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Bribery and Corruption Part 1

My Story Warts & All is currently being edited and, when completed, will open the eyes of the Australian government that there is more to the corruption issues I have continued to raise with them since the completion of my 1994/95 arbitration. Chapter 1 - Bribery and Corruption Part 1 and An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens shows discrimination is rife in the Australian seat of arbitration if you do not have political influence to have your arbitration matters assessed on their merit.

Crime fighting agencies worldwide define corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. To end corruption, everyone must first understand it. These knowledgeable crime-fighting agencies look at what causes corruption and work against it. No matter who is found guilty of fraudulently misrepresenting the facts concerning allegations of crimes committed during an Arbitration process administered under the Arbitration Act, must be held accountable.

When the arbitrator, the arbitrator's project manager and the administrator of the COT Cases arbitrations each did a wrongful act during that arbitration, they became corrupt, not understanding what they were doing was corruption, but it was corruption. When they allowed the COT arbitrations rules [the Agreement] to be altered after a copy of it had been provided to two Senators and COT Cases lawyers thought was being signed, that action perverted the course of justice.

Please read my story below.

Chapter 1

As shown below, both Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator of the COT arbitrations) and Warwick Smith (the administrator of the identical arbitrations) forced the COT members to proceed with their 1994 arbitrations even though the claimants did not have the necessary information needed to fully support their claims (see also the statement given by Senator Alan Eggleston in March 1999, to the Australian Financial Review newspaper see below. 

Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston

Forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information 

On 23 March 1999, after most of the COT arbitrations had been finalised and business lives ruined due to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight Telstra and a very crooked arbitrator, the Australian Financial Review reported on the conclusion of the Senate estimates committee hearing into why Telstra withheld so many documents from the COT cases:

“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report 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.”

The following Senate Hansard records which are not priviliged, show how six or the twenty-three senators felt towards Telstra and what they had done to the COT Cases during their arbitrations 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.

It might be hard to believe but, back in August 2001, and again in December 2004 (see Senate Evidence File No 12), the Australian Government threatened, in writing, to have me charged with contempt of the Senate if I was to ever disclose these in-camera Hansard records, even though those documents could well have won our cases if the COT claimants had appealed against the arbitration process? Where is the justice in that? Being charged with contempt of the Senate can result in a two-year jail term and, of course, the Government has always known that but, if I had been in a position to safely go ahead and make these documents public, they would have been a huge help, probably resulting in most if not all of the sixteen still unresolved Casualties of Telstra cases winning their indivividual appeals against Telstra for gross misconduct.  After all, how could an Appeal judge have argued against 23 Senators who all had the same voice?

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,” 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 even made it more apparent to the same Telstra arbitration officer that if Telstra were to award compensation only to the five 'litmus' COT test cases and not the other still unresolved Freedom of Information cases, "...that would be an injustice to the 16"or whatever you have settled", regardless of that statement by this senator punitive damages were awarded to those five 'litmus' test COT cases plus they received between then some 150,000 Freedom of Information documents which had been initially concealed from them during their arbitrations.

Even if the sixteen unresolved FOI cases had received not received compensation for their ordeal and instead only received their original withheld discovery documents as the five 'litmus' tests cases had received, they could have at least had a chance of winning any appeal they might decide to mount against Telstra. 

So how can the Senate continue to hide this conduct and, in the process, destroy so many lives? How is this democratic?

To understand how and why this occurred, we need to go back to 1997, when the John Howard Coalition Government was in the throes of executing the first of its three steps towards the final privatisation of Telstra. Then, towards the middle of October 1998, the COT ‘litmus test’ cases were, eventually and slowly, beginning to receive some of the previously withheld documents they had legally requested. It then became apparent that the Howard Government was selling the Telstra Corporation, i.e. a government asset, which was in a much worse state than the Government Communications Regulator had claimed it was in (see Manipulating the Regulator).

After some 150,000 previously withheld documents were finally delivered to the ‘litmus test’ cases (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens) the picture that began to emerge clearly identified exactly how bad the Telstra copper-wire network was, certainly in many rural locations. It then seemed that this was the real reason for the Government’s decision to stop the remaining sixteen COT claimants from receiving the same privileges as those awarded to the five ‘litmus test’ cases, which eventually took more than two years to assess. Could the Government afford to have the truth of Telstra’s dilapidated network exposed just as they were about to privatise the corporation? I think not.

