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Until the late 1990s, the Australian government wholly 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 also bowed down to Telstra and let the carrier run the arbitrations. Telstra committed serious crimes during the arbitrations, yet the Australian government and the Australian Federal Police have not held Telstra, or the other entities involved in this deceit, accountable. 

The website

As you scroll down the page, please click on the images to explore the corruption of the arbitration system in Australia.

Infringe upon the civil liberties.

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

Most Disturbing And Unacceptable 

On 27 January 1999, after having also read my first attempt at writing my manuscript "Absent Justice", the same manuscript I provided Helen Handbury, sister to Rupert Murdoch, 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.” 


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Please note that if you require more evidence to clarify any specific matters discussed in "Absent Justice," kindly click the "Evidence Files Corruption in Arbitration" link and follow the numbered system provided. Another way to verify the authenticity of our story is to access the mini-stories attached to this Evidence File.

Completing my COT Telstra arbitration story has been challenging because it's closely linked to my memories of China. These memories resurfaced after I learned that Telstra was eavesdropping on my phone conversations with former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. During our conversations, I asked Mr Fraser if he had ever received a two-page letter I sent him on September 18, 1967. The letter was written on foolscap paper and was read by the Commonwealth Police in Sydney. It contained information about how Australia's wheat was being redirected to North Vietnam via China to support the North Vietnamese war effort. The same war effort that was killing and maiming Australian, New Zealand and USA troops.



Image of vietcong guerilla


Image of vietcong guerilla


Image of vietcong guerilla


Image of vietcong guerilla

 More images

Vietcong guerilla
Viet Cong (VC), in full Viet Nam Cong San, English Vietnamese Communists, the guerrilla force that, with the support of the North Vietnamese Army, fought against South Vietnam (late 1950s–1975) and the United States (early 1960s–1973). The name is said to have first been used by South Vietnamese Press.

In 1994/95, I went through arbitration proceedings. During that time, I shared with the Australian Federal Police a collection of newspaper articles that featured two separate telephone conversations with The Hon. Malcolm Fraser, who had previously served as the Prime Minister of Australia. Page 12 of the transcripts from my interview with the AFP's Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 reveal that the AFP was interested in the confidential discussions I had with Mr Fraser concerning my correspondence on September 18, 1967, after my return from China.

Mr Fraser's conduct during our conversations was highly professional. He showed great integrity when he decided to report only what was necessary to the media regarding our discussion about phone bugging. This was after I had informed him about a Telstra file note that had redacted significant portions of the information we had discussed. His actions demonstrated his unwavering commitment to preserving confidential information, a testament to his character.


Absent Justice - Hon Malcolm Fraser


One of three media statements follows:

“FORMER prime minister Malcolm Fraser yesterday demanded Telecom explain why his name appears in a restricted internal memo.

“Mr Fraser’s request follows the release of a damning government report this week which criticised Telecom for recording conversations without customer permission.

“Mr Fraser said Mr Alan Smith, of the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp near Portland, phoned him early last year seeking advice on a long-running dispute with Telecom which Mr Fraser could not help. (See Senate Evidence File No/53)


The Casualties of Telstra (COT for short)  Story 


As you go through my story, you'll come to the same conclusion that I have come to: I was treated differently from the other three COT Cases. The four of us were known as the trailblazers since we were the ones who took our claims to the government, and after that, sixteen other businesses joined the COT Cases group. This is why I feel it's necessary to introduce my Red China whistleblowing saga, which occurred from June to September 1967.

During that time, several other seamen and I from the Hopepeak ship exposed to the Australian and British governments that Australia's humanitarian aid shipments of wheat to The People's Republic of China were being redeployed to North Vietnam while Australia, New Zealand, and the USA were fighting the North Vietnamese. It was during this period, when I was experiencing significant telephone problems with my holiday camp business that this terrible China episode surfaced and became part of my COT story, as the reader will see if they delve further into this side of my story Chapter 7- Vietnam - Vietcong


Absent Justice - Australia


On September 7, 1967, in the Senate, The Honorable Dr Rex Patterson, a member of the Labor Party representing Dawson in Queensland, asked The Honorable Charles Aderman, a member of the Australian Country Party representing Fisher, about the Australian government's guarantee that Australian wheat sent to mainland China was not being forwarded to North Vietnam. The Honorable Charles Alderman responded by stating that the Australian government does not have control over the ultimate destination of goods purchased by foreign buyers

This means that the then Liberal-Country Party Coalition government did not care about the fact that Australian wheat was being used to feed the Vietnamese soldiers who were fighting against Australian, New Zealand, and USA troops in the North Vietnamese jungles. It is unlikely that Australia will ever find out how much of that wheat went into the bellies of the North Vietnamese soldiers before they marched off into the jungles in search of Australian, New Zealand, and USA troops. It is no wonder that the Liberal-Country Party Coalition government treated the returned Vietnam soldiers (our brave young heroes) in the way that they did, which was recorded in various media stories. The government was ashamed and guilty for what our country did to these service personnel while they were fighting, dying, and being maimed so that Australia could feed more Chinese and North Vietnamese.

