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Bribery and Corruption - Part 1

Bribery and Corruption happens in the shadows, often with the help of professional enablers such as bankers, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents, opaque financial systems and anonymous shell companies. Corruption schemes destroy democracy. 

The Arbitraitor 

Absent Justice - Order of Australia

Dr Gordon Hughes, Wawick Smith - Order of Australia

When a citizen needs surgery, they expect the surgeon to be fully qualified; junior surgeons spend years learning how to perform the right incisions. Amputating the left leg of a patient when it should have been the right leg is irreparable. Making the wrong calculation in a highliy legalstic and complext technical arbitration is irreparable and often life threatening.

Warwick Smith, the administrator of the  COT arbitrations, assured the COT cases and the Australian government that Dr Gordon Hughes was a fully qualified and graded arbitrator. Senator Richard Alston (Shadow Minister for Communications) also said a qualified graded arbitrator would be used for our arbitrations, as had been the case during the British Telecom (BT) arbitrations. In those cases, the arbitrator had been chosen from a panel of graded arbitrators from The Charted Institute of Arbitrators Britain.

As confiimed by Senator Richard Alstons, in the BT arbitrations one arbitrator was alocated to one arbitration. In the COT arbitrations Dr Hughes was appointed to seven arbitrations where he conducted all seven at the same time. No wonder so many COT Cases have had their business lives runied as well as their private lives.

When I alerted the Institute of Arbitrators Australia to this terrible denial of natural justice by Dr Hughes they later explained, in writing (see File 713 - CAV Exhibits 701 to 756, that to appoint an ungraded  arbitrator into an arbitration process such as mine was a "risk". It is well known in legal circles and I have written evidence showing Dr Hughes was not a graded arbitrator until well after my arbitration concluded (see File 711 CAV Exhibits 701 to 756. It was also said (and no one has denied it) that, during the first four COT arbitrations and due to many allegations against Dr Hughes’ professionalism, it was suggested he sit the exams to become a graded arbitrator. He did and failed.

Why wasn’t a graded arbitrator nominated from the Institute of Arbitratots Australia? Why were our arbitrations begun without a proper, transparent investigation of Dr Hughes’ qualifications? Why were our arbitrations not put on hold after Dr Hughes failed his exams to be a graded arbitrator? Surely four small business people, with their livelihoods at stake, we're entitled to a proper, qualified and graded arbitrator. Anyone reading Chapters 1, to 5 in our Prologue pages that Dr Hughes even mislead and decieved the Institute of Arbitrator Australia concerning my claims against the conduct of my arbitration.

During my arbitration, when Dr Hughes' secretary Carolyn Friend could not find my arbitration claim material, which I had just faxed ten minutes previously and was calling to ensure she or Dr Hughes had received it, she confirmed it was not in the holding fax tray, I yelled at her in sheer anger and frustration. That night I arranged for a bunch of flowers costing $50.00 (which I could hardly afford) to be sent to Ms Friend to apologize for my outburst. 

It may well be that Dr Hughes' secretary, Caroline Freind, might have thought she was helping me when she and her assistant provided Dr Hughes' arbitration files back to me, but what Ms Freind did not understand was that discovering just how corrupt and unethical Dr Hughes had been, both before and during my arbitration, had left me haunted by that corrupted evidence forever.  I believe that she had no comprehension of how this has not only completely ruined my life, but has equally ruined my partner’s life too.

If I had never seen those corrupt files (now displayed on absentjstice.com,) then perhaps, in time, I could have walked away from the whole ghastly COT situation but, once I had seen this irrefutable evidence against Dr Hughes, against his arbitration consultants, and against Warwick Smith (the administrator of the COT process), that evidence absolutely ended any chance of that ever happening for me.  Instead it left me fighting for justice (so far) for twenty-eight years.

After Carolyn Friend had returned this terrible evidence, amongst these documents were other COT Cases claim material that had nothing to do with my arbitration matters. When I pointed out to the Deputy administrator of my arbitration Wally Rothwell, that arbitration faxed claim documents belonging to COT Cases Ann Garm's from Brisbane Queensland was stapled to some of my faxes, he advised he would contact John Pinnock, the second appointed administrator to the COT arbitrations. No response has ever been received regarding these faxing problems. 

None of the COT Cases knew of this possible conflict of interest or the fact that faxes arriving at the arbitrator's Melbourne office after the close of business each day were automatically redirected to the Sydney office where Telstra related legal documents were also being received assessed by the Sydney lawyers.   

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

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

These lost faxes, which were initially faxed to the arbitrator's office, played a significant role in the COT arbitrations, as shown throughout this website.

Had I been provided with this advice concerning the deficiencies in the faxing process between Dr Hughes Sydney office and his Melbourne office, I would undoubtedly have had reasonable grounds to appeal my award during the designated appeal process. 

Was the real reason Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) did not make a finding regarding my lost faxes or carry out an investigation as to why so many of my claim documents did not arrive at his office for assessment is that had he asked his technical resource unit DMR & Lane they may have uncovered some of my lost faxes was due to the known faxing problems between the arbitrator Melbourne and Sydney offices?

Was it the realization of the damage that these lost faxes had casued me during my arbitration that prompted Caroline Freind, to provided so much damging evidence against Dr Hughes? 

Absent Justice - Hon David Hawker MP

Carolyn Friend's files tell a different story to the one told by Dr Hughes  

As my Federal Member of Parliament, The Hon David Hawker MP had been the driving force behind me in pressuring the government for better phone service for the electorate of Wannon (the electorate my business was in), I sent some of the evidence which had been attached to the arbitration file provided to me by Carolyn Friend (see Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two to Mr Hawker’s office. It was after Mr Hawker had shown so much concern for what he had read in this arbitration file that I gave him a letter dated 15 July 1995, two months after the arbitrator prematurely brought down his findings on my claim, AUSTEL’s previous General Manager of Consumer Affairs provided me with an open letter 

“I am writing this in support of Mr Alan Smith, who I believe has a meeting with you during the week beginning 17 July.  I first met the COT Cases in 1992 in my capacity as General Manager, Consumer Affairs at Austel. The “founding” group were Mr Smith, Mrs Ann Garms of the Tivoli Restaurant, Brisbane, Mrs Shelia Hawkins of the Society Restaurant, Melbourne, Mrs Maureen Gillian of Japanese Spare Parts, Brisbane, and Mr Graham Schorer of Golden Messenger Couriers, Melbourne. Mrs. Hawkins withdrew very early on, and I have had no contact with her since.

The treatment these individuals have received from Telecom and Commonwealth government agencies has been disgraceful, and I have no doubt they have all suffered as much through this treatment as they did through the faults on their telephone services.

One of the striking about this group is theur persistence and enduring belief that eventually there will be a fair and equitable outcome for them, and they are to admired for having kept as focussed as they have throughout their campaign.

Having said that, I am aware all have suffered both physically and their family relationships. In one case, the partner of the claimant has become seriously incapacitated; due, I beleive to the way Telecom has dealt with them. The others have al suffered various stress related conditions (such as a minor stroke.

The full letter by Amanada Davis can be read by clicking on Summary of Events (" File 501 -  AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541).

After reading this letter from Amanda Davis, my Federal Member of Parliament, The Hon David Hawker MP, arranged for me and some of the COT members to meet with the then-Shadow Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, in his office in Canberra in late September 1995. After reading much of the evidence that Carolyn Friend had provided me, Senator Alston stated to both the Hon David Hawker MP (who later became the Speaker in the House of Representatives that he would ensure this evidence was investigated.

Absent Justice - Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Paul Fletcher has been Minister for Communications since 2021 

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

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

It is also essential for anyone who reads Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Twoto understand that a copy of that report dated June 1996 was originally sent to Paul Fletcher at his request, during the period he was an adviser to Senator Richard Alston (the then-newly appointed Minister for Communications and the Arts).I have completed this Home page many times only to find I have missed important issues, and so the introduction to the website gets bigger and bigger until I rewrite it again with the full intention of keeping it short. But how can you keep this tragic episode short? Well, below is about my hundredth attempt.

Was the real reason Paul Fletcher did not transparently investigate my valid claims because his boss, The Hon Richard Alston, Minister for Communications, went to the Atlanta Olympic Games along with the administrator to my arbitration Warwick Smith courtesy of the Telstra Corporation, all expenses paid? Let us not forget that Warwick Smith was providing in confidence government parliament in-house discussed COT Case information to the Telstra Corporation on the eve of our arbitrations. (see Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman TIO Evidence File No 3-A)

Questions raised during a Senate committee hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator ALISSON – I just come back to this question of the sensitivity of your business customers. Since they represent corporations, and since Telstra is a corporation, why is the need for such secrecy? Why is it a sensitive matter? Senate Evidence File No 21 Senate Hansard dated 27 Feb 1998 re kick-backs and bribes

In the circumstance of what has been said above in a number of statements made by various Senators concerning the documented kick-backs that a number of Senators stated was a disgrace.  By accepting a free for all $12,000.00 trip paid by Telstra, is a situation that, maybe part of the reason, if this named person was one of those mentioned who accepted this trip after having been part of my Telstra arbitration, an arbitration which failed to investigate one single ongoing telephone problem which was still affecting my business (as Telstra own records show) in November 2006 (see main Evidence File No/4) 11 years after my arbitration was set up to fix these problems.  If the Australian Government was to ask me for the name of the “named” person, I would certainly supply that name and other information which suggests this person knowingly misled numerous people in a statement he prepared on 12 May, 1995 concerning my arbitration, which he knew was not the truth by a long way.  I hope by mentioning this issue in our Senate link here on absentjustice.com that someone in Government will be interested in researching back to this particular 27 February, 1998 Hansard and the false statement made by this person, as to whether this situation is part of the reason my valid claims have never been transparently investigated by the Government.

Absent Justice - Prologue

On 17 February 1996 Dr Hughes wrote to Laurie James, President of the Institute of Arbitrators attaching a copy of John Rundell’s letter of 13 February 1996 to the TIO). In this letter, Dr Hughes advised Laurie James:

“I consent to you disclosing this letter to Mr Smith, save that I do not consent to the disclosure of the attached correspondence from third parties.” (See Prologue Evidence File No/8-E)

Long before Mr Rundell and Dr Hughes wrote their letters in February 1996, AUSTEL, the government communications regulator, officially advised Mr Pinnock (see Open letter File No/46-K, dated 3 October 1995) and Mr Rundell (see Open letter File No/45-A, dated 15 November 1995) my concerns were completely valid and that NONE of the billing claim documents I legitimately raised in my 1994/95 arbitration process was investigated (or even addressed) during my arbitration process. Still, however, Laurie James was deliberately misled and deceived, not just by the arbitrator but also by the official administrator of the same arbitration. Mr James was the very person who could have asked so many seriously disturbing questions about why my arbitration was not conducted according to the ambit of the arbitration procedures.=

Anyone reading my letter to Gareth Evans, dated 4 January 1996 (see Open Letter File No/49), will conclude I raised some very serious issues, which affected all the arbitrations still in progress.

Dr Hughes’ letter to Laurie James, under the heading “Letter to Senator Evans,” states:

“Mr Smith provided you a copy of a letter to Senator Gareth Evans dated 4 January 1996. I presume you require me to comment on those aspects of the letter which reflect upon my conduct as an arbitrator.

“The letter to Senator Evans is littered with inaccuracies. Some examples are:

contrary to Mr Smith’s assertion on page 3, his 24,000 (sic) documents were all viewed by me, Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory, DMR Group Inc (Canada) and Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd in accordance with the arbitration procedure.” (See Open letter File No/45-G and Open Letter File No/49)

Why did Dr Hughes deceive Mr James in relation to these 24,000 documents, which Dr Hughes and his team could not possibly have read and collated? Why did the arbitrator tell Mr James that all those documents were assessed?

The Canadian and Australian technical consultants’ 30 April 1995 reports, under the heading “Cape Bridgewater Documentation,” states “More than 4,000 pages of documentation have been presented by both parties and examined by us.” (See Arbitrator File Nos/29 and 30) These reports are covered more thoroughly in other pages.

And at point 2.2 on page 4, in Dr Hughes’ final award, dated 11 May 1995, he notes, “In all, I have read in excess of 6,000 pages of documentary evidence submitted by the parties.” (See Prologue Evidence File No/9-A)

If either Mr James or Senator Evans were provided with the truth surrounding these 24,000 documents, my arbitration matters could have been completed in early 1996. So far, the arbitrator and the TIO office have managed to avoid being called to account for their devious and unethical conduct. Will they ever be held accountable?

Arbitrator File No/45 shows that on 30 March 1995 – 11 months before the arbitrator’s letters to Mr James – the arbitrator’s own resource unit wrote to the TIO outlining the progress of my arbitration. The timeline shows I advised them I received my discovery documents via the agreed-to FOI process after my claim was finalised and after Telstra had submitted their defence of that claim.

John Wynack, Director of Investigations for the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, and Tony Morgan, a National Chief Adjuster for GAB Robins (Australia), are both fully aware that most of these 24,000 documents were not related to my Cape Bridgewater business in any way. Not only did they not have any identification or schedules to explain where they were sourced from, but it was quite clear that some belonged to the Fortitude Valley and Lutwyche telephone exchanges in Brisbane, more than 1,200 kilometres from the telephone exchange my business was connected to. Clearly, this delivery of so many useless documents was deliberately designed to cause me as much heartache as possible.

More than 16,800 of those FOI documents were meaningless without the schedule detailing their relevance; I had only 13 days to address Telstra’s defence, with documents I had no way of reading.

When I advised Warwick Smith, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (and administrator to my arbitration) about this terrible situation, being left with only 13 days to decipher what documents belonged to me and which belonged to the two other COT cases, he said to contact Dr Hughes, the arbitrator. However, the arbitrator’s office informed me that Dr Hughes had taken his usual Christmas break, which meant the 13 days left for me to answer Telstra’s 12 December 1994 defence would be over by the time Dr Hughes returned from leave. Warwick Smith’s response to this was: do the best you can.

Log Book

There was also no mention in Dr Hughes’ letter to Laurie James concerning the documents provided by Telstra were not intended for me or that Telstra had continued to withhold the main arbitration requested document namely the Portland/Cape Bridgewater Ericsson AXE telephone exchange logbook, which was requested under FOI and through the process of discovery. Dr Hughes was aware Telstra had not released the exchange logbook, which had the working notes of all my telephone complaints and those of other local Telstra subscribers for the period of my claim. The veracity of logbooks is irrefutable, yet Dr Hughes would not request the Cape Bridgewater exchange logbook for me. The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office also requested this logbook to be supplied but was unable to obtain it. (See Home Page File No 10 -A to 10-B)

My facsimiles and subsequent follow-up telephone conversations, on 4 and 5 May, advised Dr Hughes of the nightmare these late 24,000 FOI documents caused for me and I asked for an investigation into why so many FOI documents, without proper FOI schedules, had been dumped on me to late to submit into arbitration, actually belonged to Ann Garms and Maureen Gillan and therefore were useless.

