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Bribery and Corruption - Part 1

Continued from My story

“Corruption in the form of bribery and misuse of public funds is a major obstacle to democracy and economic development in many of the world’s poor countries.” — Ulla Tørnæs, Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation.

The Ericsson Saga Continues 

It is important I use the [https://www.channelnews.com.au/key-telstra-5g-partner-admits-to-bribery-corruption/] link as part of my ongoing attempt to have the Australian government impartially investigate my claims against Telstra and whether Ericsson should have been allowed to purchase Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd during the period of the COT arbitrations.

How could a comprehensive log of my arbitration claim documents see Chapter Prologue: i.e.; namely my claims of incorrect charging by Telstra of my telephone and faxing service lines which consisted of some 3,000 documents disappear? These 3,000 claim documents were submitted by my claim adviser showing faulty Ericsson telecommunication equipment (which other countries around the world had removed from service or were removing it from service)  was not investigated as acknowledged by DMR & Lane in their 30 April 1995 report to arbitration.  

In the elusive letter from John Rundell dated 18 April 1995 (see Prologue and Home page) he advised the TIO, the arbitrator and the TIO counsel that:

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

. . . .

“Any technical report prepared in draft by lanes [the Australian technical consultants that the COT Cases mistrusted] will be signed off and appear on the letterhead of (See Absent Justice - Arbitrator File No/17)

As discussed throughout this website, NONE of the four COT claimants was ever told about these “forces at work” nor were we warned that, under the noses of the TIO, his legal advisor and the arbitrator John Rundell was prepared to allowed to infiltrate and manipulate the arbitration process. Three legal experts appeared to note nothing out of the ordinary or any illegalities, while the lives of the four COT cases were held to ransom by these unnamed forces

As has discussed on the Home page this second important letter (see Absent Justice - Arbitrator File No/17) shows that the Director of the Canada technical consultancy firm was appointed by the TIO as the Principal technical consultant who was to take charge of the arbitration technical side of the operation arrived in Australia on 13 April 1995. He worked over the Easter Holiday period, particularly on the Smith claim where John Rundell's true colours are exposed when he noted:  “Any technical report prepared by draft by Lanes (the company who was soon to be purchased by Ericsson) will be signed off and appear on the letterhead of DMR Group Inc” [the Canadian technical consultancy the COT Cases trusted].

Here is clear proof, that even before the arbitrator brought his technical findings on 11 May 1995, the arbitration resource unit was prepared to mislead him into believing DMT Group Inc (in Canada) had prepared all of the technical findings on my claims when Lane had secretly assessed them without making a finding against Ericsson.

The Canadian firm received only three of my 22 submitted claim documents along with Telstra’s defence of my arbitration claim on 21 March 1995 (see Arbitrator File No/22). Telstra addressed no more than 11% of my claim documents. Their submitted response to my claim also supports this fact. And worst of all, none of the ongoing billing problems and my Ericsson data (the 3,000 or more documents) submitted in my comprehensive log of fault complaints were addressed.  

The TIO-appointed financial resource unit Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory (FHCA) advised this Canadian technical consultant on 5 April 1995 that the TIO-appointed Australian technical consultants would have his draft technical report prepared by 7 April 1995 (see Arbitrator File No/23). This further confirms Lane used my claim documents in which to prepare his draft which when viewed can be seen is the mirrored copy of the final report. Further confirming Lane did all the actual assessing of my claim (and not) DMR Group Inc (Canada).

The arbitrator’s draft award, on page three, states:

“…pursuant to paragraph 8 of the arbitration agreement, I had power to require a ‘Resource Unit,” comprising of FHCA, and DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd, to conduct such inquires or research as I saw fit;

On 21 February 1995, by the time I was satisfied that the submissions of all relevant material by both parties was complete, I instructed the Resource Unit FHCA (and, through them DMR) to conduct certain inquiries on my behalf’ (Exhibt AS 164 file AS-CAV 128 to 180).

The Arbitrators’ final award modifies these points so that they read:

“…pursuant to paragraph 8 of the arbitration agreement, I had power to require a ‘Resource Unit’ comprising FHCA Accountants, and DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd, to conduct such inquires or research as I saw fit. By consent of the parties, the role of DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd was subsequently performed jointly by the Canadian technical consultancy group and the Australian consultants;

“On 21 February 1995, by which time I was satisfied that the submissions of all relevant material by both parties was complete, I instructed the Resource Unit FHCA to conduct certain inquires on my behalf ” (Exhibit AS 165 file AS-CAV 128 to 180).

Summary of documents (AS-CAV Exhibit 128 to 180 - See AS-CAV 160 to AS CAV 165):

The technical findings in both the draft and final awards (except for the removal of the billing issues, which needed weeks to investigate) are mirror copies of each other. However, in the draft award, the writer states he called on the DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd to conduct inquiries by 21 February 1995. DMR Group Australia Pty Ltd resigned from the arbitration process months prior to this date. This Canadian consultancy firm and the TIO-appointed consultants were not officially appointed by the TIO until 9 March 1995 and/or officially accepted by letter of consent (see Arbitrator File No/24). The Canadian company did not receive any of the technical claim and defence material until 21 March 1995 (see Arbitrator File No/22).

Just as important is the question:

  1. did the arbitrator know that David Reid from Lane actually assessed my claims documents before the independent Canadian consultant Paul Howell arrived in Australia?
  2. did the arbitrator know that Ericsson was soon to purchase Lane and that this was the real reason Lane did not assess my comprehensive log of fault complaints which had clearly found against Erricson?

Who provided the arbitrator with the technical information he used in determining my award? Why did he only address anecdotal or historic phone problems, rather than the ongoing faults that were still affecting my business of the faulty Ericsson exchange equipment that Telstra had not removed from service as was the case in other countries who had used the same Erisccon equipment?

Two Conflicting Reports, Both Dated 30 April 1995

There are discrepancies between the arbitrator’s and my version of the technical consultants’ report titled Resource Unit Technical Evaluation Report. Mr Alan Smith. CBHC. 30 April 1995. The second paragraph on page one consists of only one short sentence “It is complete and final as it is,” (see (See Prologue/Chapter One). However, the second paragraph on the equivalent page (page two) of the arbitrator’s report, also dated 30 April 1993 says:

“There is, however, an addendum which we may find it necessary to add during the next few weeks on billing, i.e. possible discrepancies in Smith’s Telecom bills.” (See Prologue/Chapter One)

There is more information in the arbitrator’s version than there is in mine. The reference to my ongoing billing problems states extra weeks are required to complete the investigation. The arbitrator did NOT provide the extra weeks.

My page two of this report (see (See Prologue/Chapter One) shows no mention of my billing claim document in my version. However, page three in the arbitrator’s version notes:

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

“Otherwise, the Technician Report on Cape Bridgewater is complete.” (See Prologue/Chapter One)

How can two identical technical reports with the same 23 technical assessments, both dated 30 April 1995 and apparently both prepared by the same consultants, have one version noting that the “… case remains open, and we shall attempt to resolve it in the next few weeks”, while the other has no mention of it still being open and needing weeks to complete?

Both documents state: “A comprehensive log of Mr Smith’s complaints does not appear to exist.” It did exist, as we have shown. Had this comprehensive log of fault complaints been provided to the technical consultants to assess, they would have had to overrule the arbitrator’s decision not to allow them the extra weeks they had requested, in order to investigate my faulty Ericsson AXE exchange documents as well as my ongoing billing fault claim material.

I did not receive the report until 2 May 1995, however, the arbitrator advised me I had five days in which to respond to the report

John Rundell was fully aware that representatives of Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd were not supposed to investigate any actual on-site telephone equipment either at my actual business or Telstra's Ericsson AXE telephone exchange at Portland or the Ericsson testing equipment used at the unmanned Cape Bridgewater switching facilities without a representative of DMR Group Inc (Canada) being present. 

Six months after the conclusion of my arbitration, John Rundell’s letter, dated 15 November 1995, to Mr Pinnock [refer to document|68] states that:

“Discussions were held with Telecom (Mr Peter Gamble) in Mr Smith’s presence during the visit to Cape Bridgewater in April 1995 which provided the following information.

“A second matter involved 008 calls. Again, this matter was current at a late stage (April 1995) of the Arbitration process”.

Mr Rundell’s statements, in the four bullet points on page two of his letter (see File No/45-A), alleges that during this site visit Peter GambleLane Telecommunications Pty Ltd and I discussed issues concerning the 008/1800 faults and that I and Lanes (the arbitration technical consultants) agreed with Peter Gamble's many explanations concerning the 008 issues I had raised in my claim. These statements to Mr Pinnock are a total fabrication and they suggest Mr Gamble’s assertions, that there was nothing wrong with Telstra’s 008/1800 Freecall services which were routed [trunked] through the Portland Ericsson AXE exchange, were correct and my arbitration claims, concerning a deficiency in the 008/1800 service, were a figment of my imagination.

This was the same Peter Gamble that both I, the Australian government regulator AUSTEL and I had proved did not conduct the mandatory service verification tests into my business (see Telstra's Falsified SVT Report ) as required as part of the arbitration process. 

If Mr Rundell had told the truth, in his 15 November 1995 letter to Mr Pinnock, he would have admitted my claims were true and acknowledged that I had first raised the ongoing telephone billing problems as a major issue, affecting the viability of my business, in my 27 January 1994 Fast Track Settlement Proposal (FTSP) interim letter of claim. This claim was jointly addressed to Warwick Smith (the first TIO), Dr Hughes (then the assessor) Peter Bartlett (the TIO’s counsel) and Mr Rundell. A 37-page chronology of evidential material, Arbitration Reference Number-P-1289, attached to my submission, was proof enough that my business was experiencing a major telecommunications problem that needed a full investigation. Warwick Smith, the first administrator to my arbitration after having just spoken to AUSTEL about the same ongoing Ericsson AXE telephone exchange 008/800 billing problems, advised me to sign for the arbitration process because, he assured me, the ongoing billing issues would be addressed as part of that process.

The Peter Gamble to which John Rundell appears to have accepted Mr Gambles point of view concerning the on-site visit to my business is the same Peter Gamble referred to in the following Senate Hansard dated 24 June 1997.  

