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Chapter 2

Absent Justice - Australian Senate

In this chapter, we aim to show that, during the five litmus Senate estimates committee FOI investigations, errors were disclosed – such as the Bell Canada International Inc (BCI) testing process, which was shown to be deficient and, in my case, impracticable. At that time, all participating COT members were content to wait, believing the investigation of the litmus cases would flow onto the remaining 16 on the Senate schedule B list and none of the 16 COT cases was notified of the progress as the investigation proceeded. John Wynack, director of investigations assisting the Senate chair and the litmus cases, was also investigating my FOI issues and demanding Telstra provide the requested documents I originally sought in my 18 October 1995 FOI request.

Although the COT litmus-test cases received some 150,000 FOI documents, through the Senate estimates committee investigation (see Senate Evidence File No/11), I did not receive one single document as John Wynack’s records show. Mr Wynack’s letters, of 11 and 13 March 1997, show he did not accept Telstra stating it destroyed the arbitration file I sought to use in my pending appeal process.

All of the remaining other COT cases, whose names appear on the Senate schedule list B, also sought FOI documents from Telstra during their respective arbitration and mediation process, as did the litmus tests cases, all this was known by the Senate estimates committee and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office. This was the reason a litmus-test situation was set up. The Senate schedule A list named the litmus tests cases and the Schedule B listed the remaining 16 cases. If the litmus test cases proved their case, that Telstra had withheld relevant documents during their arbitrations and was still doing so, then the remaining 16 cases would automatically receive a similar outcome.

But, the Australian litmus cases were treated differently to the remaining 16 Australians citizens, who were dismissed. Why? The answer is simple: politics and time. It took almost two years, using numerous senators’ valuable time, just to obtain the documents for the five litmus cases. Some consider the pending Telstra privatisation may also have played a part in why the 16 were dismissed the way they were. This is possibly the worst multiple discrimination against 16 Australians citizens.

Litmus Tests

Absent Justice - Discrimination against 19 Australian Citizens

What the coalition LNP government perpetrated against 16 citizens of Australia, from 1997 to 1999, after what was exposed in Senate Hansard records, dated 24 and 25 June 1997, is incredible. The LNP government knew that not only should the litmus-test cases receive their requested documents but so should the other 16. These Hansards, only a day apart, confirm the Telstra Corporation acted illegally against all 21 citizens, yet the government only sanctioned Telstra to pay compensation to the litmus cases, and not the remaining 16. The litmus cases (as stated above) also received 150,000, or more, previously withheld discovery documents (see Senate Evidence File No/11), which allowed them to appeal their arbitration process. But the remaining 16, who didn’t receive their withheld documents, we’re unable to appeal.

In fact, after one National Party senator verbally attacked a very senior Telstra arbitration officer, stating, “You are really a disgrace, the whole lot of you,” regarding the Telstra officers involved in the COT arbitrations, he then apologised to the chair of the Senate committee, stating:

“Madam, I withdraw that, but I do say this: this has got a unity ticket going right through this parliament. This has united every person in this parliament – something that no-one else has ever had the ability to do – and Telstra has done it magnificently. They have got the Labor Party, they have got the National Party, they have got the Liberal Party, they have got the Democrats and they have got the Greens – all united in a singular distrust of Telstra. You have achieved a miracle.”

A Labor Party senator also made it clear to the same Telstra arbitration officer that if Telstra was to award compensation only to the litmus COT cases, then this act “would be an injustice to the 16”.

The FOI Act allows the respondent 30 days to supply the requested information, yet the senior Telstra official, at the brunt of these senator’s attack, wrote to me, on 23 May 1995, two weeks after my arbitration appeal period expired. Accompanying his letter were numerous documents, hundreds, which I originally requested in May 1994, one month after I signed my arbitration.

This same official, while on the TIO council, provided in-confidence COT-related advice to another senior Telstra executive. The document in question shows he obtained the information while wearing his TIO hat. He also, prior to this severe reprimand by the Senate on 9 July 1998, advised another Senate estimates committee hearing, on 26 September 1997, that at no time during these TIO monthly meetings did he declare his conflict of interest. When the Senate asked TIO John Pinnock if COT arbitration issues were discussed at these TIO council meetings, he answered YES.

Correspondence to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, from various technical experts, appointed via the Senate working party to assess the relevance of FOI documents that the litmus COT claimants asked Telstra to provide, includes a letter from Qyncom IT & T Business Consultants Pty Ltd (Victoria) to Mr John Wynack, as chair of the working party (see Senate Evidence File No 13A & 13B). This 14-page letter, and many others to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, show the litmus COT claimants received free of charge, qualified technical assistance from government-appointed independent technical consultants. The other 16 claimants were denied these same privileges. If this is not discrimination of the worse possible kind, then what is?

Senate Schedule A and B list

Was there a second, or even a third, reason why the remaining 16 COT cases were denied the same type of compensation paid to the litmus-test cases? What other questions might the larger group of 21 claimants expose in the sale prospectus? Addressing a few still-unaddressed four-year-old arbitration claims, prior to the prospectus being prepared, would look better than 21 still-unaddressed four-year-old arbitration claims. Especially considering those 16 claimants had still not received their relevant discovery documents under the agreed FOI Act – an agreement reached with the administrator prior to arbitration that documents would be provided under FOI to enable us to prove our cases (see Arbitrator File No/71). The government knew Telstra was still refusing to supply relevant documents at the time of this litmus-test process, four years later.

