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Chapter Two - The second remedy pursued

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 2

February 1994 to March 1995

The Australian Federal Police First investigated our COT cases claims that Telstra was intercepting our telephone conversations and fax transmissions in February 1994 with no finding at the conclusion of their investigations in March 1995.

This official Senate Hansard record dated 20 September 1995, under the heading A MATTER OF PUBLIC INTEREST shows a very emotional senator discussing the injustices that we four COT claimants (i.e., Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and me) suffered prior, during and after our so-called government-endorsed arbitration’s i.e;

“Then followed the Federal Police investigation into Telecom’s monitoring of COT case services. The Federal Police also found there was a prima facie case to institute proceedings against Telecom but the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], in a terse advice, recommended against proceeding. …

The attached AFP transcripts (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1) dated 26 September 1994, taken during their second interview with me concerning Telstra’s unauthorised interception of my telephone conversations and my further claims to both the government and AFP that it appeared as though my faxes were also being hacked  I agreed to hand over to the AFP all fresh evidence received under FOI from Telstra that suggested I had been subjected to this unauthorised attack on my then civil liberties

Why didn’t the AFP advise the COT arbitrator their findings suggested arbitration-related documents were being hacked into before reaching their intended destination?

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE: On 15 February 1994, during my settlement /arbitration process, Senator Richard Alston (Shadow Minister for Communications) put a number of questions to the Senate Estimates Committee, On Notice, to be answered by Telstra. These are the questions most pertinent to the COT claimants (see Main Evidence File No/29 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE):

  1. Could you guarantee that no Parliamentarians who have had dealings with ‘COT’ members have had their phone conversations bugged or taped by Telstra?
  2. Who authorised this taping of ‘COT’ members’ phone conversations and how many and which Telstra employees were involved in either making the voice recordings, transcribing the recordings or analysing the tapes?
  3. On what basis is Telstra denying copies of tapes to those customers which it has admitted to taping?
  4. (A) How many customers has Telstra recorded as having had their phone conversations taped without knowledge or consent since 1990? (B) Of these, how many were customers who had compensation claims, including ex Telecom employees, against Telecom?
  5. Why did Telecom breach its own privacy guide-lines and how will it ensure that the revised guidelines will not be open to similar breaches or abuses?
  6. Could you explain why a large amount of documents accessed by customers under FOI have a large amount of information deleted, including the names of Telecom employees who wrote and received memos and documents?
  7. How many customers who have alleged that Telecom has tapped or bugged their phones without their consent or knowledge are the Australian Federal Police currently investigating?

The response to Question 5 (see Main Evidence File No/29) notes:

“…These matters are currently being investigated by the AFP and AUSTEL, and by Telecom;

It would be inappropriate for Telecom to make any further comments at this stage about possible breaches of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act while the matter is before the Federal Police. However, the Minister will be making a full statement in the near future on action taken to date to remedy apparent procedural problems within Telecom”.

Telstra’s claim (when referring to Question 5 On Notice) that it would be inappropriate for them to comment on these phone interception issues whilst the AFP were still investigating these matters is, in itself, the normal and expected comment that Telstra lawyers would have ensured that Telstra would make, under those circumstances.  No other form of interception investigation by any other authority should have taken place whilst the AFP was still investigating these breaches of privacy issues because that might well have undermined the AFP process.

Before I signed for my arbitration, on 21 April 1994, I used a similar response to questions from the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (the administrator of the arbitrations) when I advised the TIO that it would be unworkable for the Arbitrator to start my arbitration while the AFP had not yet concluded their investigation, particularly since the COT spokesperson and I were both seeking compensation from Telstra as part of our arbitration claims and in direct relation to Telstra’s breaches of the Interception Act.  I still clearly remember, as if it was yesterday, that the TIO stated that he would tactfully carry out his own investigations, along with the Arbitrator, and that their investigation would not impede the then-present AFP investigations.  As shown in our Front Page Part One, the arbitrator then allowed Telstra to cross-examine me regarding what the AFP had uncovered during my arbitration.

Telstra’s statement to the Senate Estimates Committee (at point 5) that: “It would be inappropriate for Telecom to make any further comments at this stage about possible breaches of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act while the matter is before the Federal Police”, clearly raises the question of why the COT Cases were forced into arbitration while the AFP were still investigating exactly the same breaches of privacy claims that were to also be investigated by the arbitrator because how can there be two investigations, by two separate bodies, into the same complaints, at the same time? What if the AFP and the arbitrator came up with conflicting findings? Which findings would the arbitrator then use to calculate and pay compensation?

