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This website absentjustice.com is a work in progress last edited May 2022.

All events quoted in this website are supported by copies of the original documents: clicking on the following links with your cursor will automatically open a PDF of the exhibit. By using this method and following the various file nos discussed in our various pages – see menu bar above, i.e., Manipulating the Regulator, Bribery and Corruption - Part 1, Bribery and Corruption - Part 2, Taking on the Establishment - Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter. will take you directly to the evidence

As the website grew, I also discovered that some of the issues related to more than one event and, in fact, were sometimes linked to multiple events and that meant that the one event needed to be repeated in a number of different sections of the website, so that the depth of the corruption and the illegal activities that were committed during the arbitration could be fully and properly understood i.e.; see Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 1 - Hacked documents and Chapter 2 - Illicit screening.

Until the late 1990s, the Australian government fully owned Australia’s telephone network and the communications carrier, Telecom (today privatised and called Telstra). Telecom held the monopoly on communications and let the network deteriorate into disrepair. Instead of our very deficient telephone services being fixed, as part of our government-endorsed arbitration process that became an uneven battle we could never win, they were NOT fixed as part of the process, regardless of the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it cost the claimants to mount their claims against Telstra. Crimes were committed against us and our integrity was attacked and undermined. Our livelihoods were ruined, we lost millions of dollars and our mental health declined, yet those who perpetrated the crimes are still in positions of power, today. Our story is still actively being covered up

For most rural Australian business operators, running a telephone-dependent business was not like it is today. When our story began, most rural businesses were not using the internet, email or mobile phones. Checking emails and mobile phones at the start of each working day on a regular basis was not an option. Mobile phones did not work in most rural locations and mobile black-spots, even in the city outskirts, were common. It was not until the late 1990s that this new technology became a typical way to run a business. Concealed government records that are now exposed in this publication and on our webpage Manipulating the Regulator show that, in 1994, the government communications regulator AUSTEL estimated there were some 120,000 businesses affected by COT-type faults. In the public April 1994 AUSTEL COT Cases report, this figure was downgraded to read that some 50 or more businesses had similar phone complaints (see Taking on the Establishment / Chapter 2 - Bell Canada International).

This is the story of a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country. The story of how for years Telstra refused to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of the COT Four to run their businesses, telling them 'No fault found,' when documents in this publication and on our website show they were found to have existed as our story shows.

How Telstra and its legal arbitration defence team perverted the course of justice by using such dubious strategies as intercepting relevant faxes, failing to deliver crucial FOI documents (or delivering them months and even years too late, often so highly censored that little intelligible remained), even destroying documentary evidence and fabricating evidence.

How the central points of our claim at arbitration was ignored by the arbitrator and how no amount of effort to have these points addressed bore any fruit. How, in the course of all these travesties, the regulatory bodies — Austel (for the government) and the TIO (for the carriers) — failed to exercise any control over Telstra to the point where they could reasonably be seen as acting in concert.

Together, these travesties spell a breakdown of justice, way out of proportion to the problem we began with — people asking that their phone services be guaranteed to work to a reasonable standard so that they can reliably conduct their businesses.

Each of the COT members assumed, as most telephone users would assume, that their phone faults would be quite easily found and fixed by Telstra's skilled technicians. But 'No fault found' was the constant refrain, and the problems continued unabated throughout the course of our arbitrations, and for years afterwards, with disastrous effects on our businesses. This seemed incomprehensible: everyone had a phone the system is supposed to work for everyone. What was going on?

Absent Justice - Hon David Hawker MP

The Hon David Hawker MP assisted me from June 1993 unto September 2006, in his thirteen year valient attempt to have Telstra fix my ongoing telephone problems. 

The Hon David Hawker MP arranged for some of the COT members to meet with the then-Shadow Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, in his office in Canberra late September 1995, Senator Alston was more than concerned about the way the COT arbitrations werer  being conducted.

And why did it seem everyone was protecting Telstra, turning a blind eye to what was unlawful behaviour? Withholding important discovery documents in an arbitration procedure is unlawful. Tampering with evidence in the arbitration is unlawful (see Tampering of Evidence). Relying on defence documents that are known to be flawed in arbitration is unlawful (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report). The TIO and Austel often refused to act; Members of Parliament, when in Opposition, were happy to provide support for the COT cause, but as soon as the government was theirs, that support vanished. No one was prepared to make Telstra accountable. It was enough to make the most level-headed person suspect conspiracies.

The depths to which Telstra stooped in its conduct with the COT claimants seems to suggest just how little confidence Telstra had in its own case. But why was it so fearful of being found liable? What was the worst that could happen if our claims were vindicated? What was it trying to conceal? 

So, today’s younger generations might find it hard to understand that, only 20 years ago, a corporation like Telstra and its government minders were able to cheat so many Australians into believing it was trying to fix its ailing network. However, in reality, it was band-aiding the many known problems in Australia’s network to defer capital expenditure, as privatisation was on the agenda. Let the shareholders foot the bill was Telstra and its minders answer to the ongoing problems.

Even worse, as our (see Misleading Deceptive Conduct File No 4-D and 4-E), Telstra was still using known-deficient Ericsson AXE equipment in its telephone exchanges – equipment that other countries were removing from their exchanges or had removed it. In fact as shown in File 4-B - Misleading Deceptive Conduct File No 4-D and 4-E The Hon Senator Richard Alston, the then Shadow Minister for Communications raise the Portland / Cape Bridgewater Ericsson AXE faults with Telstra in the Senate Estimates Committee hearings on 25 February 1994.

Absent Justice - Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Paul Fletcher has been Minister for Communications since 2021 

It is also essential for anyone who reads Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, to understand that a copy of that report dated June 1996 was originally sent to Paul Fletcher at his request, during the period he was an adviser to Senator Richard Alston (the then-newly appointed Minister for Communications and the Arts). 

After reading Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, it will become clear that the exhibits and evidence that were attached to the report show that if Paul Fletcher, current Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, in the 2022 Morrison government had properly had investigated that evidence in June 1996 then most (if not all) of the issues that I have been trying to have investigated since then, would have been settled in 1996.

It is clear from reading the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman / Chapter 6 - No findings lost claim documents) that the arbitrator Dr Hughes and the administraor Warwick Smith were both fully aware that the arbitration agreement used in my arbitration should never have been used. Dr Hughes alerted Warwick Smith to the many dificiences in the agreement early in the afternoon of the 12 May 1995, and yet it was still been used. 

Instead of alerting me to those deficiences, a little more than two hours after Warwick Smith (the then still administrator of my arbitration) 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 (see also Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman / Chapter 6 - No findings lost claim documents}.

Senate Evidence File No 21 Senate Hansard dated 27 Feb 1998 re kick-backs and bribes shows the following questions were aimed at one of Telstra’s most senior executives by Senator ALLISON,

Questions raised during a Senate committee hearing

Senator ALLISON – Telstra was very reluctant to reveal the names of its other commercial customers that were sent to Atlanta. Why is this?

Senator – ALLISON – These customers are not, presumably, private individuals?

Senator – ALLISON – So they are in the position of being able to make decisions which could favour Telstra, that is what you are suggesting?

Senator – ALLISON – Are you familiar with Telstra’s employee code of conduct?

Senator – ALLISSON – So this is still a current code of practice? It would be familiar to those people who needed to know

Senator – ALLISON – It says, under ‘guidelines for expected behaviour — bribes, pay-offs or kick-backs': No bribes, pay-offs, kick-backs or other considerations will be paid or received directly or indirectly. In addition, such payments to domestic or foreign government officials to influence a decision or gain a benefit either directly or through a third party, are prohibited.

Senator – ALLISON – Would you like to give us a view about these trips to Atlanta and how they relate to expected behaviour in this sense?

Senator – ALLISON – With respect, a seat at the ballet is quite different from a $12,000.00 trip to the Atlanta Games surely?

Senator – ALLISON – Are you suggesting that there is another code for corporate conduct?