Even though it's now April 2024, my memories of those events are still as clear as if they happened yesterday. However, whenever I go back to finalize various parts of this story, I must re-read all the complex details that make up the terrible vision I saw and experienced during my short stay in The People's Republic of China. This causes my anxiety levels to rise alarmingly. It was the bashing of the Chinese citizens by the Chinese Red Guards that affected me more than almost being shot by the same Red Guards →

I struggle to find the right words to conclude this part of my story. 1919, before I moved to Ballarat in Victoria, I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Portland. As an older person, I felt immense shame and regret for not doing more to prevent the harm caused to Australia's young soldiers by the 1965-1967 Liberal-Country Party Coalition government.

At the same time, Australia was sending soldiers to North Vietnam to fight against the North Vietnamese army. Additionally, Australia provided China with wheat on humanitarian grounds. Still, this wheat was being sent to North Vietnam to feed the enemy soldiers fighting against the Australian soldiers and their allies. This guilt and anger have been weighing heavily on me.


The website

As you scroll down the page, please click on the images to explore the corruption of the arbitration system in Australia.

HELEN HANDBURY - Sister of Rupert Murdoch

Absent Justice - Helen Handbury


When the British government first learned that there may be some illegal phone hacking going on, did they conceal it? No, they did not. They were prepared to attack whoever might be responsible for this terrible conduct. However, when our politicians discovered that COT claimants, during a government-endorsed legal litigation process, were suffering from phone and fax hacking – including illegal interference in the transmission of legal arbitration documents and Senate estimate committee hearing material – this conduct was deliberately concealed from the detriment of the claimants.

In Britain, the government acted in the best interests of the victims whose lives were seriously affected by the hacking. Yet, our government treated the COT cases in the most appalling manner, attacking us as criminals instead of those who used Telstra’s network to hack into our confidential legal documents.

The British Government

In 1999, while I was working on the draft of Absent Justice, I provided it to Rupert Murdoch’s sister, Helen Handbury. She was aghast at the blatant denial of natural justice that I had received. After reading the draft, Helen twice visited my holiday camp and stated that she would have Rupert publish it. She believed he would be shocked.

While I thought that her statement to me that she should get Rupert, her brother, to publish my book was a very kind gesture, I knew due to what had transpired between her brother and Telstra concerning Telstra having to fork out 400 million dollars because Telstra could not roll-out the cabling for Rupert Murdoch and FOX that he would not become involved in my publication which was also one of criticising Telstra's poor workmanship as well as their unlawful conduct to me. 


Absent Justice - Phone Hacking


Just to share some information, on April 18, 2024, Hugh Grant (the popular screen actor at the right of the above image) settled with the Rupert Murdoch Press. The press was accused of intercepting his telephone conversations nearly two decades ago. You can find more information about this settlement by visiting the following link: I have a question, though. Why hasn't the Australian government taken similar actions against Telstra when they carried out such interception crimes? Why hasn't the Australian government done the same as the previous owners of Telstra when Telstra carried out these same interception crimes?

When Geroge Close (the arbitration technical advisor to the COT Cases) visited my residence in Cape Bridgewater after learning his Buderim (Queensland) residence and his office was the conduit (the central location) to where this screening of the advice he gave the COT Cases on what documents they needed to access from Telstra under FOI detailing why this technical information was needed to support their individual arbitration claims, I showed him Open Letter File No/12File No/13Front Page Part One File No/1,Front Page Part One File No/2-A to 2-EFront Page Part One File No/4 and Front Page Part One File No/5, we discussed the effect of these intercepted/hacked faxes on the COT Cases overall submissions to the arbitrator. Mr Close later sent me an email on 5 August 2011 to assist me in exposing what the Telstra Corporation had been able to do (and get away with) during the COT arbitrations to gain an advantage over all of the COT Cases claims before the arbitrator. His eyes were full of sadness, thinking it was his residence and office, and the advice was given to the COT Cases from it that had caused the COT Cases so much damage (see Front Page Part One File No/26).

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fax imprint across the top of this letter dated 12 May 1995, from the arbitrator hearing my claim discussed with the administrator of my arbitration, Warwick Smith (also the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) Open Letter File No 55-A is the same as the fax imprint described in the 7 January 1999 Scandrett & Associates report provided to Senator Ron Boswell Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13, confirming faxes were intercepted during the COT arbitrations. One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of this 7 January 1999 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 clear from File 646 and 647 → 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 Portland Telstra officer was on duty. 

It is interesting to note that Telstra's letter to me on 14 April 1994 from Steve Black (File 646) saying I had alerted three Telstra officials that I had spoken to Malcolm Fraser, former prime minister of Australia, and that is how Telstra records show they knew I had spoken to Malcolm Fraser is a total fabrication. John Wynack, Director of Investigations for the Commonwealth Ombudsman (Australia-wide), tried between May 1994 and October 1997 to gain any of the file notes that state I had alerted Telstra to my discussions with Mr Fraser.

Telstra finally advised Mr Wynack that the Steve Black "arbitration file", which would have held the names of these three Telstra employees, had been destroyed Home Page File No/82.  