If you click on Summary of events, you will notice that I have gone to great lengths to NOT name various Telstra employees that knowingly made false witness statements to the arbitrator concerning my telephone problems. However, it has been almost impossible not to name one employee on this Absentjustice.com page (see below), as pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia show, because he was named by Telstra whistleblower Lindsay White as having officially advised him five of the COT cases (and naming me as one of the five) had to be stopped “at all costs” from proving our arbitration claims.

Although the following 24 and 25 June 1997 Senate Hansard discussed immediately below is also discussed elsewhere on this website we ask that you also read this version again because it further confirms we were COT Cases had to be stopped at all cost from receiving out legally requested arbitration FOI documents. As stated in the introduction above, without discovery documents there is no justice for those denied access to them as was in the case during the COT arbitrations.

Absent Justice - Australian Senate

Blowing The Whistle 

It was important I discuss at great length this 24 June 1997 Senate Hansard pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia again here in Blowing The Whistle. This statement in Senate – Parliament of Australia must be emphasised because it clearly shows the Senate was told I and the other four named COT Cases were never meant to prove our arbitration claims. No investigation as to why us five Australian citizens were so badly victimised during an official government endorsed arbitration process has still not been investigated: I again reiterate: an ex-Telstra employee turned Whistle-blower, Lindsay White, stated to a Senate Estimates Committee that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical information which had been requested by the COT claimants, he advised the Committee that:

“In the first induction – and I was one of the early ones, and probably the earliest in the Freehill’s (Telstra’s Lawyers) area – there were five complaints. They were Garms, Gill and Smith, and Dawson and Schorer. My induction briefing was that we – we being Telecom – had to stop these people to stop the floodgates being opened.”

Senator Schacht also asked Mr White – “Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said ‘stopped at all costs”

Mr White – “Mr Peter Gamble and a subordinate of his, Peter Riddle. That was the introduction process. (See Front Page Part One File No/6)

I AGAIN STATE, it is clear from Mr White’s statement he identified me as one of the five COT claimants that Telstra had singled out to be ‘stopped at all cost’ from proving their my against Telstra’. The named Peter Gamble, in this Senate Hansard, is the same Peter who swore under oath, in his arbitration witness statement to the arbitrator that the testing at my business premises had met all of AUSTEL’s specifications when it is clear from Arbitrator File No/110 that Telstra’s own Customer Call Analysis System (CCAS) data for 29 September 1994 show NONE of the mandatorily required 20-tests calls to each of my service lines 055 267 267, 055 267230 and 055 267260 were generated into my business and held open for the required period of 120-seconds for each completed call. In simple words, the SVT process at my business was not carried out according to the government communications regulatory mandatory specifications (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report).

Telstra is fully aware that this named Peter Gamble (on page 38 of this Hansard) received advice from AUSTEL, on 11 October and 16 November 1994, regarding the Ericsson AXE / RCM Service Verification Tests (SVT) being grossly deficient. AUSTEL demanded Telstra advise what it intended doing about this deficiency see Front Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B

In response to AUSTEL’s 11 October and 16 November 1994 letter, this Peter replied in his own letter dated 28 November 1994 letter stating:

“As agreed at one of our recent meetings and as confirmed in your letter of 16th November 1994, attached please find the detailed Call Delivery Test information for the following customers. …

“This information is supplied to Austel on a strict Telecom-in-Confidence basis for use in their Service Verification Test Review only and not for any other purpose. The information is not to be disclosed to any third party without the prior written consent of Telecom.” (Arbitrator File No/98)

By what legal authority could Peter Gamble insist what the government regulator could or could not disclose to a third party, in this case, a claimant whose business was about to be destroyed because Peter Gamble had not conducted the agreed to Service Verification Tests process at my premises using only the Ericsson faulty testing equipment instead of the agreed-to more updated SVT testing device (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report)?

It is most important we link the above wrongdoings by various government bureaucrats to the following episode where, on 2 February 1995, AUSTEL (the Government Communications Regulator) public servants decided to withhold their true findings from the then-Minister for Communications, Michael Lee MP, regarding the deficient arbitration Service Verification Tests (SVT) conducted at my Cape Bridgewater business on 29 September 1994 (see Open Letter File No/23 and Absent Justice Part (2)/Chapter Eight. Altering the facts of their findings is appalling enough but, according to the Telecommunications Act 1991, AUSTEL was duty-bound, under Section 342 of the Act, to provide the Communications Minister (the Hon Michael Lee MP) with all of their findings regarding the deficiencies in their Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp SVT process.  On page 23 of AUSTEL’s 2 February 1995 COT Cases Third Quarterly Report regarding the SVT testing (see Open Letter File No/23) AUSTEL notes:

“Service Verification Tests have been compiled for seven customers. Reports have been completed and forwarded to six of the customers, and the seventh report is in preparation. All six of the telephone services subjected to the Service Verification Tests have met or exceeded the requirements established”.

This statement on page 23 of this AUSTEL COT Cases report does not coincide with the advice AUSTEL gave Telstra on 11 October and 16 November 1994 concerning the deficient SVT testing by this elusive Peter Gamble’.  (see Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B).

We will never know what action the Hon Michael Lee MP might have taken in 1994, had the government bureaucrats advised the Minister that the SVT testing at my Cape Bridgewater business had not occurred according to mandatory government communications regulatory specifications. On 12 December 1994, as part of Telstra’s arbitration defence, it was stated under oath to the arbitrator in my case, that all three of the service lines tested at my holiday camp on 29 September 1994, had exceeded all of AUSTEL’s specifications. However, the person who made this statement (Peter Gamble) could not get the SVT monitoring device to work in conjunction with its sister device installed at the Cape Bridgewater unmanned roadside exchange.

It is clear from the arbitrators’ technical findings in his award that he believed Peter Gamble's version as well as he did AUSTEL’s regarding the SVT events and NOT my arbitration response. Bad Bureaucrats /Chapter One through to Chapter Four clearly show that by Telstra not conducting the government regulatory mandatory SVT process at my business it allowed my ongoing telephone problems to continue for years after the conclusion of my arbitration.

Absent Justice - Of Public Concern

In simple terms, when AUSTEL (the government communications regulator) acted in concert with Peter Gamble in order to cover up his deficient SVT arbitration testing they too perverted the course of justice and in doing severely disadvantaged me as a claimant in my arbitration process.

Please note, this is the same Peter Gamble that Absent Justice Part (1)  shows was aware that the Ericsson AXE equipment being used during my arbitration at the Portland telephone exchange and the Cape Bridgewater switching facilitator suffered from line lock-up problems with a (call loss) as discussed in our Home page was between 15% and 50% (see Misleading Deceptive Conduct File No 4-D and 4-E) and yet he still lied under oath concerning his SVT testing process conducted at my business (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report).

This was the same ‘Peter Gamble’ who received an apology from one of Australia’s richest billionaire families and who, back in 2001/02, owned an Australian television station that actually broadcast a documentary about some of the COT case allegations against this same ‘Peter Gamble’.

As part of the process of making that documentary, and after spending two days filming at my premises in Cape Bridgewater, the producer of the show commented, in front of a number of witnesses, that he believed that they ‘had the story of the century and, also at the end of the shoot, even the cameraman, who had told us that he had spent sixteen years looking down a lens’, explained that he believed that this account of how a falsified report had been deliberately used to change the course of a legal arbitration process, was ‘absolute dynamite’.  And remember, this was an apparently ‘official’ report, that had been produced by the same ‘Peter Gamble’.

Eventually, however, the record of my story was replaced by a documentary about another member of COT.  This story, however, did not contain the detailed, documented evidence that my story had provided, and it did not have any of the exhibits that are now freely available on our website, at Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report and Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report, Tampering With Evidence – TF200/Chapter One.  All of these sections of the website include numerous documents, none of which can be refuted in any way.

Worst of all is when Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd, visited my business on 6 April 1995, instead of DMR Group Canada Inc who was the official designated arbitration (Principal Technical Consultant) together with Peter Gamble representing Telstra, refused to conduct any testing of my three service lines which were trunked (routed) through Portland Ericsson AXE telephone exchange

Who had the power over the arbitrator and administrator to switch which arbitration technical consultant would visit the Portland AXE exchange and my Cape Bridgewater business? Who had the authority to disallow any testing of my three service lines after AUSTEL warned Telstra their arbitration SVT Testing at my premises had failed to meet the mandatory government requirements?

All Lane had to do was a test on just one of my three service lines, and they would have uncovered the Ericsson AXE exchange was still suffering from ongoing faults. Or had Ericsson and Telstra already advised Lane of the magic golden carrot they were about to be awarded if they ignored the several problems within Telstra's Ericsson exchange equipment? 

It will be clear to the reader after viewing Taking on the Establishment - Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 that my claims of unaddressed phone problems did continued to haunt my business until I sold it in 2002, the same phone fault the new owners of my business experienced through to at least November 2006, eleven years after Lane concealed from the arbitrator how important this Ericsson AXE telephone exchange logbook was.  

Absent Justice - My Story - Parliament House Canberra

Fax Hacking

Why didn't the Australian government reopen their COT Cases’ investigations when the Scandrett & Associates report (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13) confirmed that arbitration-related claim documents, that had been faxed through Telstra's network, were still being illegally intercepted from May 1994 to January 1999, i.e. the whole period of our government-endorsed arbitrations?  In my own case, one of the forty-three examples of this interception that I provided, in relation to the arbitration process, proved beyond all doubt that six of my faxes never arrived at the arbitrator's office, even though Telstra's billing records show that those six faxes (see [document |780]), definitely did leave my office? Why did the arbitration process therefore not allow me to resubmit these faxes to the assessment process? What sort of arbitration process allows legitimate, faxed, claim documents to be highjacked and then, even though the claimant could prove that this high jacking took place during a government-endorsed arbitration process, still stop that claimant from resubmitting that part of the claim that had not yet been assessed by the arbitrator? We have chosen to use document|780][document |780] as an example because it actually speaks for itself so clearly, and anyone reading it, even someone from a non-technical background, can easily see that six faxes were billed to my business, by Telstra, has having been sent by fax. 

