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An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens

 

The deliberate discrimination against sixteen members, which was put in place by the John Howard's Government, may well turn out to be the worst case of deliberate discrimination against a small group of Australian citizens for a very long time, in fact, possibly since Federation, back in 1901.

Last edited July 2022.

In the Senator Alan Eggleston Senate Hansard below under issues it notes:

“The original group of COT’s comprised 4 claimants. They were Alan Smith, Mrs Ann Garms, Mr Graham Schorer, and Mrs Gillan.: The remaining five are Mrs Garms and Mr Schorer from the original claimants and Mr Honer, Mr Bova and Mr Plowman.”

Between  June and August 1997, after having met with Senator Ron Boswell (National Party) in his Canberra office on two occasions, the second one on 20 August 1997 was after my Melbourne lawyers Dunn faxed to the Senator’s office a summary where my 1994/95 arbitration process had failed me. 

The Senator discussed this brief with six other COT Cases in his office and similar information, which clearly showed several of the 21 COT cases had all suffered a poorly administered arbitration or mediation process because Telstra had concealed so many relevant documents needed by the 21 Cases to support their claims entirely. 

During the months of 24 June and September 1997, it was agreed that to have all 21 COT Cases FOI claims assessed simultaneously by a Senate working party [investigation], such an extensive investigation would be beyond the Senate. Such an investigation would not only bog down that investigation, but it might also impede that investigation.

The COT Cases agreed that it was more productive to limit the Senate investigation to six litmus test cases, Ann Garms, Graham Schorer, Ralph Bova, Ross Plowman, Anthony Honnor and Garry Dawson. It was also agreed that if all six cases proved their claims that Telstra had concealed relevant documents from the claimants, then whatever the outcome of that Senate investigation, the remaining 15 cases would receive the same benefit as the litmus cases. 

Garry Dawson became ill and did not participate, leaving five litmus cases. However, as our COT Cases story shows, the government ignored that previous agreement and allowed Telstra to compensate only the five litmus test cases.  

(see Eggleston, Sen Alan – Bishop, Sen Mark – Boswell, Sen Ronald – Carr, Sen Kim – Schacht, Sen Chris, Alston and Sen Richard) which all formally record how those six senators believed that Telstra had ‘acted as a law unto themselves’ throughout all of the COT arbitrations, is incredible.

Although Senator Alan Eggleston advice to the Australian Finacial Revieiw has been discussed on the Home age it was also relevant to raise it here. By incorperating the above six Senators speaches with Senator Alan Eggleston statement to the media we can show all seven statements were made in the public interest;.i.e; on public record.

The above Senator Alan Eggleston advice to the Australian Finacial Revieiw is dispayed through this website because of the importance of it. Had all the other COT Cases, not just the five litmus tests cases all received similar compensation as well as their previously withheld FOI documents then the COT Cases issues would have all been resolved in 1999. 

Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston

Forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information 

On 23 March 1999, the Australian Financial Review reported on the conclusion of the Senate estimates committee hearing into why Telstra withheld so many documents from the COT cases:

“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report focussed on the difficulties encountered by COT members as they sought to obtain documents from Telstra. The report found Telstra had deliberately withheld important network documents and/or provided them too late and forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information,” Senator Eggleston said. “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves.”

This section of our story An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens explains exactly how, just two decades ago, a supposedly democratic Australian Government allowed five of its own citizens to have access to important, previously-concealed, arbitration documents, but refused to allow the same rights to another sixteen members of the same group as the original five, even though those sixteen had already been included in a Senate schedule that would allow them to have their document issues assessed in the same way as the first, so-called ‘litmus five’, COT cases. This deliberate discrimination against the remaining sixteen members, which was put in place by the John Howard Government, may well turn out to be the worst case of deliberate discrimination against a small group of Australian citizens for a very long time, in fact, possibly since Federation, back in 1901.. 

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation

A breath of fresh air

Senator Len Harris, who won his senate seat on 2 July 1999 for the One Nation party, then lived in Queensland, 2,977 kilometres from Melbourne. On 25 July 2002, Senator Len Harris travelled from Cairns in Queensland (a trip that took more than seven hours) to meet four other COTs and me in Melbourne to ensure our claims of discrimination against the Commonwealth were fully investigated. He was appalled that 16 Australian citizens were so badly discriminated against in such a deplorable fashion by the then-Coalition government, despite a Senate estimates committee working party being established to investigate all 21 COT-type claims against Telstra.

He was stunned at how I had collated this evidence into a bound submission. When Senator Harris read the 9 August 2001 letter from Senator Alan Eggleston Liberal Party warning me that if I disclosed the in-camera Hansard records (which supported my claims that sixteen Australian citizens had been discriminated against in the most deplorable manner), I would be held in contempt of the Senate and risk jail, he Senator Harris, was very upset, to say the least.

At a press conference the next day, Senator Harris aimed questions at the chief of staff to the Hon Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications. He asked:

“Through the following questions, the media event will address serious issues related to Telstra’s unlawful withholding of documents from claimants, during litigation.

  • Why didn’t the present government correctly address Telstra’s serious and unlawful conduct of withholding discovery and/or Freedom of Information (FOI) documents before the T2 float?
  • Why has the Federal government allowed five Australians (from a list of twenty-one) to be granted access to some of the Telstra discovery documents they needed to support their claims against Telstra, but denied the same rights to the other sixteen?
  • Why has the Federal Government ignored clear evidence that Telstra withheld many documents from a claimant during litigation?
  • Why has the Federal Government ignored evidence that, among those documents Telstra did supply, many were altered or delivered with sections illegally blanked out? (See Senate Evidence File No 56).

A fair resolution of those sixteen COT cases has never been resolved, as can be seen by clicking onto An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens. By the time I finish recording all the details of our complex story here, at absentjustice.com, there will be many, many people, from all walks of life, who will then believe that it is absentjustice.com that tells the actual, true story, the only one that should be believed. refer to Evidence / An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens)

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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

“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

“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

“…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

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

– Edmund Burke