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Chapter Five - The Eighth Damning Letter

Absent Justice - Senator Ron Boswell

I use the Senate Hansard records of 20 September 1995, showing a very emotional Senator Ron Boswell discussing the injustices we four COT claimants (i.e., Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and I) experienced during our so-called government-endorsed arbitrations, in the previous chapter. It is also most important to raise the following statement made by Senator Boswell, concerning the TIO and his annual report:

“I regard it as a grave matter that a government instrumentality like Telstra can give assurances to Senate leaders that it will fast track a process and then turn it into an expensive legalistic process, making a farce of the promise given to COT members and the inducement to go into arbitration. The process has failed these people and can never give them justice – a point confirmed by professionals deeply involved in the arbitration process itself and by the TIO’s annual report, where conclusion is described as ‘if that is ever achievable’.” (See Senate Hansard Evidence File No-1)

Senator Boswell’s statement that “a point confirmed by professionals deeply involved in the arbitration process itself and by the TIO’s annual report, where conclusion is described as ‘if that is ever achievable’,” shows, by the date of this Senate Hansard on 20 September 1995, the TIO had already condemned the arbitration process. So why did Mr Pinnock (TIO) and Dr Hughes, eight months later, conspire to mislead and deceive Laurie James concerning the truth of my claims, which were registered with the proper authority, i.e., the president of Institute of Arbitrators Australia?

Living with the knowledge that these lies were told by the very same person who actually had the power to investigate them, but did not, is mind-destroying. Also, mind-destroying for the new owners of my business who purchased my holiday camp in December 2001, is that regardless of them complaining to the Communications Minister’s office my local Federal Member of Parliament, and Mr Pinnock from very early in January 2002 to September 2006 (see Bad Bureaucrats/Chapter One and Chapter Four) they had inherited the same type of phone problems that I had suffered with since 1987, no one re-investigated what went wrong during my arbitration in order to stop the arbitrator from allowing his arbitration resource unit the extra weeks they stated was needed to complete their findings (see Chapter One above).

Absent Justice - Prologue

Why did Dr Goron Hughes [the arbitrator to the first four arbitrations] bring down his award on my arbitration claims when he was aware:

 “…the time frames set in the original Arbitration Agreement were, with the benefit of hindsight, optimistic;

“in particular; we did not allow sufficient time in the Arbitration Agreement for inevitable delays associated with the production of documents, obtaining further particulars and the preparation of technical reports…

“In summary, it is my view that if the process is to remain credible, it is necessary to contemplate a time frame for completion which is longer than presently contained in the Arbitration Agreement.” see Open Letter File No 55-A).

Why did the arbitrator amend the arbitration agreement for the remaining three COT cases allowing those claimants thirteen more months to access their documents from Telstra (the defendants in all four arbitrations) than he allowed me?

The fax imprint across the top of this letter (Open Letter File No 55-A).) is the same as the fax imprint described in the Scandrett & Associates report (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13), confirming faxes were intercepted during the COT arbitrations. The question the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO) and the Federal Attorney-General has still not answered is:

Was this letter actually faxed to my office by the TIO. to assist me in any pending appeal process and, if not, why was such an important letter deliberately kept from me during my designated appeal period? 

If I had received a copy of this letter, declaring the agreement used in my arbitration process was not credible, then of course, I would have appealed the arbitrator’s award. After all, how could an appeal judge argue against the arbitrator’s own findings that the agreement was not credible, even though he used it anyway?

How could Dr Hughes even contemplate making a statement like: “…as far as I could observe, both Telecom and Smith co-operated in the Smith arbitration”, let alone decide to include it in his 12 May letter, when he and the Senate had already been warned that Telstra was threatening to withhold further relevant documents from me, simply because I had agreed to assist the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into Telstra’s unauthorized interception of my phone conversations and faxes and, even worse than that level of Telstra treachery, Telstra then actually carried out those threats?  And what about the advice that both the arbitrator and Warwick Smith had received on 18 April 1995 (see above), which stated clearly that there had been ‘forces at work’ that had ‘derailed’ my arbitration?  This 12 May statement shows that Dr Hughes was quite clearly choosing to protect those ‘forces at work’, regardless of the serious problems that created for me.