Of course, it was an unworkable arbitration process while the AFP was involved.

What finally happened is that neither the AFP nor the arbitrator produced a record of any findings in relation to the (now proven) invasion of my privacy and it is now twenty-two years later, after no decision was made by either side, and it is the COT Cases who have been left to live with these undecided issues, regardless of the fact that it cost each of us hundreds of thousands of dollars just to take part in this arbitration facade.

January 1994: A Telstra arbitration liaison officer faxed this document to the TIO in relation to the appointment of an assessor for the Fast Track Settlement Proposal. The words across the top of this document, in the space that should record the sender’s business identification, are absent, and it records only the wording “Fax from” then followed by the fax number. The Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report discusses this “Fax from” issue (see Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13). The fact that a secondary fax machine installed in Telstra’s network during the arbitration process intercepted this document (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No 26) is another reason why this illegal interception of legal in-confidence documents should have been investigated during our arbitrations when these illegal acts were first discovered. Who were the faceless people who were soon termed the “forces at work”?

My Fast Track Settlement Proposal (FTSP) Accountant Selwyn Cohen sent me a fax on 21 January 1994 stating:

“I refer to your facsimile of 10.42am on 17th January 1994. The fax cover sheet refers to 7 pages being sent. Unfortunately, I only received 2 pages. Please forward the remaining 5 pages to enable me to begin the required work.” (See AFP Evidence File No 2-A to 2-C)

This was the fourth time between the Christmas period of 1993, that Mr Cohen had problems sending or receiving documents from me.

31 January 1994: A copy of Alan’s phone/fax account 055 267230, when compared with these two Telstra CCAS document FOI numbers K01410 and K01411 confirm someone within Telstra has hand-written the names of the people I had spoken to and/or faxed. (see AFP Evidence File No/3)

Transcripts from my interview with the AFP on 26th September 1994 (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1), confirm that the AFP were alarmed that Telstra had gathered private information about me including documenting on this CCAS data the names of the people who I had telephoned on a daily basis. This CCAS data information was supplied to Warwick Smith and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office.

Stedman Cameron, Lawyers & Solicitors wrote to me on 2 February 1994, stating:

“We note that you did not receive two pages at all and only the number 2 from the third page and the signature from the last page of the facsimile sent to you at approximately 2.23pm on the 1st February, 1994. It was successfully sent approximately two hours later.” (AFP Evidence File No 2-A to 2-C)

Telstra’s FOI document (M34363) dated 4 February 1994 was not made available to the arbitrator or me during my arbitration, even though Telstra’s FOI numbering system (M followed by a number) clearly indicates to Telstra and the TIO’s office that I was still reporting problems with my fax transmissions during my FTSP process (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No 24).

8 February 1994, The Hon Michael Lee Minister for Communications writes to the Minister for Justice, the Hon Duncan Kerr, MP: (note: this document is held in Government archives.)

“I am writing to inform you that members of the group known as the Casualties of Telecom (COT) have contacted my Office regarding the Australian Federal Police inquires into voice monitoring by Telstra of their telephones.

Both Mr Graham Schorer and Mr Alan Smith of COT have informed my Office that they have information on Telstra’s activities in relation to these matters”.

‘Specification for Customer Premises Line Monitoring Equipment. 1.0 noting:

“The original direction from AUSTEL in relation to Difficult Fault cases required the installation of equipment to monitor a customer’s line at the customer’s premises as well as the exchange end.  The equipment currently in operation in Telecom has some deficiencies in meeting this requirement.  The Coopers & Lybrand Report recommended the development or purchase of such equipment.  These recommendations are a fundamental foundation for a joint working party between AUSTEL and Telecom to develop the specifications for such equipment.  The specifications should be finalised by December 1994”.

AUSTEL writes to Telstra on 10 February 1994 stating:

“Yesterday we were called upon by officers of the Australian Federal Police in relation to the taping of the telephone services of COT Cases.

“Given the investigation now being conducted by that agency and the responsibilities imposed on AUSTEL by section 47 of the Telecommunications Act 1991, the nine tapes previously supplied by Telecom to AUSTEL were made available for the attention of the Commissioner of Police.” (See Illegal Interception File No/3)

From 10-15 February 1994, we lost any chance we may have had for a Senate inquiry into, what the COT members believed, the unethical way Telstra continued to treat us. By mid-February 1994, it appeared that not only was Telstra treating us with sheer contempt, but also they were doing this in full view of the Senate. The COT members began to believe that no single person or organisation, anywhere in Australia, had the courage to initiate a judicial inquiry into the way Telstra continued to thumb their noses at the government.

