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Chapter 7 TIO Lies Fraud Deception

The above Senate Estimates Committee Hansard, gives good argument that neither, Ted Benjamin or Graeme Ward should have been on the TIO Board and Council during the COT arbitrations.

So as the reader fully understands how undemocratic it was for the COT Cases to have been placed in such a terrible situation by the TIO office is, when Jim Holmes vacated his position on the TIO Board in June (thereabouts), that position went To Telstra’s Graeme Ward. That position was not offered to any of the COT Cases.

The COT arbitrations illustrate that corruption in arbitration is much more than just bribery, threats and concealment of discovery. Corporate crime does not usually involve a bag of money. The awarding of advancement in the Establishment is worth millions for those that allowed this crime to happen

Questions on Notice (1)

Absent Justice - Senate

The second-appointed TIO continued where the first left off

Although we address this 24 October 1997 letter from the TIO to Ms Pauline Moore, (secretary to the Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts legislation committee) elsewhere on, we can link in another sinister set of ill deeds committed against the COT claimants. This letter, stamped CONFIDENTIAL, includes the following statement:

“The COT Arbitration Procedures contain provisions relating to the confidentiality of the proceedings, which bind the parties. Those provisions also bind the Arbitrators, the Resource Unit, the Special Council and the TIO in my role as Administrator. …

“Accordingly, I ask that the answers given below to the questions on notice be treated as confidential by the Committee and not be published. …

“9.      Yes, from time to time I have received complaints from foundation COT members, concerning a range of matters, including alleged non-compliance with the rules of the Fast Track Arbitration Procedures by Telstra and/or the Arbitrator and/or the Technical and Accounting Resource Unit. …

“10.    Yes, I have refused to provide COT members with a copy of Telstra’s Preferred Rules of Arbitration. A copy of this document was not provided because it was of historical interest only, and the COT members did not advance any argument as to why it was relevant to their arbitration.” (See Senate Evidence File No 14)

The TIO’s insistence that the agreement was not provided to the COT claimants because: “it was of historical interest only, and the COT members did not advance any argument as to why it was relevant to their arbitration”, is a misrepresentation of the truth – to hide the fact that it was Telstra’s arbitration agreement that was used and to protect Telstra, to the detriment of the claimants.

Graham Schorer, as COT spokesperson, first asked for a copy of the Fast Track Proposed Rules of Arbitration some time before 17 February 1994, so the decision that it would be kept from the claimants was made at least a full two months before we signed the final version of the arbitration agreement. It was therefore entirely “relevant to their arbitration”. The COT claimants were legally entitled to know whether the arbitration agreement was drafted independently or if the defence crafted it, in their favour.

The claimants should have been provided with that original version of the agreement before we signed for arbitration; it should have also been provided during the arbitrations and the arbitration appeal periods. At an official arbitration meeting on 17 February 1994, Mr Schorer said he wanted assurances from the TIO and the arbitrator that the agreement he and the other COT claimants were being pressured to sign was not Telstra’s Proposed Rules of Arbitration. Telstra’s own transcript of this meeting (see Senate Evidence File No/48 ) confirms the arbitrator and the TIO special counsel “both stated they had not received this document and had not read it and that it was irrelevant”. Documents (see Senate Evidence File No 6 and File No/49) confirm the arbitrator was provided with (and read) a document called “Telstra Corporation Limited – ‘Fast Track’ Proposed Rules of Arbitration” sometime before 18 January 1994, a whole month before this pre-arbitration hearing on 17 February 1994.

Telstra’s Fast Track Proposed Rules of Arbitration, which the TIO was still refusing to supply us in October 1997, was the same arbitration file that John Wynack, director of investigations in the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, was trying to access from Telstra on my behalf during 1995 to 1997 (discussed above). Powerful people amongst those administering the COT arbitrations wielded power within the establishment to conceal this very important pre-arbitration document.

How can the government who originally endorsed the first four arbitrations continue to ignore that we were entitled to receive Telstra’s rules of arbitration before we signed our arbitration agreement? Do not forget the TIO’s letter to me, dated 10 January 1996, stating “I do not propose to provide you with copies of any documents held by this office,” (see Senate Evidence File No/50) – echoing the responses that Graham Schorer and I had received since February 1994, from the previous TIO, when requesting copies of Telstra’s proposed rules of arbitration.

John Pinnock also advised Ms Pauline Moore, Secretary Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee, that:

“I refer to previous correspondence and discussions with the Committee’s Research Officer, Ms Ducker, concerning a series of questions put on notice by Senator Boswell and arising out of the Committee’s proceedings of 26 September 1997…(GS 318-b)

“The COT Arbitration Procedures contain provisions relating to the confidentiality of the proceedings, which bind the parties. Those provisions also bind the Arbitrators, the Resource Unit, the Special Council and the TIO in my role as Administrator.”