Senator SCHACHT – So the invitations to people to go to Atlanta, whether they were politicians or corporate, were approved by the CEO.

Senator ALISSON – I just come back to this question of the sensitivity of your business customers. Since they represent corporations, and since Telstra is a corporation, why is the need for such secrecy? Why is it a sensitive matter?

In the circumstance of what has been said above in a number of statements made by various Senators concerning the documented kick-backs that a number of Senators stated was a disgrace.  By accepting a free for all $12,000.00 trip paid by Telstra, is a situation that, maybe part of the reason, why Warwick Smith and Senator Richard Alston would not investigate my claims against Telstra and my tampered with arbitration agreement. 

A covert arrangement entered into by Warwick Smith (see TIO Evidence File No 3-A) was with the very corporation who were using legal advice set up (see Senate page 5169 SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia this legal firm named “COT Case Strategy” which spuriously advised Telstra how to conceal relevant technical documents from the first four COT Cases under Legal Professional Privileged even though the documents were not privileged. Just like one of John Grisham's novels / movies.

Absent Justice - The Firm

The Firm - John Grisham -  

My name Alan Smith and the name of my business, the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp was one of the four cases that had been singled out by Telstra's lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page (see TIO Evidence File No 3-A), who had to be stopped from receiving their requested FREEDOM OF iNFORMATION (FOI) documents so we four COT Cases could never fully prove our cases against Telstra once our arbitration had commenced. 

Even worse, before this COT Case Strategy came into play Telstra had refused to investigate my ongoing telephone problems unless I first registered them in writing with this same legal firm.  This continual writing up of individual and ongoing telephone faults, to these lawyers, in order to have Telstra investigate them almost, sent me insane. Instead of keeping this evidence, I was providing it to Telstra, believing this would assist them in locating the problems I was experiencing. I was unaware I would later need this evidence for an arbitration process set up by the Australian government. This arbitration process meant I had to retrieve back, from Telstra under Freedom of Information, the very same documentation I had previously provided them so as Telstra could fix my ongoing faults. Imagine the frustration of knowing that you had provided the evidence supporting your case but it was now being withheld from you. If this wasn’t soul-destroying enough, imagine learning that lawyer Denise McBurnie, with who you were being forced to register your phone complaints, devised a legal paper titled “COT Case Strategy” (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C. instructing their client Telstra on how to conceal this same type of technical information under the guise of Legal Professional Privilege even though the information was not privileged

However, when this legal firm, which the government assured us would not be used in our arbitrations (see point 40 Prologue Evidence File No/2), provided their arbitration clinical psychologist’s witness statement to the arbitrator, it was only signed by Freehill Hollingdale & Page. It bore no signature of the psychologist and didn’t contain his concerns regarding me having to first contact this legal firm, in writing, before Telstra would address my telephone problems. 

The most alarming points about this unsigned witness statement are:

  1. Before the psychologist met with me, Telstra’s lawyers provided him with a copy of the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International (BCI) addendum report stating 13,590 test calls were carried out, over a five-day period, routed through to the Cape Bridgewater RCM unmanned switching exchange, using the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring equipment. This report stated the test calls had a 99.8 per cent success rate.
  2. Neither the psychologist nor the arbitrator was told tests through the Cape Bridgewater RCM switching exchange was impracticable: the nearest exchange that could accommodate the TELELEC CCS7 equipment was the Warrnambool exchange, 120 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater (see Evidence / Telstra's Falsified BCI Report)

Had the psychologist known the 13,590 test calls, allegedly carried out by BCI, could not terminate through the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system at Cape Bridgewater, his assessment of my mental state would have been somewhat different. He, too, might have been distressed if he had been aware Telstra misled and deceived him prior to him assessing my mental state.

On 21 March 1997, twenty-two months after the conclusion of my arbitration, John Pinnock, (the second appointed administrator to my arbitration), wrote to Telstra's Ted Benjamin (see File 596 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647) asking: 

1...any explanation for the apparent discrepancy in the attestation of the witness statement of Ian Joblin [clinical psychologist’s].

2...were there any changes made to the Joblin statement originally sent to Dr Hughes [the arbitrator] compared to the signed statement?" 

I have never seen a copy of the advice that John Pinnock was officially entitled to receive from Telstra regarding this unsigned arbitration witness statement by only the lawyer and not the witness shows how corrupt the arbitration process was.  

Absent Justice - Forensic Psychologist Meeting

it was not of Mr Joblin's hand 

The reason I was asking the TIO to why Ian Joblin's signature was not on the first of Mr Joblin's supplied witness statement is because the statements made in it did not correspond in anyway to the actual discussions I had with Ian Joblin on the day we met. There were two area's within the witness statement that appeard to suggest it was not of Mr Joblin's hand. 

Absent Justice - My Story The lawyer from Freehill Hollingdale & Page who attested as being present when Mr Joblin signed the witness statement (when Mr Joblin had not signed it) committed perjury. Signing an official statement certifying it had been signed by the author when it was not signed is an unlawful act that neither the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes nor the administrator Warwick Smith ever addressed. 

I guess both Warwick Smith and Dr Hughes thought they could not bring this matter to the attention of the law when they had also committed a similar unethical act, before the arbitrations agreements were signed. 

Both Dr Hughes and Warwick Smith advised several government ministers the telecommunication Industry Ombudsman legal counsel had drafted the arbitration agreement, when they had actually allowed Freehill Hollingdale & Page to draft it. This same legal firm that allowed one of their lawyers to attest to Ian Joblin’s signature on the aforementioned witness statement when Ian Joblin's signature was not on the statement at all.  

I wonder how many other legal matters this lawyer attests to as authentic legal documents when he knows otherwise have been used in legal processes to discredit other Australian citizens who have legitimate claims? The name of this person has been given to government agencies as well as government bureaucrats, and like the arbitrator assigned to my arbitration, Dr Gordon Hughes and the administrator of the process Warwick Smith who was providing senior Telstra executives government privileged COT Case information they are all firmly entrenched within Australia's Establishment while |I am battling to be heard.

To further add to this breakdown of natrual justice for the COT Cases is, that in my case, another Alan Smith (no relative) who was living on Cape Bridgewater Road, was also battling Telstra and receiving letters from a leading Victoria (Warrnambool) law firm acting for a debt collector and issuing letters of demand for non-paid Telstra billing accounts. It is clear from two of those letters of demand the Freehill Hollingdale & Page fax identification footprint is visible on these documents. This other Alan Smith later informed me after my arbitration concluded that he sometimes received arbitration-related documents from Telstra during my arbitration.

Had the arbitrator investigated my claims that I was not receiving my arbitration-related documents, and that very sensitive documentation had been removed by an unknown source from three different COT Cases premises which they had also needed to support their arbitration claims, that investigation might well have uncovered Telstra’s arbitration defence lawyers Freehills Hollindgale & Page was mistakenly (or deliberately) sending some of my relevant arbitration material to this other Alan Smith, who Freehill was aware was complaining of the same ongoing disputed billing accounts

Was this the real reason why the Australian government allowed Ericsson to purchase Lane during the government endorsed COT arbitration while the arbitrations were still in progress (see Bribery and Corruption - Part 2)?

When the COT arbitration documents submitted into arbitration proved that this Ericsson AXE lock-up call loss rate was between from 15% to 50% as File 10-B Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f so clearly shows. AUSTEL then instigated an investigation into these AXE exchange faults and uncovered some 120,000 COT-type complaints were being experienced around Australia. (see Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C), shows AUSTEL's Chairman Robin Davey received a letter from Telstra's Group General Manager (who was also Telstra's main arbitration defence liaison officer), suggesting he alter that finding for 120,000 COT-type complaints to show a hundred. If fact when the public AUSTEL COT Cases report was launched on 13 April 1994, it shown AUSTEL located up-wards of 50 or more COT-type complaints being experienced around Australia. 