Absent Justice - Lost Faxes


The government's decision to play the dual role of judge and jury in investigating the 'forces at work' that were sabotaging the arbitration process is highly concerning. This decision enabled Telstra to clandestinely monitor our telephone conversations and faxes related to arbitration without facing any challenge. Consequently, it put the credibility of the COT arbitrations at stake and severely compromised Telstra's integrity.

On April 18, 1995, during my arbitration, John Rundell, the Arbitration Project Manager, wrote a letter to Warwick Smith, the Administrator of my arbitration, copying Dr. Gordon Hughes, the Arbitrator, and Peter Bartlett, Warwick Smith's legal Counsellor.

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

“Any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes will be signed off and appear on the letter of DMR Inc.” (see Prologue Evidence File No 22-A)

In 1995, when Dr. Gordon Hughes, Warwick Smith, and Peter Bartlett decided to keep a critical letter dated 18th April hidden from the four COT cases, they directly helped the "forces at work" to disrupt all four COT cases' arbitrations. Had John Rundell sent a copy of his letter to the four COT cases, all four of them could have approached the Federal Government to bring back the Australian Federal Police. The police had investigated Telstra's unauthorized interception of the COT Cases' telephone conversations and their arbitration-related faxes from February 1994 to March 1995. Chapter 1—The collusion continues 

The statement in this same letter from Mr Rundell confirms that as the official Arbitration Project Manager, he was willing to deceive and mislead the claimants and their advisers by intentionally concealing the truth about who prepared the technical reports provided to the arbitrator, i.e. " any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes will be signed off and appear on the letter of DMR Inc.” (Prologue Evidence File No 22-A).

Prior to Prologue Evidence File No 22-A, COT Case claimants Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan Graham Schorer, and I did not trust Lanes as the arbitration independent technical consultants. This was because their senior management had previously worked for Telstra and on many government telecommunications projects. As a result, Lane was rejected. However, the first administrator to the COT arbitrations, Warwick Smith, compromised and allowed Lanes to assist DMR Group Inc (Canada), who would be the Principal Technical Consultants. This was confirmed in Warwick Smith's letter of 9th March 1995 (AS-CAV Exhibit 128 to 180 - See  AS-CAV 161).

As seen from Prologue Evidence File No 22-A John Rundell (as the Arbitration Project Manager) advised Warwick Smith and those included in the letter that Lanes would carry out all investigations, and DMR Inc. would only sign off the technical report. This is precisely what happened, as our COT Story shows.

Years after the conclusion of our arbitrations, I have finally uncovered the truth about what John Rundell allowed to happen and what actually took place. It is unacceptable that Mr. Rundell was secretly absolved of all liability for the numerous injustices he permitted to occur as the Project Manager during our arbitrations. The statute of limitations may have expired, but I refuse to let the deceitful actions of these individuals go unnoticed. I have written this COT story to expose the injustices that transpired during the COT arbitrations and demand accountability from those responsible for their actions. It is time to reveal the truth and hold these perpetrators accountable for their reprehensible behaviour.

If you're looking to uncover the truth about how a former KPMG partner, who now runs an arbitrator centre in Hong Kong and Melbourne, misled and deceived John Pinnock, the second administrator appointed to my previous arbitration, then look no further than Chapter 1 - The collusion continues and Chapter 2 - Inaccurate and Incomplete. I urge you to watch the ABC KPMG documentary because it shows employees of big corporations committing injustices even though they are supposed to be beyond all reproach.


On 6 December 1995, Derek Ryan, my arbitration accountant, wrote to the Shadow Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, stating:

“Over the last 2 years I have acted as an independent accountant for Alan Smith and I prepared the independent assessment of his losses and damages which formed part of his submission to the arbitrator, Dr G Hughes.

“In response to accounting documents and evidence submitted to the arbitrator, he appointed Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory (Vic) Pty Ltd.(‘FHCA’) to support him in assessing the losses and damages.

“The FHCA report was inaccurate and incomplete. I have since been advised by a staff member of FHCA that a large amount of information was excluded from their final report at the request of the arbitrator. This has left the report in an incomplete state and it is impossible for anyone to re-calculate or understand how the FHCA loss figures were determined. This effectively meant that it was impossible to challenge the assumptions, calculations and the time periods used in the FHCA report.” (See Open letter File No/45-E)

On the 22 December 1995, Derek Ryan wrote to TIO John Pinnock, noting:

“The Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory (Vic) Pty Ltd (‘FHCA’) report was dated 3 May 1995 and I received a copy of the report on 5 May. After discussions with Alan Smith it was decided that I should reply to the report as soon as possible.