On 5 May 1995, Dr Hughes wrote,

“I refer to your telephone message of 4 May and your facsimiles of 4 and 5 May 1995 and advise I do not consider grounds exist for the introduction of new evidence or the convening of a hearing at this stage.” He also reiterated his previous instructions: “any comments regarding the factual content of the Resource Unit reports must be received … by 5:00pm on Tuesday 9 May 1995”  (See Arbitrator False Evidence File 1).

Dr Hughes cared little about the justice he denied me by not allowing me to submit those of the 24,000 FOI documents I could decipher. He also refused to convene a hearing to determine why Telstra’s threats – to withhold all future relevant FOI documents from me – came to fruition. Two of the questions I raised in my telephone messages of 4 May 1995 and facsimiles of 4 and 5 May 1995, was why had the arbitration technical report not been signed off and why had it only assessed 11% of my claim documents. It is clear from this letter and Dr Hughes 11 May 1995 award that he ignored both those questions.

Dr Hughes knew that, by not considering grounds did exist for the introduction of the evidence that was originally disallowed to be submitted while the AFP was investigating Telstra’s monitoring of my single-club patrons, he was saving Telstra thousands upon thousands of dollars in compensation.

What is so important concerning the two mini-reports I had compiled from these non-submitted 24,000 documents which Dr Hughes would not allow me to submit into arbitration is when Dr Hughes submitted his final findings in his award at 2.1 d he notes:

"...I considered it essential that both parties had every reasonable opportunity to place relevant material before me, regardless of the time frame set out in the arbitration" 

If this was true, then why did Dr Hughes refuse to allow me the extra time on 4 and 5 May 1995, to submit these two mini-submissions?

And just as important is the question: why did Dr Hughes bring down his award on 11 May 1995 (see Chapter Five below) when he was aware:

 “…the time frames set in the original Arbitration Agreement were, with the benefit of hindsight, optimistic;

“in particular; we did not allow sufficient time in the Arbitration Agreement for inevitable delays associated with the production of documents, obtaining further particulars and the preparation of technical reports…

What is so evident from letters four, six and seven is that the three authors of those untruths colluded together so as my valid claims would not see the light of day.

 

Absent Justice - My Story - Loretto College

Testimonials

Between April 1990 and when I sold the holiday camp in December 2001,  I continued to partly sponsor underprivileged groups to stay at the camp during the weeks that the venue was not fully booked out. At least some money was coming into the business. Those wanting a cheap holiday persisted by telephoning repetitively regardless of being told the camp was no longer connected to Telstra's network. These groups wanted a holiday, and if they had to drive for hours to make a booking as Loreto College did (see below), then a drive they did.  

The holiday Camp could sleep around 90 to 100 persons in fourteen cabins.  I arranged sponsored food purchases through the generosity of a number of commercial food outlets and these groups then just used the camp facilities — it didn’t actually cost me anything other than a small amount of electricity and gas.  At one point around this time, May 1992, I had organised a charity week for kids from Ballarat and the South West, including Warrnambool, Hamilton and Portland.  This group was organised by Sister Maureen Burke IBVM, the Principal of Loreto College in Ballarat, and I am sure she would not be offended to know that I think of her as the ‘mother’ of the project.

Arrangements regarding food, transport, and any special needs the children might have, had to be handled over the phone, and of course, Sister Burke had enormous problems making phone contact, Calls were either ringing out or she was getting a deadline, or a message that the number she was ringing was not connected to the Telstra network. Sister Burke knew otherwise. On two particular occasions in 1992, after trying in vain all through one week, she decided to drive the 3½ hours to make the final arrangements for those camps.

Twelve months later, in March of 1993, Sister Karen Donnellon, also from Loreto College, tried to make contact via the Portland Ericsson telephone exchange to arrange an annual camp.   Sister Donnellon later wrote:

“During a one week period in March of this year I attempted to contact Mr Alan Smith at Bridgewater Camp.  In that time I tried many times to phone through.

Each time I dialled I was met with a line that was blank.  Even after several re-dials there was no response.  I then began to vary the times of calling but it made no difference.”

Some years later, I sent Sister Burke an early draft of my manuscript Absent Justice My Story‘ concerning my valiant attempt to run a telephone dependent business without a dependent phone service. Sister Burke wrote back,

“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”

Of course, Sister Maureen Burke and Sister Karen Donnellon persisted with their continuing battle to find a way to get a proper telephone connection for the holiday camp, partly because it was a low-cost holiday for all concerned but also because these wonderful women were well aware that my business was continuing to exist, albeit ‘by the skin of its teeth, even though Telstra’s automated voice messages kept on telling prospective customers that the business did not exist or, alternatively the callers simply reached a dreaded silence that appeared to indicate that the number they had called was attached to a ‘dead’ line.  Either way, I lost the business through that may well have followed if only the callers could have been successfully connected to my office via this dreaded Ericsson AXE telephone exchange.

A letter dated 6 April 1993, from Cathy Lindsey, Coordinator of the Haddon & District Community House Ballarat (Victoria) to the Editor of Melbourne’s Herald-Sunnewspaper,  read:

“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.” ( See Evidence File 10 B )

During this same period, 1992 and 1993, Cathy Lindsey, was a professional associate of mine  Cathy signed a Statutory Declaration, dated 20 May, 1994 explaining a number of sinister happenings when she attempted to collect mail on my behalf from the Ballarat Courier Newspaper office (AS-CAV Exhibit 1 to 47  - See AS – CAV 22).  This declaration leaves questions unanswered as to who collected my mail and how did they know there was mail to be collected from the Ballarat Courier mail office.  On both occasions, when this mail was collected by a third person, I had telephoned Cathy, informing her the Ballarat Courier notified me there was mail addressed to me waiting to be picked up.

On pages 12 and 13 transcript, from the AFP inquiry into my allegations that Telstra unlawfully intercepted my telephone conversations, the AFP state at Q59 Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1:-

“And that, I mean that relates directly to the monitoring of your service where, where it would indicate that monitoring was taking place without your consent?” (AS-CAV Exhibit 1 to 47  - See AS – CAV 23-A)

I also provided the AFP Telstra documents showing Telstra was worried about my telephone complaint evidence because if it ever reached an Australian court, I had a 50% chance of proving Telstra has systemic phone problems in their network, which meant in simple terms, Telstra was operating outside of their license to operate a telephone service where charging their customers for a service not provided.  

21st April, 1993:  Telstra internal email FOI folio C04094 from Greg Newbold, to numerous Telstra executives and discussing “COT cases latest”, states:-

“Don, thank you for your swift and eloquent reply.  I disagree with raising the issue of the courts.  That carries an implied threat not only to COT cases but to all customers that they’ll end up as lawyer fodder.  Certainly that can be a message to give face to face with customers and to hold in reserve if the complaints remain vexacious [sic].” (GS-CAV Exhibit 1 to 88 - See GS CAV 75)

What these Telstra executives were forgetting is that Telstra was a publically owned corporation. Therefore, those executives were responsible for ensuring the integrity of Telstra's working conditions, something which Telstra has never even understood.

Absent Justice - My Story

Children's lives could be at risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was therefore, important to mention here Dr Burnard and Ms Davis's assessment of the stress we COT Cases had suffered due to the constant pressure of trying to run a telephone-dependent business without a telephone.  This stress brought back my Red Guard - The Peoples of the Republic of China flashbacks, and therefore, it was necessary to introduce my Peoples Republic of China issues on this website.

Under the heading  A Breath Of Fresh Air in Summary of Events Amanda Davis, AUSTEL's previous General Manager of Consumer Affairs wrote an Open letter dated 15 July 1995, letter giving me permission to use it where I thought it could assist the the four COT cases (which included me). In this letter Ms Davis notes:

Having said that, I am aware all have suffered both physically and their family relationships. In one case, the partner of the claimant has become seriously incapacitated; due, I beleive to the way Telecom has dealt with them. The others have al suffered various stress related conditions (such as a minot stroke. 

The person Amanda Davis was referring to was Ann Garms and her Husband, Harry.

On the 12 July 1993, a newspaper article from the Portland Observer Newspaper is headed ‘Network Complaints Taken Up by MPs’, and notes:

“Problems highlighted by Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp operator Alan Smith, with the Telecom network have been picked up on by not only other disgruntled customers but Federal politicians. Having suffered a faulty telephone service for some five years, Mr Smith’s complaints had for some time fallen on deaf ears, but it now seems people are standing up and listening. Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, described the number of reports of faulty and inadequate telephone across Australia as alarming. Mr Hawker said that documents recently presented to him showed that the problems people had been experiencing Australia wide had been occurring repeatedly in the Portland region.” (See Cape Bridgewater Chronology of Events File No -17)

Absent Justice - AFP

Names and phone numbers of my clients? 

12 August, 1993:  A singles club enquiry has me worried.  This letter confirms Ms Espinoza’s recollection of the same, constantly engaged problems she experienced while trying to book a weekend.  (AS-CAV Exhibit 1 to 47  - See AS-CAV 34-A)

Alarmingly, Telstra FOI document K03870, dated 17 June (assume 1993), refers to the same Rita Espinoza and her friend Elisie Stenoya (AS-CAV Exhibit 1 to 47  - See AS-CAV 34-A).  This document not only records the two personal phone numbers of these two ladies, it also confirms Telstra was fully aware of the times my office secretary left the business while I was in Melbourne.  This document does not state any other place, only Melbourne.  I used to visit Melbourne on a regular basis during 1991 to 1993 (visiting singles club owners who might be interested in using the Cape Bridgewater for their next singles club get-away). Did Telstra even know where I stayed, with whom and which clubs I visited?

In February and September 1994, Detective Superintendent Jeff Penrose, Constables Melanie Cochrane and Tim Dahlstrom of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) visited my business concerning evidence they had received from the government which confirmed my telephone conversations had been intercepted over an extended period. I explained I had provided the club members with a written assurance that I would not circulate their private information to anyone without first seeking their permission. For this reason, I was particularly concerned that it would not be fair to submit any of their private information into my Fast Track Settlement/Arbitration Proposal. Constable Cochrane commented that the TIO should contemplate suspending our settlement process until after the AFP finished their investigations into Telstra’s unauthorised interception of my telephone conversations and in-confidence faxes.

The letter dated 2 March 1994, from Telstra’s Corporate Solicitor, Ian Row, to Detective Superintendent Jeff Penrose (see Home Page Part-One File No/9-A to 9-C), makes it quite clear that Mr Penrose was profoundly misled and deceived about the faxing problems I was having to deal with, as discussed in this letter.

The Australian Federal Police (see Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 1 - Hacked documents) beleive that the only way Telstra could have documented my business affairs the way they have including being aware of which bus companies I was using to ferry my customers to and from Melbourne (see Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 4 - Government spying) was by either intercepting my faxes (see Home Evidence File No 5). Home Evidence File No 4) or intercepting my telephone conversations.

The pressure on all four of us COT cases was immense, with TV and newspaper interviews as well as our continuing canvassing of the Senate. The stress was telling by now but I continued to hammer for a change in rural telephone services. The Hon David Hawker MP, my local Federal member of parliament, had been corresponding with me since 26 July 1993.

“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.(See Arbitrator File No/76)

A further letter of support for the Senate Inquiry from a worker at D. Madden & Co of Warrnambool (Lawyers), dated 10/11/93, gave added heart to my decision to fight on. (My name had been passed to Madden & Co by The Hon David Hawker, with regard to a public meeting COT was organising.)

“I am writing in reference to the proposed Senate Committee Investigation into Telstra.

As you are aware, I am employed as a telephonist with a large legal firm in Warrnambool. In the course of my employment, and particularly during the months of July and August this year, numerous service faults have been brought to my attention. These problems include:

  1. Calls being disconnected during conversation.
  2. Recorded messages informing Melbourne clients and callers that the number has been disconnected when the correct number was dialled.
  3. An engaged signal received by callers despite a number of lines being available.
  4. Complaints from callers that the line has rung out when no ringing tone has been received at the number dialled.

Our firm duly contacted Telstra on a number of occasions in an effort to have these fault rectified. However, Telstra technicians were constantly unable to identify the numerous problems and subsequently remedy our complaints.”

Rural subscribers wrote to TV stations and newspapers supporting my allegations that, with regard to telephone services, rural small-business people, as well as the general public, suffered a very bumpy playing field compared to our city cousins. David M. Thomson & Associates, Insurance Loss Adjusters in Ballarat, wrote on 23 August 1993 to the producer of Channel 7’s ‘Real Life’, a current affairs program:

Absent Justice - Rural Subscribers

I have watched with interest 

“I have watched with interest the shorts leading up to tonight’s program as I have similar problems to the man at Cape Bridgewater.

Our office is located in Ballarat and due to Telstra structure the majority of our local calls are STD-fee based.

On many occasions we have been unable to get through to numbers we have dialled, often receiving the message ‘This number is not connected’ or similar messages which we know to be untrue.

Clients report that they often receive the engaged signal when calling us and a review of the office reveals that at least one of our lines was free at the relevant time.

We have just received our latest Telstra bill which in total is up about 25–30% on the last bill. This is odd because our work load in the billing period was down by about 25% and we have one staff member less than the previous billing period.” (see File 1008 - AS-CAV Exhibit 1002 to 1019).

Absent Justice - Hon David Hawker MP

Such a high personal cost


On 9 December 1993, The Hon David Hawker wrote to thank me (see Arbitrator File No/82) for:

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

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

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

Absent Justice - Constant Complaints

Benefit to all subsribers in his area 

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

Point 130 –

 “On April 1993 Mr Smith wrote to AUSTEL and referred to the absent resolution of the Answer NO Voice problem on his service. Mr Smith maintained that it was only his constant complaints that had led Telecom to uncover this condition affecting his service, which he maintained he had been informed was caused by “increased customer traffic through the exchange.”  On the evidence available to AUSTEL it appears that it was Mr Smith’s persistence which led to the uncovering and resolving of his problem – to the benefit of all subscribers in his area”.