Interception of this 12 May 1995 letter by a secondary fax machine:

Whoever had access to Telstra’s network, and therefore the TIO’s office service lines, knew – during the designated appeal time of my arbitration – that my arbitration was conducted using a set of rules (arbitration agreement) that the arbitrator declared not credible. There are three fax identification lines across the top of the second page of this 12 May 1995 letter:

  1. The third line down from the top of the page (i.e. the bottom line) shows that the document was first faxed from the arbitrator’s office, on 12-5-95, at 2:41 pm to the Melbourne office of the TIO – 61 3 277 8797;
  2. The middle line indicates that it was faxed on the same day, one hour later, at 15:40, from the TIO’s fax number, followed by the words “TIO LTD”.
  3. The top line, however, begins with the words “Fax from” followed by the correct fax number for the TIO’s office (visible

Consider the order of the time stamps. The top line is the second sending of the document at 14:50, nine minutes after the fax from the arbitrator’s office; therefore, between the TIO’s office receiving the first fax, which was sent at 2.41 pm (14:41), and sending it on at 15:40, to his home, the fax was also re-sent at 14:50. In other words, the document sent nine minutes after the letter reached the TIO office was intercepted.

If I had received a copy of this letter declaring the agreement used in my arbitration process was not credible, then, of course, I would have appealed the arbitrator’s award. After all, how could an appeal judge argue against the arbitrator’s own findings that the agreement was not credible, even though he used it anyway?

Interception of this 12 May 1995 letter by a secondary fax machine is discussed in more depth in our Australian Federal Police Investigations page

TIO Media Release 12 May 1995

Absent Justice - Prologue

Warwick Smith was supplied advice, on 18 April 1995, from none other than John Rundell, stating there were “forces at work” that derailed the process. I discussed with Warwick Smith, twice, Telstra’s threats of withholding FOI documents, because I assisted the Australian Federal Police and that this eventuated. Surely all this was enough for Warwick Smith to call the whole arbitration process a farce and ask the minister to intervene? Yet, this did not happen, not even after Dr Hughes’ 12 May 1995 advice. In most Western democracies, this would have been enough for an investigation.

Instead, a little more than two hours after Warwick Smith (the TIO and administrator of the process) 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.

So, before Warwick Smith put out this media release, why didn’t he advise the relevant communications minister, Michael Lee MP, and the public, that Telstra destroyed some documents I needed and deleted relevant information from others, particularly since I had provided Mr Smith with evidence of this?

Why didn’t he advise anyone that Telstra not only threatened to withhold all the relevant documents I needed to support my claims and that they actually carried out those threats?

Perhaps Warwick Smith was concerned that, if he did raise these problems with the Hon Michael Lee MP, or reveal them to the public, then there would have been an instant demand for answers to questions like:

Why didn’t he and the arbitrator, Dr Hughes, contact the Supreme Court of Victoria and/or the relevant authorities to request a proper investigation into the situation that the COTs had found themselves in, through no fault of their own, when it first became clear that Telstra was acting as a law unto themselves?

This raises even more questions, particularly in relation to Warwick Smith’s media release. Why did he:

