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Unprecedented Deception


 Unprecedented Deception is a brief overview of my story starting from when I purchased m telephone dependant business that did not have dependent phone service. If the COT story had not been such a disaster for those living it and for the Australian small business operators who were losing their businesses in the 1080s to the early 2000s thought it was just poor management, I would be sitting here writing a script for a comedy, a book or website to make the reader laugh. 

On 12 January 1998, during the Senate estimates committee investigations into COT FOI issues, Graham Schorer COT Cases spokesperson provided Sue Laver (now in 2021) Telstra’s corporate secretary with several documents. On page 12 of his letter, Graham states:

“Enclosed are the 168 listings extracted from Telstra’s Directory of Network Products and Network Operations, plus CoT’s written explanation, which alleges to prove that parts of the November 1993 Bell Canada International The report is fabricated or falsified.”

Had the Senate been advised by Sue Laver there was merit in my complaints concerning the flawed BCI testing, my matters raised on could have been resolved two decades ago. 

Please click on the following link Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report and form your own opinion as to the authenticity of the BCI report which was used by Telstra as an arbitration defence document?

Had I been able to use the BCI testing information, which was now being discussed and proven to be false, well within the statute of limitations period for me to use that material to appeal part of the arbitrator's award, I would have been successful in that appeal. 

Had Sue Laver officially advised the Senate that the BCI Cape Bridgewater tests had not occurred as BCI alleged in their report. Therefore Telstra should never have used it as defence material in my arbitration that advice to the Senate would also have assisted me in my appeal.

However, now more than twenty-four years after this event in 1998, probably means that anyone from the current generation who might pick up a copy of this story will probably find it difficult to understand how it can be that, just twenty or so years ago, a corporation like Telstra (and its government minders) were able to cheat, and cheat, and continue to cheat so many Australians into believing that they were painstakingly repairing the ailing Australian telecommunications network when, instead, they were band-aiding the many serious problems that existed in our communications network so they could postpone any capital expenditure for as long as possible.  And why were they attempting to postpone this expenditure?  Because privatization was on the government agenda and, within Telstra, the attitude from the top down was one of ‘let the shareholders foot the bill after privatisation’. and this was the only answer to all the ongoing problems that were causing devastating problems for business around the entire country as recorded by Senator Len Harris in his media release on 14 November 2002 

Absent Justice - Telstra Spying on its Employees

Faults In The Network

On 3 June 1990, during the period Telstra was telling me they had not found any problems (faults in their network) that were still affecting the viability of my businesses, The Australian (newspaper) printed an article under the heading: Telecom ‘spying’ on its employees, which supports pages 1 to 6 of the AFP transcripts (see Senate Evidence File No/ 44 Part 1 and File No/45 Part). The newspaper article states:

“She said the accusations were contained in a statement by a former member of Telecom’s Protective Services branch.

“Senator Jenkins said the man claimed:

  • He and other Telecom employees and private investigators hired by Telecom did secret surveillance on hundreds of compensation recipients. …
  • He had been directed by his superior to use whatever methods to get the desired results, even when it was obvious the claimant was genuinely injured.
  • Claimants have had a ‘C.CASS run’ on their homes, which is a procedure where a computer can print out all numbers dialled on a home phone.” (See Hacking-Julian Assange File No/19)

Democrat Senator Jean Jenkins told the Senate last week Telecom’s activities included bugging workers’ homes. …

In February 1994, the AFP visited my business at Cape Bridgewater to discuss my claims that recently received FOI documents suggested Telstra had been monitoring my telephone conversations. The AFP was concerned that Telstra had written the names of various people and businesses I had called, on CCAS data records, which collated all incoming and outgoing calls to my business (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No 20). The hand-written notes in the right-hand column of this CCAS data include against dates, the names of people that I telephoned and/or faxed e.g., 31 January 1994, GM (Golden Messenger), AUSTEL and the Ombudsman. In one instance, the name Faye Smith appears when I phoned my ex-wife. This reflects Senator Jenkins statements above regarding Telstra’s secret surveillance of their own employees in 1990, because here is Telstra using similar tactics in January 1994 while they were in a litigation process with me.