Absent Justice - Poor Copper Network

AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 10 to 212, were compiled after the government communications regulator investigated my ongoing telephone Ericsson AXE telephone exchange problems. One of the findings in this secret report notes:

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 telephone faults were can best be viewed by reading Folios C04006, C04007 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.”

When the COT Cases exposed to the government how bad the call loss rate to thousands of small businesses around Australia was then using the Ericsson AXE telephone exchange equipment AUSTEL (the government communications regulator) (now ACMA) instigated an investigation into these faults and uncovered some 120,000 COT-type complaints were being experienced around Australia. (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 principal arbitration officer), suggesting he alter the government 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 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 on 9 April 1994, Telstra writes:

"About 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 concerning 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 the Government Regulator to change their original findings in the formal April 1994 AUSTEL COT Case report is alarming. Worse, when AUSTEL released the COT Cases Report on 13 April 1994 into the public domain, the Report stated AUSTEL only uncovered 50 COT-type customer complaints compared to 120,000 COT-type customer complaints hell of a lie told by the government to its citizens who voted them into power.

An investigation by AUSTEL of similar evidence, apart from the faulty lockup problems with the Ericsson AXE telephone exchange faults, AUSTEL and COT found Telstra's copper wire customer access network was at fault ridden too.   

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 politics and media misinformation attached to the NBN, one important issue hasn't been fully addressed – Did 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 Chapter 1 - 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.

Absent Justice - Where was the Justice

Go To Jail

The Hon Anthony Albanese Prime Minster of Australia 

I fully agree with Australian Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese’s statement concerning Robodebt (see https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-25/albanese-to-announce-details-of-robodebt-royal-commission/101369576); however, I respectfully remind the Hon Prime Minister that two in-camera Hansards clearly shows a past Labor senator commenting in a Senate Committee hearing that to pay compensation to only five Casualties of Telstra who went through arbitration and mediation, and not all of the 21 cases, would be an injustice. Those 16 claimants’ cases are still-unresolved, have never been compensated and have never been transparently investigated.

I will be in the coming weeks asking the Hon Anthony Albanese PM if threats made against me by Senator Alan Eggleston (see Senate Evidence File No 12 two letters to me from the Senate threatening to hold me in contempt of the Senate are still valid. An open letter to the Hon Anthony Albanese will shortly be written officially asking him as to whether I can finally disclose these government privileged Senate Hansard documents to bring a foreclosure to this terrible discrimination we COT Cases have lived with these past 20 years (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens).

My question is short: Will I still be held in contempt of the Senate if I disclose publicly on this website absentjustice.com what the in-camera Hansards of 6 and 9 July 1998 show?

Surely after 20 years, the truth should be exposed as to how discriminative the John Howard government was by allowing only five of the 21 cases to be awarded punitive damages when the Senate found against Telstra on all accounts.

The following explanation might assist the Hon Anthony Albanese PM and regular readers of absentjustice.com.

A Liberal National Party government sting in March 1999 saw only five small business operators from a Senate schedule list of 21 receive almost 20 million dollars in punitive damages. While those five deserved to be paid punitive damages, so did the other 16 cases (including me).

An in-camera Senate Hansard, dated 9 July 1998, shows one Labor senator condemning the idea of paying compensation to only five and not the remaining 16 cases. 

At that time, there were other members of government who believed that the almost 20 million dollars paid to the five should have been spread equally amongst all 21 cases. I have provided evidence to a past Liberal Government Prime Minister showing that a National Party Senator sanctioned a $500,000 payment from that almost $20 million dollars to a Queensland National Party identity, whose name was not on the Senate schedule list.

These punitive damages were paid because of Telstra’s gross misconduct against a group of people known as the Casualties of Telstra. They had been involved in a highly legalistic arbitration process with Telstra that saw the arbitrator condemned for losing control over that process because he conducted it entirely outside the agreed ambit of the Arbitration Act

What has never been transparently investigated is why the almost 20 million dollars offered by Telstra, because the Senate found against Telstra, was not spread equally amongst all 21 claimants whose names were on the Senate schedule-B list as having unresolved freedom of information claims against Telstra. 