  1. Collude with the arbitrator by allowing the defendants to draft their own arbitration rules for the process instead of providing the independently drafted agreement that both Warwick Smith and the arbitrator assured the media, politicians and claimants, would be prepared?
  2. Refuse to supply the COT cases with a copy of Telstra’s preferred rules of arbitration as soon as questions arose about the possibility that the arbitration agreement was based on Telstra’s version?
  3. Allow the defendants to be present at monthly TIO board and council meetings where various COT case arbitrations were discussed?
  4. Allow Dr Hughes to continue to use an arbitration agreement that Dr Hughes, himself, stated was not a credible document to have used and needed revising (for the remaining claimants), even though Dr Hughes used it all the way through my COT arbitration and the result was allowed to stand?
  5. Allow Dr Hughes and his arbitration technical unit to assess and investigate less than 11 per cent of my legally submitted claim documents?
  6. Allow Dr Hughes to only assess losses that came from my school customers, which were the least lucrative customers while ignoring the more lucrative over-40s singles-club losses?
  7. Allow the defendants to have access to my claim material, during my arbitration, before it was submitted to the arbitrator?
  8. Organise, with the defendants, that the TIO-appointed resource unit and the defendants would decide which arbitration procedural documents would be passed on to the arbitrator for assessment and which would be concealed from the process altogether (something which is not mentioned anywhere in the official arbitration agreement)?
  9. Deliberately hide all these facts from the public in his 12 May 1995 media release?
  10. Also withheld from the public that, although the arbitration consultants wanted extra weeks to address my ongoing billing problems, these extra weeks were not allowed?

We can only guess the answers to these 10 questions. However, it is quite clear that, if Warwick Smith had revealed the actual truth about our arbitrations, then there would have been such an outcry from the Australian public – and from many government ministers too – that Warwick Smith and Dr Hughes would have been brought into disrepute, along with all the others involved in the administrative side of the process, for having allowed this deplorable situation to continue for so long. That would have led to major pressure being applied for Warwick Smith and Dr Hughes to officially call the entire COT arbitration process null and void.

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

© 2017 Absent Justice

Download Attachments

Prologue Evidence File No/2 - Prologue Evidence File No/2 AUSTEL's Chairman Robin Davey notes: "...I would be more than a little concerned if they were to have a continuing role". 

Prologue Evidence File No/3 - Prologue Evidence File No/3 Telstra's Corporation Limited "Fast Track" Proposed Rules of Arbitration. 

Prologue Evidence File No/4 - Prologue Evidence File No/4 Confirmation I was still registering my phone complaints (during my FTSP) with Telstra's outside lawyers who then went onto becoming Telstra's arbitration defence lawyers to my claim.

Prologue Evidence File No/5 - Prologue Evidence File No/5 “Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process, because it was a process conducted entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedures”. 

Prologue Evidence File No/6-A to 6-I - Prologue Evidence File No/6-A to 6-I Confirmation that the 008/1800 billing issues raised in my arbitration claim were should have been investigated during my arbitration. They were not investigated during my arbitration. 

Prologue Evidence File/No 7 - Prologue Evidence File/No 7 Telstra’s Arbitration Liaison Officer wrote to the TIO in 11 July 1994 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”. 

Prologue Evidence File No/8-A to 8-E - Prologue Evidence File No/8-A to 8-E This letter to me dated 10 January 1996 from John Pinnock (TIO) was sent during my pending appeal process stating: "...I do not propose to provide you with copies of any documents held by this office". 

Prologue Evidence File No/9-A to 9-D - Prologue Evidence File No/9-A to 9-D Memorandum from the arbitration resource unit dated 30 March, 1995 to Warwick Smith states on page 2 that: "...Smiths claim was formally certified complete in November 1994. Smith has stated verbally to myself, that on 23 December 1994, he received 90 kilograms of FOI material. As his claim was "finalised" he did not have to ability to examine these documents and add to his claim". 

Prologue Evidence File No/10-A to 10-F - Prologue Evidence File No/10-A to 10-F This letter dated 28 January 2003, from the TIO Office to Telstra discusses the phone problems that the new owners of my business was still having twelve months after the purchased my business. 

Prologue Evidence File No/11-A to 11-C - Prologue Evidence File No/11-A to 11-C This letter written by me to John Pinnock on 26 June 1996, was returned to me in 2002 from the TIO office (under my request) for all arbitration related documents to be provided under the privacy act. This particular letter in the right hand bottom corner someone has hand written the following statement "...These are serious allegations. We need to respond to specific letters Smith says weren't received and provide answers on each". I never received a response 

Prologue Evidence File No/12 - Prologue Evidence File No/12 Senate Estimates Hansard dated 26 September 1997 

Prologue Evidence File No/13 - Prologue Evidence File No/13 AUSTEL's COT Cases Report of 13 April 1994, shows that the assessor/arbitrator could not bring down a finding until all parties to the arbitration was prepared to sign off that the telephone faults had been fixed. 