“I worked all day Saturday and Sunday with Alan Smith trying to interpret the FHCA report. After this work I considered that the report was incomplete as the calculations of the FHCA loss figures were not included in their report. …

“In 17 May I telephoned John Rundell and he stated that he was unable to discuss anything with me until the appeal period had expired. … He then stated that he understood my problems and that FHCA had excluded a large amount of information from their final report at the request of the arbitrator.” (See Open letter File No/45-E)

It is alarming that the same John Rundell informed Derek Ryan of DMR Corporate Accountants that he had removed a significant amount of information from Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisors' independent financial findings concerning my claim at the arbitrator's request

Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisors evaluated my accommodation rates, downgrading them to the school rate when assessing my losses. They awarded me only $30.82 as a fee for a two-night stay, which was my school group tariff, instead of the $120.00 to $165.00 fee I charged for a two-night stay for social club patrons.

A discrepancy of $30.82 compared to $120.00 to $165.00 for a two-night stay for social club patrons is unacceptable and raises concerns about fraudulent and criminal conduct. 

It has been recently brought to my attention that the Arbitration Project Manager involved in my case, became a partner at KPMG after the conclusion of my arbitration process on May 11, 1995. This individual made fraudulent claims to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, who was responsible for my arbitration that my billing claims had been thoroughly investigated and addressed during the arbitration despite knowing that the arbitrator had run out of time to address this part of my claim. Open letter File No/45-A.  It is important to note that the government regulator, AUSTEL, currently known as ACMA, allowed Telstra, the defendants in my arbitration, to secretly address the still unaddressed billing issues five months after the conclusion of my arbitration, on October 16, 1995, even though my arbitration fees had already exceeded $300,000. Absent Justice Part 2 - Chapter 14 - Was it Legal or Illegal?

This surreptitious resolution of the significant aspect of my claim outside the legal arena of my arbitration is a matter of great concern. It raises doubts regarding the impartiality and fairness with which my arbitration claim was handled. It is unacceptable that such fraudulent practices were allowed to occur.

This clandestine approach effectively stripped me of my legal right under the original arbitration agreement to challenge Telstra on their defence of my billing claim documents, which AUSTEL never informed me of. I find it unacceptable that such a lack of transparency disallowed the arbitrator from making a finding on the secret process, even though Telstra used known false arbitration witness statements dated December 12, 1994.


Absent Justice - Pressure Applied to the Arbitrator


The following (CAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9) is a copy of my arbitration Letter of Claim dated 7 June 1994. It was submitted for arbitration on 15 June 1994, along with my response to Telstra's false witness statements, refuting my Letter of Claim. In March 1994, the government communications regulator, documented in (AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings,), validated my claims against Telstra. Specifically, they found my claims between Points 2 and 212 true.

Therefore, (AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings,proved that my Letter of Claim was factual, as was my response to Telstra's defence. Despite the government's validation of my claims before I signed the arbitration agreement on 21 April 1994, I was still made to spend over $300,000 in arbitration fees. This raises the question of why the government allowed this to happen. Furthermore, in this matter, the arbitration consultants DMR & Lane advised the arbitrator that they could not locate a chronology of my fault complaints. However, my Letter of Claim included a chronology of my phone complaints, which was submitted along with the letter. My claim advisors were ex-Queensland detectives, one of whom later became a Senator.

I strongly believe that my arbitration consultants, Garry Ellicott and Barry O'Sullivan, would never have charged me a staggering $51,000 in arbitration costs in 1994 and submitted my arbitration Letter of Claim without including a chronology list of all my registered phone complaints over the six-year period of my claim. It was grossly unacceptable that someone within the arbitration administrative department deliberately concealed my Letter of Claim CAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9 from the arbitration consultants.

I want to clarify that my letter of claim, from pages 19 to 34, contains a complete chronology of my fault complaints, which my two claim advisors submitted. These advisors are both ex-senior investigators of Queensland Police, who have also worked as National Crime investigators. The chronology includes a numbering system and dates for all the documents, making it easier for the arbitrator to locate them among the 1,200 submitted fault complaints covering the entire six-year period of my claim.

In AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings dated 4 March 1994, at between point 209, the government investigators note:

“Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp has a history of service difficulties dating back to 1988. Although most of the documentation dates from 1991 it is apparent that the camp has had ongoing service difficulties for the past six years which has impacted on its business operations causing losses and erosion of customer base.”

Absent Justice - My StoryIt is inconceivable that someone has concealed my “comprehensive log of fault complaints" from being thoroughly investigated. This has ruined my life and that of my partner Cathy. The technical consultants assessing my claims would have been able to provide a fair assessment had they been provided with a complete record of events. Unfortunately, this was not the case, and my 11 May 1995 arbitrator's award, which only covered my arbitration fees, was all I received. Had my chronology of events been provided, I would still be the proud owner of my beloved Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp.

The COT Cases encountered an impossible challenge during the arbitration process because Telstra had retained over 31 of Australia's most prominent legal firms for a period of five years. As a result, the COT Cases were unable to legally challenge the process or afford further technical advice, which had already cost them hundreds of thousands in borrowed money. They had no opportunity to provide evidence that Telstra had concealed the ongoing phone faults that had brought them to arbitration and were still impacting their businesses when the arbitrator made his decision. Shockingly, the arbitrator did not acknowledge in his written findings that the claimants were still experiencing phone problems. Essentially, the arbitration process failed the COT Cases.