Please note: only Telstra and the COT claimants signed the confidentiality agreement.

Mr Pinnock also notes:

“Accordingly, I ask that the answers given below to the questions on notice be treated as confidential by the Committee and not published:

 In November 1995 I received correspondence from a COT member expressing concern about the Technical Resource Unit. The COT member:

expressed concern that the purchase by Pacific Star of Lane Telecommunications compromised the independence of the Technical Resource Unit;
stated that there were inaccuracies and biases evident in the Lane Telecommunications/DMR Technical Evaluation Report;
requested the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to dismiss the Resource Unit.

On 6 November 1995 I was advised by Steve Black of Telstra that Lane Telecommunications and Pacific Star had already worked together on several Pacific Star contracts in Queensland and Western Australia and for the Federal Government.”

“Apart from the evidence I gave to the Committee on 26 September 1997 concerning the purchase of Lane Telecommunications by Ericsson Australia. I have recently been advised by one of the Arbitrators (Dr Hughes) that he will be transferring his legal practice to Blake Dawson, Waldron, Solicitors. I am aware that that form is currently acting for Telstra in relation to a number of matters. Arrangements are being made to discuss with Blake. Dawson, Waldron any possible conflicts of interest. …

The victimization continues 

The following segment is just one of many attached to the website, which I created because no one in Australia seemed to understand that these events happened during a government-endorsed arbitration. Members of the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman’s office and the government communications regulator (AUSTEL) have successfully, so far, been able to tell politicians that my claims are frivolous and that I am a vexatious litigant. However, reading only the first page of, shows that I am neither: I just want justice for the COT cases, who were denied natural justice.

John Pinnock was aware the phone problems I raised, before my arbitration began, continued to haunt my business for years after my arbitration, yet, as Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), he wrote letters to various politicians stating the arbitrator addressed all of my phone problems during my arbitration, even though his own arbitration resource unit and AUSTEL advised him otherwise. AUSTEL and the defendant (Telstra) addressed some of these arbitration problems, in secret, FIVE MONTHS after the arbitrator refused his arbitration technical consultants the extra weeks they advised were needed to address these matters. (See Chapter One in our Prologue page.

My Story Evidence File 4-I shows that after Telstra visited my business on 14 January 1998 (33 months after my arbitration was declared a roaring success) they concluded the 1800 billing problems raised in my 1994/95 arbitration continued after my arbitration. Why was this January 1998 evidence concealed from the government, who had endorsed my arbitration on the proviso that all of my ongoing telephone problems would be fixed as part of my arbitration? More importantly, John Pinnock was still writing to politicians as late as February 1999 (My Story Evidence File 4-C to 4-E) saying he was still investigating whether the 008/1800 faults had been addressed in my 1994/95 arbitration even though he was fully informed by AUSTEL they had NOT been addressed in my arbitration. As stated above, Chapter One in our Prologue page shows Mr Pinnock was advised, on 5 November 1995 by his arbitration consultant, that NONE of my billing claims were addressed in my arbitration.

To be clear: despite Mr Pinnock knowing that NONE of my 008/1800 claims were addressed during my arbitration and that AUSTEL allowed Telstra to secretly address them after my arbitration, he was still writing to politicians in February 1999, more than four years later, saying he was unsure whether the issues had been addressed during that process or not. This man is an utter disgrace for having concealed the truth for so long.

Those unaddressed and ongoing lockup communication faults eventually led to me sell my business in December 2001. Firstly, I was unaware that Telstra found in my favour during its investigations at Cape Bridgewater on 14 January 1994 (see My Story Evidence File 4-A to 4-ISecondly, the TIO and Telstra would not make a proper and transparent finding on my ongoing telephone complaints between June 1995 and August 2001. Thirdly, I had come to believe that Telstra was carrying out some sort of vendetta against me, personally, and so expected the problems would stop once the business changed hands. Sadly, however, the new owners simply inherited the same ongoing problems, which eventually led to them being walked off the property by receivers in August 2009, bankrupt.

While it would be wrong to blame all of the financial problems that the new owners of my business experienced on the telephone problems, the stress of trying to run a telephone-dependent business contributed to the plight of the new owners’ stress. Finally, they just gave up the fight, because no one would believe them – yet they were believed, as Telstra documents show. These documents even note that the TIO (John Pinnock) discussed the faults with Telstra because I had also complained of the same faults years before. So all of this going on behind the scene, as the following FOI documents show My Story Evidence File 4-A to 4-B, was a so-far successful attempt to stop a government investigation into why these ongoing faults were not addressed in the TIO arbitration process set up by the government to address them.