Did Telstra acquire much of the information stored in their 'internal intelligence networks' Senator's Kim Carr and Chris Schacht questions asked of Telstra's Mr Ward from intercepting their customer's faxes and telephone conversations?  

On 24 June 1997: Senate Hansard official records, (refer to pages 76 and 77, shoes Senator's Kim Carr and Chris Schacht asking Telstra’s main arbitration defence Counsel (see Senate - Parliament of Australia)

Senator CARR – “In terms of the cases outstanding, do you still treat people the way that Mr Smith appears to have been treated? Mr Smith claims that, amongst documents returned to him after an FOI request, a discovery was a newspaper clipping reporting upon prosecution in the local magistrate’s court against him for assault. I just wonder what relevance that has. He makes the claim that a newspaper clipping relating to events in the Portland magistrate’s court was part of your files on him”. …

Senator SHACHT – “It does seem odd if someone is collecting files. … It seems that someone thinks that is a useful thing to keep in a file that maybe at some stage can be used against him”.

Senator CARR – “Mr Ward, we have been through this before in regard to the intelligence networks that Telstra has established. Do you use your internal intelligence networks in these CoT cases?”

The most alarming situation regarding the intelligence networks that Telstra has established in Australia is who within the Telstra Corporation has the correct expertise i.e. government clearance to be able to impartially filter the raw information collected before that information is catalogued for future use?  More importantly, when Telstra was fully privatised, which organisation in Australia was given the charter to archive this very sensitive material?

PLEASE NOTE: At the time of my altercation referred to in the above 24 June 1997 Hansard my bankers had already lost patience and had sent the Sheriff to make sure I stayed on my knees. No punches were thrown by me during this altercation with the Sheriff who was about to remove catering equipment from my property, which I needed to keep trading. I actually placed a wrestling hold ‘Full Nelson’ on this man and walked him out of my office. All charges were dropped by the Magistrates Court on appeal when it became obvious there were two sides to this story.

Absent Justice - Australian Senate

Legal Professional Privileged

A covert arrangement entered into by the first administrator of our arbitrations (see TIO Evidence File No 3-A) was with the very corporation that had already set up with their lawyers (see Senate page 5169 SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia the “COT Case Strategy” which spuriously advised Telstra how to conceal relevant technical documents from the first four COT Cases under Legal Professional Privileged even though the documents were not privileged. My name as well as my business the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp was one of the four cases that had been singled out by Telstra's lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page (see TIO Evidence File No 3-A) that had to be stopped from receiving their requested documents.

Even worse, before this COT Case Strategy came into play Telstra had refused to investigate my ongoing telephone problems unless I first registered them in writing with these lawyers, Freehill Hollingdale & Page.  This continual writing up of individual and ongoing telephone faults, to these lawyers, in order to have Telstra investigate them almost, sent me insane. Instead of keeping this evidence, I was providing it to Telstra, believing this would assist them in locating the problems I was experiencing. I was unaware I would later need this evidence for an arbitration process set up by the Australian government. This arbitration process meant I had to retrieve back, from Telstra and AUSTEL under Freedom of Information, the very same documentation I had previously provided them. Imagine the frustration of knowing that you had provided the evidence supporting your case but it was now being withheld from you. If this wasn’t soul-destroying enough, imagine learning that lawyer Denise McBurnie, with who you were being forced to register your phone complaints, devised a legal paper titled “COT Case Strategy” (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C. instructing their client Telstra on how to conceal this same type of technical information under the guise of Legal Professional Privilege even though the information was not privileged.

And it got a lot worse, another Alan Smith who used to live in Discovery Bay, on the other of Cape Bridgewater like me before and leading up to my arbitration, had been battling Telstra over many months receiving legal letters from a leading Victoria (Warrnambool law firm) acting for a financial debt collector issuing summons (two I still have) for non-paid Telstra accounts. Freehills Hollingdale & Page fax identification stamp is visible on these documents. This is the same Alan Smith who later informed me of regularly receiving my arbitration-related documents from Telstra. Had Dr Hughes investigated my claims of lost faxes and road mail deliveries, that investigation might well have uncovered Telstra's arbitration defence unit Freehills mistakenly sent some of my arbitration material to this Alan Smith. I use the word mistakenly because I have no proof it was a deliberate part of Telstra's COT Cases strategy to 'stop me at all costs' from proving my claim. 

What I do know is, some 43 sets of faxes sent faxed to the arbitrator's office have still never been investigated regardless that it cost me more than $200.000.00 in arbitration fees in my attempt to have my phone problems fixed as part of that process. Freehill Hollingdale & Page COT Case strategy has cost me dearly.

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 6

Major Fraud Group

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.

It is important to raise the Victorian Major Fraud Group’s police involvement in the COT cases’ matters (as well as a number of parties associated with the Major Fraud Group), as it is clearly linked to our An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens page. I was not one of the four COT cases’ litmus group, who, through Sue Owens (barrister) lodged complaints against Telstra with the Major Fraud Group in 1999. I was seconded some months later as a witness. The litmus COT cases provided my evidence of Telstra committing fraud against me, during my arbitration to the Senate estimates committee during their FOI investigations. Despite this, the chair of the Senate estimates committee discarded my evidence (even though it had been provided On Notice to Senator Ron Boswell).

It was this discarded evidence the Major Fraud Group asked me to supply at the request of their barrister, Neil Jepson.

After I provided the contents of (see Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report to Neil Jepson, the Major Fraud Group 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 the litmus tests cases issue 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 false evidence to Dr Hughes, the arbitrator appointed to my case.

I ask you to consider two witness statements, dated 8 and 10 August 2006, referring to the 1999 and 2001 Major Fraud Group investigations: one statement was prepared by a government public servant/ex-police officer and the other by an ex very-senior Telstra protective officer (later promoted to the principal investigator), which I received during this official 6 September 2006 government meeting which the Hon David Hawker Speaker in the House of Representatives suggested I raise my concerns about the relentless harassment my partner Cathy and I had experienced since I had assisted the Australian Federal Police in 1994 and the Victoria police Major Fraud Group from 1999 to 2001.

Both statements are discussed on our Absentjustice Preface page AFP Evidence File No 13. Members of the current government were provided with copies of these witness statements, without redactions. Sadly, the information in these two witness statements, to date, has not been acted upon.

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) by Ann Garms one of the original four COT Cases, 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 in a similar manner to when the Australian Federal Police asked me to assist them (see above and Australian Federal Police Investigations. See also 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 (COT spokesperson, as a complainant and me, as a witness, reported to Mr Kueris and Mr Jepson that we believed we were also under surveillance during those 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".  

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 in https://www.absentjustice.com/download.php... 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.

Points 21 and 22 in Mr Direen's witness statement he states 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”.

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 https://www.absentjustice.com/download.php...). No COTs were ever offered counseling or apologised to by the government, which, remember, still owned Telstra when this harassment certainly in my case began in an official government endorsed arbitration and during an Australian Federal Police investigation and continued well past the Major Fraud Group investigations of 1998 and 2001 as well as the Senate investigations between 26 September 1997 and March 1999 (see Senators Speak Out below.

It is well discussed in the west about Chinese and Russian breaches of the civilian's human rights but little is discussed concerning how Australian citizens are treated once they have challenged the government bureaucratic system which gives the bureaucrats more power than their elected ministers.

My partner Cathy and I have had 26-years stolen from us because we thought assisting the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police were our civil duty. 

It is clear from exhibits 646 and 647 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647 that Telstra has admitted in writing to Australian Federal Police that my private and business telephone conversations were listened to and recorded over a very long period of time.

Absent Justice - Senator Ron Boswell

Senators Speak Out

This official Senate Hansard record dated 20 September 1995, under the heading A MATTER OF PUBLIC INTEREST shows a very emotional senator discussing the injustices that we four COT claimants (i.e., Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and Alan Smith (me) suffered prior, during and after our so-called government-endorsed arbitration’s i.e;

“Eleven years after their first complaints to Telstra, where are they now? They are acknowledged as the motivators of Telecom’s customer complaint reforms. … But, as individuals, they have been beaten both emotionally and financially through an 11-year battle with Telstra. …

“Then followed the Federal Police investigation into Telecom’s monitoring of COT case services. The Federal Police also found there was a prima facie case to institute proceedings against Telecom but the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], in a terse advice, recommended against proceeding. …

“Once again, the only relief COT members received was to become the catalyst for Telecom to introduce a revised privacy and protection policy. Despite the strong evidence against Telecom, they still received no justice at all. …

“These COT members have been forced to go to the Commonwealth Ombudsman to force Telecom to comply with the law. Not only were they being denied all necessary documents to mount their case against Telecom, causing much delay, but they were denied access to documents that could have influenced them when negotiating the arbitration rules, and even in whether to enter arbitration at all. …

“This is an arbitration process not only far exceeding the four-month period, but one which has become so legalistic that it has forced members to borrow hundreds of thousands just to take part in it. It has become a process far beyond the one represented when they agreed to enter into it, and one which professionals involved in the arbitration agree can never deliver as intended and never give them justice.” 

“I regard it as a grave matter that a government instrumentality like Telstra can give assurances to Senate leaders that it will fast track a process and then turn it into an expensive legalistic process making a farce of the promise given to COT members and the unducement to go into arbitration. 

“Telecom has treated the Parliament with contempt. No government monopoly should be allowed to trample over the rights of individual Australians, such as has happened here.” (See Senate Hansard Evidence File No-1).

Absent Justice - Senator Mark Bishop

Senator Mark Bishop is acknowledging to the Senate concerning this $20 million payout without perhaps realising what he is saying concerning those who benefitted from this money is those who lost their businesses due to the phone problems got crumbs. In contrast, the lawyers, arbitrators and accountants got the spoils. The amount of money spent could have only materialised if those administering the arbitrations allowed the process to outstrip the settlement paid to the COT Cases tenfold. In other words, the Brotherhood flourished once again at the expense of ordinary small business operators, those who still had businesses to operate.