A more detailed account of the issues associated with this 20 million dollars [$20,000,000] sting can be read by clicking on An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens.

But perhaps reading that chapter, I highlight the other threats I received from Telstra's leading arbitration defence counsel during my arbitration, a threat he and Telstra carried out under the nose of DR Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) and Warwick Smith (the arbitration administrator)

Threats were also made against me by Telstra arbitration officials because I assisted the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into these phone and fax hacking issues as page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated 29 November 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking Telstra’s legal directorate:

“Why did Telecom advise the Commonwealth Ombudsman that Telecom withheld FOI documents from Alan Smith because Alan Smith provided Telecom FOI documents to the Australian Federal Police during their investigation?”

After receiving a hollow response from Telstra, which the senator, the AFP and I all knew was utterly false, the senator states:

“…Why would Telecom withhold vital documents from the AFP? Also, why would Telecom penalise COT members for providing documents to the AFP which substantiate that Telecom had conducted unauthorised interceptions of COT members’ communications and subsequently dealt in the intercepted information by providing that information to Telecom’s external legal advisers and others?” (See Senate Evidence File No 31)

Thus, the threats became a reality. What is so appalling about the withholding of relevant documents is that no one in the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) office or government has ever investigated the disastrous impact this had on my overall submission to the arbitrator. The arbitrator and the government (who at the time fully owned Telstra) should have initiated an investigation into why an Australian citizen, who assisted the AFP in their investigations into unlawful interception of telephone conversations, was so severely disadvantaged during a civil arbitration.

My pleas to the arbitrator, to bring Telstra to account for their actions when I had still not received my requested discovery documents amazingly brought only silence, he refused to take calls as his secretary Caroline Friend is aware. Even though the Commonwealth Ombudsman had to be brought into the arbitration for Telstra to obey the Freedom of Information (FOI Act) and the government solicitors took control of the delivery of my arbitration documents, the delivery of all of my requested May 1994 FOI documents never arrived until 23 May 1995 twelve months after my original request. Worse, those newly released documents came two weeks after the conclusion of my arbitration on 11 May 1995. 

Inadvertently [seven years later] and after the statute of limitations had expired for me to be able to use this information in an appeal, I received two copies of the arbitrator's award (one draft copy and one final. In the draft awared Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) had the gall to have pre-typed in his draft award at point 2.23: 

"...Although the time taken for completion of the arbitration may have been longer than initially anticipated, I hold neither party and no other person responsible. Indeed, I consider the matter has proceeded expeditiously in all the circumstances Both parties have co-operated fully..." 

There is no point 2.23 in the final award. But in the right hand column in this draft award at point 2.23 is Dr Hughes handwritten statement saying “do we really want to say this”?

In simple terms, (Dr Gordon Hughes), who is currently a partner in a leading legal firm in Melbourne, was nothing more than a puppet who had to seek advice on what he could or could not put in his award. This award also made no findings that Telstra's lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page had provided false evidence to at least one of their witnesses concerning my ongoing telephone faults that Telstra had forced me to register before Telstra would investigate my complaints.

These ongoing threats and the fact that the remaining fifteen other COT Cases and I did not get their FOI documents in the manner the five litmus tests cases received (some 150,000 documents between them plus that five also received the aforementioned [20 million dollars in punitive damages] was an issue taken up by Senator Len Harris (One Nation). Still, with Telstra's power over government and legal process in Australia, one single Senator had no chance of a proper hearing on our behalf. At least we COT Cases understood, at least he tried, as the following press release shows. 

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation

Telstra's unlawful withholding of FOI documents

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 by the Commonwealth were fully investigated.

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).

Senator Len Harris was disturbed that A fair resolution of those sixteen COT cases have never been resolved. 

Chapter 2

 

Regardless of both Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator of the COT arbitrations) and Warwick Smith (the administrator of the identical arbitrations) forcing the COT members to proceed with their 1994 even though those claimants did not have the necessary information needed to fully support their claims (see Chapter 1 above) both Dr Hughes and Warwick Smith have received 'Order of Australia' medals.

Order of Australia

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

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 prompted him to convene a  meeting in parliament house to discuss the crimes that had taken place. It was then 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 (see File 501 - AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541).

“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.

