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Chapter Eight - The eighth remedy pursued

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 8

The eighth remedy pursued was the government-endorsed assessment DCITA 2006 process conducted by the Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA).

Before we commence discussing the Government-endorsed CCITA Independent 2006 assessment process we need to review the Sun Herald newspaper article used in our Absent Justice Introduction  page dated 23 May 2021, written by Peta Credlin, EX-Chief of Staff to The Hon Tony Abbott (Prime Minister of Australia) now a high profile Australian media guru and TV host, wrote a fascinating article, in the Herald Sun newspaper, under the heading:  "Beware The Pen Pusher Power - Bureaucrats need to take orders and not take charge”, which noted:

“Now that the Prime Minister is considering a wider public service reshuffle in the wake of the foreign affairs department's head, Finances Adamson, becoming the next governor of South Australia, it's time to scrutinise the faceless bureaucrats who are often more powerful in practice than the elected politicians.

Outside of the Canberra bubble, almost no one knows their names. But take it from me, these people matter.

When ministers turn over with bewildering rapidity, or are not ‘take charge’ types, department secretaries, and the deputy secretaries below them, can easily become the de facto government of our country.  

Since the start of 2013, across Labor and now Liberal governments, we’ve had five prime ministers, five treasurers, five attorneys-general, seven defence ministers, six education ministers, four health ministers and six trade Ministers.”

I found this article most relevant to the matters raised here in our eighth remedy pursued and my own dealings with 'the faceless bureaucrats who are often more powerful in practice than the elected politicians.'  Peta Credlin has hit the nail squarely on the head in this article. I can not only relate to the information she writes about, but I can also link it to the many bureaucrats and politicians I have met since this debacle first began, i.e., before, during and after my DCITA alleged Independent Assessment process that was certainly not conducted impartially by the DCITA  Pen Pusher Power - Bureaucrats who continued to ignore the evidence I submitted to the DCITA 2006 assessment process.

As one of the many examples, I have exposed on this website as a testament that in my case, these pen-pushing power - bureaucrats have not acted impartially when officially investigating my claims lodged with the government on this occasion under the direction of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA). I have used here the letter dated 10 March 2006, from me to Liz Forman, Acting General Manager, DCITA who, along with her other DCITA pen-pushing bureaucrats, was one of the appointed assessors of my 2006 independent assessment process agreed to by then Hon Senator Helen Coonan so as to secure the one crucial vote needed from the then-Senator Barnaby Joyce (who is 2021, became the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia for the second time. My 2006 independent assessment process was one of the ten amendments agreed to by the John Howard government if Senator Barnaby cast his crucial vote in the Senate to pass the final vote allowing Telstra to be privatized. However, these DCITA bureaucrats (public servants) instead of impartially assessing my claims against Telstra, DCITA bureaucrats sort the advice from Telstra as to the validation of my official DCITA claim, which at that point if time in March 2006, had cost me above $12,000 in secretarial and professional fees as The Hon Barnaby Joyce Deputy Prime Minister is very much aware. 

On 27 August 2021, the Herald Sun newspaper commented on the findings of a Royal Commission investigation into alleged corruption within the Melbourne Crown Casino and Helen Coonan's role on the Board during her ten year period. Part of that period was Chaiman of the Board. The following statement by the Herald Sun is startling to say the least i.e.;

"Ms Coonan, a former Howard government minister, managed to convince NSW regulators she could turn the Crown around, following explosive revelations it facilitated money laundering and other crime at its flagship Melbourne casino. 

But it was a different story in Victoria, with counsel assisting the royal commission into the group declaring she was not suitable to helm the company, putting at risk its 27-yeard stronghold on the states only casino" 

15 September 2005, Senator Barnaby Joyce writes to me:-

“As a result of my thorough review of the relevant Telstra sale legislation, I proposed a number of amendments which were delivered to Minister Coonan. In addition to my requests, I sought from the Minister closure of any compensatory commitments given by the Minister or Telstra and outstanding legal issues. …”

“I am pleased to inform you that the Minister has agreed there needs to be finality of outstanding COT cases and related disputes. The Minister has advised she will appoint an independent assessor to review the status of outstanding claims and provided a basis for these to be resolved.”