On 25 February 1994:  When this letter to Telstra’s Corporate Secretary from Fay Holthuyzen, Assistant to the Minister for Communications, Michael Lee, (AS-CAV 765-A to 789 - see exhibit AS 772-ais compared to the letter dated 3rd February 1994 Exhibit (AS-CAV 765-A to 789 - See AS 772-b) that I sent to the Minister’s office it is clear that I was concerned that my faxes were being illegally intercepted.

On the same day of 25 February 1994,  an internal Government Memo confirms that the then-Minister for Communications and the Arts had written to me to advise that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) would investigate my allegations of illegal phone/fax interception. (See exhibit AS 773 file AS-CAV 765-A to 789.

The letter dated 2 March 1994, from Telstra’s Corporate Solicitor, Ian Row, to Detective Superintendent Jeff Penrose (see Home Page Part-One File No/9-A to 9-C), makes it quite clear that Mr Penrose was profoundly misled and deceived about the faxing problems I was having to deal with, as discussed in this letter. Over the years, many people have compared the four exhibits numbered (File No/9-C) with the interception evidence revealed in Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13 and promptly concluded that, if Ian Row had not misled the AFP in relation to my faxing issues then the AFP may have been able to stop Telstra from intercepting the various relevant AFP arbitration documents in March 1994, before any damage had been done

On 3 March 1994: this article appeared in the Portland Observer newspaper (AS-CAV 765-A to 789 - See AS 773-b) noting:

“Federal Police officers are investigating allegations of possible illegal activity on the part of Telecom Australia.

Officers from the Federal Police visited Portland last week and interviewed Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp proprietor, Alan Smith, who is one of the four original members of COT (Casualties of Telecom).”

In February 1994, Detective Superintendent Jeff Penrose and Constable Melanie Cochrane of the AFP visited my business to discuss my concerns regarding the possibility my telephone conversations were intercepted and my faxes were not being received at the intended destination. During this visit, I spoke to Constable Cochrane regarding my concerns about the privacy issues connected to my singles club records, explaining I had provided the club members with a written assurance that I would not circulate their private information to anyone without first seeking their permission. For this reason, I was particularly concerned that it would not be fair to submit any of their private information into my Fast Track Settlement Proposal. Constable Cochrane commented that the TIO should contemplate suspending our settlement process until after the AFP finished their investigations into Telstra’s unauthorised interception of COT cases’ telephone conversations and in-confidence faxes.

The above issue surrounding the advice I received from Constable Melanie Cochrane of the AFP, is directly related to the serious matter that NONE of my single club bookings was ever valued as it should have as lost revenue to my business (see Australian Federal Police Investigations).

Senator Ron Boswell

As my arbitration progressed, I continued to assist the AFP, under the direction of Detective Superintendent Jeff Penrose, who explained that it was my public duty to assist the AFP because I had raised my complaints with the Federal Government.  Then, after Telstra’s arbitration liaison officer, Paul Rumble, began to threaten me, and then the arbitrator, Dr Hughes, ignored my request for an explanation of the reason behind those threats, and after those threats had finally become a reality, eventually the Hon Senator Ron Boswell took these matters to a Senate Committee Hearing on 29 November 1994, demanding that Telstra’s legal directorate explain why I should be threatened is such an appalling manner.  ERC&A/Page 180 (See Senate Evidence File No 31) provides more details regarding these threats, particularly:

“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?” (See Senate Evidence File No 31)

George Close, the technical consultant for the COT cases, visited my residence in Cape Bridgewater after I showed him Open Letter File No/12File No/13Front Page Part One File No/1Front Page Part One File No/2-A to 2-EFront Page Part One File No/4 and FrontPage Part One File No/5. We discussed the effect of these intercepted/hacked faxes on my overall submission to the arbitrator. Mr Close later sent me an email, on 5 August 2011, to assist me with breaking open this terrible denial of justice to the COT cases (see Front Page Part One File No/26).

“I recall a discussion with Senator Ron Boswell during the late 90’s.

“He had been shown fax’s [sic] which had clear indication of change in the headers, indicating interruption in transmission by a third party or parties.

“He questioned whether it was possible that faxes to and from senators could be interrupted, read or copies.

