliged to prove that there were no longer any phone problems. Right from the start, this engineer experienced major problems getting the equipment to work on any of our three separate lines. Nevertheless, he went ahead with his testing.

No calls were able to reach the camp, so Telstra technicians at the exchange were generating calls for testing purposes. Whatever the results, they had to be totally meaningless because the fact was true incoming calls were not received. On 2 October and 10 October, I complained to Telstra about these deficiencies in the verification testing and sent copies to the arbitrator, the TIO, and Austel. There was no response whatsoever to our statutory declarations.

However, six weeks later, Austel responded, writing to Telstra expressing concerns about the SVT testing process as it was conducted on 29 September. The testing did not meet Austel’s mandatory specifications for testing. Telstra’s own CCAS data for this day confirms that not one of the tests carried out on my three lines met Austel’s testing requirements.

Nevertheless, Telstra went ahead and presented the test results in their arbitration defence. Concluding that my services were now at network standard, along with a sworn statement by this particular engineer that the tests had met all of Austel’s requirements when shows they did not meet those requirements at all.

I do not know what to call this act of blatant, intentional misrepresentation. Certainly not ethical, and I’m sure it was not legal. Why did I not do anything about this? Because I did not learn about it until 2002, seven years later and neatly outside the statute of limitations.

Had the arbitrator been made aware of the said deficiencies that Austel had raised regarding the SVT testing and that the testing could not have produced the mandatory success rate, the arbitrator, would have been duty-bound to find in my award.  In doing so, Telstra was operating outside their licence agreement by not supplying a level playing field to operate my business on the same terms as my competitors.

Austel, for its part, seemed quick to forget its letter of 16 November. In its quarterly report on the COT Cases to the Minister for Communications and the Arts in February 1995, it withheld its true findings and stated baldly that:

All six of the telephone services subjected to the Services Verification Tests have met or exceeded the requirements established. 

What happened to Austel to make it change its tune?

My oral hearing was arranged for 11 October 1994. This hearing followed the submission of the interim claim documents. It was for the purpose of determining for the arbitrator what other information each party might need to supply to assist the process — the documents I needed to access from Telstra, and vice versa. I also asked that Telstra’s failure to supply FOI documents in a proper and timely fashion be raised at the hearing.

The arbitration rules allowed me legal representation if Telstra had legal representation, but where would I find the money to pay a lawyer who wouldn’t buckle under the power of a corporation as huge as Telstra? At least 43 of Australia’s largest legal firms were, at that time, on the payroll of Telstra in one way or another, making them unavailable to any COT member.

In August, five months into the arbitration process, the TIO, in his role as administrator to the arbitration, informed me that the arbitrator himself was a senior partner in a legal firm that was also working for Telstra at the same time. I protested that this surely represented a conflict of interest, but the TIO assured me this was normal practice; he wanted merely that I confirm, in writing, that I had been informed of this situation. Five months too late. What could I do? I saw no choice but to continue with the arbitration and participate in the oral hearing.

I had been advised by the arbitrator that Telstra would not have a lawyer present at the oral hearing, which was a relief, and I went to the hearing believing this would be, more or less, a meeting of equals. How foolishly wrong I was. On Telstra’s side of the table sat two of Telstra’s top executives, both men with legal training. I felt like David up against Goliath. How could I not have known it would be like this?

During the hearing, I produced four-fault logbooks containing, amongst other things, the contact information of over-40s singles clients who had not been able to reach my business by phone. I asked to have these books accepted into the procedure. I had not submitted them earlier, I explained because the information had been given in confidence. I trusted that by submitting them directly into the care of the arbitrator, the information would be secure. The supplied books demonstrated conclusively that I had, in fact, lost business calls as a direct result of faulty phone service. It also detailed that I had also missed out on the opportunity to set up a singles club which would have been another business to augment my income and keep the camp going.

Telstra insisted that the information was not relevant and should therefore not be accepted. The arbitrator concurred, and I was not allowed to submit the logbooks. At this point, I finally admitted to myself that the arbitrator was not acting impartially, nor had he been from the beginning.