“I would like you to understand that I could only have achieved this positive outcome on your behalf if I voted for the Telstra privatisation legislation.” (Senate Evidence File No 20)

Once Senator Joyce had cast that crucial vote, however (the one vote that was hanging in the balance), and had, therefore, made history for the Telstra Corporation and the Liberal-National Coalition Government, Senator Coonan reneged on her promise with a decisive back-flip, as many of the letters collected on this website so clearly shows.  

Before you continue to read on, try to place yourself – as many COT cases have tried to do over the past decade –in the shoes of the then-rookie Senator Barnaby Joyce. He believed the deal he made with coalition minister Senator Helen, would be adhered to. It was not as the following chronology of events show.

During this (DCITA) ‘so called’ Independent Assessment process that I was involved in, David Lever (DCITA) assessor sent an email to John Pinnock on 10th May 2006, concerning claims raised by the COT cases that their arbitrations procedures were fundamentally flawed and that relevant documents had been concealed from them by Dr Hughes and the Resource Unit. Astra Taurins responded to this email, on behalf of John Pinnock, noting: ‘…At no stage did I or, as far as I am aware, the Arbitrator, conceal anything from the COTS. (refer to exhibit AS 644 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647

We, therefore, have a situation where on this website we have shown:

  1. The arbitration agreement used for the first four COT arbitrations had been drafted by the defendants (Telstra) and not independently as the government was advised;
  2. Dr Hughes was not a qualified graded arbitrator;
  3. Dr Hughes’ letter of 12 May 1995 exposed major deficiencies in the arbitration agreement used in the first four arbitrations;
  4. A secret deal between Telstra (the defendant) allowed the TIO Resource Unit to scrutinise what documents they believed should be provided to the arbitrator for assessment;
  5. Both the technical and financial reports in my arbitration were knowingly submitted into arbitration as complete reports when both reports were incomplete.

If these five points can’t be classified as concealing information from the COTs, then what could be?

In an attempt to salvage something from this event, Senator Joyce came to a compromise with the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), who agreed that they would assess the claims of any of the 14 COTs who were interested in being involved. The Casualties of Telstra – chronology of events (see Absentjustice Part 1, 2 and 3 describes how, once the government secured Senator Joyce’s vote, they did a back-flip and refused to appoint anyone other than their own government-employed assessors, rather than the independent assessor that had been promised to Senator Joyce.

This internal Coalition government email dated 22nd September 2005, concerning the agreed-to COT commercial settlement proposal, from Nikki Vajrabukka notes:-

“Key issues for consideration include:

  • Analysis of Senator Joyce’s request, and Minister’s response
  • What the Minister can and can’t do
  • Whether there is any basis to re-open the investigations/appoint an independent assessor
  • If so, who will that be?
  • What powers does the Minister have to direct a person to do so (for example direct the TIO to revisit the cases?)
  • Whether there were any compensatory commitments or warrants of compensation given by the Minister, the Department or Telstra.”(Refer to GS 420 File  GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447

Please note the question as to whether the Minister had the power to grant a Commercial Assessment was only raised with Senator Joyce after the Coalition Government secured his crucial vote for the full privatisation of Telstra.

29 September 2005, David Lever, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, sends an internal email to a number of Department Personnel regarding an Independent Assessor:-

“Matt Stafford rang to say that the Minister wants a draft letter to Senator Joyce by Friday next week that:

  • re-states what she said she would do in her last letter to him;
  • demonstrates that processes are in place to meet her commitment;
  • indicates the cases/persons who the independent assessment would cover, and
  • asks Senator Joyce whether this should meet his needs. …”

“I suggest that we do all we can to restrict coverage to the 16 COTs that were considered by AUSTEL in its 1994 report as inclusion of any others without some justification, eg that they were mentioned in the Senate’s 1999 report on COTs, would risk irresistible pressure to extend to numerous others who have had disputes with Telstra over the past 10 years. …”

“I also suggested that there may be advantages in appointing ACMA as the independent assessor rather than a consultant to the Department. He has not opposed to this idea.”
(Refer to GS 421 File  GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447

Bullet point 2 above confirms there was a process in place to meet Senator Helen Coonan’s commitment given to Senator Joyce for his vote to allow the government to privatise Telstra. So why did the Minister’s Department not honour that commitment once Senator Joyce cast his vote?  This misleading and deceptive, unconscionable conduct caused Graham and me further trauma

This internal email dated 18 October 2005 to Senator Helen Coonan states:-

Senator Joyce has written to you seeking urgent advice on your proposed approach to the conduct of independent assessments of various claims against Telstra by customers or former customers or contractors of Telstra.