In order to have my claims assessed on their merit, I provided 86,000 FOI documents to five government agencies including the Institute of Arbitrators Mediators Australia (refer to Chapters 6, 8, 9, 10, 11-A & 11-B and 12 Evidence / 12 Alternate remedies pursued). These submitted documents which proved my claims to those various agencies have been copied electronically and collated into mini-reports as evidence.

These reports and exhibits will be gradually released on this website to support our claims that the government regulator, the TIO and several representatives deliberately misled and deceived the COT Cases, their lawyers and Australia in general concerning the COT Cases claims. 

The COT story needs to be told – as it happened – not as currently documented in government archives. At 77 years of age, there is not much more that can happen to me that the government’s minders have not yet done already. If death comes before my task is complete, then so be it. 

Please note: because the COT story started way back in 1988, I thought it best to introduce to the reader firstly how our claims stood in 1994 during the COT arbitrations as well as after they were concluded in 1999, and where they stand today in 2021.

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

On the 27 January 1999, after reading the first draft copy of my manuscript "ABSENT JUSTICE", Senator Kim Carr, wrote the above statement. On 11 March 1999, two months after reading "ABSENT JUSTICE", Senate Carr raised his further concerns about the conduct of the COT arbitrations in the Senate, noting:

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

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

 Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston

I doubt there are many countries in the Western world governed by the rule of law, as Australia purports to be, that would allow a group of small-business operators to be forced to proceed with a government-endorsed arbitration while allowing the defence (the government which owned the corporation) to conceal the necessary documents these civilians needed to support their claims.  

During the independent Senate Committee investigations of 1997 to 1999, twenty-three Senators were either directly involved or provided with regular updates about those investigations into the COT arbitrations.  Out of those twenty-three, the following six individual Senators all made official statements dated 6 March 1999 (See > Eggleston, Sen Alan – Bishop, Sen Mark – BoswellSen Ronald – CarrSen Kim – Schacht, Sen Chris and Alston,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.

That the committee was actually prepared to make a statement indicating that Telstra had used their ‘unilateral’ control of the arbitration process to avoid supplying the promised documents can also be linked to the advice the second appointed administrator to the COT arbitrations), John Pinnock, gave to the same Senate Committee (eighteen months earlier) on 26 September 1997, see page 99 to 100, Senate – Parliament of Australia where he notes: 

“In the process leading up to the development of the arbitration procedures – and I was not party to that, but I know enough about it to be able to say this – the claimants were told clearly that documents were to be made available to them under the FOI Act.

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

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation


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

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

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

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

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

Senator Len Harris put out another media release this one on 14 November 2002 (see Home Evidence File No/16) noting:

“The urgency of the Government to unload Telstra is the realisation that it needs a huge injection of capital expenditure just to remain operational.

“In other words, sell the whole shooting bag before it rains and let someone else worry about fixing it. …

Faulty materials such as Hi Gel 3M 442 that has corroded copper joints;
Contractors cutting corners with cable installation; …
Failure by senior personnel to recognise the magnitude of the impending networks implosion …

“The pair gain system forms much of Telstra’s existing network making thousands of dead cable pairs to subscribers’ phones that ordinarily ought to be replaced.”

Absent Justice - Hon David Hawker MP

On the 6 January 2003, eight years after The Hon David Hawker MP and I provided evidence that Telstra had been using known faulty Ericsson AXE equipment in their telephone exchanges 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? Why didn't the TIO demand answers from Telstra as to why they installed this wiring in such a shallow trench with connecting cables lose in the conjunction box? Why was moisture allowed to seep in and damage the whole wiring system between 1992 and 2001 while I still owned the business? Why did Telstra wait until November / December 2002, six years after my arbitration failed to investigate my ongoing complaints before they rewired the business? 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). 

By comparing the two exposed pages of correspondence to the right of the portrait of the Hon David, Hawker MP will conclude it is part of the exact correspondence which The Hon David Hawker MP and I provided the Hon Senator Richard Alston Shadow Minister for Communications between September 1995 and June 1996 which is also part of the same information the Hon Paul Fletcher Australia’s Minister for Communications Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts is still continuing to acknowledge he should have investigated when it was provided to him as a complete report in June 1996 (refer below),
 

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 5

Irrefutable Evidence Discarded 

I believe that most of the readers who view Chapters 1 to 5 Prologue and Chapter 14 - Was it Legal or Illegal? will conclude that the Australian government should have investigated my Ericsson non-investigated claim documents in September 1995, when they were first raised with the Shadow Minister for Communications The Hon Richard Alston by my then Federal Member of Parliament The Hon David Hawker MP. Mr Hawker continued to raise these none addressed Ericsson AXE billing claim documents up to at least August 2006, eleven years after I was denied my legal right to challenge Telstra's arbitration defence regarding these non-addressed Ericsson arbitration faults.

It is also important for anyone who reads our Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, to understand that although a copy of that report, was originally sent to Paul Fletcher at his request in June 1996, during the period he was an adviser to Senator Richard Alston (the then-newly appointed 1996 Minister for Communications and the Arts), it is clear from Open Letter File No/41/Part-One he declined to investigate this document and the second part thereof File No/41 Part-Two.

After reading Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, it will become clear to the reader that the exhibits and evidence that were attached to the report show that, if Paul Fletcher, had properly investigated that evidence in June 1996 then most (if not all) of the issues that I have been trying to have investigated since then, would have been settled by1996/97.

On 26 May 2019, Paul Fletcher, became The Hon Paul Fletcher Australia’s Minister for Communications Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts (see  Media Release: Fletcher 'deeply honoured' to be appointed Minister for Communications, Cybersafety and the Arts.

In 2019 and 2020, via my then Federal Member of Parliament the Hon Dan Tehan MP, the Hon Paul Fletcher refused to reinvestigate Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, Exhibits Telstra’s Falsified SVT ReportTelstra's Falsified BCI Report and Tampering of Evidence show Telstra relied upon 3, not one but 3 falsified arbitration defence documents so as not to have to spend money fixing a network the government was hoping to offload to unsuspecting shareholders i.e.; let the shareholders pay for the upgrade. 

In other words, Paul Fletcher and the then Minister for Communications and the Arts Senator Richard Alston's knew back in 1996, Telstra was relying on falsified arbitration documents in which to hide the many communications faults it was experiencing within its copper wire network and did nothing to assist me in exposing this crime.

Just as important is, when the Hon Paul Fletcher became the new Minister for Communications Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts as a parliamentarian did he not consider appointing someone within the Scott Morrison government to revisit the FIVE REPORTS which he original asked me to provide him in 1996?

When I complained to Warwick Smith, the first TIO appointed by the government to administer my arbitration, that my arbitration faxes were not arriving at the arbitrator's office even though I had faxed them he refused to defer my arbitration until the AFP concluded their findings. Unbeknown to the other three COT Claimants and me, Warwick Smith was also investigating the same issues on behalf of the TIO office. The fact that the arbitrator was also investigating the same bugging issues as part of my arbitration claim, but did not mention the bugging in his findings shows just how one-sided the COT arbitration process was. 

All three investigations, i.e.; the AFP, the Arbitrators and the TIO's impeded upon each other, and still today we have never seen one written word as to whether the COT Cases bugging claims were valid or not.

By viewing the  Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman page, the reader will learn that from the very beginning of the arbitration Warwick Smith (the first TIO and administrator of the process) was even allowing Telstra to have first access to my claim material before it reached the arbitrator. Warwick Smith (as the TIO) even allowed the seconded Telstra officer who was viewing my claim material to write to Telstra on behalf of the TIO, allowing that officer to sign off his correspondence on behalf of Warwick Smith. 

None of this claim material this officer Grant Campbell, first forwarded to Telstra for assessment, was ever assessed during my arbitration. Anyone reasonable minded person reading  Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman will conclude that my claims against the conduct of the TIO office are valid. So why was Warwick Smith, ten months after my arbitration, appointed as a senior minister in the John Howard March 1996 NLP coalition government?

Please note: as shown in 12 Alternate remedies pursued I have tried every conceivable avenue open to me to have a proper government and non-government agency investigate my claims against the conduct of Telstra, the arbitrator and the TIO including the TIO officials. To date, no one will investigate my claims. The only response received from those revenues has been to take my matters back to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Royal Commission Investigations 

The findings of the Justice Fitzgerald the Justice Woods Royal Commission investigations into police corruption in Queensland and New South Wales, and the findings of various other investigations into corrupt practices within government agencies, have all stated that no organisation that has had claims made against those organizations can legally investigate itself.

More than half of the complaints I raised with the TIO are either against one of the two TIO's involved in my arbitration, or TIO officials involved in my arbitration. I have since taken those complaints on to the State Ombudsman, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and various Government Ministers, they all have the same ‘advice’ – they all tell me I should take my matters back to the TIO, even though those government-funded organisations must all know that the TIO’s office cannot investigate itself. 

Asking someone accused of a crime to investigate itself and make a finding as to whether they are guilty or innocent of all allegations is beyond all sound reason. So why have I been told to take my matters back to the TIO when the evidence on this website clearly shows my claims against the TIO and TIO officials are valid?

It seems therefore that ‘justice the Australian way’ involves running ordinary Australian claimants around and around in circles in the hope that they will become so exhausted and probably financial ruined that they will give up their fight, and this is exactly what has been done to me for these past twenty-six years, while those who have acted inappropriately towards me and various other COTs, those that have instigated the roundabout, those who have caused the Australian justice system to fail, have their inappropriate conduct buried, safely out of sight, even though it is perfectly clear from the most recent findings in the Queensland Heiner Affair (the concealment of documents needed in litigation ‘…the law does not permit a party to an allegation to investigate itself’.      

Absent Justice - Clandestine meeting

A Clandestine Gathering  

Ex parte  “Ex parte” is a Latin phrase meaning “on one side only; by or for one party”. An ex parte communication occurs when a party to a case, or involved with a party, talks or writes to or otherwise communicates directly with the judge about issues in the case without the other parties’ knowledge. Under the Judicial Code of Conduct, judges may not permit or consider “ex parte communications” in deciding a case unless expressly allowed by law. This ban helps judges decide cases fairly since their decisions are based only on the evidence and arguments presented to the court and the applicable law. It also preserves trust in the legal and court system.