In other words, when Julian Assange stated Telstra was not the only organisation acting unlawfully towards the COT Cases, was the meaning the government regulator or were there other government agencies who ensured Telstra was not found liable to the extent to which it was? 

Absent Justice - Telstras Contempt of the Senate

Contempt of the senate

So chronic and serious were my telephone faults in early 1993, (see Evidence - Australian Federal Police Investigations) that Telstra threatened (the first of two series of threats) that I had to register my ongoing telephone/faxing problems with their outside lawyers or they would refuse to regard my complaints as genuine.

By July/August 1993, the communications regulator was becoming concerned at Telstra’s approach to our complaints; particularly their continual use of outside solicitors. In October 1993, while the regulator was negotiating with Telstra for a commercial settlement proposal to be put in place for the COT members, the regulator’s chairman made it clear to Telstra’s commercial division that the regulator would not be happy if Telstra’s solicitors were used in future COT matters. This request was ignored however and Telstra continued to insist that I register my complaints through their solicitors until 28 January 1994.

Later, when Telstra submitted their defence of my arbitration, I learned that Telstra’s solicitors also acted as Telstra’s defence counsel. By this time, I was able to provide the arbitrator with clear proof that Telstra had provided incorrect written statements to the regulator and me, with regard to incidents that occurred between January and August of 1993. The arbitrator would not investigate this information.

On 18 August 1993, The Hon David Hawker MP again wrote to me, noting:

“Further to your conversations with my electorate staff last week and today I am enclosing a copy of the correspondence I have received from Mr Harvey Parker, Group Managing Director of Commercial and Consumer division of Telecom.

“I wrote to him outlining the problems of a number of Telecom customers in the Western Districts, including the extensive problems you have been experiencing.” (See Arbitrator File No/77 and Arbitrator File No/82)

Absent Justice - My Story

Children's lives could be at risk

Comments made from the Herald Sun newspaper dated 30 August 1993, confirm just how damaging some of these newspaper articles were to my already ailing business with statements like:

“The Royal Children’s Hospital has told a holiday camp operators in Portland that it cannot send chronically ill children there because of Telecom’s poor phone service. The hospital has banned trips after fears that the children’s lives could be at risk in a medical emergency if the telephone service to the Portland camp continued to malfunction”.

The centre’s stand follows letters from schools, community groups, companies and individuals who have complained about the phone service at Portland’s Cape Bridgewater Holiday camp.”

Youths from the Royal Children’s Centre for Adolescent Health, who were suffering from “chronic illnesses”, visited the camp earlier this year.   

Group leader Ms Louise Rolls said in a letter to the camp the faulty phones had endangered lives and the hospital would not return to the camp unless the phone service could be guaranteed” (Arbitrator File No/90)

On page 11 in the government's secret findings dated 4 March 1994 (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings), concerning the Children's Hospital saga it is noted:

"... the camp experienced major problems with incoming and outgoing calls causing stress  to parents children and the hospital. During one medical emergency had to contact Portland Base Hospital via Smith’s Facsimile line". 

After I received the above letter from the children’s hospital, I attempted to telephone a Melbourne clinical psychologist Dr Burnard for support, only to have my conversation with his receptionist interrupted three times by my ongoing telephone faults. On each occasion, as was previously expereiced by the youths from the Children's Hospital: the phone conversation dropped out within one or two minutes. Later I received a letter from his office, saying:

 “I am writing to you to confirm details of telephone conversation difficulties experienced between this office and our residence mid-morning this day, 5 May 1993. At approximately 11.30 am today Mr Alan Smith telephoned this office requesting to speak with Don Burnard. Mr Burnard was not available to take his call. During this time the telephone cut out three times. Each time Mr Smith telephoned back to continue the call “. 

“All of these clients have been subjected to persistent environmental stress as a result of constant pressure in their business and erratic patterns of change in the functioning of their telephones which were essential to the success of their businesses."

I later discussed with Dr Burnard using one of the two Telstra telephone boxes located outside Portland Post Office (20 Kilometres away) that my China flash-backs had surfaced again. At Dr Burnard's suggestion, I contacted a local Portland psychologist to discuss how the stress of my ongoing telephone problems had regenerated my Red China flashbacks. 

It was therefore, important to mention here Dr Burnard and Ms Davis's assessment of the stress we COT Cases had suffered due to the constant pressure of trying to run a telephone-dependent business without a telephone.  This stress brought back my Red Guard - The Peoples of the Republic of China flashbacks, and therefore, it was necessary to introduce my Peoples Republic of China issues on this website (see Chapter 2 - I am not alone, or  Chapter 7- Viet Cong - Australian Wheat

Here I was in mid 1993 five years after I purchased the business and nothing had changed either with my business or the businesses operated by the other three COT Cases. 

Absent Justice - Austel+39s Adverse Findings

Scroll down to point 209 > AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings,

Back when I started to operate my Cape Bridgewater holiday camp business in February 1988, and beyond to the late 1990s, doing business via the internet and email was not an option. In rural Australia the only way of doing business was via the telephone and Australia's mailing system. Had we COT Cases been operating our companies during the period where emails and online advice was so readily available, then the phone and faxing problems we suffered would not have affected our business losses as they did.

We did not get an efficient mobile phone system into Cape Bridgewater until after Novenber 2006 six years after I sold the holiday camp to Darren and Jenny Lewis for land value only. I was unable to sell the business with any goodwill. As proof that the phone problems were still apparant when I sold it can be measured by the content of the following statutory declaration provided by The Hon David Hawker, Speaker in the House of Representatives to the Minister for Communications Senator Helen Coonan dated 4 September 2006 on behalf by Darren Lewis which notes: 

"After Telstra rewired the business including disconnecting a Telstra installed faulty phone alarm bell, we were informed Telstra had found other problems and believed who ever had installed the wiring had done an unprofessional job. Internal Telstra documentation provided to me by Allan Smith confirmed Telstra themselves had done the wiring.

Jenny and I noticed that although our incoming-call rate had more than doubled once this wiring had taken place Telstra was still unable to provide a satisfactory reason as to why we were still having problems".  (Refer to exhibit AS 520) File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700 

What is so disturbing in Darren Lewis' case is that he contemplated suicide during what he considered the most traumatic period of when the phone and fax problems had in his opinion stopped at least two major bookings from being able to contact the camp so as to confirm those two bookings one in late 2006 and the early January 2007, two large bookings of some 120 persons per booking for six and seven nights over the Christmas period. A result of these lost bookings that drove him to contact the Portland Health Services. It is clear from this Exhibit titled Risk Management Plan dated 23 February 2007 (AS 913), prepared by Barbara Howard of the Portland Psychiatric Services that she had told Darren to speak to both his wife Jenny and Alan (who still lived next) if he had further thoughts of taking his life. It was after Barbara Howard had visited Alan and saw firsthand the documented evidence that the Telstra Corporation had knowingly submitted fundamentally flawed tests results to support their claims there was nothing wrong with the Cape Bridgewater network when their own documents showed otherwise and that local Telstra technicians had also lied under oath concerning the same Cape Bridgewater network that Mr Howard at least knew Darren had not imagined the phone and faxing problems (see also Chapter 4 The New Owners Tell Their Story).

On 1 October 2006: Darren Lewis wrote to the Hon David Hawker MP, Speaker in the House of Representatives (Refer to exhibit AS 682 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700 ) noting

"The technician, who comes from Colerain (also part of your electorate) advised me that he was aware that the problems I am experiencing now are the same problems experienced by the previous owner of the business (Alan Smith). When I asked him why this would be, he replied that the problems were caused because the wiring was so old that it was now totally incompatible with all the new technology (‘totally’ was his exact word).

I then described to him the latest fax problem – the one that I raised with you last Wednesday – when Alan Smith’s fax (intended for a destination in Melbourne) arrived at my business, cutting off my conversation with Cathy (Alan’s partner) as it came through".  