The FOI issue wasn’t even touched on in the oral hearing. The arbitrator was supposed to facilitate the timely provision of requested documents to me, and many times I had asked for his assistance in this, but none of my requests was fulfilled; I suspect he didn’t even pass them on. However, he did direct me to provide some 40 extra documents and pages of attachments and further particulars that Telstra had requested through the same discovery process. I complied on every single occasion, at my own expense, but, in return, I received none of the relevant documents I had requested. Something was very wrong with this whole process.

I had been fighting for justice for more than six years. Fighting a losing and costly battle, simply because I wanted to set up business in a rural hamlet that Telstra’s senior board saw no benefit in upgrading. The oral hearing made me realise that I was truly on my own in this: the arbitrator couldn’t be relied on to be independent. I warned the other COT members of what they, too, might face. We had been conned. The TIO’s office had assured us — and the Senate — that this would be a non-legalistic process. They were taking me to the cleaners.

Over the next two months before Telstra lodged their defence of my claim, I continued to search through all the material I had, looking for something, anything, to help improve my position, hoping to find the elusive discovery documents I needed.

Interim submission

In my interim claim, I submitted a list of 183 separate faults between late 1989 and early 1994. Most of the entries on this list included the names and addresses of the people who had registered complaints with me. I also submitted copies of another 42 examples of faults logged by Telstra’s own fault centres in one 8-month period alone, from January to August in 1993. On top of these, I included for assessment more than 70 letters I had received from people over the years, describing their difficulties in reaching me by phone. Some of these letters were written by Telstra’s own employees who had felt compelled to tell the truth about what they knew of my phone problems.

Yet despite this mass of material, the arbitrator's ‘independent’ technical resource unit said in their report that ‘... a comprehensive log of Mr Smith’s complaints does not appear to exist.’ The current 2015, Senator Barry O'Sullivan (Queensland National Party) can vouch that the material was submitted by his partner at the time, Garry Ellicott. What happened to it?

The list of letters of support written to me did not appear on the list of documents received by the resource unit. Presumably, they had not been seen by the arbitrator either. This was a bitter blow. What happened to them? (See Prologue/Chapter One)

Absent Justice - My Story - Australian Federal Police

The AFP and Mr Rumble 

The Federal Police came to Cape Bridgewater to interview me in February 1994 regarding the fact that Telstra was intercepting COT case phone conversations. The evidence we COT members had assembled had convinced Austel and the Minister of Communications that Telstra had a case to answer. Under the Telecommunications Act 1991, Telstra was obliged to provide Austel, the regulator, with any data pertaining to the interception of telephone conversations with the four COT cases. Telstra had supplied nine audio tapes, which Austel then passed to the AFP.

The Federal Police wanted all documentary evidence I could supply of Telstra having intercepted my fax or telephone conversations, and I made copies of several FOI documents for them to take away. This was to have serious consequences for me.

At the end of June 1994, Telstra’s main 'thug' we shall call him 'dog' rang me about my complaints regarding the slow delivery of FOI documents I needed for preparing my arbitration claim. I had complained to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, who was now leaning on Telstra. But the 'dog' astounded me when he told me the slowness of delivery was due to Telstra needing to ‘vet’ the requested documents for any ‘sensitive material’ — because I had passed the material on to the Federal Police. This was preposterous on at least two counts. First, the slow delivery had been going on since my first request for FOI documents. Second, it was my civic, if not legal, duty to cooperate with any police investigation. It was certainly not a subject that a telecommunication corporation should have any jurisdiction over.

But that wasn’t all. The 'dog' then said that I would not be provided with any further documents if I continued to pass them on to the AFP. This I understood as a clear threat to withhold critical FOI documents necessary to support my arbitration claim. I assured him I would not. A few days later, I wrote to affirm this with the 'dog':

I gave my word on Friday night that I would not go running off to the Federal Police etc., I shall honour this statement and wait for your response to the following questions I ask of Telecom below. 

And indeed, I had no intention of providing the AFP with any more FOI documents. When the AFP visited me again in September 1994, I showed them a copy of my letter to the 'dog', which they found very interesting as their transcript of the interview shows:

The thing that I’m intrigued by is the statement here that you’ve given 'the dog' your word that you would not go running off to the Federal Police, etcetera. Question 57, p. 12 Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1

But I did, in July, write to inform the arbitrator that Telstra had threatened to withhold further FOI documents because I had supplied them to the Australian Federal Police to help with their investigations into Telstra’s interception of my telephone conversations. The arbitrator did not respond to my letter, nor did he comment when the issue was raised in parliament.