Also in the month of March 1994, when the AUSTEL [for the governemnt] concealed their findings surrounding the validity of my soon to be arbitrated claim another trickery was soon to take place on the 22 March 1994. The transcripts of this clandestine gathering which took place, when the COT cases were not represented (see Open letter File No 54-A), shows Telstra’s Mr Chalmers, the author of the minutes, has left out points 4 and 5. Point 6 follows point 3. Where are points 4 and 5?

This is further proof that Dr Gordon Hughes should have never allowed this secret meeting to take place without the COT cases being represented. Most, if not all, Western democracies would expect the defendants and their lawyers to be present in the judge’s chambers. In this case in secret with the arbitrator, the defendants and the TIO and his special counsel. The missing discussion material or questions raised at points 4 and 5 may well be why the parties present agreed to Telstra lawyers drafting the agreement, instead of the independent arbitration agreement the government and claimants were assured would be used. It could also be where Telstra and the arbitrator, Dr Hughes, agreed Telstra would allow the arbitration resource unit first access to all arbitration procedural material (AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647 - See AS-CAV 590, Chapter Seven). This allowed the arbitration resource unit to decide which documents Dr Hughes and the claimants would be allowed to see, and which would be discarded.

We will never know what was concealed from the COT cases during this clandestine gathering. Although the arbitration resource unit admitted, in writing 18 months after the first arbitration was finalised (see Open letter File No/45-H), to Dr Hughes that they concealed at least four relevant billing claim documents from the arbitration process.

The missing questions raised at points 4 and 5 in the minutes of this clandestine meeting may be linked to the arbitrator and his arbitration resource unit allowing for the more adverse findings against Telstra to be covertly addressed outside the legal arena of the COT arbitration process. If the addressing of non-addressed arbitration issues had nothing to do with points 4 and 5, then what could have been so detrimental to the arbitration process that these points were excluded from these minutes?

Open letter File No 54-A shows those who attended this clandestine meeting were Telstra’s arbitration liaison officer, Steve Black, Telstra’s general counsel, David Krasnostein, Telstra’s lawyer from Freehill Hollingdale & Page, Simon Chalmers, TIO special counsel, Peter Bartlett, arbitrator, Gordon Hughes, TIO Warwick Smith and his secretary Jenny Henright. Except for Jenny Henright, all were lawyers and therefore all knew this was an illegal gathering. What was so important about this meeting that only the arbitrator and defence attended it?

Why weren’t the COT Cases and or their lawyers advised of this meeting?

Upon reading this segment Open letter File No 54-A), and the following Prologue page, you will come to the same conclusion many others have: arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes should not have secretly met with Telstra (the defendants) prior to arbitration to discuss what rules in the arbitration agreement would be removed and which would remain. This clandestine meeting (without the claimants being represented) also covered how to protect – to exonerate – the arbitrator’s consultants from incurring any liability for negligence and to exempt the unit from being sued. Of course, this was to the detriment of the COT cases and our legal right to have recourse over the arbitration consultants if the resource unit was negligent in their duties. It will be clear, after reading Open letter File No 54-A), and the Prologue page, the arbitration resource unit was negligent during my own arbitration process and I was unable to hold them to account for those actions, due to those negligent clauses being removed in my arbitration agreement. This is a very serious issue and should have been addressed in 1995 when this was discovered. An investigation, 20 years ago, would have uncovered that Dr Hughes and Warwick Smith (TIO) used Telstra’s proposed arbitration agreement as the base document for the COT arbitration agreement, rather than using an agreement drafted totally independently of Telstra, as the government (who endorsed the first four arbitrations) and the COT cases’ lawyers were promised. An investigation in 1995 (see Prologue Chapter Four) would have also uncovered Dr Hughes’ 12 May 1995 letter to Warwick Smith, which condemned the Telstra-based agreement as not a credible document to use in the arbitrations, although he used it in my arbitration.

On the actual day we signed the agreement, (see Open letter File No 54-B) the liability clauses 25 and 26 had been removed. We were told if we did not accept these late changes, then there would be NO arbitration. With our banks declaring they were ready to take over our assets if we could not show settlements were imminent, we buckled and accepted the resource unit and TIO special counsel would be exonerated from all liability.

The minutes show discussion on changes to the arbitration agreement although no COT claimants or their representatives were advised of this important meeting or proposed changes to the agreement. Telstra’s transcript of this meeting notes at point six that:

“Mr Bartlett [TIO Special Counsel] stated that he was unhappy that Telecom did not appear prepared to allow his firm an exclusion from liability. …

“Mr Smith [TIO Warwick Smith] stated that he thought it was reasonable for the advisers to incur some liability, and that the only matter left to be negotiated on this issue was the quantum of the liability caps.

“Mr Black [Telstra] said that he thought the liability caps proposed by Telecom in the amended rules were already reasonable.” (See Open letter File No 54-A)

Points 4 and 5

The fact that our Open letter File No 54-A, shows the author of these minutes, has left out points 4 and 5 i,e; point 6 follows point 3 is of great concern. Where are points 4 and 5? What information was exposed in those two points Telstra’s lawyers thought it necessary to hide in case this document Open letter File No 54-A ever surfaced, as it has?

This is further proof that Dr Gordon Hughes should have never allowed this secret meeting to take place without the COT cases being represented. Most, if not all, Western democracies would condone allowing the defendants and their lawyers to be present in the judge’s chambers (arbitrator’s office). The missing discussion material or questions raised at points 4 and 5 may well be why the parties present agreed to Telstra lawyers drafting the agreement, instead of the independent arbitration agreement the government and claimants were assured would be used. It could also be where Telstra and the arbitrator, Dr Hughes, agreed and accepted that Telstra would allow the arbitration resource unit first access to all arbitration procedural material (AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647 - See AS-CAV 590, Chapter Nine). This allowed them to decide which documents Dr Hughes would see and which would be discarded (see also page 4 here which shows Telstra’s Steve Black wrote to Warwick Smith on 24 July acknowledging the resource unit would be allowed to vet which documents Dr Hughes would see and which he would not.

We will never know that was concealed from the COT cases during this clandestine gathering. Although, Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory admitted, in writing, to Dr Hughes that they concealed at least four relevant billing claim documents from the arbitration process.

The TIO has, to date, declined to explain what circumstances occurred to change this. Who pressured the TIO to allow the advisors to be exonerated from all liability in relation to our arbitrations? Why would the TIO special counsel be:

“unhappy that Telecom did not appear prepared to allow his firm and exclusion from liability”?

Why it did not occur to either the TIO or the arbitrator that, once the directions regarding liability were removed, this would allow complacency to creep /the arbitration process? This is exactly what our  absentjustice.com pages show happened.

Had COT cases been represented at this hearing (as we were legally supposed to be), we would have been fully aware prior to 21 April 1994, the day we signed this document, that our rights to fair arbitrations were going to be violated.

As this website shows, Dr Hughes and his arbitration resource unit [Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory - FHCA] have since admitted in writing to concealing some of the most relevant documents from me during my arbitration. So relevant were these concealed documents, that AUSTEL, the government communications regulator, allowed Telstra to secretly address them on 16 October 1995, five months after the conclusion of my arbitration (see Chapter 14 - Was it Legal or Illegal?).

Had the COT Cases been represented in the following secret clandestine meeting between Telstra, their lawyers, the arbitrator and administrator to discuss exonerated FHCA and the TIO Special Counsel from all liability for their part played in the COT arbitrations we would have had sufficient time to approach several senators who were assisting us at that time and demand we not be forced to accept the removal of these three changed exoneration clause (see below).

Absent Justice - Pressure Applied to the Arbitrator

Incomplete Information 

On 17th February 1994 during a pre-arbitration meeting Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) Simon Chalmers (Telstra) Peter Bartlett (Special Counsel to the administrator) and Dr Hughes (Arbitrator) met to discuss the settlement arbitration process.  Telstra’s transcript of this meeting confirms the COT claimants still wanted a commercial settlement process – not an arbitration procedure.  On page three of the transcript, Dr Hughes states arbitration would be more effective and that, as arbitrator, he could give “appropriate directions for the production of documents” and he “would not make a determination on incomplete information”. (GS-CAV Exhibit 155 to 215 -See Exhibit GS-165)

Comment:

In my case, Dr Hughes DID make his determination on incomplete information when he handed down his award, even though Dr Hughes’ own Technical Consultants, DMR and Lane, asked for extra weeks to complete their findings – a request Dr Hughes denied.  Dr Hughes also did not access documents for me, under the discovery process, despite being aware Telstra did not provide this information under FOI.  This is a complete about-face from the official arbitration statement he made to the COT claimants in this meeting.

This letter dated 28 April 1995:(see [document|1190] File AS-169written two weeks before the conclusion of my arbitration from the special counsel Peter Barlett to Warwick Smith (the administrator of the first four government-endorsed arbitrations) notes:

"Fast Track Arbitration - Smith 

Further to our recent discussion, it seems to me that we should put to Gordon Hughes [the arbitrator] that we expect his Award to be made prior to his departure on 12 May 1995. 

Attached is a draft letter to [arbitrator]. It is in reasonably harsh terms.

“Could you please consider whether a letter in this form or an amended form, should go to Gordon.

The draft letter to the arbitrator states:

“However, I understand you are to present a paper in Greece in mid May.

“I would expect that the Award would be delivered prior to your departure.

“It would be unacceptable to contemplate the delivery of the Award being delayed until after your return.”

Why would the TIO special counsel advise the administrator of my arbitration to write Dr Hughes [the arbitrator] telling that “It would be unacceptable to contemplate the delivery of the Award being delayed until after your return,” especially considering the technical consultant’s report was incomplete. Six weeks before Dr Hughes brought down his award, he was officially advised the Commonwealth Ombudsman was investigating Telstra’s unlawful conduct of withholding relevant FOI documents from me under the FOI Act. Dr Hughes disregarded this advice. Who had the power to direct the arbitrator to hand down his award? The other three claimants were granted 13 months longer to prepare their claims, because Telstra had not supplied them with the same requested FOI documents?