Questions on Notice (2)

There are further issues surrounding the TIO’s answers to similar Questions on Notice asked by the Senate committee. The TIO’s official response confirms that Ericsson purchased the arbitration main technical consultancy firm, Lane Telecommunications, during the COT arbitrations. All the technical information that I supplied to Lane Telecommunications during my arbitration, confirming the AXE Portland and Cape Bridgewater lockup problems were not just a local problem but a national and international problem, affecting hundreds of exchanges all over the world, was acquired by Ericsson.

At least three other COT claimants also had businesses connected to Ericsson AXE exchanges and their claim material, too, was on Lane’s computer data files when the company was sold.

Australia must be the only country in the Western world that allows a witness (Lane Telecommunications was a witness to what the COT claimants had uncovered) to be purchased during a major litigation process, particularly when even the administrator advised the Senate committee of this, on 26 September 1997 (see Senate Evidence File No/61).

I believe the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, and the Hon Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications, have to answer these questions: How long was Lane Telecommuncations in contact with Ericsson, the major supplier of telecommunication equipment to Telstra, before Ericsson purchased Lanes? Is there a link between Lanes and DMR ignoring my Ericsson AXE claim documents and the purchase of Lanes by Ericsson during the COT arbitration process?

Food For Thought 

It is clear from AbsentjusticeBrief Summary Part 1 – that Telstra and the TIO should never have installed Grant Campbell (seconded from Telstra) as the Deputy TIO while Telstra was the defendants during the COT Fast Track Settlement Proposal / Arbitration procedure.

Chapter Three below shows a seconded Telstra employee, Grant Campbell, signed off known-false information he had conjured in his letter to Telstra concerning my ongoing faxing problems.

The fact that Warwick Smith allowed Grant Campbell, to sign off letters on his behalf and, in doing so, minimise Telstra’s liability in my arbitration, is beyond contempt when you consider Telstra was the defendant in that arbitration. If on the other hand, Warwick Smith didn’t give Mr Campbell the authority to sign off FTSP arbitration fault-related correspondence, then who gave that authority?

To have allowed the defendant access to the opposing side’s claim material, before the claimant decided which information to submit to the assessor or arbitrator and which to keep back in order to answer the defendant’s defence, was highly undemocratic: how can a Western democracy allow this to happen? Did The Establishment consider this – and that Dr Hughes wrote to Warwick Smith, on 12 May 1995, to advise the arbitration agreement used on my arbitration the day before (see Open Letter File No 55-A) was grossly deficient and needed to be revised, but used it anyway and concealed this letter from me during my appeal period – when awarding Warwick Smith and Dr Hughes medals of honour when each breached his honour prior to, during and after the COT arbitrations were concluded.?

The following five Chapters have been added to show the reader just how corrupt my arbitration was. 

Chapter 1 - The collusion continues - Chapter 2 - Inaccurate and IncompleteChapter 3 - The Sixth Damning Letter,                                       Chapter 4 - The Seventh Damning Letter and Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter


The matters discussed on this website are said according to my interpretation of the  Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013

© 2017 Absent Justice

Download Attachments

TIO Evidence File No 2-A to 2-G
TIO Evidence File No 3-A to 3-C
TIO Evidence File No 4-A to 4-B
TIO Evidence File No 5
TIO Evidence File No 6-A to 6-B
TIO Evidence File No 7-A to 7-F
TIO Evidence File No 8-A to 8-K
Dr Hughes CV faxed 13-1-1994
DMR to Consumer Law Centre
Ex-parte meeting Evidence File 2-A to 2-B
Discrimination No 1-A to 1-C
TIO Council Conflict of Interest 30 Nov 1993
TIO Evidence File No 9-A to 9-B
TIO Evidence File No 10-A to 10-J
TIO Evidence File No 11
6-4-95 Lane Draft Report (4-A)

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Read Alan’s book

My name is Alan Smith. This is the story of my battle with a telecommunications giant and the Australian Government, a battle that has twisted and turned, since 1992, through elected governments, government departments, regulatory bodies, the judiciary, and the Australian telecommunications giant, Telstra, or Telecom, as it was known when this story started. The quest for justice continues to this day.

Other independent business people similarly affected by poor telecommunications have joined me on my journey. We are known as the Casualties of Telstra, or the COT cases. All we wanted was for the government owned telecommunications carrier Telstra to admit there was problems, and fix them.

Worse, we had been tricked into signing a confidentiality clause that has hampered all of our efforts since to have our claims transparently investigated.

What do you think? Are we imagining it or has there really been massive corruption and collusion on the part of public servants, politicians, regulatory bodies and Telstra themselves, to protect Telstra to the detriment of it's customers?

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“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

“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.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“…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

“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

“…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

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

– Edmund Burke