Point 153 –

“A feature of the RCM system is that when a system goes “down” the system is also capable of automatically returning back to service. As quoted above, normally when the system goes “down” an alarm would have been generated at the Portland exchange, alerting local staff to a problem in the network. This would not have occurred in the case of the Cape Bridgewater RCM however, as the alarms had not been programmed. It was some 18 months after the RCM was put into operation that the fact the alarms were not programmed was discovered. In normal circumstances the failure to program the alarms would have been deficient, but in the case of the ongoing complaints from Mr Smith and other subscribers in the area the failure to program these alarms or determine whether they were programmed is almost inconceivable.”

Point 158 – 

“The crucial issue in regard to the Cape Bridgewater RCM is that assuming the lightning strike did cause problems to the RCM om late November 1992 these problems were not resolved till the beginning of March 1993, over 3 months later. This was despite a number of indications of problems in the Cape Bridgewater area. Fault reports from September 1992 also indicate that the commencement of problems with the RCM may have occurred earlier than November 1992. A related issue is that Mr Smith’s persistent complaints were almost certainly responsible for an earlier identification of problems with the RCM than would otherwise have been the case.”

Point 209 – 

“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 Story - Cape Bridgewater Coastal Camp

What this government report AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings) fails to mention is that the bad publicity surrounding my ongoing telephone problems and having to live in a small town where (now ex-Telstra employees) who during my arbitration had lied under oath in their witness statements concerning Telstra's deficient network. These previous lies told under oath and their current standing within Partland forced me to sell my business in 2001 to Jenny and Darren, six years after my arbitration process failed to address these types of continuing phone faults. Had these Telstra employees advised the arbitrator my phone faults were still ongoing, the arbitrator could not have possibly brought down his findings until Telstra had fixed these problems. I sold the business for $650.000.00 - land value only. 

Local Real Estate evaluation of the business after Telstra rewired it for the new owners two offers were received by the new owners of between $1.2 and $1.3 Million dollars (see Cape Bridgewater Eco-Tourism Venture

On 28 January 2003, (see Taking on the Establishment - Chapter 4) shows almost two years a letter from a Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman officer Gillian McKenzie to Telstra states:

“Mr & Mrs Lewis claim in their correspondence attached:

That they purchased the Cape Bridgewater Coastal Camp in December 2001, but since that time have experienced a number of issues in relation to their telephone service, many of which remain unresolved.

That a Telstra technician ‘Mr Tony Watson’ is currently assigned to his case, but appears unwilling to discuss the issues with Mr Lewis due to his contact with the previous camp owner, Mr Alan Smith.” (See Home-Page File No/76 and D-Lewis File 1-I)

Was there a more sinister motive involved in Telstra’s technician refusing to help Darren Lewis with the ongoing phone/fax problems that, nine years before, Telstra and the arbitrator assigned to my case failed to investigate transparently? Why was this Telstra technician still holding a grudge against me in 2002/3 because of something my 1994/95 arbitration should have addressed – i.e., the ongoing phone and facsimile problems that this same Telstra technician was now refusing to help Mr Lewis with, nine years later?

While my story, here on absentjustice.com, and the fresh evidence I have disclosed on this website is not about to solve a cold case murder, it does demonstrate how both an official arbitrator and an equally official administrator of several government-endorsed arbitrations, back in the mid-1990s knowingly lied to and deliberately misled a group of Australian small-business owners who were legitimate claimants against the then-government-owned Australian Telecommunications carrier, Telstra, so that we all believed we were signing an official agreement that had been drafted completely independently of Telstra when, in fact, as it was later discovered, it had been drafted by Telstra’s own lawyers, who were, astonishingly, also Telstra’s defence lawyers assigned to the government-endorsed arbitrations!  It is also interesting to note that, since then, that arbitrator and that administrator are recipients of the Order of Australia.

Since the end of our disastrous arbitrations, we, the claimants, have found other information that shows how, way back on 12 May 1995 (see  see Open Letter File No 55-A), the arbitrator wrote to advise the administrator of the arbitrations that the agreement (often referred to as ‘the rules’) should never have been used in my arbitration noting:

the time frames set in the original Arbitration Agreement were, with the benefit of hindsight optimistic”;
In particular, we did not not allow sufficient time in the Arbitration Agreement for inevitable delays associated with the productions of documents, obtaining further particulars and the preparation of technical reports;

The arbitrator also wrote in this letter that ‘there are some other procedural difficulties which revealed themselves during the Smith arbitration and which I would like to discuss with you when I return”.

This letter was concealed from me during my designated appeal. Evidence on this website shows this 12 May 1995 letter (see  see Open Letter File No 55-A).  was intercepted after it had been re sent to another party. Was that party me? Did Warwick Smith, who received this letter from Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) fax this letter to me as he was obliged to do as the administrator to my arbitration? What I do know is that had I received it during my designated appeal period I would have been able to successfully appeal my award.

It has been unofficially reported to me that it was the threats made against me by Telstra during my arbitration and the fact that these threats were allowed to be carried out (see page 180 Senate Evidence File No 31)  that the only way to Dr Hughes apparently discussed with the administrator when he returned from presenting a legal brief in Greece. I have not seen this discussed arbitration matter even though it destroyed the very fabric of my arbitration.

Just as alarming, is the arbitration agreement, referred to by Dr Hughes as not being a credible document to have used (see exhibit 2 Preface Evidence File 1 to 9 - Authors note), was used in my arbitration, regardless of that letter. Perhaps even worse, Telstra was never brought to account by Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) or Warwick Smith (the administrator) for making and carrying out those threats against me during an official government-endotsed arbitration.

Furthermore, almost all of the officials involved in these matters are now claiming that our arbitration matters can never be reopened because of a confidentiality clause in the original agreement but, perhaps deliberately, it seems that all those parties have somehow managed to miss the fact that the confidentiality clause was attached to an agreement that had been, illegally, drafted by Telstra’s own defence lawyers.

But that is not all, on thr 21 of April 1994 the day we COT Cases were told by the TIO Legal Counsel who had just had his name and the name of his legal firm removed from the arbitration agreement so that they could not be sued for neglence told us to sign it regardless of his company's name being removed, and the $250,000,00 liability caps for both the arbitration technical and finacial resource units liabilty having also been removed between the afternoon of 19 April 1994 unto that monting of 21 April 1994 had also been removed. 

When we three claiamnts Ann Garms, Graham Schorer and me demanded answers to why these clauses had been removed after the first COT Cases Maureen Gillan has signed her agreement we were told sign it or there will no arbitrations becasue the TIO would refuse to continuing assisting us in resolving our claims. All three claimants were on our knees finacially and could not afford to take the government to court so we signed but not before being told if we did not put out a public media release advising we three were happy with The new Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's new drafted agreement then the deal was off.

We signed.   

Absent Justice - Deception Continues

No Control Over That Process 

How can an arbitrator have no control over an arbitration process? How can an arbitration be condcuted: "...entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedures?” I beleive you will also be asking some alarming questions as to why my valid claims have never been investigated after having read Prologue - Chapter 1 - The collusion continues to Prologue - Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter

There is no wording whatsoever in my arbitration agreement or in the Confidentiality clauses in the agreement that allows for the arbitrator to conduct the arbitrations outside of the ambit of the arbitration procedures.

When, and only when, a surgeon is deemed qualified by his peers is he allowed to practice on his own. Dr Hughes was not deemed qualified by his peers prior to the four COT arbitrations, so why did he even take up the position-aware he had never arbitrated on so many complex cases. Had he been as qualified as he is now, he would have picked up the many deficiencies in the arbitration agreement Telstra’s lawyers provided him as the agreement to use in our arbitrations. 

The COT Cases lawyers, government and parliament house media were told the President of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia Frank Shelton (TIO legal Counsel) had drafted the agreement in consultation with Dr Hughes. This statement was not the case Mr Shelton and Dr Hughes only redrafted Telstra's arbitration rules, making cosmetic changes.

Worse, the $250,000 liability caps in the agreement, which protected the claimants against the professionalism of wrongdoing by the arbitration consultants, had been removed at the last hour after all legal parties had approved the unaltered agreement.

The claimants were told by the TIO legal counsel and Dr Hughes to sign the agreement with these changes or no arbitration. Under duress and knowledge, the claimants did not have the finances to take Telstra to court; they signed the altered agreement (See Absent Justice Part 1 Fraud and Collusion  and Absent Justice Part 1 - Chapter 6 - Clandestine meeting).

Why were the $250,000 liability caps replaced on the arbitration agreement for the remaining twelve COT Cases along with all of the other arbitrations administered by the telecommunications Industry Ombudsman so as the claiamnts could sue the arbitration consultants for miscondct (See 11.2 - File 701 [document 52] and  Rule 31 - File 702 CAV Exhibits 701 to 756)?

It is clear from Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman - Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct that a clandestine meeting with the COT Cases having representation was convened on 22 March 1994 to discuss the issues surrounding the liability caps. Why was this meeting kept strictly private between Warwick Smith, Dr Hughes and (the defendants) Telstra and their lawyers present?

The fact that it took until 13 months into our arbitrations before Dr Hughes declared to Warwick Smith, TIO, on 12 May 1995 that the agreement was not credible and yet still used it on my arbitration proves Dr Hughes was still learning the art of arbitration (See Prologue - Chapter 5 - The Eighth Damning Letter - Open Letter File No 55-A).

Furthermore, at no point in Dr Hughes’ award did he acknowledge my claim documents or comments made by his arbitration technical consultants showing phone problems were still affecting my business. An experienced, graded arbitrator would not have fully brought down a final award under the Commercial Arbitrations Act 1984 but would have left that part of my claim open until after Telstra provided sound evidence the problems that brought me to arbitration were fixed.

The phone faults were not fixed until at well past December 2006, eleven years after the conclusion on my arbitration as the following 12-alternate-remedies-persued show.

On 26 September 1997, after most of the arbitrations were concluded, and three months after the Senate had been told under oath by Lindsey White, an ex-Telstra arbitration official we five COT Cases who had "to be stopped at all cost" from proving our claims naming me as one of the five, John Pinnock (the second-appointed administrator of the COT arbitrations), advised a senate committee (see page 99 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.”

There is no amendment attached to any agreement, signed by the above-mentioned COT members, allowing the arbitrator to conduct those particular arbitrations entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedure – and neither was it stated that he would have no control over the process once we had signed those individual agreements. How can the arbitrator and TIO continue to hide under a confidentiality clause contained in our arbitration agreement when that agreement did not mention the claimants would be forced to proceed with their arbitrations without the necessary documents needed to support their claims or that the arbitrator would have no control because the arbitration would be conducted entirely outside of the agreed ambit of the procedures? 

And just as important is, why did the Australian Government award the Order of Australia to both Warwick Smith and Dr Gordon Hughes when both those two parties allowed the removal of the $250,000 liability caps and then let them be reinstated on all of the other arbitrations to be conducted by Dr Hughes and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman?

How can an arbitrator have no control over an arbitration process? If the arbitrator had no control over the arbitration process as confirmed by the TIO in his address to a Senate Committee (see pages 109 to 110, Senate – Parliament of Australia, then who did have control over the COT arbitrations?

How can a claimant live with the knowledge that the arbitrator had no control over the arbitration process? In my case, that process cost me well over $200,000 in professional fees. Three psychologists later, I still have no peace of mind. I am not the only one having to live with these injustices: most, if not all, COT cases have suffered the same (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens - Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police).

It was important to again raise the following Senate Hansard records, Eggleston, Sen Alan – Bishop, Sen Mark – Boswell, Sen Ronald – Carr, Sen Kim – Schacht, Sen Chris, Alston and Sen Richard) which all formally record how those six senators believed that Telstra had ‘acted as a law unto themselves’ throughout all of the COT arbitrations, is incredible. The LNP government knew that not only should the litmus-test cases receive their requested documents but so should the other 16 Australian citizens who had been in the same government-endorsed arbitration process.

Although Senator Alan Eggleston advice to the Australian Finacial Revieiw has been discussed on the Home age it was also relevant to raise it here in My story By incorperating the above six Senators speaches with Senator Alan Eggleston statement to the media we can show all seven statements were made in the public interest ;.e.; on public record.

Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston

Forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information 

On 23 March 1999, the Australian Financial Review reported on the conclusion of the Senate estimates committee hearing into why Telstra withheld so many documents from the COT cases:

“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report focussed on the difficulties encountered by COT members as they sought to obtain documents from Telstra. The report found Telstra had deliberately withheld important network documents and/or provided them too late and forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information,” Senator Eggleston said. “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves.”

However, what is not on public record in the same manner as above is that there were more than just the five referrered to litmus COT tests cases. In fact, there were a further sixteen COT Cases who suffered the same fate as those discussed by the six named senators above (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens - Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police).

The government only sanctioned Telstra to pay compensation to the five 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 if they beleived the compensation paid to them was not enough. But the remaining 16, who didn’t receive their withheld documents, we’re unable to appeal without the documents to support that 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” (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens - Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police).

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

On 27 January 1999, after having read my first attempt at writing my story Absent Justice Senator Kim Carr wrote:

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

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

Senator Kim Carr again criticised the handling of the COT arbitrations on 11 March 1999 as the following Hansard link shows. Addressing the government’s lack of power, Senator Carr stated:

“What I do make a comment on is the question of civil liberties and the rights of citizens to approach this parliament and seek redress for their grievances when corporate power, particularly in a publicly owned corporation, has been abused. And there can be no question that that is what is at the heart of this issue.”

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

And addressing Telstra’s conduct, he stated:

“But we also know, in the way in which telephone lines were tapped, in the way in which there have been various abuses of this parliament by Telstra—and misleading and deceptive conduct to this parliament itself, similar to the way they have treated citizens—that there has of course been quite a deliberate campaign within Telstra management to undermine attempts to resolve this question in a reasonable way. We have now seen $24 million of moneys being used to crush these people. It has gone on long enough, and simply we cannot allow it to continue. The attempt made last year, in terms of the annual report, when Telstra erroneously suggested that these matters—the CoT cases—had been settled demonstrates that this process of deceptive conduct has continued for far too long.” (See Senate Hansard)

The Senate Hansard of 11 March 1999 includes quotes confirming just how scathingly critical a number of Senators were in relation to the way Telstra ran the COT arbitrations, and not the arbitrator Dr Hughes even going so far as to note that it was “a process subject to unilateral amendment by Telstra”. That the committee was able to state Telstra used their “unilateral” control of the arbitration process to avoid supplying the promised documents shows the arbitration process failed the COT cases.