“My response in the affirmative brought about an expression of extreme anger. Stating that if it could be proven that it occurred the offender(s) would be jailed.

“If required I am prepared to re-state this on an affidavit.”

So far, no one in Australia has even been brought to account, let alone jailed, for the terrible invasion of the COT cases’ private and business lives.

As recently as March 2018, compensation was being paid out in Britain to the victims of this hacking scandal see Mirror Group Settles Phone Hacking Claims with Undisclosed Damages). All of those victims are entitled to compensation because their lives will never be the same again. The uneasy feeling whenever they pick up the phone as they wonder ‘Is someone else listening in?’, ‘Does someone else now know that I am going away for the weekend?’ Those memories for those British victims will never go away. I know.

Many of those within the Establishment said that it was actually unconstitutional to force the COT cases into an arbitration process with Telstra while the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were still investigating Telstra for alleged phone and fax hacking of the COT cases’ businesses and, furthermore, it was acknowledged that it was clearly an unworkable process.  This didn’t stop the arbitrations, however, but it does raise a number of important questions:

  1. How could two separate investigations into Telstra, for allegedly unlawful conduct, be undertaken by two different organisations at the same time i.e an arbitrator as well as the AFP? As far as we can find, this situation is unheard of in any other Western democracy.
  2. While all the COT cases attempted to keep their individual small businesses going while their arbitrations continued, how could they be expected to submit a complex submission to an arbitrator and at the same time, assist the AFP with their investigations?
  3. Who decided that this situation would be allowed to continue?

Not only was it grossly undemocratic for these small-business people to be put into such a situation but, while these two investigations (the one run by the AFP and the arbitrations themselves) were being run concurrently. While these two investigations were being run concurrently, the Commonwealth Ombudsman was also investigating Telstra for acting unlawfully and outside of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act, 1984), for NOT supplying the COT cases with our promised FOI documents we needed to support our claims. That investigation started before the COTs signed their arbitrations and continued for the whole five-year period

How have many other Australian arbitration processes been subjected to this type of hacking?  Is this electronic eavesdropping, this hacking into in-confidence documentation still happening today, during legitimate Australian arbitration’s?

Exhibit AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E is a letter dated 26 August 1998 from George Close (my previous arbitration technical consultant to the new Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. The fax header records: Fax from: — 61 74 453198 — 17:54 which was Mr Close’s residential fax number. Our Main Evidence File (see Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13), is the technical findings of both Scandrett & Associates and Peter Hancock showing that they both agree that, if the wording Fax from: followed by the numbers of the various COT faxes does not also include the correct business identification of the respective COT business then that indicates that those faxes were intercepted by a secondary fax machine and then redirected on to the intended destination.

This intercepted letter from Mr Close was copied to the offices of twelve different Government Ministers in Parliament House Canberra, which then raises a number of very important questions. Since we constantly hear about politicians questioning how information has been leaked from the party room, could this be because even Government offices in Parliament House are also routed through Telstra’s Fax Streaming centre? Even if the Fax Streaming arrangement has been officially organised by those Government offices, what could be happening to the documents that go through that system, without the Government’s knowledge? Could it be that privileged, in-confidence material ‘leaks’ out of Parliament house through Telstra in this same way? Could it be that Telstra’s Fax Streaming process means that, around the country, private is not so private at all?

PLEASE NOTE: although the George Close exhibits are of poor quality (having been copied a number of times) the poor quality does not take away the truth that these exhibits when viewed together still prove our claims.

Exhibit AS 492-B file AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E, which is a report faxed by Mr Close on 16 April 1998, has the correct identification across the top of the page see 61-74-453198 — GEORGE CLOSE & ASSOC — 17:34. In simple terms, those with access to Telstra’s network were able to use ‘keywords’ so only certain faxes leaving Mr Close’s residence were intercepted. I have used these two examples because they were both sent at approximately the same time in the afternoon, although months apart.

My fax identification on the first fax dated 8th May 2001, to Ms Kirsten Musgrove FOI Coordinator Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and two-page accompanying letter see exhibit AS 514 file AS-CAV 495 to 541  reads: 18-5-2001 – 11:33 – FROM CAPE BRIDGE HDAY CAMP to 0262195499 P.01, is my correct fax identification. The fax identification on the copy of my letter dated 4th July 2001, to Tony Shaw, Chairman of the ACA after it had been faxed to Mr Shaw’s Canberra office exhibit AS 515 file AS-CAV 495 to 541 on 5th July 2001, reads: Fax from: 055 267 230 – 05/07/01 – 04:41, is incorrect because the FROM CAPE BRIDGE HDAY CAMP identification has been removed;

My telephone/fax account exhibit AS 516 file AS-CAV 495 to 541 lists Exhibit (AS 515) as having transmitted successfully to Tony Shaw’s Canberra office, 0262195200 at 04:42 am. The 4:44 minute transmission time shown on (AS 516), confirms (AS 515) were faxed from my private residence 03 55 267265.