Official records to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman confirm my government-endorsed arbitration process, including FOI costs, was well past $300.000.00 [three-hundred-thousand-dollars] in my failed attempt to have Telstra fix my ongoing telephone problems. It is shown above and below that my ongoing telephone problems were not fixed as part of the agreed government-endosred arbitration process.  

Absent Justice - Hon David Hawker MP

I regret that it was at such a high personal cost

Twelve years before Darren Lewis wrote to The Hon David Hawker MP on 1 October 2006, The Hon David Hawker wrote to me on 9 December 1993 (see Arbitrator File No/82) stating:

“…I appreciate being kept informed of the developments and would like to congratulate you on your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services." 

This was very affirming, as was another letter, dated 9 December 1993, from The Hon David Beddall, MP, Minister for Communications in the Labor Government, to Senator Michael Baume, senator for New South Wales,(see Arbitrator File No/82) that says:

“Let me say that the Government is most concerned at allegations that Telecom has not been maintaining telecommunications service quality at appropriate levels. I accept that in a number of cases, including Mr Smith’s there has been great personal and financial distress  This [sic] is of great concern to me and a full investigation of the facts is clearly warranted.”

Absent Justice - Constant Complaints

Benefit to all subsribers in his area 

AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 130, 153, 158, and 209 (below), were compiled after the government communications regulator investigated my ongoing telephone problems. Government records (see Absentjustice-Introduction File 495 to 551) show AUSTEL’s adverse findings were provided to Telstra (the defendants) one month before Telstra and I signed our arbitration agreement. I did not get a copy of these same findings until 23 November 2007, 12 years after the conclusion of my arbitration. 

It was essential to highlight the above ongoing telephone problems because they destroyed my life and that of my partner Cathy and the lives of Darren and Jenny Lewis. 

Please continue to read this terrible true story

This is the story of a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country. The story of how for years Telstra refused to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of the COT Four to run their businesses, telling them 'No fault found,' when documents on this websiteshow they were found to have existed (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings). 

How Telstra and its legal arbitration defence team perverted the course of justice by using such dubious strategies as intercepting relevant faxes as the Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report document|730]AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings[the hackers], and File No/13) shows. This invasion into the COT Cases private and business lives continued for a further three years after the AFP found no evidence such activities had taken place. I assume the AFP forgot their admission in the following transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 that they had evidence Telstra had been bugging my telephone conversations over an extended period.

One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of this fax intercption report Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13 emailed me on 17 December 2014, stating:

“I still stand by my statutory declaration that I was able to identify that the incoming faxes provided to me for review had at some stage been received by a secondary fax machine and then retransmitted, this was done by identifying the dual time stamps on the faxes provided.” (Front Page Part One File No/14)

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. 

It is clear from File 646 and 647 - Exhibits 589 to 647 that Telstra admitted in writing to the Australian Federal Police on 14 April 1994, that my private and business telephone conversations were listened to and recorded over several months, but only when a particular officer was on duty. 

At the beginning of Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman  / Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct, I proved that a clandestine pre-arbitration meeting took place between Telstra's arbitration defence unit and Telstra's legal Directorate, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), his Legal Counsel and the alleged independent arbitrator. The claimants we not represented at this meeting. A meeting that discussed how the already agreed arbitration rules could be altered to protect the TIO Legal Counsel and the arbitrator's two resource units.

Absent Justice - Renowned Australian Author

Who authorised the removal of the $250,000.00 liability caps?

Removing the liability caps from the arbitration agreement severely disadvantaged the COT Cases when and if they appealed the arbitrator's award using malpractice by the arbitrator's resource unit. Seven months after the conclusion of my arbitration, I was unable to sue the arbitration unit because the $250,000.00 (two-hundred and fifty-thousand-dollar liability caps) clauses 25 and 26 had been removed (see Absent Justice Part 1 - Chapter 7 - Reinstated liability Clauses).

However, between 18 October 1995 and 4 October 1997, with the assistance of Mr John Wynack, director of investigations on behalf of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, I sought, under FOI, from Telstra a copy of their arbitration file on my matters. Home Page File No/82 confirms Mr Wynack did not believe Telstra’s claim that it destroyed the file. This file would have told me when these arbitration clauses 25 and 26 were altered, and who instructed this removal.

I also tried to access a copy of the same arbitration file held by the TIO office, which, as the administrator of my arbitration – under law – had to retain a copy for at least six years: until 2002. Mr Pinnock’s letter, of 10 January 1997, in response to my request (see also Chapter 2 - Inaccurate and Incomplete, states:

“I refer to your letter of 31 December 1996 in which you seek to access to [sic] various correspondence held by the TIO concerning the Fast Track Arbitration Procedure. …

“I do not propose to provide you with copies of any documents held by this office.” (See Open Letter File No 57-C)

If the TIO was not party to the removal of the $250,000.00 liability caps why conceal the arbitration files during my pending appeal process?

Had we listened to Julian Assange, the trauma suffered by the COT Cases and their families these past 27-years would have been over in 1996.

Absent Justice - Unresolved Privacy Issues

Interception of faxes between lawyers and their clients 

What documents between lawyers and their clients did Julian Assange uncover were being hacked? Were they the documents that the COT Cases received after the conclusion of their arbitrations, which proved Telstra, the arbitrator, Telstra's lawyers and the administrator acted in concert with Telstra to use their secretly drafted arbitration agreement instead of the independent drafted agreement the Australian government was told would be used?

Sixteen years after Julian Assange had warned us COT Cases in 1994, that we were being shafted by Telstra and those administering our arbitrations these documents arrived. I then provided some, but not all to both the Federal and Victorian attorney-general's. These documents show the truth at what really happend during the COT arbitrations, not what the government bureaucrats have recorded in government archives (see 12 Alternate remedies pursued  / Chapter 8 - The eighth remedy pursued).

Between June 2011 and June 2012, I sent a number of letters to the Hon Robert Clark, Victorian attorney-general, regarding the prolonged, unauthorised interception of Graham Schorer’s and my faxes during and after our arbitrations. Three replies (dated 12 October 2011, 23 March 2012 and 2 July 2012) are in Main Evidence File No 10. Each response, all headed Interception of facsimiles, stipulated that the Department of Justice cannot investigate interception of faxes, even though I provided documented proof of:

On the covering page of a joint 10-page letter dated 11 July 2011 to the Hon Robert McClelland, federal attorney-general and the Hon Robert Clark, Victorian attorney-general, I note:

“In 1994 three young computer hackers telephoned Graham Schorer, the official Spokesperson for the Casualties of Telstra (COT) in relation to their Telstra arbitrations.

Was Jullian Assange one of these hackers?

The hackers believed they had found evidence that Telstra was  acting illegally.

“In other words, we were fools not to have accepted this arbitration file when it was offered to us by the hackers who conveyed to Graham Schorer a sense of the enormity of the deception and misconduct under taken [sic] by Telstra against the COT Cases.” 

I also wrote to the Hon Robert Clark on 20 June 2012, to remind him that his office was already in receipt of a 7 July 2011 statutory declaration prepared by Graham Schorer. This statutory declaration discusses the three young computer hackers who phoned Graham during the COT arbitrations of 1994 to warn him. They had discovered that Telstra and others associated with the arbitrations were ‘acting unlawfully’ towards the COT group. Graham’s statutory declaration includes the following statements:

“After I signed the arbitration agreement on 21st April 1994 I received a phone call after business hours when I was working back late in the office. This call was to my unpublished direct number.

“The young man on the other end asked for me by name. When I had confirmed I was the named person, he stated that he and his two friends had gained internal access to Telstra’s records, internal emails, memos, faxes, etc. He stated that he did not like what they had uncovered. He suggested that I should talk to Frank Blount directly. He offered to give me his direct lines in the his [sic] Melbourne and Sydney offices…

“The caller tried to stress that it was Telstra’s conduct towards me and the other COT members that they were trying to bring to our attention.