My 3 February 1994 letter to Michael Lee, Minister for Communications (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No/27-A) and a subsequent letter from Fay Holthuyzen, assistant to the minister (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No/27-B) to Telstra’s corporate secretary, show I was concerned that my settlement/arbitration releated faxes were being illegally intercepted.

Documents Illegal Interception File No/3, Hacking-Julian Assange File No/28, AFP Evidence File No 4) and Files 646 and 647 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647) confirm the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had documented evidence that my telephone conversations were listened to and recorded over several months.  

So chronic and serious were my telephone faults in early 1993, that Telstra threatened me that unless I register my ongoing telephone/faxing problems with Telstra's outside lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page they would refuse to investigate my telephone problems.  

What I did not know, when I was forced to register my telephone problems in writing with Denise McBurnie before Telstra would investigate those faults is that a COT Case Strategy was a set up by Denise McBurnie of Freehill Hollingdale & Page to hide all proof that I truly did have ongoing  telephone problems affecting the viability of my business (see page 5169  SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia.

This continual writing up of individual telephone faults, to these lawyers Freehill Hollingdale & Page, in order to have Telstra investigate them almost, sent me insane. Instead of keeping this fault evidence, I was providing it to Telstra believing this would assist them in locating the problems my business was experiencing. Instead, it was destroying any chance I would have in proving to the arbitrator my phone problems were ongoing and therefore he could not bring down an award until those problems had been fixed. 

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

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

Absent Justice

Fax Identification Footprint Is Visible 

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

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

Strange telephone type conversations I had with Steve Black and Paul Rumble both senior Telstra arbitration consultants suggested both were trying to aquire knowldge as to whether I was aware of this other Alan Smith of Cape Bridgewater who was also registering his phone complaints with Freehill Hollingdale & Page.

On my second request for this detailed data Paul Rumble Telstra's arbitration officer, threatened me that if I continued to provide this type of information to the AFP, Telstra would refrain from supplying that information. It was up to me. Stop giving the AFP FOI documents, and Telstra will assist me by providing the arbitrator with this type of evidence. 

On page 12 of the 26 September 1994 AFP transcripts (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1) of their interview with me, the AFP raised these threats by Paul Rumble, followed by acknowledging they had evidence my telephone conversations were monitored.

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Threats Caried Out 

Page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated 29 November 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking Telstra’s legal directorate:

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

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

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

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

My pleas to the arbitrator, to bring Telstra to account for their actions when I had still not received my requested discovery documents amazingly, he refused to take calls as his secretary Caroline Friend is aware. It was then that raised these threats with the AFP.

I need to jump forward thirteen years to 2008 because, during my Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing, I provided proof to the government lawyers my arbitration had been a sham to protect Telstra. 

Telstra and Bell Canada International Inc relied upon known CCS7 testing equipment they knew could not be facilited at the two exchanges that serviced my busines. This CCS7 equipment failure is discussed below.

Two Telstra employees (see Exhibits 11 and 12 > (see BCI Telstra’s M.D.C Exhibits 1 to 46) signed witness statements during my arbitration, attesting that CCS7 equipment could not be facilitated at my local telephone exchange. Both statements made under oath state the nearest exchange that could accommodate the CCS7 equipment was Warrnambool, 112 kilometres away.  (see also (see also Absent Justice Part 2 - Chapter 13 - Believe it or not).

BCI state the CCS7 equipment was used in their testing at Cape Bridgewater. Both arbitration consultants, David Read (Australia) and Paul Howell (Canada), knew of this fact and appears to be why they wanted to investigate my ongoing telephone claims. The arbitrator refused them the extra weeks they needed to investigate why my phones problems had been ongoing after Bell Canada International Inc stated the CCS7 equipment testing had not found any problems.