Later it was revealed Warwick Smith’s two-year term as Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (the administrator of the COT arbitrations) was to expire in June 1995. Warwick Smith had to, at least, see one of the 12 arbitrations completed before under his watch, as the next John Howard government had decided Warwick Smith was to run for the seat of Bass in Tasmania and time was of the essence.

In March 1996, John Howard won the government, and Warwick Smith was awarded a critical front key position as Sports Minister. Telstra sponsored Australia’s Olympic Games effort in Atlanta, USA, with Warwick Smith as Sports Minister firmly in place.

It appears bringing down an award on an incomplete arbitration claim was a worthy sacrifice, considering Warwick Smith was soon, hopefully, to become a politician. Like Dr Hughes, Warwick Smith was awarded an Australian Medal of Honour.

And accordingly, the arbitrator handed down his award the day before he left for Greece, despite the two arbitration technical consultants notifying him, on 30 April 1995, that their technical report was weeks away from being completed (see Chapter 1 - The collusion continues)

Was there more to the COT Cases being forced to exonerate the TIO-Special Counsel for his part played in the COT arbitrations [telling them three would be no arbitration unless the Special Counsel was exonerated]?

And just as important is the question: why did Dr Hughes bring down his award on 11 May 1995, when the very next he wrote to Warwick Smith just before he left for Greece stating:

"Smith arbitration”

 “…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…

“In summary, it is my view that if the process is to remain credible, it is necessary to contemplate a time frame for completion which is longer than presently contained in the Arbitration Agreement” 

“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” (see Open Letter File No 55-A)

Two hours after Warwick Smith received Dr Hughes’ 12 May 1995 letter, he put out a media release which he knew was totally false, stating:

“The Administrator noted that the arbitration process, under the direction of the independent Arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes, appointed with the agreement of the parties, had been run in accordance with principals of natural justice.” (See Open Letter File No 55-B)

It is so blatantly clear Warwick Smith both misled and deceived the public in this media release headed 1st Telecom COT Case Arbitration Finalised: even though this release didn’t name which claimant he was referring to, it is well known I was the first to go through the process.

So, before Warwick Smith put out this media release, why didn’t he advise the relevant communications minister, Michael Lee MP, and the public, that he and his special counsel pressured Dr Hughes to bring down his award regardless of the TIO-appointed arbitration technical consultants advising their technical investigation into my arbitration claims were still incomplete (see Chapter 1 - The collusion continues?

Dr Hughes letter to Warwick Smith (See Open Letter File No 55-Aconfirm Dr Hughes’ view that the arbitration agreement rules he had just used in my case had not allowed enough time for:“… the production of documents, obtaining further particulars, and the preparation of technical reports.”  Dr Hughes went further, actually apologising for: “… the brevity…” of his comments and noting that the time frame for future arbitrations would need to be longer than it presently was.

On the second page of his letter, Dr Hughes further notes: “There are some procedural difficulties which revealed themselves during the Smith arbitration and which I would like to discuss with you when I return” (from a trip to Greece).

The fact that Warwick Smith didn't advise all parties in his Media Release that Dr Hughes found there were several “procedural difficulties” he encountered during my arbitration, as well as the poor time frame in which to operate the arbitration process in a proper manner, shows what a devious man Warwick Smith really is. 

What happened when Dr Hughes arrived back from Greece in regards to the procedural difficulties which revealed themselves during the Smith arbitration and his written opinion that: “… if the process is to remain credible, it is necessary to contemplate a time frame for completion which is longer than presently contained in the Arbitration Agreement,” is that the three remaining COT Claimants Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan and Graham Schorer who all three signed the same agreement in April 1994, were granted a further 13 months or more in which to prepare their arbitration claims and answer Telstra's defence than Dr Hughes had allowed me. 

Why didn't Warwick Smith advise the public in this 12 May 1995 media release that he himself had been providing Telstra [the defendants] inside government privilege part-room COT Cases information that destroyed any chance of the COT Cases remaining in their previously signed and agreed to Fast Track Settlement Proposal [a non-legalistic commercial assessment of their cliams]? It is clear from the following segment that Warwick Smith was certainly not an impartial administrator [umpire] in charge of  the COT Cases arbitration processes. 

Absent Justice - Prior to Arbitration

TIO Evidence File No 3-A is an internal Telstra email (FOI folio A05993) dated 10 November 1993, from Chris Vonwiller to Telstra’s corporate secretary Jim Holmes, CEO Frank Blount, group general manager of commercial Ian Campbell and other important members of the then-government owned corporation. The subject is Warwick Smith – COT cases and it is marked as CONFIDENTIAL:

“Warwick Smith contacted me in confidence to brief me on discussions he has had in the last two days with a senior member of the parliamentary National Party in relation to Senator Boswell’s call for a Senate Inquiry into COT Cases.

“Advice from Warwick is:

Boswell has not yet taken the trouble to raise the COT Cases issue in the Party Room.
Any proposal to call for a Senate inquiry would require, firstly, endorsement in the Party Room and, secondly, approval by the Shadow Cabinet. …
The intermediary will raise the matter with Boswell, and suggest that Boswell discuss the issue with Warwick. The TIO sees no merit in a Senate Inquiry.

“He has undertaken to keep me informed, and confirmed his view that Senator Alston will not be pressing a Senate Inquiry, at least until after the AUSTEL report is tabled.

“Could you please protect this information as confidential.”

Exhibit TIO Evidence File No 3-A confirms that two weeks before the TIO was officially appointed as the administrator of the Fast Track Settlement Proposal FTSP, which became the Fast-Track Arbitration Procedure (FTAP) he was providing the soon-to-be defendants (Telstra) of that process with privileged, government party room information about the COT cases. Not only did the TIO breach his duty of care to the COT claimants, but he appears to have also compromised his own future position as the official independent administrator of the process.

Perhaps the advice the TIO gave to Telstra’s senior executive, in confidence, (that Senator Ron Boswell’s National Party Room was not keen on holding a Senate enquiry) later prompted Telstra to have the FTSP non-legalistic commercial assessment process turned into Telstra’s preferred legalistic arbitration procedure because they now had inside government privileged information: there was no longer a major threat of a Senate enquiry.

Telstra management was trying to force COT members into court, well aware that their highly paid lawyers would eat us alive. We became increasingly sure that this was their plan, and indeed, our suspicions were confirmed, years later, by some extraordinary documents which belatedly came our way. 

Absent Justice - Violated Rights

A Secret Deal

Telstra’s Arbitration Liaison Officer Steve Black wrote to the TIO Warick Smith on 11 July 1994 stating:

“Telecom will also make available to the arbitrator a summarised list of information which is available, some of which may be relevant to the arbitration. This information will be available for the resource unit to peruse. If the resource unit forms the view that this information should be provided to the arbitrator, then Telecom would accede to this request”. 

The statement in Telstra’s letter Exhibit 590 in File AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647  “if the resource unit forms the view that this information should be provided to the arbitrator” confirms that both the TIO and Telstra were aware that the TIO-appointed resource unit had been assigned to vet most, if not all, the arbitration procedural documents en route to the arbitrator. If the resource unit decided a particular document was not relevant to the arbitration process, it would not be passed on to the arbitrator or other parties. This particular secret deal has been linked to further clandestine dealings and is discussed further elsewhere on absentjustice.com. 

On page 5 of the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984, under Part 11 – Appointment of Arbitrators and Umpires - it clearly states:

(6) Presumption of single arbitrator

An arbitration agreement shall be taken to provide for the appointment of a single arbitrator unless –

(a)  the agreement otherwise provides; or

(b)  the parties otherwise agree in writing. (GS 193-b)

The Fast Track Arbitration Procedure FTAP (Agreement) signed by me on 21st April 1994, mentions only one arbitrator. There is likewise no written agreement in existence seen by Alan or Graham that allows a second arbitrator to determine what information the first arbitrator will see.

Warwick Smith has never been made to explain why the resource unit who the COT Cases were forced to exonerate from all liability for their part played in our arbitration who in my case then set about concealing more than 2,600 claim documents from being addressed during my arbitration. 

Absent Justice - Different Rules for those in Power

Beware The Pen Pusher

On 23 May 2021, Peta Credlin, Barrister, Solicitor and onetime Chief of Staff to The Hon Tony Abbott (Prime Minister of Australia), now a high profile Australian media guru and TV host, wrote a fascinating article, in the Herald Sun newspaper, under the heading:  "Beware The Pen Pusher Power - Bureaucrats need to take orders and not take charge”, which noted:

“Now that the Prime Minister is considering a wider public service reshuffle in the wake of the foreign affairs department's head, Finances Adamson, becoming the next governor of South Australia, it's time to scrutinise the faceless bureaucrats who are often more powerful in practice than the elected politicians.

Outside of the Canberra bubble, almost no one knows their names. But take it from me, these people matter.

When ministers turn over with bewildering rapidity, or are not ‘take charge’ types, department secretaries, and the deputy secretaries below them, can easily become the de facto government of our country.  

Since the start of 2013, across Labor and now Liberal governments, we’ve had five prime ministers, five treasurers, five attorneys-general, seven defence ministers, six education ministers, four health ministers and six trade Ministers.”

I found this article most relevant to the matters raised by the COT Cases and their dealings with 'the faceless bureaucrats who are often more powerful in practice than the elected politicians.'  Peta Credlin has hit the nail squarely on the head in this article. I can not only relate to the information she writes about, but I can also link it to the many bureaucrats and politicians I have met since this debacle first began, i.e., before, during and after my government-endorsed arbitration (see absentjustice.com), who have continued to ignore the evidence now attached to this website.

Absent Justice - Bernard Collaery

The Secret State

On 26 September 2021, Bernard Collaery, Former Attorney-General of the Australian Capital Territory, (under the heading) The Secret State, The Rule of Law & Whistleblowers at point 7 of his 12-page paper noted:

On some significant issues the Australian Parliament has ceased to be a place of effective lawmaking by the people, for the people. It has become commonplace for Parliamentarians to see a marathon superannuated career out with ideals sacrificed for ambition.