It's unacceptable that the arbitrator failed to inform the government that the arbitration process he was conducting deviated from the procedure endorsed by them and what the Senate and claimants had been promised. The arbitrator should have notified all parties involved that he no longer had any control over the process, enabling the claimants to amend their claims or be offered an alternative process for evaluating their claims.

On 26 September 1997, John Pinnock, the second TIO to be appointed to oversee the COT arbitrations, after most of the arbitrations had been completed, alerted a Senate Estimates Committee ( Prologue Evidence File No 22-D) that: 

“… Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process because it was a process conducted entirely outside of the ambit of the arbitration procedures”.  


Absent Justice - Book of Shadows


Chapter 1 - The collusion continues are two technical reports dated 30th April 1995 Open Letter File No/47-A to 47-D. One is allegedly a draft, and the other is the formal technical report. Both reports were prepared by Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd and countersigned by DMR Inc. Canada. Both reports state: “A comprehensive log of Mr Smith’s complaints does not appear to exist.

The arbitrator provided me with two reports, one of which differed slightly from the other. Upon closely scrutinizing both reports, I discovered that the report the arbitrator presented as the formal findings for me to respond to as part of the arbitration process had removed any mention of my billing claim evidence yet to be investigated. It is evident that the arbitrator allowed me to respond to a doctored report that had been altered to minimize Telstra's liability. Had DMR and Lane been in possession of my Letter of Claim (document 1896), they would have been aware of my comprehensive log of fault complaints, which indisputably existed.

It was their obligation to investigate the billing issues documented in the Letter of Claim. If they had done so, DMR and Lane would have had to report to the arbitrator that the billing faults were systemic and affected not only me but thousands of Telstra customers across Australia. A thorough reading of Chapter 1 - The collusion continues exposes a serious issue with the arbitrator's decision not to provide his technical consultants with my  Letter of Claim  (CAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9).

Additionally, I was only allowed five days to respond to the official findings in the DMR & Lane technical consultant report. In contrast, the other three COT claimants (Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, and Graham Schorer) were given more than thirteen months to respond to the technical findings of DMR & Lane, who investigated and addressed their individual comprehensive log of claims. We all signed the same arbitration agreement between 8th and 21st April 1994. So why was I singled out and treated so differently?

Furthermore, I was only allowed three weeks to respond to Telstra's arbitration defence of the DMR & Lane findings on my claims, whereas the other three claimants were granted an extra thirteen months to respond.

Who else, besides Telstra, benefitted when AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings and my Letter of Claim (CAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9) were concealed from the arbitration process?




It is imperative to revisit the events of 3 June 1993. Two Telstra technical consultants inadvertently left a briefcase in my office, which had been in Aladdin's possession. Upon examining its contents, I discovered a file titled 'SMITH, CAPE BRIDGEWATER' - AXEongoing problems, which could reveal the truth about Telstra's deceptive practices. It is worth noting that Telstra misled me during my initial settlement on 11 December 1992. Front Page Part Two 2-B).


I thought it was my civic duty 

Absent Justice - My Story - The Briefcase Affair

The briefcase was unlocked

The briefcase was unlocked, and I found a document that disclosed Telstra's knowledge of the Ericsson AXE RVA fault, which had continued for at least eight months. However, Telstra had only acknowledged a three-week duration of the fault during the settlement payout. The document referred to my complaint that those who called my number over eight months received a 'service disconnected' message, even though my line was not disconnected. The final sentence of the document stated that 'Network investigation should have been brought in as fault has gone on for 8 months'. I managed to copy about a third of the briefcase's contents before my copying machine broke down.

Telstra retrieved the briefcase the following day, but I had already sent the evidence, including the aforementioned document, to AUSTEL, the government communications regulator. This incident turned my life upside down for the second time, as I had become a whistleblower again. In 1967, I took the initiative to alert the Australian government that the shipment of Australian wheat to Communist China on humanitarian grounds was using this humanitarian blanket as a cloak to conceal that China was feeding our North Vietnam enemy.

It was a brave step, but I was confident in my actions. I had seen with my own eyes that some of that shipment was being redeployed to North Vietnam, which could have been used to feed the North Vietnamese soldiers who were killing and maiming Australian, New Zealand and USA troops in the Vietnam War.

In June 1993, I again inadvertently became a whistleblower when I provided evidence of Telstra's attempts to conceal the severity of the systemic problems within its Telecommunications network. Two documents from the briefcase are displayed immediately below.

Exposing the truth to the Australian government and their highly-paid bureaucrats has cost me and my partner Cathy dearly. 

Example document one

Absent Justice - My Story

“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)

Example document two 


Folios C04006C04007 and C04008, headed TELECOM SECRET Front Page Part Two 2-B) 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.”

AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, dated March 1994, confirms that between Points 2 to 212, the government public servants who investigated my ongoing telephone problems found my claims against Telstra validated. One does not have to be a genius to understand that had the arbitrator been provided AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, his award on my financial business losses would have been substantially higher than he awarded me.

I reiterate, who else benefitted when AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings and my Letter of Claim (CAV P3- Exhibit 8- Exhibit 9) were concealed from the arbitration process besides Telstra?