We propose you ask the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to conduct the assessments. …

There is significant risk for the Government if expectations in relation to compensation are created among claimants that cannot be met by the Government.” (Refer ro GS 422 File  GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447

Exhibit GS 423 is an unsigned Government memo from Senator Coonan’s office, received by the Cot cases during their FOI requests to the Minister’s office regarding this assessment process.

“According to Minister’s understanding, assessor to:

  • review the status of all outstanding claims and
  • provide a basis for any sustainable claims that have not been resolved through earlier processes to negotiate a possible settlement with Telstra”

“Possible Loopholes

‘sustainable claims not resolved through earlier processes’ – on the basis that information provided by the claimants raises no new issues, particularly regulatory issues that require addressing by the Minister or the ACA/ACMA.

If concerns relate to conduct of Telstra, then these should be raised with the Commonwealth Ombudsman?

If the CoTS have evidence of unlawful activities, these should be brought to the attention of the police or relevant law enforcement authorities.” Refer to GS 423 File GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447 )

19 October 2005,  David Lever, advisor to Senator Coonan, emails Departmental Personnel:-

“As discussed with Andrew yesterday, the minister has signed and sent a letter to Barnaby Joyce that deals with the above and local presence plan issues. We have not seen it but I made comments on the draft sent yesterday afternoon by matt, seeking to retain the tight constraints on the scope of the assessment, which he had relaxed.”

Simon Bryant responds:-

“I think Jodi be getting confused about what the assessment is meant to do (or at least what we are recommending) ie an assessment of process and what further resolution channels may be available to people. We are arguing strongly that the assessment should not be about the merits of each case.” (Refer to GS 424 File GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447 )

My question here is:

  1. Who was Simon Bryant, to argue strongly “that the assessment should not be about merits of each case”?
  2. How can an independent commercial assessment process be independent, if those administering the process seek to retain tight constraints on the scope of the assessment process?
  3. Why did the Federal Government give Senator Joyce its commitment, in exchange for his vote to allow the Telstra privatisation bill to be passed? Then, as soon as they secured his vote, renege on that commitment?

The statement made by Simon Bryant, another DCITA bureaucrat's that: “I think Jodi be getting confused about what the assessment is meant to do (or at least what we are recommending), i.e. an assessment of process and what further resolution channels may be available to people. We are arguing strongly that the assessment should not be about the merits of each case.” (refer to GS 424 File  [document|1248] does not exist ) shows how far these government bureaucrats went to discredit the merit of our claims.

Pete Credlin is right in her Herald Sun newspaper article to expose just how bad some of Australia's Canberra public servants are. 

2 December 2005:  David Lever emails TIO John Pinnock:-

“Subject: independent assessment of claims against Telstra …

“Some of the former ‘COTs’ are among the 22 who will be asked if they wish to participate in the process. …

“The assessment will focus on process rather than the merits of claims, including whether all available dispute resolution mechanism have been used.” (GS 425)

This email from David Lever does not match the promises given to Senator Barnaby Joyce by Senator Helen Coonan.

The Hon David Hawker, Speaker in the House of Representatives assists me in my independent assessment process

As shown below: worse was to come, however. I received a copy of an email, dated 3 March 2006, sometime after the end of my April 2006 government-endorsed assessment process. This email was originally sent to a senior ex-government communications bureaucrat who was a government liaison officer for Telstra for his advice on how to go about assessing my 2006 claim (see Senate Evidence File No 18).

10 March 2006:  The Hon David Hawker writes to me:-

“I wish to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated 23 February and 27 February along with your facsimile transmissions of 6 and 9 March. I will ensure this material, including the corrected version, is forwarded to Minister Coonan…” (Refer to GS 442 File GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447 )

As one of the many examples, I have exposed on this website as a testament that in my case, these pen-pushing power - bureaucrats have not acted impartially when officially investigating my claims lodged with the government on this occasion under the direction of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA). I have used here the letter dated 10 March 2006, from me to Liz Forman, Acting General Manager, DCITA who, along with her other DCITA pen-pushing bureaucrats, was one of the appointed assessors of my 2006 independent assessment process agreed to by then Hon Senator Helen Coonan so as to secure the one crucial vote needed from the then-Senator Barnaby Joyce (who is 2021, became the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia for the second time. My 2006 independent assessment process was one of the ten amendments agreed to by the John Howard government if Senator Barnaby cast his crucial vote in the Senate to pass the final vote allowing Telstra to be privatized. However, these DCITA  public servants instead of impartially assessing my claims against Telstra, DCITA sort the advice from Telstra as to the validation of my official DCITA claim, which at that point if time in March 2006, had cost me above $12,000 in secretarial and professional fees as The Hon Barnaby Joyce Deputy Prime Minister is very much aware. 