Who within the Telstra Corporation has the authorisation to intercept faxes leaving my private residence (seven years after my arbitration)? Exhibits AS 494-C, AS 494-D and AS 494-E File  AS-CAV Exhibit 488-a to 494-e  clearly show that Telstra technicians experienced major problems when they attempted to test my fax machine in conjunction with a fax machine installed at Graham Schorer’s (COT spokesperson’s) office. It is important to highlight Exhibit AS 494-A File  AS-CAV Exhibit 488-a to 494-e  because according to the arbitration agreement, all of my claim documents should have automatically been returned to me within six weeks after the arbitrator had handed down his findings. When this didn’t happen, I arranged to collect the documents myself and then drove to Melbourne to pick them up. When I got back to Cape Bridgewater I discovered that more than half of my original faxed claim documents were missing from the arbitrators official arbitration received schedule documents.

A comparison of Telstra’s official schedule of documents received with the dated fax accounts and the letters and documents that I had been faxing to the arbitrator during the whole duration of my arbitration has been documented in Exhibit (AS 789). This Exhibit shows there were some forty-one sets of documents that although they were faxed to the arbitrator’s office those documents were not forwarded on to Telstra’s defence.
The hand-written note in the top left corner of AS 494-C File  AS-CAV Exhibit 488-a to 494-e states: “Stored in Fax Stream”, confirming that faxes intercepted via Telstra’s testing process are stored in Telstra’s Fax Stream centre so the document can be read, at any time, by anyone with access to that centre. In other words, this storage system shows other types of documents (not just test faxes) that can be intercepted in the same way and then stored in Telstra’s fax Stream centre so the document can be read, at any time by anyone with access to that centre.

The Scandrett & Associates report (  )proves that numerous COT arbitration documents were definitely intercepted, including faxes travelling to and from Parliament House, the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office and various COT cases premises, including Alan’s business. (AS 494-C) also shows that intercepted faxes were, perhaps still are, stored wherever it is that Telstra’s fax stream documents were/are stored. This means, in turn, that Telstra, the defendant in the COT arbitrations, had free access to in-confidence documents that the claimants believed they were only sending to their accountants, lawyers and/or technical advisors that the claimants might not have wanted to be disclosed to the defendants at the time.

If the Senate Estimates Committee had been provided with this evidence COT faxes were stored in a facility for assessment purposes, together with the George Close/Fax Stream interception evidence (AS 492-A above), all of the COT arbitrations would have been considered null and void and Telstra would have been ordered to compensate all of the COT Cases for all of their costs, both up to that time and while a new arbitration process was being set up to ensure the COT Cases received their discovery documents. This screening of COT Cases arbitration documents by someone with access to Telstra’s network has also been discussed in the various chapter on absentjustice.com forty and whether the Australian Government should have investigated this privacy under Article 12 Universal Declaration of Human Rights when they were first raised during the various COT Cases arbitrations.

What is so appalling about these threats carried out by Telstra when they withheld all of my relevant requested documents is that no one in the TIO office or government has ever investigated the disastrous impact this had on my overall submission to the arbitration process. Dr Hughes and the government (who at the time fully owned Telstra) should have initiated an investigation into why an Australian citizen, who assisted the AFP in their investigations into unlawful interception of telephone conversations and the transmission of arbitration-related documents, was so severely disadvantaged during a civil arbitration Page Part One File No/14)

On 17 February 1996, 10 months after Dr Hughes prematurely brought down his findings, he wrote to Laurie James, President of the Institute of Arbitrators attaching a copy of John Rundell’s letter of 13 February 1996 (see Prologue Chapter Two and Prologue Evidence File No/8-E)

Long before Mr Rundell and Dr Hughes wrote their letters in February 1996, (see also Chapter Three) AUSTEL, the government communications regulator, officially advised Mr Pinnock (see Open letter File No/46-K, dated 3 October 1995) and Mr Rundell (see Open letter File No/45-A, dated 15 November 1995) my concerns were completely valid and that NONE of the billing claim documents I legitimately raised in my 1994/95 arbitration process was investigated (or even addressed) during my arbitration process. Still, however, Laurie James was deliberately misled and deceived, not just by the arbitrator but also by the official administrator of the same arbitration. Mr James was the very person who could have asked so many seriously disturbing questions about why my arbitration was not conducted according to the ambit of the arbitration procedures.=

Anyone reading my letter to Gareth Evans, dated 4 January 1996 (see Open Letter File No/49), will conclude I raised some very serious issues, which affected all the arbitrations still in progress.