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Threats Carried Out

On 29 November 1994, Senator Ron Boswell asked Telstra’s Legal Directorate:

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 investigations?

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?

That Telstra’s Legal Directorate had no answer for these two questions was understandable. That the arbitrator could not even ask the questions why I should be penalised for carrying out my civic duty in an official police investigation was not. Months before he handed down his award, my arbitrator's silence told me that the result would not favour my complaints of ongoing telephone and faxing problems.

But it is not just the arbitrator who let me, and the course of justice, down. No one in the TIO office, Austel, or the government was prepared to investigate either.

And what about the threats made against me by Telstra management before I went into arbitration that if I did not raise my phone complaints in writing with (Telstra's outside lawyers) then Telstra would not investigate those complaints.  

Why didn't the arbitrator combine these threats made against me as a serious breach against my civil liberties as an Australian citizen?

Why weren't these threats  addressed in the arbitrator's written findings?

Next Page ⟶
Absent Justice Ebook

Blowing the whistle 

Absent Justice - Hon Malcolm Fraser

While in the midst of my arbitration case against the Telstra Corporation, I stumbled upon a freedom of information release by Telstra. The release disclosed that Telstra had documented and redacted my phone conversations with former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser see page 12 → Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1. During those phone conversations, I expressed my concerns that Australia was providing wheat to China in 1967 despite being aware that China was redirecting it to North Vietnam. I'm curious to know how the interception of my telephone conversations during the arbitration proceedings in 1993 and 1994 with Malcolm Fraser is related to my exposure to the government on 18 September 1967 that Australia was trading with the enemy. 

What intrigues me is the reason behind documenting a seemingly harmless conversation about Australia's wheat selling to China while being aware that China was supplying wheat to North Vietnam during a conflict with Australia, New Zealand and the United States. I am confident there must be a significant motive behind this, and I am determined to uncover it.

It's difficult to fathom the extent of harm inflicted on the young Australian, New Zealand, and United States service members by North Vietnam soldiers who were fueled by the wheat supplied to them by their communist Chinese supporters. Sadly, many of these brave service people lost their lives or were left with permanent injuries.

1.     In September of 1967, I brought to the attention of the Australian government that a portion of the wheat allocated to the People's Republic of China on humanitarian grounds was being redirected to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War Chapter 7- Vietnam - Vietcong

2.    Who else in the Australian government was aware that Australian wheat intended for a starving communist China was being redirected to North Vietnam to feed the North Vietnamese soldiers before those soldiers marched into the jungles of North Vietnam to kill and maim Australian, New Zealand, and United States of America troops? Refer to Footnote 82 to 85 FOOD AND TRADE IN LATE MAOIST CHINA, 1960-1978, prepared by Tianxiao Zhu, who even reports the name of our ship, the Hopepeak and how the seaman feared for our lives if we were forced to return to China with another cargo of Australian wheat. This wheat was being redeployed to North Vietnam during the period when Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America fought the Vietnam Cong in the jungles of North Vietnam.   

3.   During the 1960s, the Australian Liberal-Country Party Government engaged in misleading conduct regarding trade with Communist China despite being cognizant that Australian merchant seamen had vehemently refused to transport Australian wheat to China. The grounds for such an objection were their apprehension that the wheat would be redirected to North Vietnam during the North Vietnam War between Australia, New Zealandand the United States of America. The underlying inquiry is to ascertain the government's rationale for deliberately deceiving the general public and jeopardising the country's troops whose lives were being lost in the conflict in North Vietnam.  Murdered for Mao: The killings China 'forgot'

4.    Why didn't Australia's Trade Minister, John McEwen, correctly and honestly advise the people of Australia why the crew of the British ship Hopepeak had refused to take any more Australian wheat to China because they had witnessed its redeployment to North Vietnam during their first visit to China?  

Quote Icon

“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

“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

“…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

“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

Were you denied justice in arbitration?

Would you like your story told on absentjustice.com?
 Contact Us