In my 10 March 2006 letter to Liz Forman I stated that:

"Although you have stated in your letter that “...the assessment process will not extend to an examination of whether the law was broken by Telstra....” I have been advised that it is mandatory, under Commonwealth law, for DCITA and/or the Minister to notify the Attorney General of any unlawful activities they may uncover during official department investigations". (Refer to exhibit AS 614 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647

17 March 2006:  On the 17 March 2006 David Lever, Manager, Consumer Section, Telecommunications Division (a government bureaucrat) wrote to me noting:

"Thank you for your letter of 10 March 2006 to Ms Forman concerning the independent assessment process. If the material you have provided to the Department as part of the independent assessment process indicates that Telstra or its employees have committed criminal offences in connection with your arbitration, we will refer the matter to the relevant authority". (Refer to exhibt AS 657 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700

The information in our story on this website indicates that Telstra employees have committed criminal offences in connection with my arbitration as our  Telstra's Falsified BCI Report  the Telstra's Falsified SVT Report  and the  Tampering of Evidence  page Tso clearly shows. Yet these three reports were NOT taken into consideration by the government bureaucrats namely Liz Forman and David Lever.

A further Pen Pusher powerful - Bureaucrat  Nikki Vajrabukka from the Department of Communications, Environment, Technology and the Arts (DCITA sent an internal email to David Lever on 3rd March 2006, informing him that she had emailed David Quilty (a previous government Pen Pusher power - Bureaucrats who were now a Telstra Government Liaison Officer (AS 1042) at david.quilty@team.telstra.com asking for his assistance in addressing my March 2006 DCITA submission which described how, during my arbitration, Telstra had knowingly submitted three fundamentally flawed reports as official defence documents namely  Telstra's Falsified BCI Report  the  Telstra's Falsified SVT Report  and the  Tampering of Evidence .  Sending this email is much like asking a criminal if they should be charged in relation to crimes they have committed after being caught with the stolen goods. 

It is also interesting to note that, before Mr Quilty moved to Telstra, he was Chief of Staff to the DCITA Minister (then Senator Richard Alston) during the time that I was requested to provide the Minister with any further damning evidence against Telstra and the unlawful way in which they had been allowed to conduct their arbitration defence of the COT Cases claims. In fact, when I wrote to Philip Gaetjens (Principal Advisor to The Hon Peter Costello, who was then the Federal Treasurer) on 12 November 1997, I provided conclusive evidence of the way Telstra had perverted the course of justice during their defence of my arbitration claims which included the evidence now attached to  Telstra's Falsified BCI Report  the  Telstra's Falsified SVT Report  and the  Tampering of Evidence  reports.

On 3 December 1997, documents show that Mr Gaetjens passed my evidence on to Mr Quilty (in his position as Senator Alston’s Chief of Staff). How could the DCITA process remain independent if Mr Quilty was evaluating the claims against his new employer (Telstra), particularly since:

In some cases, those claims were that persons with access to Telstra's network had continued to intercept my faxes after the conclusion of my arbitration.  The evidence to support those allegations had previously been supplied to the DCITA in January 1999 prepared had been signed under oath in January 1999 by two renowned technical consultants (see Open Letter File No/12 Senate Evidence File No 31 ) and was now supplied again by me in my March 2006 submission.

It is also important to note David Quilty was once Chief of Staff of DCITA to the Minister for Communications Senator Richard Alston, as well as an advisor to the Prime Minister, John Howard? This seems to demonstrate that public officials i.e., the pen-pushing powerful - bureaucrats live in a different world to most of Australia – a world where there is no meaning to the term “conflict of interest” and/or mutual respect for a fellow Australian citizen.

The final DCITA assessment on my submission found in favour of Telstra, and lo and behold, David Quilty ended up with a senior executive position in Telstra.