Dr Hughes’ letter to Laurie James, under the heading “Letter to Senator Evans,” states:

“Mr Smith provided you a copy of a letter to Senator Gareth Evans dated 4 January 1996. I presume you require me to comment on those aspects of the letter which reflect upon my conduct as an arbitrator.

“The letter to Senator Evans is littered with inaccuracies. Some examples are:

  • contrary to Mr Smith’s assertion on page 3, his 24,000 (sic) documents were all viewed by me, Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory, DMR Group Inc (Canada) and Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd in accordance with the arbitration procedure.” (See Open letter File No/45-G and Open Letter File No/49)

Why did Dr Hughes deceive Mr James in relation to these 24,000 documents, which Dr Hughes and his team could not possibly have read and collated? Why did the arbitrator tell Mr James that all those documents were assessed?

The Canadian and Australian technical consultants’ 30 April 1995 reports, under the heading “Cape Bridgewater Documentation,” states “More than 4,000 pages of documentation have been presented by both parties and examined by us.” (See Arbitrator File Nos/29 and 30) These reports are covered more thoroughly in other pages.

And at point 2.2 on page 4, in Dr Hughes’ final award, dated 11 May 1995, he notes, “In all, I have read in excess of 6,000 pages of documentary evidence submitted by the parties.” (See Prologue Evidence File No/9-A)

If either Mr James or Senator Evans were provided with the truth surrounding these 24,000 documents, my arbitration matters could have been completed in early 1996. So far, the arbitrator and the TIO office have managed to avoid being called to account for their devious and unethical conduct. Will they ever be held accountable?

Arbitrator File No/45 shows that on 30 March 1995 – 11 months before the arbitrator’s letters to Mr James – the arbitrator’s own resource unit wrote to the TIO outlining the progress of my arbitration. The timeline shows I advised them I received my discovery documents via the agreed-to FOI process after my claim was finalised and after Telstra had submitted their defence of that claim.

John Wynack, Director of Investigations for the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, and Tony Morgan, a National Chief Adjuster for GAB Robins (Australia), are both fully aware that most of these 24,000 documents were not related to my Cape Bridgewater business in any way. Not only did they not have any identification or schedules to explain where they were sourced from, but it was quite clear that some belonged to the Fortitude Valley and Lutwyche telephone exchanges in Brisbane, more than 1,200 kilometres from the telephone exchange my business was connected to. Clearly, this delivery of so many useless documents was deliberately designed to cause me as much heartache as possible.

More than 16,800 of those FOI documents were meaningless without the schedule detailing their relevance; I had only 13 days to address Telstra’s defence, with documents I had no way of reading.

When I advised Warwick Smith, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (and administrator to my arbitration) about this terrible situation, being left with only 13 days to decipher what documents belonged to me and which belonged to the two other COT cases, he said to contact Dr Hughes, the arbitrator. However, the arbitrator’s office informed me that Dr Hughes had taken his usual Christmas break, which meant the 13 days left for me to answer Telstra’s 12 December 1994 defence would be over by the time Dr Hughes returned from leave. Warwick Smith’s response to this was: do the best you can.

I reiterate, why have so many government agencies been allowed to carry out these threats using a confidentiality clause written into my arbitration agreement? Threats (made against another party to the arbitration is unlawful). It is considered by the government one party cannot commit a crime and then cover up that crime by using an existing gag clause (a confidentiality agreement) to hide that crime committed. 

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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 linked in the text.

Clicking on these links with your cursor will automatically open a PDF of the exhibit/evidence that a crime was committed. Using this method and following the various file numbers discussed in our various pages, you will verify our story. Without those documents, most people would really struggle to believe that public officials and their lawyers committed the illegal offences they did.

Using the acquired evidence the way we have is possibly a world first.

ABSENT JUSTICE HAS IT ALL.

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“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

“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.”

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

“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

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

– Edmund Burke