Senator Schacht also was possibly more vocal when he stated:

“I rise to speak to this statement tabled today from the working party of the Senate Environment Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee—a committee I served on in the last parliament—that dealt with the bulk of this issue of the CoT cases. In my time in this parliament, I have never seen a more sorry episode involving a public instrumentality and the way it treated citizens in Australia. I agree with all the strong points made by my colleagues on both sides who have spoken before me on this debate. What was interesting about the Senate committee investigating this matter over the last couple of years was that it was absolutely tripartisan—whether you were Labor, Liberal or National Party, we all agreed that something was rotten inside Telstra in the way it handled the so-called CoT cases for so long. The outcome here today is sad. There is no victory for citizens who have been harshly dealt with by Telstra.”.Senate Hansard)

Absent Justice - Senator Mark Bishop

Senator Mark Bishop’s statement shown below also notes

Significant issues do arise. I think it is appropriate to refer to the final paragraphs of the committee report. In the second to last paragraph, the report of the committee tabled by Senator Eggleston says:

Estimates of Telstra’s costs in relation to the CoTs issue since the claims were made exceed $20 million ($14.285 million to 1997 and rising). Most of the expenditure has been spent, not on settlement but on administrative and legal costs. It became quite clear early in the process that the claimants had in fact been disadvantaged by malfunctions in their telephone system. It is difficult to understand why Telstra appeared to prefer to deny that there was a problem and then prolonged the difficulties in establishing the extent of that problem.

The final sentence reads:

In the Committee’s view, Telstra should now seek to reach a negotiated agreement with the interested parties.

If fault is to be allocated at this very early stage of the final lap, that fault lies at the door of Telstra. It really is appropriate for Telstra, a $100 billion corporation, to stop using its monopoly power, to stop retaining the services of dozens of highly paid solicitors and to come to the table and to seek to reach a negotiated agreement with these four or five persons. It is simply outrageous that Telstra, which is still a public corporation, can spend something in the order of $20 million – Senator Boswell – Some $24 million.

“I am informed by Senator Boswell it is 24 million – defending a claim when the claim before it is somewhere between $2 million or $4 million. This is simply an outrageous proposition and a waste of public money” (Senate Hansard)

The Senate intervention to stop this unlawful conduct only assisted the five ‘litmus’ COT cases (four) had not yet reached arbitration. The remaining 16 COTs had already been through their government-endorsed processes, but without the bulk of their FOI requests/evidence. By the Senate not assisting the remaining 16 to obtain their FOI requests, those COTs were unable to secure settlements that reflected their true losses. Why were the 16 cases that had gone through a – disputable – arbitration process not even looked at? This is certainly appalling discrimination by the LNP government. And our past and current government bureaucrats have the audacity to downplay what Julian Assange tried to do for the COT cases, i.e, his fellow Australian citizens.

Why didn't the Australian government pressure Telstra to compensate all of the 21 COT Cases and not just the five COT cases Telstra withheld or destroyed their requested arbitration documents?  It is clear from the following Google link (see What are the risks of hiding evidence during legal discovery?

What are the risks of hiding evidence during legal discovery?) that Telstra should have been charged for their unethical conduct.

spoliation of evidence

“Spoliation” of evidence occurs when someone with an obligation to preserve evidence with regard to a legal claim neglects to do so or intentionally fails to do so. Such a failure to preserve evidence can take place by destruction of the evidence, damage to the evidence, or losing the evidence.

I reiterate why only 5 of the COT Cases were provided with their previously withheld arbitration documents and not the remaining 16 COT Cases. Those five litmus test cases also received millions upon millions of dollars in punitive damages for having suffered such a terrible arbitration. When those same 16 COT Cases received no compensation

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation

Senator Len Harris, who won his senate seat on 2 July 1999 for the One Nation party, then lived in Queensland, 2,977 kilometres from Melbourne. On 25 July 2002, Senator Len Harris travelled from Cairns in Queensland (a trip that took more than seven hours) to meet four other COTs and me, in Melbourne, in an attempt to ensure our claims of discrimination against the Commonwealth were fully investigated. He was appalled that 16 Australian citizens were so badly discriminated against in such a deplorable fashion by the then-Coalition government, despite a Senate estimates committee working party being established to investigate all 21 COT-type claims against Telstra.

He was stunned at how I had collated this evidence into a bound submission. When Senator Harris read the 9 August 2001 letter from Senator Alan Eggleston Liberal Party warning me that if I disclosed the in-camera Hansard records (which supported my claims that sixteen Australian citizens had been discriminated against in the most deplorable manner) I would be held in contempt of the Senate and risk jail, he Senator Harris, was very upset, to say the least.

At a press conference the next day, Senator Harris aimed questions at the chief of staff to the Hon Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications. He asked:

“Through the following questions, the media event will address serious issues related to Telstra’s unlawful withholding of documents from claimants, during litigation.

  • Why didn’t the present government correctly address Telstra’s serious and unlawful conduct of withholding discovery and/or Freedom of Information (FOI) documents before the T2 float?
  • Why has the Federal government allowed five Australians (from a list of twenty-one) to be granted access to some of the Telstra discovery documents they needed to support their claims against Telstra, but denied the same rights to the other sixteen?
  • Why has the Federal Government ignored clear evidence that Telstra withheld many documents from a claimant during litigation?
  • Why has the Federal Government ignored evidence that, among those documents Telstra did supply, many were altered or delivered with sections illegally blanked out? (See Senate Evidence File No 56).

A fair resolution of those sixteen COT cases has never been resolved as can be seen by clicking onto An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens. By the time I finish recording all the details of our complex story here, at absentjustice.com, there will be many, many people, from all walks of life, who will then believe that it is absentjustice.com that tells the actual, true story, the only one that should be believed.

Absent Justice -  Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp and Residence

Selling the Holiday Camp 

No author should write only part of a story based on fact while leaving out a relevant part of the story because it might be seen as detrimental to the author. A full factual account of what happened during the COT arbitrations is necessary: both the good and the bad. So, I must raise the following letter so as the reader can form their own assessment of the reasons surrounding the sale of the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp. 

File 711 CAV Exhibits 701 to 756 is a letter from Darren Lewis the new owners of my business to the Hon David Hawker MP dated 1 September 2004, advising him that the phone calls had inceased dramaticlly once Telstra rewired the business under pressure from Mr Hawker. In this letter he states:

"In Ocober 2001, when Alan Smith, the previous owner, told us all the phone faults had been fixed, we truly beleived him but information and camp records left behind by Mr Smith show that he and cathy were still complaining about the faults, to Telstra, you and Senator Alston, only weeks before we took over in the December. 

While I understand why Alan lied to me about the phone faults, that knowledge does'nt compensate for the trauma we have had to suffer - Jenny and I now beleive our dream of running this business successfully was destroyed before we even had a chance"  

I have attached the following Cape Bridgewater Eco-Tourism Venture link showing Darren and Jenny Lewis could have sold the business on two occasions to two different buyers for between $1.2 and $1.3 million after the holiday camp had been rewired in in November 2002. 

This letter to Mr Hawker MP File 711 CAV Exhibits 701 to 756 does not state all known facts. Both Darren and Jenny knew that the reason I sold the holiday camp to them for $650.000.00 for land value only was that I couldn't sell it beyond that price because all four local Real Agents and the five local Legal Firms in Portland were aware the phone problems were still apparent for years after the conclusion of my arbitration. 

I told Darren Lewis, as I did to both the Hon David Hawker MP and Senator Len Harris as well as the Australian Federal Police, my belief that the reason the phone problems were still ongoing after my arbitration was more of a vendetta against me by Telstra, than actual faults. 

Although the following letter of 6 January 2003, has been partly addressed Bribery and Corruption - Part 2 it is also relevant to similar matters addressed below and is the rason we again raise it here. 

Absent Justice - Telstra+39s Shallow Wiring

On the 6 January 2003, the Hon David Hawker MP wrote to me noting:

“Thank you for your correspondence received throughout December, 2002. Copies will be forwarded to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, along with the videotape, “Phone Wiring Details at Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp.”

Did the government bureaucrats who received this video from Mr Hawker MP, pass it onto the Hon Senator Richard Alston, the then Minister of Communications and Information Technology? I know no one bothered to demand answers from Telstra as to why they installed this wiring is such a shallow trench with connecting cables loose in the conjunction box and with moisture seeping in and damaging the whole wiring system – the very wiring system Telstra rewired at the business in November/December 2002, six years after my arbitration failed to investigate my ongoing complaints of all three service lines locking up on regular bases. No one gave a damn, from the TIO and arbitrator to the resource unit regarding how my business would survive once my arbitration was declared over. The poor quality CAN and copper wire connected to my premises stayed in place until 2002 as a direct result of Telstra’s lies under oath during the COT arbitrations: lies that were covered up by bad bureaucrats (at least two of whom were then appointed as ministers by the Liberal government).

t is most important, I jump from the Home page.date period of the COT arbitrations of 1993 to 1999 so as to link the arbitrator’s unethical conduct – his failure to investigate the ongoing telephone problems affecting the COT cases businesses during that period – with the many problems Telstra and the government experiencing during the more recent 2012 to 2018 National Broad Network (NBN) rollout. 

The following Google links directly below show the COT story should have been taken seriously by the government and their minders. 

Absent Justice - Poor Copper Network

Dilapidated Copperwire Network

An example of the type of corroded copper wire follows > Worst of the worst: Photos of Australia’s copper network | Delimiter

In the world of political and media misinformation that is attached to the NBN, there is one important issue that hasn’t been fully addressed – Does Australia’s copper network meet the original mandatory government regulatory requirements? If this question is answered honestly, it would directly affect billions of dollars in Commonwealth spending.

23 June 2015: Had the arbitrator appointed to assess my arbitration claims correctly investigated ALL of my submitted evidence he would have had to value my claim as an ongoing problem NOT a past problem as his final award shows. It is clear from the following link dated > Unions raise doubts over Telstra's copper network; workers using ... that when reading in conjunction with Can We Fix The Can which was released in March 1994, these faults copper-wire network faults have been in existence for more than 24-years.

3 December 2015: I reiterate, Telstra continued to conceal this type of sensitive material from AUSTEL from as far back to before our 1994 arbitrations. And here this news artcle has led to a huge blowout in Australia's National Broadband budget roll-out. The total bill to fix the faulty copper lines was estimated last year at $641M. “[N]ow we find out the cost of upgrading the copper has blown out by almost 900 per cent”. (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/nbn-faces-another-potential-cost-blowout-leaked-document-shows) If Telstra, the TIO and the COT arbitrator had not concealed the truth surrounding what the COT Cases had uncovered surrounding Telstra's ailing copper-wire network, the cost would have been significantly (millions upon millions) less than what it has cost the current government.

9 November 2017Sadly, many Australians in rural Australia can only access a second-rate NBN. This didn’t have to be the case: had the Australian government ensured the arbitration process it endorsed to investigate the COT cases’ claims of ongoing telephone problems was conducted transparently, it could have used our evidence to start fixing the problems we uncovered in 1993/94. This news article See https://theconversation.com/the-accc-investigation-into-the-nbn-will-be-useful-but-its-too-little-too-late-87095 and absentjustice.com/Introduction page. again shows that the COT Cases claims of ailing copperwire network was more than valid.  

Almost two decades after this cover-up had been executed, with the government spin doctors successfully branding my claims as frivolous and me as a vexatious litigant, I have been left the government stopped financing the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), which still utilises part of the existing, seriously degraded copper network. In fact, the “… state of the copper network is considerably worse than expected, leading to extensive work beyond the node,” say leaked documents.

28 April 2018: This ABC news article regarding the NBN see >NBN boss blames Government's reliance on copper for slow ... needs to be read in conjunction with my own story because had these lies told under oath by so many Telstra employees had not occurred then the government would have been in a better position to evaluate just how bad the copper-wire Customer Access Network (CAN) really was just 4-years ago.

Sadly, many Australians living in rural Australia can only access a second-rate NBN. This didn’t have to be the case: if the Australian Government had ensured the arbitration process they endorsed to investigate the COT cases’ claims of ongoing communication problems had been conducted lawfully.

Because of the importace of the sale of Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd to Erisson which we have address extensily in our Home page  there was no real option but to again include that sale here because it is so itertwined into our My story. 

The Hon Barnaby Joyce, Australia's current Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, as we have shown on the Home page he is very much aware (see 12 Alternate remedies pursued - Chapter 8 - The eighth remedy pursued) that on 17 March 2006, the government agreed to all investigate evidence provided to the govenment which suggested Telstra employees had committed criminal offences against me during my 1994/95 government-endorsed arbitration.  

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

The Hon Barnaby Joyce is also aware that the government did not honour their commitment to me in this letter, namely having Telstra's Falsified SVT Report and Telstra's Falsified BCI Report investigated by the relevant authority. In fact, it was at the request of the Hon Barnaby Joyce that I and thirteen other COT cases meet with him on 6 September 2006 in parliament house Canberra  to resubmit any evidence that supported our belief that the governent did not act impartially during the period we submitted fresh evidence that supported our past claims. 

It can be seen from viewing the content of Telstra's Falsified SVT ReportTelstra's Falsified BCI Report and the further evidence contained on my absentjustice.com website that my claims against Telstra are genuine. So why has the Hon Barnaby Joyce, and the Australian government not provided my evidence to the relevant authoities as promised in their 17 March 2006 letter (Refer to file 657 AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700.

In October 2007, after meeting with two reliable witnesses and me, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) asked that I prepare the evidence supporting my claims in the manner currently presented in absentjustice.com (CAV folder files, AS CAV and GS CAV). Peter Hiland, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) senior barrister, read much of my submission. He then asked one of the witnesses – a very prominent ex-senior member of the Victorian police who had held the position of commander, as well as the Order of Australia – for the same evidence to be provided on a CD so as CAV members could appreciate the true extent of the cover-up that transpired before, during and after the COT arbitrations. I, of course, created the CD because Mr Hiland clearly remarked that, as a barrister serving with the Victorian government, he had been waiting for this type of evidence for more than a decade. However, over the next 18 months, the investigation folded, and my advisor and I were told the government was no longer interested. I raise this CAV issue because, in 2008, I submitted the same evidence, still titled AS-CAV and GS-CAV, to the Australian Communications and Media Authority in order to gain further Freedom of Information documents from the Australian government through the office of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In this way, the evidence on this website absentjustice.com has been in the public domain since 2007 and in front of three government agencies (see also Evidence - 12 Alternate remedies pursued) not one of those agencies refuted my CAV evidence. In fact, transcripts, dated 3 October 2008, show Mr GD Friedman, senior member (judge), upon hearing my Administrative Appeals Tribunal case No V2008/1836 (after reading my 169-page Statement of Facts and Contentions describing the relevance of my CAV evidence, stated:

“Let me just say, I don’t consider you, personally, to be frivolous or vexatious – far from it.