Peta Credlin is clearly showing by the content of her May 2021 newspaper article that the Australian public has a right to know that incidences like mine which I have proved did happen during my official DCITA assessment process should be exposed as I have done on this website.

Telstra’s unlawful conduct towards Australian citizens has been proved, but Government Ministers and officials have concealed those crimes from the public under Parliamentary Privilege and then written to the victim of the crimes, advising that the best thing that victim can do to find any justice is to personally take the huge Telstra Corporation to court have already proved Telstra’s guilt as shown in our story.

19 April 2006: my letter to the Hon Senator Helen Coonan (Refer to exhibit AS 615-A File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647

"In regard to my current claim, Mr Lever of DCITA had notified me that, if DCITA found I have proved that Telstra had carried out any unlawful acts during my arbitration, then the evidence would be provided to the relevant authority. Then in a later telephone conversation with Mr Lever, I was told that he had not found any evidence in my claim to show that Telstra had perverted the course of justice".           

29 April 2006: my letter to the Hon David Hawker, Speaker in the House of Representatives notes:

"Over the years however I have explained to you some of the problems I have encountered with faxes and emails that ‘go missing’ or arrive late or faulty. The apparent interference in my emails has now forced me to arrange for Ronda Fienberg, my Melbourne editing service to send emails out on my behalf, from her computer and email address, because emails often don’t arrive at their  correct destination when I attempt to send them from my emails address.’

 Please note the footnote in Alan’s letter from Ronda Fienberg states:

Mr Hawker, I feel obliged to add to the information Alan has provided here. I have run a small editing support business from my home since 1991 and first began assisting Alan in mid-1994. Until then I had never had a problem receiving or sending faxes for myself, or on behalf of my clients, to anywhere in the world, but I continually (still) have problems with Alan’s faxes which often come through with the words drawn out down the page and therefore unreadable, or with the page cut off half way down. 

24 May 2006,  Senator Coonan responds to Hon David Hawker MP:-

“Mr Smith has indicated that he would like the terms of reference for the assessment to be wider, requiring the Department to make judgements about the fairness of the arbitration process undertaken by Dr Gordon Hughes, under the administration of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, in 1994. While this is understandable, it is not reasonable to expect the Department or indeed any other person at this point in time to make judgements about the circumstances surrounding Mr Smith’s arbitration. The terms of reference for the assessment are therefore more forward looking, aimed at identifying whether any further dispute resolution processes may be available to be pursued by claimants and Telstra in order to resolve their disputes.” (Refer to exhibit GS 445-b File  GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447 )

This statement by Senator Helen Coonan:-

  1. Does not coincide with the commitment given by Senator Coonan’s advisor David Lever, 17th March 2006 to me, prior to me signing the agreement that:-“If the material you have provided to the Department as part of the independent assessment process indicates that Telstra or its employees have committed criminal offences in connection with your arbitration, we will refer the matter to the relevant authority.” (Refer to exhibit AS 321 File  AS-CAV Exhibit 282 to 323  
  2. Does not coincide with her commitment given to Senator Barnaby Joyce:-

“As a result of my thorough review of the relevant Telstra sale legislation, I proposed a number of amendments which were delivered to Minister Coonan. In addition to my requests, I sought from the Minister closure of any compensatory commitments given by the Minister or Telstra and outstanding legal issues. …”

“The Minister has advised she will appoint an independent assessor to review the status of outstanding claims and provide a basis for these to be resolved.”

“I would like you to understand that I could only have achieved this positive outcome on your behalf if I voted for the Telstra privatisation legislation.”
(GS 432)

The one crucial vote the Government needed to pass the Telstra privatisation – Senator Barnaby Joyce’s vote – was given on the basis of a commitment that Senator Coonan had no intention of honouring – that an independent assessor would be appointed to assess the merits of each COT case’s claims.

27 March 2006,  The Hon David Hawker writes to me:-

“A note to acknowledge receipt of your letters dated 24, 25, & 26 March pertaining to your request for an independent assessment. Thank you also for forwarding Darren Lewis’ letter of 25 March consenting to being interviewed under oath to support your claim that the phone and fax faults continued long after your arbitration.”