“I queried whether he knew that Telstra had a Protective Services department, whose task was to maintain the security of the network. They laughed, and said that yes they did, as they were watching them (Telstra) looking for them (the hackers). …

“After this call, I spoke to Alan Smith about the matter. We agreed that while the offer was tempting we decided we should only obtain our arbitration documents through the designated process agreed to before we signed the agreement.” 

"I was troubled by these events and after great deliberation I contacted Warwick Smith and informed him of the events"

"After a considerable period of time had passed I asked Warwick Smith it there had been an outcome from the information I had supplied him. He told me that the hackers had been apprehended" (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3)

PLEASE NOTE: the Warwick Smith referred to by Graham Schorer in this statutory declaration was also the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (see TIO Evidence File No 3-A) which confirms that two weeks before the TIO was officially appointed as the administrator of the Fast Track Settlement Proposal FTSP, which became the Fast-Track Arbitration Procedure (FTAP) he was providing the soon-to-be defendants (Telstra) of that process with privileged, government party room information about the COT cases. 

It is highly likely the advice Warwick Smith gave to Telstra’s senior executive, in confidence, (that Senator Ron Boswell’s National Party Room was not keen on holding a Senate enquiry) later prompted Telstra to have the FTSP non-legalistic commercial assessment process turned into Telstra’s preferred legalistic arbitration procedure, because they now had inside government privileged information: there was no longer a major threat of a Senate enquiry.

Absent Justice - Justice for All

What was going to happen before it happened 

Julian Assange and his friends played a significant role in our arbitrations, telling us before it happened 'was what would happen during the COT arbitrations. In other words, whatever documents the hackers had stumbled across showed the COT Arbitrations was nothing more than a Kangaroo Court.

The statement made on Kangaroo court - Wikipedia "A kangaroo court is often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided before the trial has begun",  is exactly what happened during the various Casualties of Telstra (COT for short) arbitrations i.e. the arbitrator and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) collaborated with the defendants (Telstra) to use their proposed rules of arbitration arbitration instead of the agreed rules that were supposed to have been drafted independently

One month before my arbitration was premitually brought to a sudden halt (I had still not received my requested discovery documents) Warwick Smith received a letter from his arbitration finacial advisors (see Prologue Evidence File No 22-A) warning him, Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) and Peter Bartlett (Speicla TIO Counsel) that:   

“It is unfortunate that there have been forces at work collectively beyond our reasonable control that have delayed us in undertaking our work.” 

Even though Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) and I had discussed with Warwick Smith what the hackers had told us about these forces at work that was derailing our arbitrations this letter Prologue Evidence File No 22-A was concealed from me by Warwick Smith during my designated appeal period. So Julian Assange had been right, there had in deed been forces at work ready to derail our arbitrations before they had barely began. 

Before continuing with my COT story, I would like to use the Julian Assange segment above, including two letters dated June 2011 and June 2012 to both the Federal Attorney General and the Victorian Attorney-General discussed above.

Despite being told the process for our COT Case government-endorsed arbitrations would be conducted lawfully, our arbitration-related faxes were intercepted [screened for vital evidence to assist Telstra in their defence of our claims] as the following report Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13) shows.

Telstra has never been charged for this unconsionable act. 

ADVICE TO WARWICK SMITH

Julian Assange had previously exposed all this to the COT Cases in April 1994. Both Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) and I advised Warwick Smith, the administrator of our arbitration, that what the hackers had revealed was happening. Telstra was now threatening me and neither the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes or Warwick Smith would become involved, This evidence was supplied to Warwick Smith in May 1994, under the direction of Superintendent Detective Sergeant Jeff Penrose of the Australian Federal Police. Two days later, on 16 May 1994, at the advice of Mr Penrose, I provided a statutory declaration to Warwick Smith, and Dr Gordon Hughes, outling where Telstra was operating outside of the agreed arbitration process. That evidence (the documents proving Telstra had carried out those threats were neither addressed during my arbitration nor provided back to me after my arbitration. 

The hackers had been right. Our arbitrations were not being conducted lawfully. 

These unlawful events continued for a futher 12 months, as did Telstra’s threats, eventually those threats were carried out.

Had we been listened to the hackers in 1994, and had Warwick Smith worked with us, then all the unlawful conduct that has ruined so many COT Case lives could have been exposed and a properly conducted arbitration, with the arbitrator in control, would have provided the COT Cases with the justice Julian Assange had tried to ensure would happen.  

How can I not support the release of Julian Assange? How can not the six senators who made similar findings to Julian Assange in March 1999, five years later? Why is Australia turning their backs on a man who believes the truth is worth fighting for?

Media releases put out by both the Federal and State governments are asking Australians to become whistleblowers, to report crimes, and what might be possible crimes. The COT Cases were all asked to do the same 27 years ago and the government knows what they did to protect us, nothing whatsoever (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens).

Absent Justice - TIO

How can an arbitrator have no control over an arbitration process? 

How is a claimant in such a process supposed to live a nomal life after finding out the arbitrator had no control over their arbitration process which cost them more than $200.000.00 to fund?

On 26 September 1997, after most of the arbitrations were concluded, the second appointed administrator of the COT arbitrations, John Pinnock, who was also the second appointed Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (see page 99 COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA - Parliament of Australia told a Senate Committeee that:

"In the process leading up to the development of the arbitration procedures—and I was not a party to that, but I know enough about it to be able to say this—the claimants were told clearly that documents were to be made available to them under the FOI Act."

“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.”

Why were the arbitrations not conducted under the agreed ambit of the arbitration procedures? How can arbitration be a just process when the arbitrator has no control over how it is conducted? When did Dr Hughes lose control over the arbitrations? Was it the first week, or two months or even nine months into the process? And, just as importantly, who authorised him to conduct the process entirely outside of the ambit of the arbitration procedures? Where are these hidden arbitration related Telstra documents that we COT Cases were told we would receive if we entered our government endorsed arbitrations. 

What the Senate Committee was told in September 1997, is exactly what Julian Assange had tried to tell the COT Cases was happening three years ealier. Why didn't the TIO office demand a retrial (a complete new arbitration process once it was uncovered the arbitrator had no control over the arbitrations.

I reiterate, at 78-years of age, how can I not support the release of Julian Assange? Not doing so would be like sticking a knife into my pacemaker that keeps me alive.

The following Hacking-Julian Assange File No 52 contains a letter from Telstra’s internal corporate solicitor to an AFP detective superintendent, misinforming the AFP concerning the fax-testing process. The rest of the file shows Telstra did experience major problems when testing my facsimile machine in conjunction with Graham Schorer’s office fax machine. (See also Hacking Julian Assange -Chapter 8 - Treacherous behaviour)  Julian Assange had been right on target: we COT Cases were under electronic surveillance as Evidence - Australian Federal Police Investigations shows. 

It is clear from exhibits 646 and 647 (see AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647) that Telstra admitted in writing to the Australian Federal Police on 14 April 1994, that my private and business telephone conversations were listened to and recorded over several months, but only when a particular officer was on duty. 

Does this mean every time this officer left the Portland telephone exchange, the alarm bell set up to broadcast my telephone conversations throughout the Portland telephone exchange was turned off? What was the point of setting up equipment connected to my telephone lines that only operated when this person was on duty? When I asked Telstra under the FOI Act to supply me all the detailed data obtained from this special equipment set up for this specially assigned Portland technician, that data was not made available during my 1994/95 arbitration. I has never been made avaialable.

A Telstra email, dated Thursday 7 April 1994 (during my settlement/arbitration process), raises concerns, with information indicating the defendants in the litigation process were able to document when claimants would be away from their premises. This following document refers to a time when I would be away from my business during this pending arbitration process. The author of the email states:

“Mr Alan Smith is abscent [sic] from his premmisses [sic] from 5/8/94 – 8/8/94. On other occassions [sic] when he has been abscent [sic] there have been documented complaints received [usually months later] involving NRR etc. I called the premmises [sic] at aprox [sic] 4:55 pm 6/4/94 the answer time was 41 secs.