The fact that the two main players in the government-endorsed COT arbitrations namely the Arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes and the Administrator of the arbitrations Warwick Smith have since been awarded Australian Medals of Honour even though they allowed the COT arbitration's to be conducted outside of the ambit of the arbitration procedures refer to page 99 to 100, Senate – Parliament of Australia, suggests there is more truth in what Peta Credlin has stated above: 

"...When ministers turn over with bewildering rapidity, or are not ‘take charge’ types, department secretaries, and the deputy secretaries below them, can easily become the de facto government of our country."  

Chapters one and two in our Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman page show Warwick Smith, in his role as administrator to my arbitration, allowed two of Telstra’s most senior executives to attend monthly TIO board meetings, where it has been proven in Senate Hansard (dated 26 September 1997) that COT cases’ arbitrations were discussed.

Warwick Smith also allowed another senior executive – Telstra’s arbitration FOI officer in charge of concealing requested FOIs from COT cases – to attend TIO council meetings. This executive admitted under oath that he never advised the council members of his conflict of interest. This executive concealed relevant FOI documents until after the arbitrator handed down his findings. The same executive passed on confidential financial COT-related information, which he had gleaned from the TIO council COT meetings to Telstra refer to TIO Evidence File No 3-A

These chapters on the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman page also show Warwick Smith allowed Telstra to have first access to my claim material before it went to the arbitrator. He allowed a particular Telstra employee to view and assess some of my most relevant claim material before it was submitted for arbitration assessment. This material never reached the final arbitration assessment process.  

Warwick Smith was also passing on confidential COT case information, discussed in the Coalition Government Party Room, to Telstra’s hierarchy refer to TIO Evidence File No 3-A 

On 12 May 1995, the day after Dr Hughes prematurely brought down my award wrote to Warwick stating:

 “…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…

“In summary, it is my view that if the process is to remain credible, it is necessary to contemplate a time frame for completion which is longer than presently contained in the Arbitration Agreement” (Open Letter File No 55-A)

If I had received a copy of this letter declaring the agreement used in my arbitration process was not credible, then of course I would have appealed the arbitrator’s award. After all, how could an appeal judge argue against the arbitrator’s own findings that the agreement was not credible, even though he used it anyway?

 

Absent Justice - Prologue

Not Fit For Purpose 

AUSTEL had already found against Telstra that I had been profoundly misled and deceived by Telstra concerning my ongoing telephone problems. To further support those claims were valid can best be viewed by reading Folios  C04007 and C04008, headed TELECOM SECRET (see Front Page Part Two 2-B) states:

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

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

Regardless of this evidence (see C04007 and C04008 Front Page Part Two 2-B, I was still forced to register my complaints with their layers Freehill Hollingdale & Page. It has also been shown on this website that Freeill's also knew my complaints were valid. So why did Telstra and Freehill's continue to harass me into writing so many letters and when received wrote back in response declaring my claims were fictitious?  Why hasn't the Australian government reprimanded Telstra and Freehill's demanding answers to why I was so profoundly misled concerning my valid claims? 

To add further insult to these injustices, on 12 September 1994, as part of the arbitration process, I was obliged to meet with Telstra’s consulting forensic psychologist in Portland’s Richmond Hotel so he could analyse my mental health as part of Telstra’s defence of my arbitration claims. I found the process of being interviewed by a psychologist, in the saloon bar of the local hotel, shockingly uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially when he kept spreading out different cards on the table as part of this clinical, forensic testing process.

One of the most important issues I raised with this psychologist was the trauma I suffered at the hands of Freeehill Hollingdale & Page the legal firm that hired him. He appeared to listen carefully to what I described and he said being directed to register phone complaints, in writing, with Telstra’s lawyer, before they would be investigated, was most disturbing. I provided confirmation that losing six incoming calls in a single day was common. Writing to a lawyer, explaining lost six telephone calls, was more than just soul-destroying, it just about broke my willpower to carry on. He said he was shocked Telstra and its legal firm forced this on me and agreed this would certainly affect my mental state over the many months I had to do this.

However, when Freehill Hollingdale & Page, which the government assured us would not be used in our arbitrations (see point 40 Prologue Evidence File No/2), provided this clinical psychologist’s witness statement to the arbitrator, it was only signed by a lawyer from this legal firm. It bore no signature of the psychologist and didn’t contain his concerns regarding me having to first contact this legal firm, in writing, before Telstra would address my telephone problems. 

The most alarming points about this unsigned witness statement are:

  1. Before the psychologist met with me, Telstra’s lawyers provided him with a copy of the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International (BCI) addendum report stating 13,590 test calls were carried out, over a five-day period, routed through to the Cape Bridgewater RCM unmanned switching exchange, using the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring equipment. This report stated the test calls had a 99.8 per cent success rate.
  2. Neither the psychologist nor the arbitrator was told tests through the Cape Bridgewater RCM switching exchange was impracticable: the nearest exchange that could accommodate the TELELEC CCS7 equipment was the Warrnambool exchange, 120 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater (see Evidence / Telstra's Falsified BCI Report)

Had the psychologist known the 13,590 test calls, allegedly carried out by BCI, could not terminate through the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system at Cape Bridgewater, his assessment of my mental state would have been somewhat different. He, too, might have been distressed if he had been aware Telstra misled and deceived him prior to him assessing my mental state.

On 21 March 1997, twenty-two months after the conclusion of my arbitration, John Pinnock, Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (the second appointed administrator to my arbitration), wrote to Telstra's Ted Benjamin (Telstra's arbitration officer to my 1994 arbitration (refer to File 596 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647) asking: 

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

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

Even though the statute of limitations had not yet expired for the administrator of the arbitrations to investigate why Telstra had acted unlawfully during our arbitrations by using this spurious LPP advice to the detriment of the COT Cases no investigation ever took place why legal professional privilege was stamped on so many technical documents which are clearly not privileged?

Spurious Claims Of Privilege 

In June 2000, renowned Legal Professional Privilege expert, Associate Professor Suzanne McNicoll, provided the COT claimants (see exhibit AS 924 AS-CAV 923 to 946 with the following legal opinion regarding Freehill's ‘COT Case Strategy’ i.e.

"There is also some potential prima facie evidence of (4) i.e. knowingly making false or spurious claims to privilege. For example, there is potential structure set up for the possible abuse of the doctrine of legal professional privilege in the faxed document entitled “COT” Case Strategy, marked “Confidential” dated 10 September 1993 from Ms Denise McBurnie of Freehill Hollingdale and Page, Melbourne Office to Mr Ian Row, Corporate Solicitor, Telecom Australia.”

Even with this legal opinion we COT Cases have been forced to live with the injustices bestowed upon us by Telstra and their lawyers. 

t appears from this non-action The Brotherhood was still operating in June 2000..

Just as damaging if not perhaps even worse, is (Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C), a letter dated 8 April 1994 to AUSTEL’s Chairman from Telstra’s Group General Manager, suggests that AUSTEL (now the Australian Communications Meda Authority-ACMA) was far from truly independent, but rather could be convinced to alter their official findings in their COT public released April 1994 report, just as Telstra requested the government regulator to do:

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

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

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

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

The fact that on this occasion on 9 April 1994 Telstra (the defendants) were able to pressure the Government Regulator to change their original findings in the formal 13 April 1994 AUSTEL public report is alarming, to say the least.

The 120,000 COT-type problems being experienced by other Australian citizens leading up to the selling off of Telstra was concealed from the pending shareholders prior to the Telstra sale prospectus being released. There would have been many shareholders who would not have purchased Telstra shares had they known the government communications regulator had misled them concerning the terrible state in which Telstra's network was.  

Absent Justice - Poor Copper Network

Hidden by the Government 

The formal April 1994 COT Cases Report released into the public domain at point 2.71 states: "...the number of Telecom customers experiencing COT type service difficulties and faults is substantially higher than Telecom's original estimate of 50..." In other words, when the government regulator used the word substantially more than 50 instead of saying 120,000 or more COT-type complaints they knew they were misleading and deceiving the public (those purchasing the soon to be released Telstra shares).

Knowingly misleading and deceiving the public on issues such as discussed here is considered a criminal act Under Section 52 of the Australian Trade Practice Act 1974: 52. (1) A corporation shall not, in trade or commerceengage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive.  

This is a story of my battle with Telstra, a battle that had twisted and turned, since 1992, through elected governments, government departments, regulatory bodies, the judiciary, and the Australian telecommunications giant Telstra, or Telecom, as it was known when this story started. This is a story of a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country. The story of how, for years, the Telstra Corporation failed to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of the Casualties of Telstra businesses, telling them 'No fault found,' when documents on this website show they were found to have existed. This evidence also shows that regardless of Telstra knowing the Ericsson AXE exchange equipment serviced those businesses was grossly deficient, they still used it when other countries were removing it or had removed it from their exchanges. Ericsson and Telstra believed the call loss surrounding this defective equipment was between 15% and 50%, as the following evidence file shows (Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f). 

Geroge Close my technical arbitration advisor refer to file number 4-D Introduction File No/4-A to 4-M shows using Telstra's own call data that the actual call loss to my business [the lock-up fault affecting my service line] was a blockage of 53.7%. Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd disregarded  Introduction File No/4-D even though my AXE Ericsson data accompanied George Closes finding's on this Ericsson blockage. When Geroge Close made those findings, he obtained them from Telstra's under the Freedom of Information Act which Mr Close numbered 0628 to 0660, representing 33 separate recorded faults as our Introduction File No/4-D shows. Whatever enticed Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd to disregard Telstra's own fault data showing just how bad this lock-up fault was?   

Even though the arbitrator hearing my case was officially advised in writing by the arbitration technical unit on 30 April 1995 that:

"As the level of disruption to overall CBHC [Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp] service is not clear, and fault causes have not been diagnosed, a reasonable expectation is that these faults would remain ‘open’.”

Why didn't the arbitration process diagnose these fault causes in the Ericsson AXE Portland exchange equipment that would remain open after the conclusion of my arbitration? In my case, an arbitration process that cost me well over $200.000.00 to participate in. As shown above, millions upon millions of dollars were made by the arbitration professionals at the expense of the COT Cases whose businesses had suffered years of financial loss due to Telstra's grossly deficient network. 

