My Bag

Your bag is currently empty.



This website is a work in progress last edited September 2022 

A click on my ABSENT JUSTICE book below, and you will see nine different publishers who have publihed my book from all different parts of the globe. ABSENT JUSTICE is free, but if you feel you would like to make a donation, then please send it directly to Transparency International Australia

All events quoted on this website are supported by copies of the original documents: for example, Prologue - Criminal Conduct - Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct - Chapter 2 - Illicit screening - Chapter 1 - Hacked documents - An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens and Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct etc. Clicking on these links automatically opens a PDF of the exhibit. By using this method and following the file numbers, you can verify our story. We could not have successfully composed this website without these exhibits to prove the COT arbitrations were nothing but a sham, a sham to protect Telstra at all cost. 

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. When four small business owners had severe communication problems, they went into arbitration with Telstra. The arbitrations were a sham: the appointed arbitrator not only allowed Telstra to minimise the Casualties of Telstra (COT) members’ claims and losses, but the arbitrator also bowed down to Telstra and let the carrier run the arbitrations. Telstra committed serious crimes during the arbitrations yet, up to this day, the Australian government and the Australian Federal Police have been unable to hold Telstra, or the other entities involved in this deceit, accountable.

Do you ever wonder if there is any real justice left in the world?  Do you ever feel ignored by the large corporations you deal with on a daily basis?  In Australia, from the nineteen-eighties into the twenty-first century, a group of small-business people have been battling for justice from Australia’s largest telecommunications carrier — Telstra.  This group have become known as the Casualties of Telstra, and are usually referred to as the COTs (or, sometimes, the Cotcases!).  The COTs have dared to challenge the ‘quality’ of the service provided by Telstra and refused to give up without proper justice.  Every documented event included on this website and in my publication Absent Justice and My Story Warts & All can be supported by documented evidence now available on this website The COTs can clearly prove every one of their allegations, so why hasn’t the Australian justice system helped them?  Could it be because of the power wielded by the corporation they are challenging?

AUSTEL (now the Australian Communications Media Aurhority -ACMA) knows that Telstra has incorrectly billed its customers over many years because of a systemic fault in Telstra’s billing software and, in 1993, the AUSTEL facilitated a legal arbitration procedure between Telstra and some of the COTs, in order to fix the on-going billing faults.  The arbitrator and Telstra had other ideas however, and during the first of the COT arbitrations they made sure that none of the claimant’s evidence of billing faults was investigated or addressed in any way.  The author of this book was that first COT claimant and as the story unfolds you will learn about the unethical way Telstra is still dealing with the COTs, how appalling Telstra’s billing system is, and the lack of security within the Telstra Corporation. 

After reading this story, you will find yourself with a long list of questions about how the Australian judicial system and the then-ungraded arbitrator handled this legal process. During my arbitration, he sat for his exams with the Institute of Arbitrators Australia (IAA) to be admitted onto the IAA register as a graded arbitrator, but he failed those exams.

Regardless of this failure and the fact he conducted the COT arbitrations outside of the agreed-to ambit of the arbitrations procedures (see Who Are We) both the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (who administered the arbitrations) and AUSTEL (who facilitated the arbitrations) allowed him to pass judgement on my claim regardless of his many failures 

Absent Justice - TIO

Why did the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) advise Government Ministers that the author’s billing evidence had been addressed during the arbitration, when he had previously been told it had not been addressed?

Why, during the same arbitration, did the AUSTEL advise the Government Communications Minister that Service Verification Testing (SVT) on my three seperarate phone lines had proved that the service ‘exceeded all the required specifications’ when AUSTEL had already written to Telstra on 11 October 1994 and 16 November 1994 (see File 23-E and File 23 F Govt/Telstra/SVT Report Exhibits 11 to 23-G  at Telstra's Falsified SVT Report) declaring that the opposite was true, and stating that not only was the testing process deficient, but the results DID NOT meet the Regulator’s specifications?

After AUSTEL advised Telstra of these serious problems with the service verification testing, why did Telstra then arrange for signed witness statements to be submitted to the arbitration, saying the testing HAD met the Regulator’s specifications (see File 23 - Govt/Telstra/SVT Report Exhibits 11 to 23-G at Telstra's Falsified SVT Report?

Pages 36 and 38 from the following 24 June 1994 Senate Hansard records Senate – Parliament of Australia shows an ex-Telstra employee turned Whistle-blower, Lindsay White, that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical Freedom of information documents which the COT claimants had requested, he advised the Committee that I was one of the five COT Cases who Peter Gamble Telstra’s arbitration engineer had advised him had to be stopped at all cost from proving my arbitration claim.

This is the same Peter Gamble who received advice from AUSTEL (see File 23-E and File 23 F Govt/Telstra/SVT Report Exhibits 11 to 23-G) different to what he knew was the truth.

Why did Telstra write to the TIO during the author’s arbitration, advising that they intended to address the my claims of phone bugging (voice monitoring) and then ignore those claims completely?