“I intend on this occasion to document his abscence [sic] and file al [sic] data I can collect for the period. That way we should be prepared for anything that follows.” (See Hacking-Julian Assange File No/3)

The writer knew, in April of 1994, that I planned to be away later that year, in August. He knew of my movements, four months in advance. Telstra have never explained how they came by this information. At other times, this same person has also stated that he knew I spoke to former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser on the phone and when that conversation took place. 

He insists I informed him about this conversation, but this is a falsehood. Again, Telstra has never been able to give a convincing explanation for their employee having this information. And of course, this employee knew who callers were even when they phoned from a different location, as discussed earlier. This information had to come from illegal monitoring. Obviously, Telstra were still actively monitoring my private calls because I was involved in litigation with them and their lawyers.

Exhibit AS 492-A file AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E is a letter dated 26 August 1998 from George Close 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.

Absent Justice - My Story

Government offices in Parliament House Canberra are also routed through Telstra’s Fax Streaming centre as Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13) show.

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?

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.

How can the Australian government who endorsed our arbitrations continue to ignor that the central points of our claim at arbitration was not taken into account by the arbitrator and how no amount of effort to have these points addressed bore any fruit. How, in the course of all these travesties, the regulatory bodies — Austel (for the government) and the TIO (for the carriers) — failed to exercise any control over Telstra to the point where they could reasonably be seen as acting in concert.

Together, these travesties spell a breakdown of justice, way out of proportion to the problem we began with — people asking that their phone services be guaranteed to work to a reasonable standard so that they can reliably conduct their businesses.

How many other arbitration and legal processes is this interception of the legal documentation is being hacked by the opposing side, screened, and copied before sending it on to its intended destination? The advantage of knowing the other sides weaknesses and strengths is endless. And this all happened in Australia. I firmly believe up to the day George Close passed away; he never got over the fact that Telstra had used his residence and office to the detriment of his COT Case clients. 

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.”

The following Senate Hansard records, show the COT Cases never ever had a chance of fully proving their claims.  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. The LNP government knew that not only should the litmus-test cases receive their requested documents but so should the other 16 Australian citizens who had been in the same government-endorsed arbitration process.

Although Senator Alan Eggleston advice to the Australian Finacial Revieiw and the above six senators statement has been discussed on the Bribery and Corruption - Part 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.

In simple terms, the government believed the arbitrations had failed the COT Cases in resolving their claims.

Why, then, did the government pressure Telstra to provide the missing 150,000 FOI documents to only five of the COT Cases as well as pay compensation to those five for not having the chance to submit those documents to arbitration. Had the remaining sixteen COT Cases (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens) been provide the same type of requested FOI documents and a similar compensation payout  as the other five had received these matters would have been resolved in 1999. 

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation

An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens

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, in an attempt 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).

Absent Justice - My Story - Australian Federal Police

Telstra's sinister power 

Does Telstra expect the AFP to accept that every time this officer left the Portland telephone exchange, the alarm bell set up to broadcast my telephone conversations throughout the Portland telephone exchange was turned off every time this officer left the exchange? What was the point of setting up equipment connected to my telephone lines that only operated when this person was on duty? When I asked Telstra under the FOI Act during my arbitration to supply me all the detailed data obtained from this special equipment set up for this specially assigned Portland technician, that data was not made available during my 1994/95 arbitration under the (FOI Act) and has still not been made available in 2022.

Several FOI documents which I provided the AFP at their request, intregued the AFP officers as did Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1, which shows Telstra was able to transcribe the name of a bus company on a previously letter I had sent them which does not name the bus company, only that I was seeking a contract for a bus charter to bring groups to my business. Telstra employee's even new the names and phone numbers of at least two single club remale members (see File 34 -B AS-CAV Exhibit 1 to 47).

I told the AFP that John McMahon, General Manager of Consumer Affairs at AUSTEL (the government communications regulator) had told me of the documents AUSTEL had uncovered confirmed beyond all doubt that my phone conversations had been bugged over a period of time. Question 81 in these AFP transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 the AFP asked me:

AFP  "Did John McMahon ever describe the document that he'd spoken to you where it had been identified to him about live monitoring?

Answer. "No, no never".

AFP: "Okay. That, that document that you, that you might be referring to, or John McMahon may be referring to we do have a copy of it".   

Answer: "Right"

AFP: "However, because it's been provided to us by Telecom, I'm, I won't show it to you".

Answer: "You can't yeah I understand".

AFP: "But it does identify the fact that, that you were live monitored for a period of time. Se we're quite satisfied that, there are other references to it"

What appeared to have shocked John MacMahon most of all is the evidence I provided to him confirming three 008/1800 incorrectly charged billing accounts faxed to his office on 22 April 1994 proved AUSTEL’s fax journal (in the main office) registers three faxes from my fax machine number, lasting from 01.40 to 02.22 seconds, but only blank paper appears (see File -70 (AS-CAV Exhibit 48-A to 91).  Where did the information on these faxes end up?  How can a fax transmit through to the receiving end, without the sender’s identification, date and time it was sent not be displayed on the document received?. 

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Threats caried out 

Threats were also made against me by Telstra arbitration officials because I assisted the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into these phone and fax hacking issues as page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated 29 November 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking 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 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)

Thus, the threats became a reality. What is so appalling about the withholding of relevant 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 arbitrator. The arbitrator 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, was so severely disadvantaged during a civil arbitration.

My pleas to the arbitrator, to bring Telstra to account for their actions when I had still not received my requested discovery documents amazingly, he refused to take calls as his secretary Caroline Friend is aware. Even though the Commonwealth Ombudsman had to be brought into the arbitration in order for Telstra to obey the Freedom of Information (FOI Act) and the government solicitors took control of the delivery of my arbitration documents which then never arrived until 23 May 1995, two weeks after the conclusion of my arbitration.

Absent Justice - Ongoing Faxing Problems

Telstra's billing records proves my case

Evidence provided to the administrator of my arbitration during and after my arbitration shows some 43 sets of faxed arbitration claim documents did not reach their intended destination during my arbitration (see Chapter 3 - Julian Assange's ignored message). A Telstra arbitration defence document confirms one of their officers, Tony Watson, reported on 23 May 1994 (see Briefing Paper B004 - Alan Smith Front Page Part One File No/1 states: "...Mr Watson concluded Hunt & Hunt was probably busy at the time Smith attempted to send his facsimile and the incident was not the result of a network problems (reference documents 4.10),. I have attached to Front Page Part One File No/1 a copy of my Telstra billing records for the 23 May 1994 shows seven faxed documents did arrive at the arbitrators' facsimile 614 8730 office.  

It is paramount the reader understands the significance of Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator admitting to his previous client Graham Schorer (the COT spokesperson in those arbitrations) that legal documents faxed to his Sydney office often were not redirected back to Melbourne (see below).

The arbitrator's fax machine at his Hunt & Hunt Melbourne office played a horrifying example where mistakes by the arbitrator's office in Melbourne and Sydney cost me and other COT Cases dearly. The COT Cases were never told that Dr Hughes Sydney office was representing Sydney Telstra employees who had superannuation problems being investigated while the New South Wales police and the Australian Federal Police were investigating the theft [rorting of millions upon millions of dollars] from Telstra's coffers (see following SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia.

Page 5163 to 5169, SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia, shows Telstra employees rorted millions upon millions of dollars from Telstra shareholders: i.e., the government and Australian citizens, who then owned Telstra. 