It is imperative that we include Karina Barrymore's powerful insight regarding whistleblowers on our Hacking-Julian Assange page. Barrymore, a prominent journalist at the Melbourne Herald Sun, wrote on 3 August 2016 that if the government had heeded the concerns of the COT whistleblowers in 1995 and 1996, who reported their telephone problems during their Telstra arbitrations, then the NBN blowout could have been avoided, saving billions of dollars of taxpayers' money. Barrymore's statement below is a poignant reminder of the importance of listening to whistleblowers.


Since the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attack, governments around the world are asking their citizens to become whistleblowers.

Governments across the globe call on their citizens to expose corruption, deception, illegal killings, and suspected terrorism. However, when patriotic citizens such as Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Richard Boyle, Bernard Collaery, and others do so, they are criticized, and their lives are ruined. It is time we stand up for whistleblowers and their right to speak out against injustice.

The Casualties of Telstra case is a striking example of why whistleblowers are crucial. In April 1994, several members of Casualties of Telstra (COT) attended a two-day meeting organized by the government. We were locked up in the AUSTEL Melbourne Queens Road head office during the meeting and searched when we left the building for morning and afternoon breaks. We were not allowed to take any documents that could be exposed to the media.

This shows the seriousness of the government's attempt to keep a lid on what COT Cases had discovered about Telstra's ailing telecommunications network. We were urged to reveal only the truth about our evidence against Telstra and its poor telecommunications network. We were to report to the Australian Federal Police (which I did) all documented evidence supporting Telstra's hacking into our faxes and listening to our telephone conversations. Refer to Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 transcripts from their interview with me surrounding the interception of my telecommunication services.

Any wrongdoing by Telstra employees was also to be exposed. We were promised a fair and transparent arbitration process if we worked honestly with the government that still owned Telstra. However, the arbitrations that followed were neither fair nor transparent, as my COT story shows. The government had already investigated our telephone complaints and found that Telstra had not provided an efficient service, resulting in years of failed business endeavours. Yet the government concealed these findings from the arbitrator and the public, effectively minimizing Telstra's liability → Chapter 1 - Can We Fix The CAN.

It takes immense courage to become a whistleblower, and those who do so should be applauded for their bravery. However, governments must not overlook the invaluable contribution made by whistleblowers in exposing corruption and protecting their country's interests. Any government that fails to protect whistleblowers risks betraying the trust of its citizens and ultimately undermining its own credibility. Let us stand together and support those who speak out against wrongdoing for the greater good of society.

Of course, it is a citizen's duty to the country they call home to expose wrongdoings, but at what cost to the whistleblower and their family?   

Karina Barrymore's statement hits the nail on the head. The Australian Establishment, consisting of ex-government ministers and senior members of two government regulators, is acutely aware of the collusion between Dr Gordon Hughes, the arbitrator in my arbitration case, and Warwick Smith, the administrator of the same process, with the defendants. Rather than using the agreed-upon, totally independent arbitration agreement, they used the defendants' drafted agreement. It's a blatant disregard for justice! Yet, none of the corporate leaders, regulators, or government ministers have courageously investigated this matter. It's high time that we bring this to the public's attention. This is only one of many examples of how Dr Gordon Hughes and Warwick Smith acted in a manner that was unbecoming of their positions. We implore you to read on and learn about our COT story.

"Dobber, Snitch, Rat, Squealer. It's insightful how the words used to describe a whistleblower are so negative. 

"Yet being honest and speaking the truth is supposed to be cornerstone of our society. A cornerstone of our families, communities, corporate world and government.

"So why aren't we applauding and raising up these people, instead of shutting them down and ruining their lives.

"These 'truth tellers' are shunned and rejected. Telling the truth often means they lose their jobs, their reputations are deliberately trashed, their finances suffer, their mental health fails and all these factors flow on to damage their family, social and professional relationships.

"The whistleblowers have done their job, spoken the truth, suffered the consequences, lived the hardship and financial burden. But our corporate leaders, our regulators, our governments have not done their job."


Threats were made by Telstra's Steve Black and Paul Rumble. 

Two rabid dogs 

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

These threats were carried out. 

Page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated November 29 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking Telstra's legal directorate why were my FOI documents being withheld from me during my arbitration:

“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)

As I have reiterated throughout this website, the threats against me during the arbitration proceedings came to fruition, and the withholding of pertinent documents is deeply concerning. Regrettably, neither the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) nor the government has investigated the detrimental impact of this malpractice on my overall submission to the arbitrator. Despite assisting the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in their investigation into the illicit interception of phone conversations and arbitration-related faxes, I was at a severe disadvantage during the civil arbitration.


Absent Justice - My Story - Alan Smith


The ensuing text details the protracted legal battle I, Alan Smith, have waged against the Australian Government and a major telecommunications corporation. This struggle has spanned more than two decades and includes multiple governmental agencies, regulatory bodies, and the judiciary. The corporation in question, Telstra, was formerly known as Telecom, and the battle continues to this day.