“Please be assured representations have been made today to the Minister for Communications and I have supplied Senator Coonan with copies of all above-mentioned letters.” (Refer to exhibit GS 443 File  GS-CAV Exhibit 410-a to 447 )

17 July 2006:  In this letter to Senator Helen Coonan I note:

"I will not attempt to include all of the numerous other alarming incidents that have occurred in relation to my battle with Telstra, but you may be interested to know that when the Victoria Police Major Fraud Group were investigating my complaints between 1999 and 2001, I sent a number of faxes to the Police Barrister, Neil Jepson where on at least two occasions they did not reach his office even though Telstra included them on my subsequent bill, and my fax journal print-out shows they were sent successfully.   

Documented evidence now included in my current submission to the DCITA independent assessment confirms that other faxes sent from my office between 1994 and 2002 were still being intercepted by unknown parties, before they arrived at their intended destination". (Refer to exhibit AS 615-B File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647

8 and 10 August 2006: Exhibit AS 517 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541  is Witness Statement dated 10 August 2006 (provided to the DCITA) by Ann Garms, and sworn out by Des Direen ex- Telstra Senior Protective Officer, eventually reaching Principal Investigator status.  Mr Direen has been brave enough to reveal that, in 1999 / 2000, after he left Telstra, he assisted the Victoria Police Major Fraud Group, in particular Rod Kueris, with their investigations into the COT fraud allegations.  I was called into that investigation as a witness (see  An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens ).

Points 12 to 18 in Mr Direen’s statement explained that “From what (he) observed on this day, and applying the knowledge that (he) gained during (his) twelve years at Telstra, (he had) no doubt in (his) mind that the phones at Rod KUERIS’s home address were possibly interfered with". Within a few weeks of Mr Direen having assisted the Major Fraud Group with their investigations, it became apparent that Mr Kueris was very distressed. Both Graham, as a complainant and Alan, as a witness, reported to Mr Kueris that they believed they were also under surveillance during those investigations.

Exhibit AS 517 is also a witness statement dated 8 August 2006, prepared by Bob Hynninen, Public Servant (Australian Taxation Office) formerly Detective Sergeant of the Victoria police. At point 3 in this statement Mr Hynninen notes:

"I can recall that during the period 2000/200, I had arranged to meet Detective Sergeant Rod KURIS from the Victoria Police Major Fraud Squad at the foyer of Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. At the time, I was assisting Rod with the investigation into alleged illegal activities against the COT Cases.

Rod then stated that he wanted me to follow him to the left side of the foyer. When we did this he then directed my attention to a male person seated on a sofa opposite our seat. He then told me that the person had been following him around the city all morning. At this stage Rod was becoming visibly upset and I had to calm him down.Rod kept on saying that he couldn't believe in what was happening to him. I had to again calm him down".  

Points 21and 22 in Mr Direen’s statement also record how, while he was a Telstra employee, he had cause to investigate “… suspected illegal interference to telephone lines at the Portland exchange” but, when he “… made inquiries by telephone back to Melbourne (he) was told not to get involved and that it was being handled by another area of Telstra” and that ... the Cape Bridgewater complainant was a part of the COT cases”.

These two witness statements were provided to the DCITA by Ann Garms, COT Case member after discussions with Senator Barnaby Joyce.  

31 August 2006: David Hawker MP wrote to me noting:

Many thanks for keeping me informed. As requested, issues concerning privacy breaching have been raised with Senator Coonan’s office for your meeting with the Minister set for 6 September 2006".  (Refer to exhibit AS 578 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 542-a to 588  

My privacy concerns were not addressed during this meeting. However, as shown below for the date of 17 May 2007, Senator Helen Coonan did write to me on this matter noting:

"...I also appreciate the depth of feeling regarding the matter and suggest you consider whether any court proceedings may be your ultimate option" (Refer to exhibit AS 616-B) File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700 )

4 September 2006 Darren Lewis (the new owners of my business) provided the Hon Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, a two-page statutory declaration noting:

"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 )

Had the arbitrator conducted my arbitration as he should have according to the ambit of the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984, and had investigated ALL of my ongoing telephones and faxing claim documents Darren and Jenny Lewis would not have suffered the heartache they have suffered by purchasing a telephone dependant business that both John Pinnock (TIO) and Telstra failed to divulge to me that from their investigation conducted after my arbitration on 14 January 1998, that it was apparent that the phone problems raised by me in is claim documents had indeed continued to affect his business after his arbitration. We say the Lewis wouldn't have suffered the heartache because I would not have been forced to sell his business had the TIO and Telstra transparently investigated my valid claims.

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.

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".  