According to this letter dated 30 July 2009, from Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) and ex-client of the arbitrator Dr Hughes (see Chapter 3 - Conflict of Interest) wrote to Paul Crowley CEO Institute of Arbitrators Mediators Australia (IAMA), attaching a statutory declaration (see Burying The Evidence File 13-H and a copy of a previous letter dated 4 August 1998 from Mr Schorer to me, detailing a phone conversation Mr Schorer had with the arbitrator early in 1994 regarding lost Telstra COT related faxes. During that conversation, the arbitrator explained, in some detail that:

“Hunt & Hunt [The company’s] Australian Head Office of was located in Sydney and [the company] is a member of an international association of law firms. Due to overseas time zone differences, at close of business, [the company’s] Melbourne’s incoming facsimiles are night switched to automatically divert to Hunt & Hunt Sydney office where someone is always on duty. There are occasions on the opening of the Melbourne office, the person responsible for cancelling the night switching of incoming faxes from the Melbourne office to the Sydney Office, has failed to cancel the automatic diversion of incoming facsimiles.”Burying The Evidence File 13-H.

These lost faxes which were originally faxed to the arbitrator's office ended up playing a significant role in the COT arbitrations as has been shown throughout this website. I later added reference to these lost faxes as an amendment to the 21 claim documents I provided to the Institute of Arbitrators Mediators Australia (IAMA) Ethics and Professional Affairs Committee. It is well documented that government bureaucrats prior to and during my arbitration alerted the Australain Federal Police to the significance of the arbitration related faxes that were not arriving at their intended destimation during the COT arbitrations (see Evidence - Australian Federal Police Investigations) 

I have no record of any correspodence sent from Dr Hughes to the AFP during my arbitration alerting them to the possibibility that some of my lost arbitration related faxes to his office might have occured due to the arrangment discussed in Graham Schorer's affirmation to the IAMA Ethics and Professional Affairs Committee.

It is clear from exhibit 2, that although Telstra charged my fax account for six faxes having arrived at Dr Hughes' office this official Telstra arbitration documents sworn under oath states no faxes had arrived at Dr Hughes; office on this particular day. So where are these seven arbitration documents? Are they still in the Sydney office of Hunt & Hunt? 

In August 1995, when the arbitrator's office returned some (but not all of my arbitration claim documents), I did come across four multiple faxes (asbestos-related) discussion material that had come through the Hunt & Hunt fax line. I sent this material to the CEPU union office in Collingwood, Melbourne, because it looked like Sydney Telstra technicians had made asbestos claims against Telstra. 

 What has since been proven to have occurred over more than four years is that someone with access to the Telstra network regularly intercepted the COT Case's arbitration-related documents before those documents were redirected to their intended destination. In my case, some 41 sets of arbitration documents were not redirected to the intended destination. In other words, only part of my arbitration claim was assessed by the arbitrator.   

Transcripts from my interview with the AFP 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.

Who within the Telstra Corporation thought it was important to note that I had telephoned Malcolm Fraser (see Chapter 2 - I am not alone,  or  Chapter 7- Viet Cong - Australian Wheat or Weekly-Blog, concerning my China ordeal? Is my conversation with the former prime minister on one of the nine audio tapes AUSTEL provided to the Australian Federal Police (see Illegal Interception File No/3), but refused to supply copies to the COT cases? I was, at no time, suspected of committing a crime or being a possible risk to Australia’s national security.

As mentioned above, I even went as far as reporting in writing to both the Hon Malcolm Fraser and the then Commonwealth Police what was really happening to Australia’s wheat once it left Australia’s shores (see The People’s Republic of China segment on google). I have always acted in a responsible way even when the other side in my case Telstra’s (the defendants in government-endorsed arbitration), acted outside of the law as our Julian Assange - Hacking Australian Federal Police Investigations two pages show.  So why was I and the other COT Cases subjected to this hacking into our telephone conversations and our faxes as they travelled through Telstra’s network?

What was happening during our arbitrations concerning this electronic eavesdropping was precisely what a group of young computer hackers had warned Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) about after they had hacked into Telstra's Lonsdale telephone exchange.

Absent Justice - My Story

Ericsson AXE faulty telephone exchange equipment (2)

“Our local technicians believe that Mr Smith is correct in raising complaints about incoming callers to his number receiving a Recorded Voice Announcement saying that the number is disconnected.

“They believe that it is a problem that is occurring in increasing numbers as more and more customers are connected to AXE.” (See False Witness Statement File No 3-A)

To further support my claims that Telstra already knew how severe my Ericsson Portland AXE telephone faults were can best be viewed by reading Folios C04006C04007 and C04008, headed TELECOM SECRET (see Front Page Part Two 2-B) which states:

“Legal position – Mr Smith’s service problems were network related and spanned a period of 3-4 years. Hence Telecom’s position of legal liability was covered by a number of different acts and regulations. … In my opinion Alan Smith’s case was not a good one to test Section 8 for any previous immunities – given his evidence and claims. I do not believe it would be in Telecom’s interest to have this case go to court.

“Overall, Mr Smith’s telephone service had suffered from a poor grade of network performance over a period of several years; with some difficulty to detect exchange problems in the last 8 months.”

When the COT Cases exposed this Ericsson AXE call loss rate to AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator) AUSTEL (now ACMA) instigated an investigation into these AXE exchange faults and uncovered some 120,000 COT-type complaints were being experienced around Australia. Exhibit (Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C), shows AUSTEL’s Chairman Robin Davey received a letter from Telstra’s Group General Manager, suggesting he alter that finding:

For example, at point 4 on page 3, Telstra writes:

“The Report, when commenting on the number of customers with Cot-type problems, refers to a research study undertaken by Telecom at Austel’s request.  The Report extrapolates from those results and infers that the number of customers so affected could be as high as 120,000.

However, at point 2 on page 1 of Telstra’s letter 9 April 1994, Telstra writes:

“In relation to point 4, you have agreed to withdraw the reference in the Report to the potential existence of 120,000 COT-type customers and replace it with a reference to the potential existence of “some hundreds” of COT-type customers”.

The fact that on this occasion on 9 April 1994 Telstra (the defendants) were able to pressure the Government Regulator to change their original findings in the formal April 1994 AUSTEL COT Case report is alarming, to say the least. Worse, is that when AUSTEL released it into the public domain the report states AUSTEL only uncovered 50 or more COT-type complaints.

50 COT-type customer AXE complaints in comparison to 120,000 COT-type customer AXE complaints is one hell of a lie told by the government to its citizens who voted them into power.

ACMA Australian Government

Breach of trust by the government 

This is the story of a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country. The story of how for years Telstra refused to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of the COT Four to run their businesses, telling them 'No fault found,' when documents on this website show they were found to have existed for example AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 10 to 212. The government agency who prepared this report AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings was unable to access relevant documents from Telstra even though the relevant minister for the government had ordered the investigation under section 335 (1) of the Telecommunications Act 1991which gave AUSTEL (the government Communications Regulator) the power to demand Telstra provided the documents needed by the government who still owned Telstra at the time of this investigation into my complaint.  

The following list identifies some areas (in the AUSTEL draft report) where AUSTEL (now acma) had problems with access to Telstra records on the service provided to me at my Cape Bridgewater business.

     Point 43 on page 20 “As no fault report records remain in existence from Cape Bridgewater residents prior to this period, or these records have not been provided to AUSTEL, it is difficult to gauge the level of problems in the area.”

     Point 48 on page 22 “AUSTEL has been hampered in assessing Telecom’s dealings with Mr Smith by Telecom’s failure to provide files relating to Mr Smith’s complaints.”

     Point 71 on pages 28 and 29 “AUSTEL has not been provided with the documents on which the conclusion in this briefing summary were reached, such as fault reports from other Cape Bridgewater subscribers over this period or the details of the final selector fault.  It would have been expected that these documents would have been retained on file as background to the summary.  It can only be assumed that they are contained within the documentation not provided to AUSTEL.”

     Point 140 on page 49 “It should be noted that AUSTEL’s investigation of matters relating to the RCM problem has been hampered by Telecom’s failure to make available to AUSTEL a file specifically relating to the Pairs Gains Support investigation of the RCM.  The file was requested by AUSTEL on 9 February 1994.”

     Point 160 on page 55 “It should be noted that it is hoped that a number of issues in regard to the Cape Bridgewater RCM will be clarified when Telecom provides the documentation requested by AUSTEL.”