“I suppose all that remains for me to say, Mr Smith, is that you obviously are very tenacious and persistent in pursuing the – not this matter before me, but the whole – the whole question of what you see as a grave injustice, and I can only applaud people who have persistence and the determination to see things through when they believe it’s important enough.”

Because of the complexity of this COT story and that the introduction to My story followed a chronological path as best I could and at the same time not lose clarity, I started with the arbitrator having no control over the process as well as using the opinions of several Senators that the arbitrations were flawed to introduce some ground for the reader gain the truth of the story before I take them into the beginning of the story, i.e.; the Testimonials.

The chronology of events below is in a very condensed format. However, by viewing AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, and Bad Bureaucrats - Manipulating the Regulator it can be seen that ongoing telephone complaints commenced in 1987 when I first puchased the holiday camp (see point 209 in AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, which Point 209 states – 

“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 - The Hon David Hawker MP

AXE telephone exchange faults 

The Hon David Hawker MP,  was aware of just how bad the Ericsson AXE Portland telephone exchange problems were the ongoing faults being experienced in the customer access network (CAN) was in his electorate, at least between 1993 and 2006. In fact, he worked with me throughout this very difficult period, including convening a number of meetings locally and in Parliament House in Canberra between 1994 and 2006, in order to provide regular updates to the government regarding the CAN and AXE problems constituents in his electorate were experiencing.

The pressure on all four of us COT cases was immense, with TV and newspaper interviews as well as our continuing canvassing of the Senate. The stress was telling by now, but I continued to hammer for a change in rural telephone services for the Ballarat and southwest Victoria region. The Hon David Hawker MP, my local Federal member of parliament, had also been corresponding with me since 26 July 1993, regarding the same problems being experienced by Telstra customers in his electorate as shown in the following letter:

“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.”(See  Arbitrator File No/76)

This 12 August 1993 letter (see AFP Evidence File No 8) from a singles club client to me, describes the constant engaged signal she experienced when trying to book a weekend during April and May 1993. A Telstra FOI document (see AFP Evidence File No 8) dated 17 June 1993, refers to the same to ladies whose names.  Not only does this document record the personal phone numbers of these two ladies, but it also confirms Telstra was fully aware of when my office assistant left the business while I was away.

My AFP interview transcript on 26 September 1994 describes Telstra recording who I phoned or faxed, and when. The AFP believed Telstra monitored my calls because the people they recorded were associated with the COT issues. Pages 3-5 of the AFP transcript, together with other documents I provided to the AFP between February and November 1994, prove that Telstra had listened in on private conversations prior to and during my government-endorsed arbitration process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

29 October 1993: Graham Schorer of Golden Messenger Courier Service and I were still having problems sending faxes between our respective offices. This Telstra internal FOI document K01489, confirms that while Telstra was testing my Mitsubishi fax machine (using the office of Golden Messenger as the testing base which notes:

‘During testing the Mitsubishi fax machine some alarming patterns of behaviour was noted”. This document further goes on to state: “…Even on calls that were tampered with the fax machine displayed signs of locking up and behaving in a manner not in accordance with the relevant CCITT Group fax rules. Even if the page was sent upside down the time and date and company name should have still appeared on the top of the page, it wasn’t’

During a received call the machine failed to respond at the end of the page even though it had received the entire page (sample #3) The Mitsubishi fax machine remained in the locked up state for a further 2 minutes after the call had terminated, eventually advancing the page out of the machine. (See See AFP Evidence File No 9)

Many of those within the Establishment said that it was actually unconstitutional to force the COT cases into an arbitration process with Telstra while the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were still investigating Telstra for alleged phone and fax hacking of the COT cases’ businesses and, furthermore, it was acknowledged that it was clearly an unworkable process.  This didn’t stop the arbitrations, however, but it does raise a number of important questions:

  1. How could two separate investigations into Telstra, for allegedly unlawful conduct, be undertaken by two different organisations at the same time i.e an arbitrator as well as the AFP? As far as we can find, this situation is unheard of in any other Western democracy.
  2. While all the COT cases attempted to keep their individual small businesses going while their arbitrations continued, how could they be expected to submit a complex submission to an arbitrator and at the same time, assist the AFP with their investigations?
  3. Who decided that this situation would be allowed to continue?

How have many other Australian arbitration processes been subjected to this type of hacking?  Is this electronic eavesdropping, this hacking into in-confidence documentation still happening today, during legitimate Australian arbitration’s?

My Fast Track Settlement Proposal (FTSP) Accountant Selwyn Cohen sent me a fax on 21 January 1994 stating:

“I refer to your facsimile of 10.42am on 17th January 1994. The fax cover sheet refers to 7 pages being sent. Unfortunately, I only received 2 pages. Please forward the remaining 5 pages to enable me to begin the required work.” (See AFP Evidence File No 2-A to 2-C)

This was the forth time between the Christmas period of 1993, that Mr Cohen had problems sending or receiving documents from me.

A copy of my phone/fax account 055 267230 for the date of 31 January 1994, when compared with these two Telstra CCAS document FOI number K01410 and K01411 confirm someone within Telstra has hand-written the names of the people I had spoken to and/or faxed. 

Transcripts from my interview with the AFP 26th September 1994 (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1), confirm that the AFP were alarmed that Telstra had gathered private information about me including documenting on this CCAS data the names of the people who I had telephoned on a daily basis. This CCAS data information was supplied to Warwick Smith, and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office.

Stedman Cameron, Lawyers & Solicitors wrote to me on 2 February 1994, stating:

“We note that you did not receive two pages at all and only the number 2 from the third page and the signature from the last page of the facsimile sent to you at approximately 2.23pm on the 1st February, 1994. It was successfully sent approximately two hours later.” (AFP Evidence File No 2-A to 2-C

On 8 February 1994,The Hon Michael Lee Minister for Communications writes to the Minister for Justice, the Hon Duncan Kerr, MP: (note: this document is held in Government archives.)

“I am writing to inform you that members of the group known as the Casualties of Telecom (COT) have contacted my Office regarding the Australian Federal Police inquires into voice monitoring by Telstra of their telephones.

Both Mr Graham Schorer and Mr Alan Smith of COT have informed my Office that they have information on Telstra’s activities in relation to these matters”.

Absent Justice - AFP

Telstra's lawyer misleads the AFP

It is clear from the evidence contained in See AFP Evidence File No 9 that Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) and I did have major faxing problems between our two offices. Why then, did Telstra's lawyer Ian Row inform the AFP there was never a problem experienced between our two facsimile machines?

AUSTEL the government communications regulator wrote to Telstra on 10 February 1994 stating:

“Yesterday we were called upon by officers of the Australian Federal Police in relation to the taping of the telephone services of COT Cases.

“Given the investigation now being conducted by that agency and the responsibilities imposed on AUSTEL by section 47 of the Telecommunications Act 1991, the nine tapes previously supplied by Telecom to AUSTEL were made available for the attention of the Commissioner of Police.” (See Illegal Interception File No/3)

The governments own investigation into my ongoing telephone problems which were apparent from the day I purchased the business in December 1987 (See AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings was finalized on 3 March 1994 led to a rather amazing discovery: the Government communications regulator, AUSTEL (now ACMA) had uncovered historical records going back more than six years in years which showed major telecommunication problems were being experienced in both the Portland/Cape Bridgewater and Ballarat regions, in Victoria (see Point 115 in this government secret AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings which notes: 

“Some problems with incorrectly coded data seem to have existed for a considerable period of time. In July 1993 Mr Smith reported a problem with payphones dropping out on answer to calls made utilising his 008 number. Telecom diagnosed the problem as being to “Due to incorrect data in AXE 1004, CC-1. Fault repaired by Ballarat OSC 8/7/93, The original deadline for the data to be changed was June 14th 1991. Mr Smith’s complaint led to the identification of a problem which had existed for two years.”

My submission to the arbitrator confirmed the COT members were told our phone problems would be fixed as part of the arbitration process. They were not fixed in most cases until years after the arbitrations had cost the claimants hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and fees. This seemed incomprehensible: everyone had a phone the system was supposed to work for everyone. 

In my case the government prepared report referred to above (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 10, to 212shows the government knew six weeks before my arbitration commenced that my claims had already been validated.

Why then did the government in 1994, allow me to spend well over $200,000.00 (two hundred thousand dollars) in arbitration fees trying to prove something they had already proved? And just as important, why did the DCITA in 2006, allow me to spend well over $20,000 in secretarial fees and other associated DCITA submission fees when they too had the proof my claims were valid? 

The reason I jumped ten years from 1993 to 2003 (see above) was to show the reader that the same type of ongoing telephone problems that revealed themselves in the Briefcase Affair below still haunted the business ten years later when new owners took over. As the Briefcase Affair show, the phone problems were never a figment of my imagination or exaggeration

Absent Justice - My Story - The Briefcase Affair

The Briefcase Affair

My constant complaints to AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator) and my local member of parliament the Hon David Hawker MP, finally bore fruit when, for the first time in this story, Telstra investigators came to Cape Bridgewater. Two Telstra representative from the National Network Investigation Division arrived at my office on 3 June 1993. At last, I thought, I would be able to speak directly to people who knew what they were talking about.

I should have known better. It was just another case of ‘No fault found.’ We spent some considerable time ‘dancing around’ a summary of my ongoing phone problems. Their best advice for me was to keep doing exactly what I had been doing since 1989, keeping a record of all my phone faults. I could have wept. Finally, they left.

A little while later, in my office I found that Aladdin had left behind his treasures: the Briefcase Saga was about to unfold i.e. Telstra had knowingly misled and deceived me during my first settlement on 11 December 1992 (See Front Page Part Two 2-B)

The briefcase was not locked, and I opened it to find out it belonged to Mr Macintosh. There was no phone number, so I was obliged to wait for business hours the next day to track him down. But what there was in the briefcase was a file titled ‘SMITH, CAPE BRIDGEWATER’ - AXE - problems ongoing - this has been a major AXE problem. After five gruelling years fighting the evasive monolith of Telstra, being told various lies along the way, here was possibly the truth, from an inside perspective.

The first thing that rang bells was a document which revealed Telstra knew that the Ericsson AXE RVA fault was a major network problems which noted:. 

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

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

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

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

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

Not only was Telstra’s area general manager fully aware at the time of my settlement on 11 December 1992 that she was providing me with incorrect information which influenced my judgement of the situation, placing me at a commercial disadvantage, but the General Manager, Commercial Victoria/Tasmania was also aware just how bad the Ericsson AXE telephone exchange system they had lied about during my 11 December 1992 commercial settlement process. 

The use of misleading and deceptive conduct such as this in a commercial settlement such as mine contravenes Section 52 of the Australian Trade Practices Act. Yet this deception has never been officially addressed by any regulatory body. To get ahead of my story here, even the arbitrator who handed down his award on my case in May 1995 failed to address any of my ongoing Ericsson AXE telephone exchange problems or question Telstra’s unethical behaviour when they provided this false Ericsson AXE information during my 11 December 1992 settlement process. 

I took this Ericsson AXE information to the government regulator AUSTEL, and on 9 June 1993, AUSTEL's John MacMahon wrote to Telstra regarding my continuing phone faults after the settlement, and the content of the briefcase documents: this letter states:

“Further, he claims that Telecom documents (found in the briefcase) contain network investigation findings which are distinctly different from the advice which Telecom has given to the customer concerned.

In summary, these allegations, if true, would suggest that, in the context of the settlement, Mr Smith was provided with a misleading description of the situation as the basis for making his decision. They would also suggest that the other complainants identified in the folders have knowingly been provided with inaccurate information

I ask for your urgent comments on these allegations. You are asked to immediately provide AUSTEL with a copy of all the documentation which was apparently inadvertently left at Mr Smith’s premises for his inspection. In light of Mr Smith’s claims of continuing service difficulties, I will be seeking to determine with you a mechanism which will allow an objective measurement of any such difficulties to be made”.(See Arbitrator File No 61)

When I exposed just how bad the Ericsson AXE telephone system was and that Telstra was also using faulty Ericsson AXE testing equipment, AUSTEL asked for further better particulars I provided. From this date onward, as shown throughout this website, I continued to help AUSTEL even to the extent one representative even drove six hours from Melbourne on 19 December 1995 to my business premises. This Ericsson fault was also causing billing faults due to lockup problems in that equipment. But Telstra also had another issue that AUSTEL and I worked on, and this was another billing problem in Telstra's 008/1800 software. The problem with these two faults was which was causing the incorrect billing to the customer account?.   

This two-fold Ericsson v Telstra software billing problem is discussed throughout our story.

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

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

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

When the COT Cases exposed the Ericsson AXE call loss rate from 15% to 50% as File 10-B Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f so clearly shows. AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator), then instigated an investigation into these AXE exchange faults and uncovered some 120,000 COT-type complaints were being experienced around Australia. Exhibit (Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C), shows AUSTEL's Chairman Robin Davey received a letter from Telstra's Group General Manager (who was also Telstra's main arbitration defence liaison officer), suggesting he alter that finding. As can be seen from the below segment those findings were altered to the detriment of those COT Cases in arbitration

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

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

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

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

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

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 2

Bugged Phones 

It was during one of these meetings with AUSTEl's John McMahon in and around March 1994, that John McMahon informed me by mistake AUSTEL had uncovered documents that showed my business had been live monitored from at least the middle of June 1993, after the 3 June 1993, when Telstra technicians had left their elusive briefcase exposing the severe telephone problems within Telstra's network. As the documents, which AUSTEL had received, were in confidence documents Mr McMahon apologized that AUSTEL could not provide them to me while the AFP was investigating my claims. 

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/1surrounding the interception of my telephone conversations. I told the AFP that John McMahon had told me of the documents AUSTEL had uncovered confirmed beyond all doubt that my phone conversations had been bugged over a period of time.

Question 81 in these AFP transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 the AFP asked me:

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

Answer. "No, no never".

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

Answer: "Right"

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

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

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

When Julian Assange [the hackers] told COT Cases spokesperson Graham Schorer there were forces at work during our arbitration that were acting illegally against us could well have been what the AFP and AUSTEL uncovered but were able to stop it as the Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report document|730][the hackers], and File No/13) shows. This invasion into the COT Cases private and business lives continued for a further three years after the AFP found no evidence such activities had taken place. I assume the AFP forgot their admission in the following transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 that they had evidence Telstra had been bugging my telephone conversations.