Open Letter - Open Letter Senate Hansard dated 2 September 1993, showing at least one of Telstra's executive Mr Von Willer has not correctly advised the government concerning the telephone exchange problems experienced by COT Cases Ann Garms and Maureen Gillan. The statement made by Senator Boswell that: "...We have now heard from Mr Von Willer that the Valley exchange is just like every other exchange in Australia. We have tabled a document from Telecom saying it is the greatest embarrassment to Australia and Mr Von Willer comes in here and tells us there is nothing wrong with Telecom." 

Prologue Evidence File No/15 - Prologue Evidence File No/15 Amendment C92 to the Glenelg Planning Scheme: expert witness statement dated April 2018, from Chris McNeill, director of Essential Economics Pty Ltd. 

Prologue Evidence File No/16 - Prologue Evidence File No/16 It is clear from this Echo Tourism Venture (Appraisal by Cleaner Production Australia) that there was merit in my original Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp tourism venture. 

Prologue Evidence File No/17 - Prologue Evidence File No/17 This memorandum of 30 March 1995, provided to Warwick Smith, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (administrator to my arbitration), by Susan Hodgkinson of FHCA. We document the relevance of this attachment again because the bullets on page two and three of this memorandum discuss Telstra’s defence of my claim, and do not, in any way, coincide with AUSTEL’s adverse findings regarding my matters (see Open Letter File No/4, File No/5, File No/6 and File No/7) 

Prologue Evidence File No/18 - Prologue Evidence File No/18 It is also reasonable to conclude AUSTEL representatives NEVER released their adverse findings on my matters to the Department of Communications Information, Technology and the Arts (DCITA), otherwise that information would have been finally provided to me under FOI from the DCITA. As ACMA has been the only government agency to release the more adverse findings against Telstra on my matters under my FOI requests, one can only conclude the DCITA never received a copy of those adverse findings as they were legislated to under Section 342 of the Act. 

Prologue Evidence File No/19-A to 19-B - Prologue Evidence File No/19-A to 19-B Page 38 of the award prepared by the arbitrator, Dr Gordon Hughes, resulting from my Telstra-related arbitration. 

Prologue Evidence File No 20 

Prologue Evidence File No 21 - Prologue Evidence File No 21 The costs just continue to rise and rise and still all my claim documents have not been addressed through arbitration, particularly Short duration and incorrectly charged calls and recorded voice announcement faults. Who pays for this continuing saga, which is supposed to have been settled, even to this day? Why are the authorities so reluctant to investigate my claims? After all, if I am lying it would be so easy to prove". 

Prologue Evidence File No 22-A to 22-D 

Prologue Evidence File No 23  

Prologue Evidence File No 24 to 39 

Prologue Evidence File No 40 to 55-C 

Prologue Evidence File No 56 

Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C 

Prologue Evidence File No 57-A to 57-C 

Prologue Evidence File 58-A to 58-F 

Arbitrator False Evidence File 1

Cape Bridgewater Eco-Tourism Venture - Cape Bridgewater Eco-Tourism Venture Cape Bridgewater Eco-Tourism Venture

My Story Evidence File 1

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Alan Smith’s book shows us corruption, fraud and deception perpetrated against fellow Australian citizens by the then government owned Telstra Corporation and the use of an 'arbitration confidentiality gag clause,' which is still being used in 2022 to cover up the many crimes committed by Telstra during their arbitration defence of the COT Cases in 1994 to 1998.

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All of the main events as quoted in this unbelievable true crime story are supported by copies of the original freedom of Information documents on Alan's website (see Absent Justice Book 2)

Without those documents, most people would really struggle to believe that public officials and their lawyers committed the illegal offences they did.

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“…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

“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

“…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

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

– Edmund Burke