Our comprehensive COT story is composed of over 1,380 pages of A4-sized documents, all of which are available for download on our website, Due to the chronological nature of the story, we have had to present it in a non-linear format, which necessitated jumping between different years. The whole story is also available in two books.

During the pre-1990s, Telecom was the name of the Australian government's communication carrier and telephone network. However, after its privatization, it became known as Telstra. Throughout its period of government ownership, Telecom held a monopoly on communication infrastructure but suffered from mismanagement on multiple levels. This led to deficient services for clients who relied on its infrastructure to conduct their businesses and offer customer service.

The government established an arbitration process for business owners to rectify these communication problems and fix faulty telephone services. However, this process became a one-sided affair between the COT cases and the government-backed Telstra, which, despite our efforts, we were unable to win. Our ongoing problems with telephone and fax services compounded, leading to increased costs and losses as our deficiencies were neither repaired nor addressed.

In an attempt to deflect responsibility for their mismanagement and ineptitude, Telstra attacked our personal integrity, undermined our business reputation, and committed crimes against us that ruined our livelihoods. As a result, we, the COT claimants, lost millions of dollars, experienced declining mental health, and suffered the collapse of our livelihoods.

Despite the significant losses and injustices we have endured, those responsible for these acts of corruption and injustice are still in positions of power today. Our stories are being actively obscured and concealed behind bureaucratic red tape, and the truth has yet to come to light.

The article published on highlights the case of a group of Australian small-business owners who were legitimate claimants against the then-government-owned Australian telecommunications carrier, Telstra. The official arbitrator and equally official administrator of several government-endorsed arbitrations were found to have knowingly lied to and deliberately misled the claimants by drafting an agreement that was ultimately to the detriment of their interests. The rules in the agreement did not allow sufficient time "for the production of documents, obtaining further particulars, and the preparation of technical reports", rendering the arbitration agreement (the rules)  not credible Open Letter File No 55-A

Despite acknowledging these deficiencies, the arbitrator still used the agreement in the arbitration, allowing for the other claimants that followed more than thirteen months longer than what was allowed for the first claimant Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter.

In addition, a statutory declaration prepared by Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) on 7 July 2011 was provided to the Victorian Attorney-General, Hon. Robert Clark, detailing how three young computer hackers had phoned Schorer to warn him during the 1994 COT arbitrations that Telstra and others associated with the arbitrations were acting unlawfully towards the COT group. Schorer, Ann Garms, and the first claimant tried to obtain information as to the identities of the hackers after contacting the arbitration administrator, Warwick Smith, but received no information from him. The cost of the settlement was over $300,000 for the first claimant, and the ongoing billing problems affecting their 008/1800 free call customer service were not addressed.

It's clear that Warwick Smith, the administrator of our arbitrations, was not forthcoming when it came to sharing information about the hackers who were caught in the COT Case. It's pretty baffling that he refused to provide us with any details, especially considering the seriousness of the matter. Graham's statutory declaration (Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3) highlights this issue and makes it apparent that there is more to this story than what meets the eye.

Graham's statutory declaration (Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3) includes the following statements that raise important questions about the fairness of the arbitration process.


The hackers did not like what they had uncovered 

Absent Justice - Julian Assagne


It was Telsra's conduct towards me and the other COT membersetc.

“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.” (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3)

The lack of transparency and accountability in this legalistic arbitration procedure is evident in the fact that the administrator should have brought the four COT Cases together if Warwick Smith had investigated the baseless allegations of the hackers. Warwick Smith, as the administrator to the arbitration, should have made official notes of his investigations, or at least considered the four COT Cases when John Rundell, the TIO-appointed Arbitration Project Manager, wrote to Warwick Smith on 18 April 1995, stating that there were 'forces at work' that had derailed the arbitration process. Furthermore, the fact that Warwick Smith was providing in-house government parliament house part-room confidential information to Telstra's hierarchy TIO Evidence TIO Evidence File No 3-A, which may have been enough information for Telstra to turn the settlement process into an arbitration agreement their lawyers had drafted, was not made known to the COT Cases before they signed their 23 Settlement assessment processes.

Despite the seriousness of these allegations, the administrator did not supply the COT Cases with any information concerning the hackers after they had been caught, prompting further questions about the transparency and accountability of the arbitration process. 

Individual privacy is a fundamental right that should be respected at all times. Unfortunately, even those in the highest positions of power are not immune to this violation. I had the privilege of having two telephone conversations with the former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honorable Malcolm Fraser, which Telstra documented without my consent. 

During a discussion with Graham Schorer, it was revealed that hackers were in possession of internal emails that they claimed could be detrimental to both the government and Telstra. The hackers believed that the material contained within the emails was significant to all Australian citizens. It is not clear which documents the hackers accessed, but they may have been referring to the nine audio tapes transcribed by AUSTEL. The tapes consist of conversations between the COT Cases and their clients, which include business discussions and, in my case, a conversation with former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. During our discussion, we talked about the Vietnam War and how Australia betrayed its soldiers fighting in North Vietnam by continuing to supply wheat to North Vietnam while our soldiers were fighting against them.