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

Does Telstra expect the AFP to accept that every time this officer left the Portland telephone exchange, the alarm bell set up to broadcast my telephone conversations throughout the Portland telephone exchange was turned off every time this officer left the exchange? What was the point of setting up equipment connected to my telephone lines that only operated when this person was on duty? When I asked Telstra under the FOI Act during my arbitration to supply me all the detailed data obtained from this special equipment set up for this specially assigned Portland technician, that data was not made available during my 1994.95 arbitration and has still not been made available in 2021

Absent Justice - My Story

Lost Claim Documents 

During this thirteen-month arbitration, the Australian Federal Police uncovered Telstra had been intercepting my telephone conversations over an extended period (see Australian Federal Police Investigations). The attached Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13) show faxes were also intercepted [screened] during the COT arbitrations before they were redirected onto their intended destination. As shown in Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 7- George Close the office and residences of the COT Cases technical adviser George Close had been bugged during the COT arbitrations.

Whoever had access to this screening facsimile machine which was secretly connected to George Close business and residence telephone system were able to know what relevance George placed on the information he sent or received from the COT Cases.

In other words, Telstra's arbitration defence unit was prewarned from reading these intercepted faxes what specific technical documents George Close was telling the COT Cases to seek from Telstra under the Freedom of Information (Act) even before the COT Cases had filled out their FOI requests. 

Is this how Telstra was able to control the FOI process by removing all relevant documents from their archives before it was officially requested by the arbitration process?

One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of this fax Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd 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)

So, it is established that Telstra intercepted arbitration-connected faxes and documents, bugged complainants’ phones and interfered with evidence. One might expect that when going into arbitration against a telecommunications company. I’m amazed the government, who endorsed the arbitrations, didn’t expect this behaviour and put plans in place to prevent it! Oh, wait – the Australian government-owned Telstra back then...

Telstra took advantage of its network and Hacking - Julian Assange - Chapter 8 – Hacking / Unresolved Privacy Issues shows plans were underway to do this early on.

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

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

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

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

Dr Gordon Hughes, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Commonewealth Ombudsman, various Senators as well as the administrator of my arbitration are fully aware that during my arbitration at the time the AFP were investiting these lost fax issues I received  threats from Telstra because I had raised the lost fax issues with the AFP as part of my arbitration claim (see Senate Evidence File No 31)

Even worse, if that is at all possible, is the fact that while Dr Hughes Melbourne office was sending Melbourne Telstra related arbitration faxes to their Sydney office, the Sydney office was involved assisting several Telstra employees at the same time Telstra employees were under investigation by both the NSW police and the AFP (see page 5163, in this following link SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia) which shows Telstra employees rorted millions upon millions of dollars from Telstra shareholders: i.e., the government and Australian citizens, who then owned Telstra.

Were some of the Melbourne Telstra related arbitration faxes that were not assessed during the COT arbitration mixed up with the Sydney related Telstra faxes that just disappeared i.e. were not redirected back from Sydney to Dr Hughes Melbourne office for arbitration assessment?

NONE of the COT Cases was ever on a terrorist list in 1994 (or since, for that matter) and nor was any of us ever listed as suspects in relation to any crimes committed against any Australian citizens. This means that we must therefore ask: why were these innocent claimants’ in-confidence arbitration and Telstra-related documents hacked by Telstra while Telstra was defending the various COT cases arbitrations? In my own case, 42 separate sets of correspondence faxed to the Arbitrator’s office (some with attachments) are not listed on the Arbitration Schedules of Material received by the Arbitration process.  I reiterate concerning the statements I made above It is clear from Front Page Part One File No/1 that even though the Arbitrator’s secretary advised Tony Watson (part of Telstra’s Arbitration Defence Unit) that on 23 May 1994, six of my claim documents were never received at the Arbitrator’s fax machine.  It is clear from my Telstra account I was charged for those six faxes as having left my office, yet no one from the Arbitrator’s office nor the TIO’s office when this matter was exposed, allowed me to amend my claim so that these proven “non received” claim documents were valued by the Arbitrator in support of my claim.

But, Telstra’s shady – criminal – behaviour went much further than that. there were threats (see (See Senate Evidence File No 31) there was stalking (see Hacking Julian Assange - Chapter 2 - I am not alone, Chapter 4 - illegal act and Hacking Julian Assange - Chapter 5 - Criminal conduct)

In 1994, Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) and other COTs suffered break-ins and lost computers and business-related documents. I lost diaries covering 1987 to 1989, official booking records, bank statements and bank pay-in books for 1992/93. Without these records, it was difficult to produce full and correct financial statements for my forensic accountant. I had to remove all business records off my premises after that. (See Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 4 - Government spying)

When I advised Telstra of those concerns and that I had now, as a precaution, re-entered my previous logged faults from my old yearly office notebooks onto my diaries so that I had two lots of records, this action was later used against me by Telstra's arbitration forensic document researcher. 

Telstra claimed my office diary notes were not genuine and added to those records, which technically Telstra was right. I had added information on my dated entries. Living with the threats made by Telstra was one issue. Living with the knowledge, Telstra had carried out those threats, and neither the arbitrator Dr Hughes nor the administrator Warwick Smith had been unable to stop those threats, which caused my PTS to increase.

Telstra claimed my office diary notes were not genuine and that I had added to those records after the events, which technically Telstra was right.

By this time, I had visited three clinical psychologists, Dr Burnard in Melbourne, Dr MacKay in Geelong (country Victoria) and Ms Franklin in Portland (Victoria). To say I was in a mess is an understatement. 

Now I need to jump ahead of myself here from 1998 through to 2001, five years after the conclusion of my arbitration. During 1998/99, the Major Fraud Group Victoria Police asked me to supply any evidence I had of Telstra committing fraud to support its defence during my 1994/95 arbitration. It was common knowledge in government circles that Telstra, indeed, used fraud in defence documents, as well as submitted false information to the Senate in September and October 1997, concerning this same fraud. As I did during my 1994 arbitration, when I assisted the Australia Federal Police during its investigation into Telstra’s unethical conduct towards me (see Senate Evidence File No 31), I agreed to assist the Victoria Police in their 1998 investigations into similar acts of misconduct towards fellow Australian citizens.

Absent Justice - Book of Shadows

Two Indentical Reports?

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

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

Dr Gordon Hughes, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Commonewealth Ombudsman, various Senators as well as the administrator of my arbitration are fully aware that during my arbitration at the time the AFP were investiting these lost fax issues I received  threats from Telstra because I had raised the lost fax issues with the AFP as part of my arbitration claim (see Senate Evidence File No 31)

Even worse, if that is at all possible, is the fact that while Dr Hughes Melbourne office was sending Melbourne Telstra related arbitration faxes to their Sydney office, the Sydney office was involved assisting several Telstra employees at the same time Telstra employees were under investigation by both the NSW police and the AFP (see page 5163, in this following link SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia) which shows Telstra employees rorted millions upon millions of dollars from Telstra shareholders: i.e., the government and Australian citizens, who then owned Telstra.

Were some of the Melbourne Telstra related arbitration faxes that were not assessed during the COT arbitrations mixed up with the Sydney related Telstra faxes that just disappeared i.e. were not redirected back from Sydney to Dr Hughes Melbourne office for arbitration assessment??

It is also relevant I raise the 18 April 1995 letter, which was sent out to protect any damaging questions that might be asked as to why Lane had not investigated any of my Ericsson AXE exchange billing claim documents. The same 008/1800 billing claims documents that the Australian government communications regulator secretly allowed Telstra to address AS-CAV Exhibit 128 to 180

It is blatantly obvious from this letter that the administrator, arbitrator and the arbitration legal counsel all knew about this deception before it took place, and did nothing to rectify this deception. As a result of closing their eyes to this deception, further deception took as letters One to Eight) attached to the Prologue page shows

I reiterate, here is clear proof, that even before these eight damning letters were written, John Rundell was prepared to mislead me into believing DMR Group Inc (in Canada) had prepared all of the technical findings on my claims when Lane had secretly assessed them without making a finding against the AXE Ericsson faulty telephone equipment which Telstra was still using when other countries around the world were removing it or had removed it from their exchanges as File 10-B Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f so clearly shows. 

Prologue File 45-E Open letter File No/45-E also confirms Derek Ryan (see File 45-E Open letter File No/45-E wrote to John Pinnock (the second administrator to my arbitration) on 20 December 1995 telling him John Rundell had advised him the reason the arbitration reporting on my financial losses was incomplete because the arbitration financial consultants  "...had excluded a large amount of information from their final report at the request of the arbitrator" 

Prologue File 45-E Open letter File No/45-E also confirms on 13 February 1996 nine months after the completion of my arbitration John Rundell wrote to John Pinnock telling him that he did advise Derek Ryan the formal arbitration financial report on my financial business losses "did not cover all material and working papers."

The removal of my true financial business losses from this financial report is serious, but when it is combined with John Rundell misleading me concerning who prepared the technical findings in the arbitration report AS-CAV Exhibit 128 to 180, these two actions of deceit verge on criminal conduct.

Although the FOI Game and the unsigned witness statement has been mentioned on the Home page it has been included here as it also needs to be linked at the concluding part oh Mr story.

Absent Justice - Telstras FOI Game

The FOI game is exposed

Although I have already rasied the following Freehill Hollingdale & Page - COT Case Strategy on the Home page it was only in a condenced format while here I explain in more detail how unethical the whole Denise McBurnie  COT Case Strategy saga was, and the long term affect it had on the well being of the COT Cases.

The fabricated BCI report (see Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report and BCI Telstra’s M.D.C Exhibits 1 to 46 is most relevant because it was provided by Telstra's lawyers to Ian Joblin a forensic psychologist who was assigned by Freehill Hollingdale & Page (Telstra's lawyers) to assess my mental state during my arbitration. it is clearly linked to statements made in the following page 5169 SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia concerning Telstra having adopted the Freehill Hollingdale & Page - COT Case Strategy during the COT arbitrations which had been spuriously prepared by Denise McBurnie of Freehill Hollingdale & Page. 

What I did not know, when I first had to register my telephone problems in writing with Denise McBurnie before Telstra would investigate those faults is that this COT Case Strategy was a set up by Telstra and their lawyers to hide all proof that I truly did have ongoing telephone problems affecting the viability of my business. 

This continual writing up of individual telephone faults, to these lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page, in order to have Telstra investigate them almost, sent me insane. Instead of keeping this fault evidence, I was providing it to Telstra believing this would assist them in locating the problems my business was experiencing. 

I was unaware I would later need this evidence for an arbitration process. This arbitration process meant I had to retrieve back, from Telstra under Freedom of Information, the very same documentation I had previously provided this legal firm. Imagine the frustration of knowing that you had already provided the evidence supporting your case but it was now being withheld from you by Telstra and their lawyers.

If this wasn’t soul-destroying enough, imagine learning that lawyer, with who you were being forced to register your phone complaints, devised a legal paper titled “COT Case Strategy” (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C). instructing their client Telstra (naming me and my business) on how Telstra could conceal this same type of technical information from me under the guise of Legal Professional Privilege even though the information was not privileged. (see also page 5169  SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia.

These were four of the same names targeted by Denise McBurnie and Freehill Hollingdale & Page in their COT Cases strategy, which had to be stopped from receiving their requested documents under FOI ( see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C)

The fact that the Denise McBurnie - COT Case Strategy was exposed during a combined Senate investigation and the government still denied me compensation or did not order Telstra to supply me my previously withheld documents as they did for the other five litmus tests cases shows how corrupt the Australian government is.

In my case, Telstra had previously refused to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of my businesses, telling them 'No fault found,' when documents on this website show they were found to have existed as the following government communications regularors own AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings shows. Page 5169 in this SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia shows Telstra adopted the Freehill Hollingdale & Page - COT Case Strategy during the COT arbitrations which had been spuriously prepared by Denise McBurnie of Freehill Hollingdale & Page. 

What I did not know, when I was forced to register my telephone problems in writing with Denise McBurnie before Telstra would investigate those faults is that this COT Case Strategy was a set up by Telstra and their lawyers to hide all proof that I truly did have ongoing  telephone problems affecting the viability of my business. 

This continual writing up of individual telephone faults, to these lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page, in order to have Telstra investigate them almost, sent me insane. Instead of keeping this fault evidence, I was providing it to Telstra believing this would assist them in locating the problems my business was experiencing. 

I was unaware I would later need this evidence for an arbitration process. This arbitration process meant I had to retrieve back, from Telstra under Freedom of Information, the very same documentation I had previously provided this legal firm. Imagine the frustration of knowing that you had already provided the evidence supporting your case but it was now being withheld from you by Telstra and their lawyers.

If this wasn’t soul-destroying enough, imagine learning that lawyer, with who you were being forced to register your phone complaints, devised a legal paper titled “COT Case Strategy” (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C. instructing their client Telstra (naming me and my business) on how Telstra could conceal this same type of technical information from me under the guise of Legal Professional Privilege even though the information was not privileged. (see also page 5169  SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia.

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

Had the arbitrator investigated my claims that I was not receiving my arbitration-related documents, and that very sensitive documentation had been removed by an unknown source from three different COT Cases premises which they had also needed to support their arbitration claims, that investigation might well have uncovered Telstra’s arbitration defence lawyers Freehills Hollindgale & Page was mistakenly (or deliberately) sending some of my relevant arbitration material to this other Alan Smith, who Freehill was aware was complaining of the same ongoing disputed billing accounts. These were the same ongoing billing problems that the arbitrator refused to allow his arbitration technical consultants the extra weeks they stated was needed to fully investigate my ongoing telephone problems (see Prologue - Chapter 1 - The collusion continues)

In fact, the formal arbitration technical evaluation report provided by DMR and Lane (the arbitration technical consultants) to the arbitrator at point 2.23, notes:

“Continued reports of 008 faults up to the present. As the level of disruption to overall CBHC [Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp] service is not clear, and fault causes have not been diagnosed, a reasonable expectation is that these faults would remain ‘open’.”   (See Introduction File No/1-B)  

These were the same Ericsson AXE telephone exchanges "Recorded Voice Announcement" that was still registering in writing with Denise McBurnie of Freehill's before Telstra would investigate the devastation these recorded voice Announcements had on my business. The issue of these unaddressed 008/1800 billing problems was a central and major factor of my arbitration claim and so these problems are raised throughout this website. This 008/1800 free-call service fault, which so seriously affected the viability of my business, was actually threefold. Firstly, Telstra routed the 008/1800 service through my 005 267267 main, incoming service line, despite Telstra knowing that line was prone to serious problems going back for many years. In fact, AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator) draft findings, which resulted from their investigations into my complaints (see Open Letter File No/4 File No/5 File No/6 File No/7), show AUSTEL condemned the entire phone system that Telstra supplied to my premises. Secondly, both my 055 267267 service and the 008/1800 free-call service were affected by incoming calls failing to connect: with this electronic message telling the caller, “The number you are calling is not connected.”