When the TIO discovered that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had documented evidence (including nine audio tapes (see Illegal Interception File No/3) of Telstra’s active bugging of the author’s phone calls why, did the TIO still allow the arbitrator to ignore this evidence of illegal voice monitoring?

If Telstra were not voice monitoring the my phone calls or intercepting [screening] my arbitration related faxes, how did they come by so much information my movements, private life and business transactions?

Absent Justice - My Story - Australian Federal Police

During the second Australian Federal Police interview with me at my business on 26 September 1994, while they were investigating these bugging issues, they asked me 93 questions see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 surrounding the interception of my telephone conversations and hacked arbitration related faxes. I told the AFP that AUSTEL's John McMahon General Manager of Consumer Affairs had told me of the documents AUSTEL had uncovered and confirmed that my phone conversations had been bugged over a long period.

Question 81 in these AFP transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation 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".

I reiterate, even after the arbitrator was provided these AFP tramscripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 which is comclusive proof that Telstra intercepted my telephone conversations without my authorization of me the arbitrator made no written finding in his award.  

Absent Justice - My Story

The fax imprint across the top of this letter (Open Letter File No 55-A) is the same as the fax imprint described in the Scandrett & Associates report which the government officially received in January 1999, four years after the completion of my arbitration.

Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13), confirms faxes were intercepted during the COT arbitrations. One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of this fax interception report 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)

It is also clear from Front Page Part One File No/1, that six documents faxed from my office to the arbitrator’s office did not reach his office. Why did Telstra charge me for these six non received documents?

When the TIO, in his position as administrator of the arbitration process, clearly confirmed that he would not endorse the rules of the arbitration process unless they included a particularly important clause, how were Telstra allowed to get away with holding an illegal, clandestine meeting (without notifying the COT claimants) to discuss significant changes to these same clauses / 

After the COT claimants had accepted and signed these legally binding rules for the arbitration process, how could Telstra get away with secretly changing those rules and what made the TIO change his mind to allow these changes without notifying the COT claimants that these were changes which would slant the process to Telstra’s favour (see Chapter 2 Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman / Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct?  ?

How were Telstra allowed to get away with withholding important documents from the COT claimants and when numerous Government Senators voiced their protest at this behaviour by Telstra, calling Telstra’s behaviour ‘unconscionable’, why was no further investigation carried out?

Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston 

Forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information  

On 23 March 1999, after most of the COT arbitrations had been finalized and business lives ruined due to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight Telstra and a very crooked arbitrator, 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 focused 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.”  

Eggleston, Sen Alan – Bishop, Sen Mark – Boswell, Sen Ronald – Carr, Sen Kim – Schacht, Sen Chris, Alston and Sen Richard

These six senators 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. 

Absent Justice - Where was the Justice

Why would a Senator write to me threatening to have held in contempt of the Senate which carries a two-year jail term, if I disclosed the contents of a particular Government Hansard report which proved that at least one Senator stated to Telstra that to award compensation to only the five COT Cases currently being investigated by the Senate would be an injustice to the remaining 16 COT Cases did the government allow for the twenty million dollars put aside to divide equally amongst the 21 COT Cases was it divided amongst only five of the COT Cases?

Was this the real reason why the Australian government allowed Ericsson to purchase Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd during the government endorsed COT arbitration while Lane was the appointed independant technical expert working for the arbitrator? Why was Lane allowed to be purchased while the arbitrations were still in progress?

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 billing faults they uncovered that some 120,000 COT-type complaints (see below) were being experienced all 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 (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 or more. If fact when the public AUSTEL COT Cases report was launched on 13 April 1994, it reads only 50 or more COT type complaints?

dropping down to 50 COT-type customer complaints in comparison to 120,000 COT-type customer complaints is one hell of a lie told by the government to its citizens who voted them into power (see (Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C).

Absent Justice - Renowned Australian Author

The Australian Legal System is no longer affordable for the average citizen so there is little or no protection against the unlawful tactics used corporations like Telstra who, in a legal arbitration, knowingly used falsified and flawed reports, and the tax payer’s money, to hide the true extent of their inefficient telephone network. 

The COTs have now been locked in a battle with Telstra for fifteen and a half years (July 2004), not only fighting for justice for themselves but also for all the other small businesses who have folded under the pressure, and for any other individual Australians who have suffered as a result of Telstra’s indifference to their customers’ problems.

The COTs have been lied to, deceived, ignored and humiliated.  They have had their phones cut off.  They have had their private and business phone calls listened to and recorded.  They have had their movements monitored by Telstra.  They have suffered strokes, heart attacks and other stress related illnesses.  In some cases they have not only lost their families and their health but have lost, or come close to losing, their businesses as well.  And some of them have simply given up; totally worn down by the fight.

When so much of modern life, both private and business, depends on our communications system, surely everyone should be able to rely on the corporations who provide that system to supply a reliable, efficient service and correct billing methods?  Although this doesn’t seem to be too much to ask, this story demonstrates how everyone may well be suffering from incorrect telecommunications charging. 