Chapter 3

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 8

Witness Statements dated 8 and 10 August 2006

8 and 10 August 2006: Exhibit AS 517 File  AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541  is Witness Statement dated 10 August 2006 (provided to the Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) on 6 September 2006, by Ann Garms, in the company of 14 witnesses and sworn out by Des Direen ex- Telstra Senior Protective Officer, eventually reaching Principal Investigator status.  Mr Direen has been brave enough to reveal that, in 1999 / 2000, after he left Telstra, he assisted the Victoria Police Major Fraud Group, in particular Rod Kueris, with their investigations into the COT fraud allegations.  I was called into that investigation as a witness (see  An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens ).

Points 12 to 18 in Mr Direen’s statement explained that “From what (he) observed on this day, and applying the knowledge that (he) gained during (his) twelve years at Telstra, (he had) no doubt in (his) mind that the phones at Rod KUERIS’s home address were possibly interfered with". Within a few weeks of Mr Direen having assisted the Major Fraud Group with their investigations, it became apparent that Mr Kueris was very distressed. Both Graham Schorer, as a complainant against Telstra for fraud and Alan Smith, as a witness, reported to Mr Kueris that they believed they were also under surveillance during those 1998 to 2001 investigations.

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

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

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

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

These two witness statements are also discussed in Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police, during the period between 1998 and 2001, after the Major Fraud Group seconded me into being a witness during their investigation into four claims raised by COT Case member against Telstra of alleged fraud. After discussions with lawyer Sue Owens for COT Cases Ann Garms, Graham Schorer, Ralph  Bova and Ross Plowman and Mr Neil Jepson for the Victoria police I willingly agreed to help both lawyers and the Major Fraud Group.    

Threats and Intimidation 

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 behavior and put plans in place to prevent it! Oh, wait – the Australian government owned Telstra back then...

Telstra took advantage of its network and Chapter 2 - Illicit screening - Chapter 3 - Julian Assange's ignored message - Chapter 4 - Government spying  - Julian Assange Hacking / Chapter 2 Discrimination shows plans were underway to do this early on.

But, Telstra’s shady – criminal – behavior went much further than that. There were burglaries (see exhibit Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3 and stalking 

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 move all business records off his premises after that. 

There were threats made against me throught my arbitration (see Senate Evidence File No 31) arbitration as well as after my arbitration (see  Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police).

One particularly alarming event was the intimidation of Detective Sergeant Rod Keuris, who was part of the Australian Major Fraud Group. Sadly, this man left the force – his career – shortly after. File 517 AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541 in shows two statutory declarations: one by an ex-Telstra senior protective officer; the other from Bob Hynninen, another COT case. Both statements describe the anguish experienced by this senior detective sergeant who was investigating alleged fraud within Telstra during the COT arbitrations and the fears he had after being subjected to intimidation.

Consider: if this feeling of being got at by the Telstra Corporation can reduce a fully trained senior police officer to this condition, just think how this continual and unaddressed harassment by Telstra officials left the COT cases during and after their government-endorsed arbitrations (for example, exhibit 501 in). No COTs were ever offered counseling or apologised to by the government, which, remember, still owned Telstra when this harassment commenced in 1992 and continued well past the Major Fraud Group investigations of 1998 and 2001.

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…

Chapter 4

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, I did not understand that the removal of the $250,000,00 liability caps for both the arbitration technical and finacial resource units liabilty had also been removed between the afternoon of 19 April 1994 unto that monting of 21 April 1994 had also been removed. 

I thought that only 10.2.2 had also been removed and as it appeared to me of no real importance I agreed to tha removal. 

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.

I signed it beleiving only the two chnages at clause 24 and 10.2.2 had been altered.

I am of the opinion that both Ann Garms and Graham Schorer would never agreed for the resource unit to be completly exonerated. No one in their right mind would agree to such a compromise. 

Chapter 5

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? 

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).

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. 

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.”

Although the following information has been addressed elswhere on this website absentjustice.com we again needed to raise it here as a separate addition so that it can be viewed using further defficiences within the sytem of the COT arbitrations.

Chapter 6

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”.

Chapter 7

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 - 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 - 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. 

Chapter 8

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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“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

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

Senator Carr

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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

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

Hon David Hawker

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

The Hon David Hawker MP

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

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

Hon David Hawker MP

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

– Edmund Burke