Both AUSTEL’s records, and Telstra’s, show that this RVA  electronic message suggests to the caller that the business they are calling is no longer operating, a terrible situation for any telephone-dependent business-owner to have to endure. I experienced these multiple 008/1800 RVA telephone faults throughout my arbitration, and for years after, because as shown above, the arbitrator handed down his findings prematurely, despite his own technical consultants warning him that because of the: “… fault causes have not been diagnosed, a reasonable expectation is that these faults would remain “open” (see Prologue - Chapter 1 - The collusion continues).

For callers to still be advised that my business was no longer operating (over a four year period) when it definitely was operating and for that electronic message to haunt my telephone line for those years is bad enough but for that electronic message to coniue to tell callers to my business for years after my arbitration was supposed to have fixed it, was a deplorable situation for anyone to have been left in and obviously raises the question of what the arbitrations were meant to do if it was not to investigate and diagnose the fault causes that brought [me] the claimant into the arbitration process in the first place? 

Major Fraud Group - Victoria Police

As shown in the An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens - Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police page, the |Major Fraud Group Victoria police was during the late 1990s and the begining of 2000 and 2001, concerned about the conduct of Telstra during several COT Cases arbitrations.

What we later found out concerning the type of in-house emails that these hackers wanted to share appears to have been associated with correspondence, between Telstra, its lawyers, and AUSTEL, discussing vital information that Telstra and its lawyers wanted the government to remove from their COT cases report. The only thing we COT cases have at present that resembles the type of evidence the hackers wanted to provide to us is two letters between Telstra and AUSTEL, dated 8 and 9 April 1994 (see Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C). These letters demand AUSTEL remove its true finding from its public report – stating that some 120,000 COT-type complaints had been located – and replace that figure with hundreds or more COT type complaints, which AUSTEL did by stating in the formal report:

“…the number of Telecom customers experiencing COT type service difficulties and faults is substantially higher than Telecom’s original estimate of 50”  (Manipulating the Regulator - Chapter 3 Devious and distant).

The fact that Telstra had so much power over a government communications regulator that it was able to force it to drastically reduce the numbers included in AUSTEL’s COT Case April 1994 fings, from some 120,000 COT-type customers who were having similar problems, right around Australia, to just 50-plus, is mind-blowing, to say the least.

Were these the same letters from Telstra to AUSTEL (see (see Falsification Report File No/8) that prompted the hackers to advise COT case spokesperson Graham Schorer that the government was assisting Telstra in their defence of the COT cases claims i.e. our arbitrations were not being conducted under the rule of law? What did the hackers find amongst Telstra arbitration documents in order for them to form the opinion that the rule of law was not being abided too?

Graham Schorer, (COT Case spokesperson) COT Case Ann Garms, Sue Owens (COT Case lawyer) and I discussed with the Major Fraud Group Victoria police, our belief that the Denise McBurnie - COT Case Strategy email (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C). This email also attached to Hacking Julian Assange - Chapter 5 - Criminal conduct was the sample document the hackers wanted to provide Graham to show him even Telstra's lawyers (who also worked for the Australian Government) were involved in ilegally stopping the COT Cases from proving their claims. There would have to be a discussion paper showing the importance of this discussed sample Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C email on file in the Major Fraud Group - Victotia police archives.

Absent Justice - Further Insult to Injustice

Unsigned Witness Statement 

When I first received a copy of this legal advice (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C) years after the completion of my arbitration it took me back to my arbitration and the 12 September 1994, when I was obliged to meet with Telstra’s consulting forensic psychologist in Portland’s Richmond Hotel so he could analyse my mental health as part of Telstra’s defence of my arbitration claims (see the above Denise McBurnie - COT Case Strategy).

I found the process of being interviewed by a forensic psychologist, in the saloon bar of the local hotel, shockingly uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially when he kept spreading out different cards on the table as part of this clinical, forensic testing process. Was this his idea to unstabilize me during my arbitration or the company that had hired him? However, when this legal firm, which the government assured us would not be used in our arbitrations (see point 40 Prologue Evidence File No/2), provided this clinical psychologist’s witness statement to the arbitrator, it was only signed by this legal firm lawyer Maurice Wayne Condon, It bore no signature of the psychologist.

Did Maurice Wayne Condon remove or alter any reference to what Ian Joblin had originally written?

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

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

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

I have never seen a copy of the advice that John Pinnock was officially entitled to receive from Telstra regarding this unsigned arbitration witness statement.

The reason I was asking the TIO to why Ian Joblin's signature was not on the first of Mr Joblin's supplied witness statement is because the first witness statement had paragraphs that did not correspond with the previous statement above it. It appeard as those in two area's of the witness statement Mr Joblin had left out two segments.

File 597 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647 which folllows Mr Pinnopck's letter of 21 March 1997 (see above) shows in 11 December 1994, John Wynack, Director of Investigators wrote to Telstra's CEO Frank Blount demanding answers to why Telstra had deleted information on my legally requested FOI documents during my arbitration. At point 5 in this letter under the date 14.4.94 noting:

" Telecom unreasonably refused to provide documents allegedly referring to discussions Mr Smith had with three Telecom officers concerning a discussion Mr Smith had with Mr Malcolm Fraser. Telecom unreasoably deleted information from documents released". 

I believe that the deleted information from the Telstra documents I sort under FOI was related to my first telephone conversation I had with the former prime minister Mr Malcolm Fraser. I also believe the information which was deleted by Telstra from my requested FOI documents were related to my discussions concerning my letter of 18 September 1967, warning Mr Fraser as the Minister for the Army, NOT to send any further wheat to The Peoples Republic of China while China was assisting the North Vietnamese war effort.

In the last two paragraphs of Chapter 2 in the draft of my manuscript My story-warts and all  I have written:

During our time in China I briefly ran foul of the Red Guards but, as luck would have it, I still managed to leave with my ship, the MV Hopepeak, believing I had left those troubles behind me.  Apparently not.  When I took refuge in the cabin on the afternoon of 26 October 1989, only to find my refuge attacked by a Police rescue team, I was transported straight back to China in 1967.  After some heavy discussions with my wife and my ‘saviours’ who, in my confused state, seemed more like the Red Guard soldiers than anything else, I was taken to hospital — in a straight jacket.

I will be forever grateful to the doctors who confirmed that I wasn’t going ‘nuts’ and who allowed me to return to the camp the following day, accompanied by my mate’s wife, Margaret.  I will also be forever grateful to Jack for sending Margaret to ‘bail me out’ so to speak.  The fun, however, had just begun.

What I beleived had been originally removed from Ian Joblin's witness statement is my discussion with Mr Joblin that often I had nightmares [flashbacks] of the Red Gaurd standing over me in my cabin on the MS Hopepeak when I was under arrest in The Peoples Republic of China.

I still think there is more to the two varying witness statements.

Senate Hansard, dated 24 June 1997, in which Telstra whistleblower Lindsay White says he was told to “stop these people at all costs” naming me as one of the five who had to be stopped at all costs (see pages 36 and 38 Senate -Senate - Parliament of Australia) ) similar injustices were experienced by COT case Sandra Wolfe during her government-endorsed mediation process in 1997. These injustices included her having a warrant executed against her by Telstra employees under the Queensland Mental Health Act (see pages 82 to 88, Introduction File No/9). Had interest parties had not acted in the manner they did, it is possible Sandra could have been lost in an institution for the insane. Addressing Telstra on this disturbing matters, Senator Schacht says:

“No, when the warrant was issued and the names of these employees were on it, you are telling us that it was coincidental that they were Telstra employees.” (p87)

Why has this Queensland Mental Heath warrant matter never been transparently investigated and a finding made by the government communications regulator?

Is this warrant issued under the Queensland Mental Health Act, against Sandra Wolfe, akin to the false information provided by Telstra to the clinical psychologist before he assessed my mental health? In my case, the consultation by this psychologist was not conducted in a private surrounding, but in the Richmond Henty Hotel’s saloon bar!

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

Had the arbitrator investigated my claims that I was not receiving my arbitration-related documents, and that very sensitive documentation had been removed by an unknown source from three different COT Cases premises which they had also needed to support their arbitration claims, that investigation might well have uncovered Telstra’s arbitration defence lawyers Freehills Hollindgale & Page was mistakenly (or deliberately) sending some of my relevant arbitration material to this other Alan Smith, who Freehill was aware was complaining of the same ongoing disputed billing accounts. These were the same ongoing billing problems that the arbitrator refused to allow his arbitration technical consultants the extra weeks they stated was needed to fully investigate my ongoing telephone problems (see Prologue - Chapter 1 - The collusion continues)

Together, these travesties spell a breakdown of justice, way out of proportion to the problem we COT began with — people asking that their phone services be guaranteed to work to a reasonable standard so that they can reliably conduct their businesses. Intimidation and threats. The arbitrator was missing in-action when these threats were carried out which is testament that he was a spineless arbitrator and therefore should never have been in control over so many arbitrations at the one time. 

Absent Justice - Unanswered Questions

The Logbook

On 21st November 2007, I received from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), under FOI, a copy of AUSTEL’s original draft findings dated 2nd / 3rd March 1994, regarding the telephone problems experienced by the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp during 1988 to 1994. Copied below are some of the page numbers and points in the report. The reason I am discussing these issues here in our Manipulating the Regulator page is to show the difficulties that AUSTEL as the Government regulator had in obtaining documents from Telstra (at the time a fully Government-owned Corporation). Given these difficulties, the non-supply of documents to the COT claimants during their respective arbitrations is one of the reasons I was unable to conclusively prove to the arbitrator my telephone faults were still ongoing.  The following list identifies some areas (in the AUSTEL draft report) where AUSTEL had problems with access to Telstra records on the service provided to me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absentjustice-Introduction File 495, dated 22 September 1994, is a transcript taken during an oral interview at the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, with AUSTEL’s representatives Bruce Matthews and John McMahon. On page 7 of this manuscript the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s officer John Wynack, asked: ‘What was the date the report was issued, the AUSTEL report? And Mr Matthews replied: ‘The final report was April – I can’t remember the date in April, but April 1994. The draft report was produced in March 1994 and Telecom received their copy of that at the time.’

When I asked a very knowledgable person known to AUSTEL (now ACMA) how did AUSTEL knew the existance of the documents mentioned at points 43,48, 71,140 and 160 I was advised AUSTEL have viewed the various logbooks that belonged to the telephone exchanges that the COT Cases businesses were service by.  

In his witness statement, ex-Telstra principal protective service officer Des Direen acknowledges that when he tried to access the Portland exchange logbook, local Telstra Portland technicians advised him the logbook was probably missing due to the investigation of the Cape Bridgewater COT case [me]. (see Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police (see File 517 - AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541)

Point 22 in Des Direen’s witness statement notes:

“...I made inquiries by telephone back to [sic] Melbourne. I was told not to get involved and that it was being handled by another area of Telstra. I later found out the Cape Bridgewater complainant was part of the COT case.”

What was so alarming about the content of this logbook that Telstra felt the need to conceal it from both the arbitrator and me during the discovery process of my government-endorsed arbitration, as well as concealing it from John Wynack, Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office director of investigation? I have still not seen this logbook .

Absent Justice - Australian Senate

Historical Interest Only

This 24 October 1997 letter from John Pinnock, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (the second appointed administrator to the COT arbitrationsto) to Ms Pauline Moore, (secretary to the Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts legislation committee) is important to add here in this Ericsson and Lane segment. This letter, stamped CONFIDENTIAL, includes the following statement:

“The COT Arbitration Procedures contain provisions relating to the confidentiality of the proceedings, which bind the parties. Those provisions also bind the Arbitrators, the Resource Unit, the Special Council and the TIO in my role as Administrator. ...

“Accordingly, I ask that the answers given below to the questions on notice be treated as confidential by the Committee and not be published. ...

“9.      Yes, from time to time I have received complaints from foundation COT members, concerning a range of matters, including alleged non-compliance with the rules of the Fast Track Arbitration Procedures by Telstra and/or the Arbitrator and/or the Technical and Accounting Resource Unit. ...

“10.    Yes, I have refused to provide COT members with a copy of Telstra’s Preferred Rules of Arbitration. A copy of this document was not provided because it was of historical interest only, and the COT members did not advance any argument as to why it was relevant to their arbitration.” (See Senate Evidence File No 14 letter from TIO to secretary of Senate admitting to withholing copies of Telstra's rules of arbitration from the claimants)

John Pinnock's insistence that the agreement was not provided to the COT claimants because: “it was of historical interest only, and the COT members did not advance any argument as to why it was relevant to their arbitration”, is a misrepresentation of the truth – to hide the fact that there were several reasons as to why this arbitration agreement was so imporatnt to the COT Cases during their pending appeal processes. 

Graham Schorer, as COT spokesperson, first asked for a copy of the Fast Track Proposed Rules of Arbitration some time before 17 February 1994, so the decision that it would be kept from the claimants was made at least a full two months before we signed the final version of the arbitration agreement. It was therefore entirely “relevant to their arbitration”. The COT claimants were legally entitled to know whether the arbitration agreement was drafted independently or if the defence crafted it, in their favour. 

The COT Cases also wanted to know when and why DMR Group Inc (Australia), the official appointed arbitration consultants who signed the same confidentality arbitration agreement, was no longer the technical consultants. Warwick Smith (the first administrator of our arbitrations) refused to tell the four COT Cases the date DMR Group (Australia) had pulled out of the process. Why did it take to March 1995 for Warwick Smith to inform us four COT Cases that Lane was now taking over when rumours had it in government circles that DMR Group (Australia) had resigned their commission in September 1994. 

Telstra’s Arbitration File, which the TIO was still refusing to supply us in October 1997 (See Senate Evidence File No/59), was the same arbitration file that John Wynack, director of investigations in the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, was trying to access from Telstra on my behalf in October 1995 through to October 1997 (see Bribery and Corruption - Part 1). It is clear from the letters dated between October 1995 to October 1997 (two years) that John Wynack, director of investigations in the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office did not beleive Telstra had destroyed the arbitration file I had been seeking for so long

Would this arbitration file (had it been provided according to the FOI Act)  exposed the date period to when Lane and Ericsson had entered into the arrangements they did when Lane agreed to be purchased?