Absent Justice - Renowned Australian Author

Missing Exchange Logbook

Australia must be the only country in the Western world that allows a witness (Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd) was a witness to what the COT claimants and arbitrator had uncovered against Ericsson and their faulty installed telephone equipment during the COT arbitrations) to be purchased by the very same company under investigation by the arbitrator and the Australian government (refer to 26 September 1997 Senate Evidence File Senate Evidence File No/61). It is clear from the available evidence on this website Telstra continued to mislead and deceive the claimants and the Australian public regarding their deficient Ericsson telephone exchange network. The fact that the arbitrator, Dr Gordon Hughes, would not allow me extra time to seek the Ericsson telephone exchange logbook, which would have proved my telephone faults were still ongoing, is proof enough as an arbitrator; he was biased and discriminative, as the following segment shows. 

For Dr Gordon Hughes AM to have favoured his previous client Graham Schorer by allowing him 34-months longer to submit his arbitration claim and answer Telstra’s defence and granting me only one extra week even though both Graham Schorer and I were seeking the same type of Ericsson technical documents confirms my claims against Dr Hughes are justified (see Chapter 3 - 4 Conflict of Interest

As shown above, in the introduction The Ericsson Saga Continues, the 18 April 1995, letter John Rundell (the Arbitration Project Manager) advised the administrator Warwick Smith (copying the same to Dr Hughes) refer to Absent Justice - Arbitrator File No/17 that the Director of the Canada technical consultancy firm was appointed by Warwick Smith as the Principal technical consultant who was to take charge of the technical arbitration side of the operation arrived in Australia on 13 April 1995, and had worked over the Easter Holiday period, particularly on the Smith claim [my claim] where John Rundell’s true colours were exposed when he noted: "Any technical report prepared by a draft by Lanes (the company which was soon to be purchased by Ericsson) will be signed off and appear on the letterhead of DMR Group Inc".

This deceit took place by John Rundell regardless of the fact that all four COT Cases had been promised in writing by Warwick Smith [the Canadian technical consultancy who the COT Cases trusted] would be the principal technical consultants.

Here is clear proof that even before the arbitrator brought down his technical findings on 11 May 1995, the arbitration resource unit was prepared to mislead him into believing DMR Group Inc (in Canada) had designed all the technical findings on my claims when Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd had secretly assessed them without making a finding against Ericsson who not long after purchased Lanes 

It is most important we attach here the following link although dated 1996 all Ericsson exchanges had their own logbooks i.e.; http://www.wedophones.com/Manuals/EricssonNotInService/AXE%20Operation%20And%20Maint%20Module%201.pdf at this point of time because, even though I asked the arbitrator to access the Portland AXE telephone exchange logbook, this logbook discussed on page 20 of this link was never accessed or provided to me under FOI or the arbitration discovery process.

While this sworn witness statement (dated 10 August 2006) by an ex-Telstra protective service officer has been addressed elsewhere in absentjustice.com refer to GS-CAV 522 to 580. and my secondment by Barrister Neil Jepson of the Major Fraud Group Victoria Police (see Chapter One and two An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens), I again raise this statement here because points 20, 21 and 22 support how important this withheld Portland/Cape Bridgewater Log Book was:

(20)”…I had cause to travel to Portland in western Victoria in relation to a complaint involving suspected illegal interference to telephone lines at the Portland telephone exchange.

(21) As part of my investigation, I first attended at the exchange to speak to staff and check the exchange log book which was a record of all visitors to the exchange and a record of work conducted by the technical officers.

(22) When I attended at the exchange, I found that the log book was missing and could not be located. I was informed at the time by the local staff that a customer from the Cape Bridgewater area south of Portland was also complaining about his phone service and that the log book could have been removed as part of that investigation”.

Even the Commonwealth Ombudsman tried to access this same logbook via writing to Telstra's CEO Frank Blount on 11 November 1994, asking why it was never provided to me under FOI (refer to File AS-CAV 114 AS-CAV Exhibit 92 to 127). Why has it never been released? What does it reveal?  Having spent more than two decades as a seafarer I know the importance of a logbook and how the daily entries are so important at running a tightly controlled ship. This is why I was so adamant that all of the COT Cases should have been provided with a copy of their telephone exchange logbooks under the supervision of the arbitrator so as they could not be tampered with or removed from the arbitrator's office. Without this logbook is why all of the COT arbitrations failed to provide the claimants with the justice the government promised they would receive.

Please read on and find out how the unaddressed COT Cases arbitration telephone problems continued to affect not only their telephone dependent businesses but hundreds of thousands of other businesses because Telstra's board of management decided not to upgrade its telecommunication infrastructure. With Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd bought off by Ericsson and the arbitrator, and his arbitration unit having also concealed how severe the telephone problems were.

Below are just five of more than two dozen media releases dated between June 2013 and August 2019 showing that if Dr Gordon Hughes and his arbitration unit had done their jobs democratically under the ambit of the arbitration procedures and allowed the COT Cases evidence to be viewed on its merit by the government who had endorsed those arbitrations the cost blow out of the NBN network would not have reached the level they have.

Had he investigated ALL of my submitted evidence he would have had to value my claim as an ongoing telecommunication problem affecting thousands upon thousands of citizens telecommunication services NOT just past problem now fixed as part of the government endorsed arbitrations but problems destroying small businesses all around Australia. It is clear from the following 23 June 2013 link > Unions raise doubts over Telstra's copper network; workers using ... that when reading in conjunction with Can We Fix The Can which was released in March 1994, these faults copper-wire network faults have been in existence for more than 24-years.

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

Many Australians in rural Australia can only access a second-rate NBN. This didn’t have to be the case: had the Australian government ensured the arbitration process it endorsed to investigate the COT cases’ claims of ongoing telephone problems was conducted transparently, it could have used our evidence to start fixing the problems we uncovered in 1993/94. See this ACCC public media release dated 9 November 2017 https://theconversation.com/the-accc-investigation-into-the-nbn-will-be-useful-but-its-too-little-too-late-87095 and absentjustice.com/Introduction page.

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

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

In fact, 'A Current Affairs' Australian television programme shows small business operators were still in August 2019, trying to run a telephone dependent business without a reliable phone service https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSbdXYL5bCY

Absent Justice - Concealing A Crime

It is also clear from this ACCC (Australia's Corporate Regulator) news article dated 7 July 2021 that Telstra is once again being accused of misleading their customers regarding their deficient NBN network.  Ziggy Switkowski mentioned in our Absent Justice Introduction has been at the helm of the NBN network since April 2014. The following link https://www.crn.com.au/news/telstra-under-fire-for-failure-to-report-max-speed-restrictions-to-customers-566978).shows the NBN is not up to the efficiency as it is purported to be. 

On 30 September 2021, a number of senators branded the NBN as substandard as the following link https://www.google.com/search?Furious%20MP%27s%20plan%20to%20introduce%20bill%20...%20-%20The%20West%20Australian shows.  

How can Andrew Penn Telstra's CEO and Ziggy Switowski previous CEO back in 1999 and 2004 continue to state Telstra does not mislead the Australian public concerning their network when evidence above and in the following Absent Justice Introduction page.

For example, were the relevant ministers involved in the most recent August 2021 appointment of the newly elected Crown Casino Chairman Ziggy Switkowski informed that on 19 May 1999 (when he was Telstra’s CEO), I faxed him conclusive documented evidence (see Open Letter File Nos/3637 ) which had been derived from Telstra’s own investigations proved Telstra officials had tampered with arbitration evidence after that evidence left my business premises (see Bad Bureaucrats / Tampering of Evidence page)?

This tampering with evidence, after a claimant has provided it to an arbitration process, including (again, in my case) changing that evidence into a different format, must really be one of the worst crimes a defendant (in this case, the Telstra corporation) could have committed against an Australian citizen.  So why, when evidence of this tampering was provided – eighteen years ago to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (John Pinnock), the Chair of the TIO’s Counsel (The Hon Tony Staley), the Chair of the Telstra Board (David Hoare), and Telstra’s then-CEO (Ziggy Switkowski AO), was that evidence not investigated immediately?  

It is important to note: that the person Ziggy Switkowski is replacing is Helen Coonan. The Herald-Sun newspaper has been commenting over recent weeks on the findings of a Royal Commission investigation into alleged corruption within the Crown Melbourne casino during part of the period when Helen Coonan was on the board. On 27 August 2021, the Herald Sun noted:

“Ms Coonan, a former Howard government minister, managed to convince NSW regulators she could turn the Crown around, following explosive revelations it facilitated money laundering and other crime at its flagship Melbourne casino.

“But it was a different story in Victoria, with counsel assisting the royal commission into the group declaring she was not suitable to helm the company, putting at risk its 27-year stronghold on the state’s only casino.” 

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 8

In 2005, the Hon Senator, Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, made a commitment to the new Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who was then a senator assisting the COT Cases (n.” (Senate Evidence File No 20 that if he would cast his crucial vote for the privatisation of Telstra, she would appoint an independent assessor to value the 14 Cots’ claims. However, as soon as Senator Joyce cast his vote, Senator Coonan reneged on her commitment (refer to Chapter 8 - The eighth remedy pursued).

The Hon Barnaby Joyce is the current Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, who on 6 September 2006, admitted in front of 13 witnesses in parliament house Canberra that my evidence, including similar evidence submitted by the other COT Cases, should have been addressed as part of the agreed-to commitment given by Senator Helen Coonan for his crucial vote needed by the Howard government to privatize Telstra. 

In simple plain English, the government sold off the third part of Telstra on a single lie told to the now current Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon Barnaby Joyce.

The conclusion to this reneged deal by the government can be viewed by clicking on Bribery and Corruption - Part 2 and Chapter 8 - The eighth remedy pursued.

 

 

 

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

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

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

ABSENT JUSTICE HAS IT ALL.

Quote Icon

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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

“…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

“…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

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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

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

Sister Burke

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

Sister Burke

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

– Edmund Burke