How long were the COTs phone problems in existence before they finally became aware of them?  Have they now all been fixed?  How much profit has Telstra made by overcharging unknown numbers of customers, again and again and again?  Have you been overcharged in the past, without being aware of it?  Are you being overcharged now?  

When I raised these billing problems as a major part of my arbitration claim Telstra arbitration defence sumitted twelve sworn witness statements attesting my claims were wrong. Those twelve witness statements do not match the statements made by Telstra's CEO Frank Blount (who became party of my arbitration having telephoned me on two occasions as well as corresponding with me during it) in Mr Blounts publication Managing in Australia (see File 122-i - CAV Exhibit 92 to 127) 

Frank Blount, Telstra’s CEO, after leaving Telstra in he, co-published a manuscript in 1999. entitled, Managing in Australia. On pages 132 and 133, the author exposes the problems Telstra were hiding from their 1800 customers noting:

“Blount was shocked, but his anxiety level continued to rise when he discovered this wasn’t an isolated problem. 
The picture that emerged made it crystal clear that performance was sub-standard.”
(See File 122-i - CAV Exhibit 92 to 127)

Frank Blount's Managing Australia › managing-in-australia › fran can still be purchased online. The irony of this publication means only one thing. Did Mr Blount mislead and deceive his readers about the billing issues, which he states were not isolated problems, or did he knowingly allow Telstra employees to submit twelve false witness statements 'under oath' to the arbitrator hearing my case?

Who are we?

We set up Absent Justice in 2015 to publish an accurate account of what happened during various Australian Government-endorsed arbitrations with Telstra when the government owned the communications carrier. The first four cases to go through arbitration were officially advised in a publicly released government report in April 1994 that the arbitrator would not be allowed to bring down a finding unless Telstra could prove to the government and arbitrator that each claimant's phone faults were rectified. The agreements were signed on that condition.

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

The phone faults that brought the COT cases to arbitration were not fixed under that signed agreement and were still ongoing when the arbitrator brought down his findings without addressing this. In my case, the arbitrator's technical consultants, one from Canada and the other from Australia (see Open Letter File No/47-A to 47-D), told the arbitrator in their draft report:

"One issue in the Cape Bridgewater case remains open, and we shall attempt to resolve it in the next few weeks, namely Mr Smith's complaints about billing problems."

This statement and the wording that the report was incomplete were removed from that draft. The current was submitted as the final report, dated 30 April 1995 see Chapter 1 - The collusion continues to Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter. Corruption and the disregard for the rule of law during the COT arbitrations were systemic 

The arbitrator and administrator of those arbitrations are now recipients of the ‘Orders of Australia’ (see Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) regardless of a Senate Committee being told by the second-appointed administrator of the COT arbitrations, (see page 99, Senate – Parliament of Australia) that:

“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.”

The COT story is one of corruption and fraudulent conduct perpetrated against a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country. A story of how, for years, Telstra refused to address known ongoing phone problems affecting the capacity of the COT cases' businesses, telling them and the government, 'No fault found when documents on this website show they were found (see Chapter 4 The New Owners Tell Their Story.

Absent Justice Ebook

Read Alan’s book
‘Absent Justice’

In Alan Smith’s book he shows us the twisting path of government arbitration,
the ways it can go wrong and how to make sure it doesn’t go wrong for you...


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

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 that can be downloaded from is possibly a world first.


Read About Our Dealings With

Absent Justice Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
Absent Justice Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Corrupt practices mixed with bribery and criminal exploitation causes fraud and crookedness which demoralize society. Misrepresentation coupled with jobbery is extortion payola. This is subterfuge, swindling and fraud.

Senate Evidence
Senate Evidence

The criminal delinquency of those involved in the administering of these corrupted arbitrations are still practising their style of justice on other citizens who, like the Casualties of Telstra.

An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens
An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens

This type of skulduggery is treachery, a Judas kiss with dirty dealing and betrayal. This is dirty pool and crookedness and dishonest. This conduct fester’s corruption. It’s worse than double-dealing and cheating.

Australian Federal Police Investigations
Australian Federal Police Investigations
The dishonest double-dealing and unscrupulous deceit and deception festered the COT Cases arbitrations where profiteering was nothing less than North American payola. Fraud and misconduct were rampant.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Check out our bribery and Corruption part 1 and Corruption part 2. Deception, fraudulent conduct and thuggery are criminal legal abuse that can not be tolerated. It is worse than unscrupulous and treacherous evilness. 


C A V Part 1, 2 and 3
C A V Part 1, 2 and 3

The Unprecedented Deception page was derived from the Bribery and Corruption Part 1 and Part 2 pages, obtained from the evidence stored in CAV 1, 2 and 3. This evidence exposes political corruption and crooked dealing by government bureaucrats during the COT arbitrations.

Learn More ⟶

Quote Icon

“…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.

Read More ⟶

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

– Edmund Burke