3 November 2006: Senator Helen Coonan wrote to David Hawker, Speaker In the House of Representatives, stating:

"Thank you for your representation of 17 August 2006 on behalf of Mr Alan Smith regarding Mr Smith’s allegations that Telstra monitored his phone calls and emails during an arbitration process with Telstra. The interception of emails and monitoring of phone calls is an offence under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979. Mr Smith should consider his dispute through the dispute resolution bodies, including his State Office of Fair Trading, the Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority state, and the courts". (Refer to exhibit AS 616-B File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700

Following the advice given to me by Hon Senator Helen Coonan, I contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) through his advisor, who also assisted him in the preparation of a claim to be provided to Peter Hiland, Barrister for the CAV. From October 2007 through to late 2008, this advisor (who I have not named in this story) was a very high ranking police officer who had a number of discussions with Mr Hiland who then proceeded to assess the various claims provided by me.  Altogether some thirty relevant submissions were provided to the CAV during the period up to 2008 and, while I was seeking FOI documents for my 3 October 2008 Administrative Appeals Tribunal, it became evident that the CAV had stopped providing any assistance in these matters.

17 May 2007: The 'so called' Hon Senator Helen Coonan wrote to me noting:

"I have now made both formal and informal representations to Telstra on behalf of the CoTs. However, Telstra’s position remains that this is a matter that is most appropriately dealt with through a Court process. Telstra is not prepared to undertake an alternative means of pursuing this matter. I also appreciate the depth of feeling regarding the matter and suggest you consider whether any court proceedings may be your ultimate option". (Refer to exhibit AS 616-B  File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700       

Surely it was Senator Helen Coonan’s responsibility, as the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, to instigate an official enquiry into why Telstra continued to intercept in-confidence documents leaving either my office (or residence), the offices of various Senators and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office during and after the COT arbitrations? 

Why was it left open to a citizen of Australia to take Telstra to court for intercepting documents during and after their government-endorsed arbitration when the Senate Estimates Committee had also been advised that some of these faxes were also intercepted leaving Parliament house?

The Hon Senator Helen Coonan and the DCITA bureaucrats who abused their power during the DCITA Independent Assessors used exhibit AS 639 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647 , headed Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts – Casualties of Telstra (COT) Background And Information For Ministers Office as a guide to the validity of the COT case issues including my previous arbitration and fax interception issues, but Exhibit (AS 639) does not include what we have shown here on this website.

27 July 2007: This ex-Telstra technical Guru Brian Hodge, B Tech; MBA of (BC Telecommunications) in his Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp report notes:  

The failure of Telstra to carry out standard performance tests (e.g. bit error rate etc), at the multiplexer (RSM) at Cape Bridgewater is alarming & of concern. CCAS data over recent times (e.g. 2004-2006), indicate a continuing & worsening level of “Outgoing Released During Setup” calls (ORDS). These reports on the CCAS data indicate that the calls are not successful in the call set up stage of the connection or is lost in the network". (Refer to exhibit AS 486 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647  

Exhibit (AS 566 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 542-a to 588  are four Telstra CCAS data records for the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp showing the (ORDS) faults experienced by the new owner of Alan’s business Darren Lewis’ up to at least 29th November 2006.

In this report, Mr Hodge, also states after viewing the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp (SVT) Call Line Analyses System CCAS data dated 29th September 1994 (Refer to exhibit AS 541 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541  that:

"The so called tests reported to have taken place at Cape Bridgewater RSM cannot be verified by examination of the normal exchange based call data, nether incoming or outgoing. In addition, the failure to carry out the number & duration of the prescribed tests (eg. 20 calls per service, each held for 120 seconds), indicate the erroneous & fraudulent nature of the report to AUSTEL.

It is my opinion that the reports submitted to Austel on this testing programme was flawed, erroneous, fictitious, fraudulent & fabricated, as it is clear that no such testing has taken place as Telstra’s own call charge system DOES NOT record any such activities.

From these conclusions the statutory declarations by Gamble & others must be considered to be questionable and may be considered to be incorrect to say the least". Refer to exhibit AS 486 File  AS-CAV Exhibit 470 to 486

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

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“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

Hon David Hawker

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“A number of people seem to be experiencing some or all of the problems which you have outlined to me. …

“I trust that your meeting tomorrow with Senators Alston and Boswell is a profitable one.”

Hon David Hawker MP

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

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

– Edmund Burke