Julian Assange, a well-known anti-war activist, may have been the reason for the hackers' interest in conversations between Malcolm Fraser and myself regarding the sale of wheat to China, which was subsequently re-sold to North Vietnam. At the same time, Australia was engaged in military action against North Vietnam. The hackers' motives for contacting the COT Cases and warning them that their arbitrations were likely to fail unless they accepted the documents offered by the hackers remain unclear.

Nevertheless, as demonstrated by a Senate Committee hearing, we COT Cases were forced to go into arbitration without the necessary documents needed to support our claims.


Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston


On 23 March 1999 (see above), almost five years after most of the arbitrations had been concluded, the Australian Financial Review (newspaper) reported on the conclusion of the Senate estimates committee hearing into why the COT Cases were forced into a government-endorsed arbitration without the necessary documents they needed to wholly support their claims.

“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.”  

The following six senators all formally record how Telstra had 'acted as a law unto themselves' throughout the COT arbitrations. 

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


Absent Justice - Senator Ron Boswell


I use the Senate Hansard records of 20 September 1995, showing a very emotional Senator Ron Boswell discussing the injustices we first four (twenty-one COT claimants) (i.e., Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and I) experienced during our so-called government-endorsed arbitrations, i.e.,  

“...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 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.” (See Senate Hansard Evidence File No-1)

Senator Boswell’s statement that “a point confirmed by professionals deeply involved in the arbitration process itself and by the TIO’s annual report, where conclusion is described as ‘if that is ever achievable’.

This Senate Hansard, dated 20 September 1995, should have been enough to investigate the claims raised in my manuscript "Absent Justice". However, this has not been the case, hence my continuation of the COT Cases story.

Who We Are

The evidence presented in these five links indicates a systemic and deliberate effort to subvert the arbitration process and undermine the integrity of justice.

Clicking on the 'Judges Gavel' to the right of this page will allow you to see all of the evidence which supports our COT story.   

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Who We Are
Absent Justice Ebook

Read Alan's book

How can one publish a true account of what happened during various Australian Government-endorsed arbitrations without attaching exhibits to support the facts, as we have been forced to do due to the rampant corruption within the government bureaucracy? How can the author prove that government public servants fed privileged information to the then Australian Government-owned telecommunications carrier (the defendants) but also concealed the same documentation from the claimants, their fellow Australian citizens?

Additionally, how can one tell a story so unbelievable that even the author doubts the authenticity of what they are writing until they check their records before continuing with the story? How can one expose collusion between an arbitrator, various appointed government watchdogs (umpire), and the defendants? How can one also expose that the defendants in an arbitration process (the once government-owned telecommunications carrier) used equipment connected to their network to screen faxed material leaving your office? 

Moreover, how can one expose that the defendant's advisors stored the screened material without the author's knowledge or consent before redirecting it to its intended destination, where, in some cases, the more relevant information was never forwarded? The defendants (the Telstra Corporation) were using this screened material to benefit their arbitration defence to the detriment of the claimants.

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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

Absent Justice - The Godfather

My name is Alan Smith, and I want to share my story about the struggles I faced while battling a major telecommunications company and the Australian Government. This fight has been ongoing since 1992, spanning various government departments, regulatory bodies, the judiciary, and the Australian telecommunications giant Telstra, previously known as Telecom. Unfortunately, the quest for justice is still ongoing.

In 1987, I left my 28-year career at sea and purchased the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp near the small maritime port of Portland in rural Victoria. However, I realised the telephone service was unreliable within a week of taking over the business. Instead of telephone calls, I received letters from potential customers trying to book my venue.

This issue persisted for six years and resulted in losing business, our reputation, and even our house, which was needed for the mortgage on the holiday camp. I was not alone in this struggle, as other independent business owners were similarly affected by Telstra's poor telecommunications service. We became known as the Casualties of Telstra, or the COT cases. All we wanted was for Telstra to acknowledge the problem and fix it.

We were given hope for a fair resolution through an arbitration process, with the assurance of receiving crucial Telecom documents to support our case. Regrettably, despite the promise made, only five of the twenty-one COT Cases were granted access to their required documents upon completing the arbitration and mediation procedures.

On February 16th, 1996, John Rundell, who was the Arbitration Project Manager, wrote a letter to John Pinnock, the administrator of an arbitration case, informing him that the financial report prepared by his office was incomplete at the time the arbitrator used it to assess the losses in the case → Chapter 2 - Inaccurate and Incomplete. This happened ten months after the completion of the arbitration. This incomplete and inaccurate report affected the outcome of the case. It's worth noting that in 2024, Mr Rundell will operate two arbitration centres, one in Melbourne and the other in Hong Kong.

Adding insult to injury, clauses 25 and 26 of the arbitration agreement that I had signed stipulate that the financial resource unit, which Mr Rundell was a part of, had a $250,000 liability cap for negligence. However, without my knowledge, this liability cap was removed from the arbitration agreement. Part 2Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct

Additionally, the confidentiality clause in the same arbitration agreement prohibits me from discussing what occurred when John Rundell submitted his incomplete financial report to the arbitrator.

Despite this gag clause, I have decided to make this information public.

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