Once AUSTEL was fully aware Telstra was refusing AUSTEL relevant information that would allow the government communications regulator to prepare its official report for the minister after the regulator facilitated the arbitration and mediation processes that were to be based on information obtained from Telstra, it is obvious that AUSTEL should never have allowed those processes to proceed. AUSTEL breached its duty of care to the COT cases (which included me) by permitting the arbitrations/mediations to proceed. After all, if the government could not officially order Telstra to supply records to the minister, then what hope did the COT cases ever have of obtaining the same documents?

As an example of how bad the telephone service was in my part of Cape Bridgewater back in the late 1990s, it was not uncommon while driving our Country Fire Authority (CFA) fire truck to lose pager and mobile phone coverage while fighting a fire. On one particular day, while backburning at Cape Bridgewater, the fire chief who was some 7 kilometres away had no idea where I and another crew member Ricky was or what area we had  doused hot-spots i.e., smouldering logs and roots.   

Absent Justice - A disturbing twist

Unprecedented deception at its bests  

Another disturbing side to this tampering with arbitration evidence by Telstra is that for many years before this tampering took place, I was a volunteer for the Cape Bridgewater Country Fire Authority (CFA). The following chapters show that during my arbitration Telstra twisted the reason I could not be present for the testing of my TF200 telephone at my premises on a scheduled meeting on the morning of 27 April 1994. Telstra only reported in their file notes (later submitted to the arbitrator) that I refused to allow Telstra to test the phones because I was tired. There was no mention in these file notes that I advised the fault response unit that I had been fighting an out-of-control fire for 14 hours or that my sore eyes made it impossible to observe such testing by Telstra. I fought the fire the previous evening from 6 pm to 9 am the following morning.

The other twist to this part of my story is, how could I have spilt beer into my telephone, as Telstra's arbitration defence documents stated when I had been fighting an out of control fire? I certainly would not have been driving the CFA truck or assisting my fire buddies had I been drinking beer. Reading this part of my story on Bad Bureaucrast Tampering of Evidence will give the reader some idea of the dreadful conduct that we COT Cases had to put up with from Telstra as we battled for a reliable phone service.

It is also clear from the Tampering of Evidence page that not only did Telstra set out to discredit me by implying I was too tired to have my TF200 phone tested, after Telstra removed the phone, it was tampered with before it arrived at Telstra’s Melbourne laboratories: someone from Telstra poured beer into the phone. Telstra then alleged, in its arbitration defence report, that sticky beer was the cause of the phone’s ongoing lock-up problems, not the Cape Bridgewater network. This one wicked deed, along with the threats I received from Telstra during my arbitration, is a testament that my claims should have been investigated years ago. So, even though I carried out my civic duties as an Australian citizen, over and beyond by supplying vital evidence to the AFP, as well as fighting out-of-control fires, I was still penalised on both those occasions during my arbitration. 

This story could easily be your story:  I know, because this nightmare was my nightmare and is still my night may twenty-years after I was forced to sell my business in December 2001, because nether the TIO or Telstra would test my phone service according to the governments mandatory Service Verification Testing (SVT) specifications (see Telstra's Falsified SVT Report). as they were supposed to have done in 1994/95, as part of my government-endorsed arbitration. 

While It will be pretty clear to most, if not all, those who view Tampering of Evidence and read File 634 to 638 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647) that they will form their own opinions that Telstra committed one of the worse possible attacks against my character insinuating that alcohol played a big part in my financial losses and not Telstra telephone network. The fact that Dr Hughes (the Arbitrator) would not allow me the right to call a forensic investigator to view and give a professional opinion of this arbitration defence report again suggests Dr Hughes was acting in concert with Telstra to minimize their liability towards me.

Absent Justice - Senator Ron Boswell

Senate Hansard - 20 September 1995

Senate Hansard records under the heading A MATTER OF PUBLIC INTEREST dated 20 September 1995, shows a very emotional Senator Ron Boswell discussing the above type of 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 arbitrations - (see Senate Evidence File No 1 20-9-95 Senate Hansard A Matter of Public Interest):

“...Eleven years after their first complaints to Telstra, where are they now? They are acknowledged as the motivators of Telecom’s customer complaint reforms. … But, as individuals, they have been beaten both emotionally and financially through an 11-year battle with Telstra. 

“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.

“Once again, the only relief COT members received was to become the catalyst for Telecom to introduce a revised privacy and protection policy. Despite the strong evidence against Telecom, they still received no justice at all. 

“These COT members have been forced to go to the Commonwealth Ombudsman to force Telecom to comply with the law. Not only were they being denied all necessary documents to mount their case against Telecom, causing much delay, but they were denied access to documents that could have influenced them when negotiating the arbitration rules, and even in whether to enter arbitration at all. …

"This is an arbitration process not only far exceeding the four-month period, but one which has become so legalistic that it has forced members to borrow hundreds of thousands just to take part in it. It has become a process far beyond the one represented when they agreed to enter into it, and one which professionals involved in the arbitration agree can never deliver as intended and never give them justice." 

"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 unducement to go into arbitration. “Telecom has treated the Parliament with contempt. No government monopoly should be allowed to trample over the rights of individual Australians, such as has happened here.” 

And where are these four COT Cases today? Ann Garms and Maureen Gillan have both been put to rest and Graham Schorer has dementia. In January 2018 my partner, Cathy, was with me for my first appointment with our local doctor after I had survived a heart attack and double by-pass surgery.  Although the doctor was very sympathetic to my situation (and he knows my COT story) he couldn’t help but ask:  “Why am I not surprised?”

As I write this it is now May 2022 and still, every time I go back to finalise various parts of our website at absentjustice.com, and I have to re-read all the complex details that make up the whole, true, terrible story, my anxiety levels instantly begin to rise alarmingly. The situation gets worse though because I also find I am just stuck; I seem to be unable to find the right words to finish off this dreadful story.  It seems that, no matter what I do, I just can’t find a way to properly explain this disaster that we have all struggled with for so many years. One part of the problem is, of course, that none of the COT cases – all honest Australian citizens – should ever have been forced into a situation that would eventually leave us all dealing with so many still-unaddressed crimes; crimes that were committed against us while we were officially part of a government-endorsed, legal, arbitration process.  There are two parts to this problem for the COTs, though: to begin with, there are those who are now identified below, who worked with Telstra to carry out those still unaddressed crimes, and then there is Telstra, an organisation with so much power that they could stop any authorities (including government authorities) from investigating any of those crimes as the COT story so clearly shows.

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

I continue to maintain a strong interest in your case

On 27 January 1999, after having read the Tampering of Evidence report and my first attempt at writing my story Absent Justice Senator Kim Carr wrote:

“I continue to maintain a strong interest in your case along with those of your fellow ‘Casualties of Telstra’. The appalling manner in which you have been treated by Telstra is in itself reason to pursue the issues, but also confirms my strongly held belief in the need for Telstra to remain firmly in public ownership and subject to public and parliamentary scrutiny and accountability.

“Your manuscript demonstrates quite clearly how Telstra has been prepared to infringe upon the civil liberties of Australian citizens in a manner that is most disturbing and unacceptable.

Who Are We

Absent Justice was set up in an attempt to publish a true account of what really happened during the various Australian Government endorsed arbitrations with Telstra.

We are a group of Australians who call themselves the Casualties of Telstra (CoT). This website stands as a testament to the unlawful conduct we were exposed to.

This is the story of a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country.

The story of how for years Telstra refused to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of the COT Four to run their businesses, telling them ‘No fault found,’ when documents on this website show they were found to have existed as the following government records show see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 10, to 212

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as having said:

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”

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Who We Are
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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 absentjustice.com

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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“…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

My Story - Absent Justice

My Story

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.

My story started in 1987 when I decided my life at sea, where I had spent the previous 20 or so years, was over. I needed a new land-based occupation to see me through to my retirement years and beyond.

Of all the places in the world I had visited, I chose to make Australia my home.

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

– Edmund Burke