On 23 October 1997, the office of Senator Schacht, Shadow Minister for Communications, faxed Senator Ron Boswell the proposed terms of reference for the Senate working party for their investigation into the COT arbitration FOI issues. This document shows the two lists of unresolved COT cases with FOI issues to be investigated. My name appears on the Schedule B list (see Arbitrator File No 67). Telstra, by still refusing to supply these 16 COT cases with promised discovery documents, first requested four years earlier, was acting outside of the rule of law and yet, regardless of Telstra breaking the law, these 16 claimants received no help from the police, arbitrator or government bureaucrats and were denied access to their documents, as absentjustice.com shows.

150,000 FOI Documents 

The 150.000 late provided FOI documents to the five litmus tests cases mentioned above was not of a historic nature in the case of Ann Garms and Graham Schorer, the forty-four large storage boxes that I received from Graham’s office in 2006 when I started to investigate these issues on behalf of Graham/Golden messenger I did not see any relevant Leopard or Ericsson Data for the exchanges that Graham’s Golden Messenger Courier Services were routed through. Between the end of 2006 and 2017, I have worked continually on some eight major projects on behalf of Graham/Golden who had commissioned me to investigate evidence they had received which showed Telstra had been aware prior to Graham’s arbitration process that Telstra had knowingly misled both Graham/Golden and the COT arbitrator concerning Graham/Golden 1994 to 1999 arbitration process. Since that period I have collated and written five major reports plus writing two separate manuscript’s (not yet completed) so that Graham/Golden can submit this material to the government as a testament there needs to be a Royal Commission Investigation into the COT arbitration process. During my first Administerial Appeals Tribunal FOI oral hearing in October 2008, the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) was the respondents, Graham Schorer advised the AAT under oath during cross-examination by ACMA lawyers that once my investigation on behalf of Golden was complete and the evidence collated and reported on was bound into submission those reports would be provided to the government. I have since viewed numerous COT Case Telstra related documents since that 2008 AAT hearing which supports Graham/Golden that even though members of the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman office (who were the administrators of the COT arbitrations) had been aware before the COT Cases went into arbitration that the historic Telstra fault data which would be needed by the COT Cases to support their claims had already been destroyed (see TIO Evidence File No 7-A to 7-C) this knowledge was never broadcast to the government who had endorsed the COT arbitrations. This release of 150,000 non-historic fault data documents and NOT the requested historic data which the five ‘litmus’ tests cases requested shows that the compensation the five litmus cases received were partly associated with Telstra being unable to provide those five cases the documents they should have received during their arbitrations.

The fact that NONE of the sixteen COT Cases who were also on the Senate schedule B list as unresolved COT FOI Cases is further testament we COT sixteen were discriminated against by the government.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING 

In the cases of Ann Garms and Graham Schorer, of the 150,000 FOI documents that were provided to the five ‘litmus-test cases (see Senate Evidence File No 11 proof 150,000 FOI documents) but which, as recorded above, arrived too late for them to use, none were of historic nature.  Seventy per cent (70%) of the 150,000 documents provided to the COT Cases during this ‘litmus test case fiasco were couriered to the offices of Golden Messenger. These are the documents that in late 2006, was sent down to my business by Graham/Golden in two separate deliveries. When I first started to investigate these issues for Graham, I did not find any Leopard Data for the exchanges that Graham’s Golden Messenger Courier Services was routed through, anywhere among the eleven large storage boxes that I received from Graham’s office in 2006, so it is quite clear from the three emails attached to TIO Evidence File No 7-A to 7-C), are the truth, i.e. Telstra did not keep historic Leopard fault data longer than twelve to thirteen months.  The release of those 150,000 non-historic fault data documents, but none of the requested historic data that the five ‘litmus-test cases requested, shows that the compensation that those five ‘litmus-test cases received was partly associated with Telstra being unable to provide the documents that those COTs should have received during their arbitrations.

What has been possibly the hardest thing to live with concerning that 70% of the 150,000 documents which I finally received in 2006, from Graham/Golden is that they are only related to Graham/Golden. However, even though the 90,000 or so documents, I did receive from Graham/Golden was minus historic fault data that material when combined with other later material received from another source shows the COT Cases were never meant to win their case. 

In 2017, when I commenced preparing  An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens I had still not received the FOI documents that the TIO and AUSTEL (government communications authority) promised me I would receive if I signed my government-endorsed arbitration process. 

I again note: the fact that NONE of the other sixteen COT Cases received any compensation
(even though they were also on the Senate Schedule B list as unresolved COT FOI Cases)
further proves that the Government discriminated against us sixteen remaining COTs.

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All of the main events as quoted in this unbelievable true crime story are supported by copies of the original freedom of Information documents linked in the text.

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

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

ABSENT JUSTICE HAS IT ALL.

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

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

Hon David Hawker MP

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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

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

Hon David Hawker

“…the very large number of persons that had been forced into an arbitration process and have been obliged to settle as a result of the sheer weight that Telstra has brought to bear on them as a consequence where they have faced financial ruin if they did not settle…”

Senator Carr

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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

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

Sister Burke

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

– Edmund Burke