How can the government who originally endorsed the first four arbitrations continue to ignore that we were entitled to receive Telstra’s arbitration file during our designated arbitration appeal process? Do not forget John Pinnock's letter to me, dated 10 January 1996, (when I advised him I was appealing my arbitration) he wrote: “I do not propose to provide you with copies of any documents held by this office,” (see Senate Evidence File No/50 TIO refuses to supply me arbitration documents in which to support my appeal

It also important to take into consideration the Senator Ron Boswells statement that:

“…Telstra are still withholding the most important network documents. Mr Wynack [Commonwealth Ombudsman Office] has said, `There is plausible evidence that Ericsson would have documentation’ and that he believes much of the documentation specified by Mrs Garms would have been created. Further, going to the core of the dispute of bad service,” 

Because that statement suggests that Senator Boswell believed along with John Wynack that Telstra was still concealing vital Ericsson telephone exchange equipment from the COT cases during an official Senate Committee hearing. 

This is the same Ericsson documentation that Ms Phillipa Smith (Commonwealth Ombudsman) and John Wynack Director at the Commonwealth Ombudsman Office had also tried to access from Telstra on my behalf during my arbitration without any success. 

Now I need to jump back to the 1999 to 2000 Major Fraud Group Victoria police investigation I was seconded into as a witness. During 1998/99, the Major Fraud Group Victoria Police asked me to supply any evidence I had of Telstra committing fraud to support its defence during my 1994/95 arbitration.

It was common knowledge in government circles that Telstra, indeed, used fraud in defence documents (see Bad Bureaucrats - Tampering of Evidence and Evidence - Telstra's Falsified SVT Report as well as submitted false information to the Senate in September and October 1997 (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report) concerning the Bell Canada International Tests at Cape Bridgewater (Portland Victoria) tests that could not have possibly taken place as reported by BCI. This was the same evidence Telstra provided their arbitration lawyer Freehill Hollingdale & Page, who then provided it to at least one arbitration witness who assessed it before they made a judgement on validity of case. 

After I provided my own findings into the alledged Bell Canada International Inc (BCI) report (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report to Neil Jepson, Barrister for the Victoria police the Major Fraud Group (Victoria Police) asked me to assist them in compiling this evidence for their investigations. I did this over two separate visits to Melbourne spending two full days at the Major Fraud Group’s St. Kilda Road offices. This is important to my website claims because the Major Fraud Group was stunned at the evidence and how I was able to prove Telstra definitely perverted the course of justice, on two occasions, by submitting further false evidence to Dr Hughes (see Tampering of Evidence and Evidence - Telstra's Falsified SVT Report), the arbitrator appointed to my case.

It was sometime later (after the Major Fraud Group abandoned their investigations) that I was again seconded to Melbourne by Neil Jepson. Mr Jepson was distressed – not only because the case against Telstra had folded through political pressure by the then Liberal National Party – but also because my evidence against Telstra was ignored by the Senate, despite the fact it was clear the Senate had to have known from those findings in my Falsified BCI Report that Telstra (a then government-owned corporation) had won a legal arbitration case using fraud against an Australian citizen was a crime that needed to be exposed.  

I needed to raise the Victorian Major Fraud Group’s police involvement in the COT cases’ matters, as it is linked to the Victorian Major Fraud Group’s police involvement in the COT cases’ issues, which also linked to our Evidence - An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens page which needs to be read by the Australian government. 

Absent Justice - Renowned Australian Author

Renowned Australian author 

Evan Whitton, a renowned Australian author and advocator for the rights of all Australians, no matter what their colour or creed is, has spent more than 30-years investigating crime, corruption and courts. The former journalist of the year maintains our judicial system is irreparably broken and claims criminal lawyers are morally bankrupt and lack integrity and scruples.

In his book, Our Corrupt Legal System: Why Everyone is a Victim (Except Rich Criminals), Mr Whitton argues that we should move from the British adversarial system to the European inquisitorial model, which is less open to corruption. (See Yes, the law can be an ass)

At this early point of our COT story, it would also be helpful to the reader to take a look at the following link > Shocking new details on Lawyer X affect royal commission into … – ABC, because this particular well-kept secret about some Australian lawyers who were acting for Government Departments, such as the police, during various legal cases, breached their legal responsibilities as lawyers because the latest revelations show that these reported breaches are events that actually happened.

It has now been proven by many media releases between 2019 and 2020, that the Victorian Police (which are state government-controlled) were able to infiltrate the legal fraternity within Victoria and corrupt a number of lawyers to break their professional code of conduct and divulge confidential client information to the other side, i.e., the Victorian State Government. This suggests my claims, going back many years, that Telstra and the Australian Establishment was able to not only sway Dr Gordon Hughes not to fully investigate all of the COT cases’ arbitration claims (and in doing so minimised Telstra’s liability, to the detriment of the claimants) did happen, as it has clearly happened in the Victorian police X investigations (see Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 2

During the second AFP interview with me at my business on 26 September 1994, while they were investigating Telstra's unauthorized interception of my telecommunication services (which included my fax line) they asked me 93 questions see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1. surrounding the interception of my telephone conversations. I told the AFP that John McMahon had told me of the documents AUSTEL had uncovered confirmed beyond all doubt that my phone conversations had been bugged over a period of time.

Question 81 in these AFP transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 the AFP asked me:

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

Answer. "No, no never".

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

Answer: "Right"

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

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

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

It is clear from exhibits 646 and 647 (see AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647) that Telstra admitted in writing to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 14 April 1994, that my private and business telephone conversations were listened to and recorded over several months, but only when a particular officer was on duty. I provided the arbitrator and Telstra (as the defendants in my arbitration) a copy of this transcript asking why I should continue with my arbitration while these matters were still under investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

These privacy matters were also the subject matter under investigation by the arbitrator and the administrator of the arbitrations in his role as Australia's first Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. Public media statements concerning these phone bugging issues were constantly in the media when the arbitrations were supposedly conducted under confidentiality. Nightly television press releases and morning breakfast radio shows reported these arbitration issues. Members of my 'Over Forties Single Club' which was the second arm of income for my holiday camp were concerned their private lives were not so private because the media releases had by now broadcast the possibility my business had been subjected to phone bugging.

Constable Melanie Cochrane of the AFP stated I should not release the singles club members’ private information to Telstra and Superintendent Detective Penrose suggested I provide the private singles club information to the assessor under confidentiality and advise him the AFP was also investigating this same material that appears to have been hacked by Telstra.

Constable Cochrane also stated that as I had assured my singles club members their private information would not be disclosed without their consent, I also needed to discuss this with the assessor, Dr Hughes. I believe Superintendent Detective Penrose stated the assessor would be aware I could not divulge this private information via mainstream documents with Telstra, while the AFP was investigating.

The phone bugging issues should not have been broadcast in the circus manner they were. How can three separate investigations one by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the second by an arbitrator and the third by the Australian Federal Police all be investigating the same subject matter be covered under a single confidentiality agreement which only the COT Cases themselves had signed?  our arbitrations were supposed to be private, they were never private from the outset. 

Transcripts from my 11 October 1994 oral arbitration hearing confirm Telstra advised the arbitrator they thought my singles club information was irrelevant and therefore should not be accepted into the arbitration process. This evidence supported that I had lost two businesses due to my ongoing telephone problems, i.e., the school camp bookings as well as the more-lucrative singles club bookings (see Chapter 2 Prologue. 

Absent Justice - Privacy

Transcripts taken during my 11 October 1994 oral arbitration hearing confirm I answered Question 24, which had originally been asked by Telstra in the 20 September 1994 arbitration interrogatories (arbitration questions). I answered the following question 24 by stating to both Telstra and the arbitrator:

“This matter is currently under investigation by the Federal Police. In the interest of fair justice I believe that I should not further comment apart from what I have already stated that it is true that I was told this by Detective Superintendent Penrose. It the Australian Federal Police are prepared to disclose the details of their investigations and of their conversations with myself, then Telecom will be able to obtain the same” 

On 11 October 1994, during my five-hour, nonstop, oral-arbitration hearing, Telstra’s Mr Benjamin and Telstra’s other arbitration liaison officer, Steve Black, discussed along with the arbitrator and me my claims regarding Telstra’s unauthorized interception of my telephone services noting:

Mr Benjamin: “In respect of Detective Superintendent Penrose.”

Mr Black:“There has been an allegation that Detective Superintendent Penrose says that the Plummers’ telephone was allegedly unlawfully tapped” —

Me: “I believe Telecom is playing on words – the word “illegally tapped” – it’s like asking me – I’m not a —

Dr Hughes: “Sorry, if I can interrupt both of you, the issue here is that your answers – your answer to question 24, you indicate that you were told something by Detective Superintendent Penrose.”

Me: “Yes:”

Dr Hughes: “Is there any documentation to support that statement or is there any other light that you can shed upon that statement you have made in relation to Detective Penrose?”…

Me: “I have spoken to Detective Penrose on two occasions and he has stated that my phones had been listened to.”

How could it possibly be ethical, or moral, for Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) to expect me to disclose what I had told the Australian Federal Police (AFP) during their investigations which were impacting upon the integrity of the process?  

Telstra's arbitration defence was nothing more than a pack of greedy narcissists who knew they were destroying the lives of fellow Australian citizens with their COT Cases Strategy and threats that they carried out because we chose to demand a telephone service comparable to that of our fellow competitors. 

Sixteen years after the conclusion of my arbitration, I received several alarming documents which I provided the Australian Communications Media Authority (see Chapter 12 - The twelfth remedy pursued). These documents suggested the hackers discussed below were indeed Julian Assange and his mates who contacted Graham Schorer (COT Cases spokesperson) during the early part of our arbitrations and is. Therefore, I have added it to the home page.

Absent Justice - Justice for All

Julian Assange?

If the hackers mentioned on this webpage Hacking Julian Assange - Chapter 3 - Hacked documents were Julian Assange and his friends, and it is very likely it was them, then why hasn't the Australian Government understood what the hackers wanted to share with us COT cases? He did not ask for payment in sharing what he and his friends had uncovered concerning Telstra’s ailing copper wire network, as would have been the case if he had been a common criminal. He wanted us to have a fair arbitration hearing, and that was all. Had we used the information on offer, then the arbitrator would have been compelled to demand that Telstra fix its degraded Ericsson exchange equipment, instead of bringing down his findings which did not disclose  the true extent of the corroded  network that was destroying the COT cases' businesses and numerous other telephone dependent businesses throughout Australia.

Page 5163, in this following link SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia, shows Telstra employees rorted millions upon millions of dollars from Telstra shareholders: i.e., the government and Australian citizens, who then owned Telstra. This looks may well be the rorting [stealing of millions of dollars by Telstra from the government] that Julian Assange was trying to disclose to COT Case Spokesperson Graham Schorer. Telstra, it seemed, could not afford a further investigation into its operation: NSW was not the only state where this rorting, and others, was taking place. Many people made threats against the COT cases because our persistence, in order to gain fully functional phone systems, was about to expose other unethical behaviour at Telstra, including at management level. The fact that both the Telstra CEO and board knew millions upon millions of dollars (again, see 5163 of  SENATE official Hansard) were being unlawfully siphoned from the government coffers is unbelievable. In fact, figures running into the billions have also been quoted.

Furthermore, although it is astonishing, page 5163 of  SENATE official Hansard) shows that, even before COT members and a number of senators applied pressure, both Telstra’s CEO and all the members of the Telstra board had already known, for some time, about the millions of dollars that Telstra was unlawfully withdrawing from government coffers. Perhaps even more unbelievable is that the COT cases received no recognition, from either the government or Telstra, for our stand for honesty and truth; instead, we have been treated in the worst possible way, labelled as vexatious litigants and our lives have been ruined, simply because we dared to challeng the issue of the possibibility that corrupt government officials were behind the selling off ot Lanes to Ericsson.

Absent Justice - Unresolved Privacy Issues

Hacked Faxes

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

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

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

Was Jullian Assange one of these hackers?

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

“In other words, we were fools not to have accepted this arbitration file when it was offered to us by the hackers who conveyed to Graham Schorer a sense of the enormity of the deception and misconduct under taken [sic] by Telstra against the COT Cases.”  (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/2)

I also wrote to the Hon Robert Clark on 20 June 2012, to remind him that his office was already in receipt of a 7 July 2011 statutory declaration prepared by Graham Schorer. This statutory declaration discusses the three young computer hackers who phoned Graham during the COT arbitrations of 1994 to warn him. They had discovered that Telstra and others associated with the arbitrations were ‘acting unlawfully’ towards the COT group. Graham’s statutory declaration includes many alarming statements: (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3), as does his own story provided to me to add here in our next Julian Assange chapter which is currently being edited.

It is true that most (maybe even all) of the COT Cases would have been able to walk away from their businesses with sadness if they had lost that business through fire, or flood, or any other of life's tragedies. But losing a business because the government appointed a spinless arbitrator, along with those other officials who were under the arbitrator's control, meant that the defendants, Telstra, and their lawyers, were free to ensure that the claimants could not fully prove their claims, no matter how much proof they had in support of their claims. 

This part of our COT story has perhaps been the hardest aspect for the COT Cases to live with. Writing this story in all its awful detail has helped, but only in a small way, because no matter how hard we try to ignore this calamity, nothing will properly heal the wounds and scars left by those events that the government is still declining to transparently investigate

On 24 June 1997, the ex-Telstra employee turned whistleblower Lindsay White advised some 23-plus senators (see pages 36 and 38 Senate - Parliament of Australia)  that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical information requested by the COT claimants, he was told to “stop these people at all costs” naming me as one of the five who had to be stopped at all costs from proving my claim. 

These were four of the same businesses targeted by Denise McBurnie and Freehill Hollingdale & Page in their COT Cases strategy, which had to be stopped from receiving their requested documents under FOI ( (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-

The fact that two of the four name parties in the COT Case Strategy have since died, and the third has dementia means, in essence, the Australian Government and their Lawyers, Freehill Hollingdale & Page, have just about won a very dirty battle especially since I [the fourth of the COT cases] had a heart attack and double bye-pass in November 2018.

© 2021 Absent Justice

 

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Quote Icon

“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

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

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

Hon David Hawker MP

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

Sister Burke

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

The Hon David Hawker MP

“…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

“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