After the conclusion of my arbitration I received a telephone call from Paul Howell, of DMR Group Canada who on 13 April 1995 had been flown out from Canada to investigate my claims and the other three COT Cases claims. I had left a message with the arbitration project manager John Rundell (asking for Paul Howell to explain why he had not signed off his technical evaluation report on my matters when given to the arbitrator. He stated as the arbitrator would not allow him the time he needed to assess ALL of my claim, he never signed it off. His findings were not complete.

He left the report "Open." At point 2.23 in the DMR & Lane findings which were never signed of (see Chapter 1 - The collusion continues) states: 

“Continued reports of 008 faults up to the present. As the level of disruption to overall CBHC [Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp] service is not clear, and fault causes have not been diagnosed, a reasonable expectation is that these faults would remain ‘open’.” (the last word in the above statement "open" is not my emphasis)

After I learned that Paul Howell and David Read had not been allowed to investigate by billing claim documents, and this was because to have done so would have exposed the many discrepancies in the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International Inc tests, I wrote to the Canadian Minister concerning this fraud.

Absent Justice - Bell Canada International

The Most Appropriate Course Of Action

I have never received a written response from BCI, but the Canadian government ministers’ office wrote back on 7 July 1995 noting:

"In view of the facts of this situation, as I understand them, I believe you are taking the most appropriate course of action in contacting BCI directly with respect to the alleged errors in their test report., should you feel that they could assist you in your case."   

It is also clear from Exhibit 8 dated 11 August 1995 (see BCI Telstra’s M.D.C Exhibits 1 to 46 a letter from BCI to Telstra;s Steve Black and Exhibit 36 on (see BCI Telstra’s M.D.C Exhibits 1 to 46 a further letter from BCI to Telstra's John Armstrong that neither letter is on a BCI letter head, as are Exhibits 1 to 7, from BCI to Telstra (see BCI Telstra’s M.D.C Exhibits 1 to 46

Both Exhibits 8 and 36 were provided by Telstra to the Senate Committee [on notice under oath as being auhentic] in October 1997, to support that BCI Cape Bridgewater tests were genuine when the evidence on and Telstra's Falsified BCI Report confirms it is not.

When it became clear that I would never be able to submit a final submission to arbitration process because I had no documents to fully support my claims (even though Dr Hughes had allowed Telstra to defend my claim when it was still not complete). It was George Close & Associates who reminded the arbitrator (not me) that he had still not been able to address the BCI November 1993 tests or the more recent arbitration-related Service Verification Tests carried out at my businesses on 21 September 1994.

Telstra was refusing to provide that raw data because I had assisted the AFP in their investigations into Telstra's other corrupt practices. 

Are we to assume the arbitrator ignored George Closes's request for the raw BCI and SVT data that aware I had broken my promises to Telstra not to provide the AFP with further FOI documents (see page 12 of the 26 September 1994 AFP transcripts of my oral hearing which show I made these promises to Telstra's Paul Rumble under duress (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1

Absent Justice - A Breath of Fresh Air

And at worse fabricated, 

On 15 July 1995, two months after the arbitrator prematurely brought down his findings on my claim, AUSTEL’s previous General Manager of Consumer Affairs, aware that the arbitration process had not addressed my claims concerning the impracticability of CCS7 being used in the BCI testing at Cape Bridgewater. Ms Amanda Davis provided me with an open letter noting: noting:

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

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

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

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

During my time at Austel I pressed as hard as I could for an investigation into the complaints. The resistance to that course of action came from the then Chairman. He was eventually galvanised into action by ministerial pressure. The Austel report looks good to the casual observer, but it has now become clear that much of the information accepted by Austel was at best inaccurate, and at worst fabricated, and that Austel knew or ought to have known this at the time.” 

After leaving Austel I continued to lend support to the COT Cases, and was instrumental in helping them negotiate the inappropriately named "Fast Track" Arbitration Agreement. That was over a year ago, and neither the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman nor the Arbitrator has been succsessful in extracting information from Telecom which would equip the claimants to press their claims effectively. Telecom has devoted staggering levels of time, money and resources to defeating the claiams, and there is no pretence even that the arbitration process has attemted to produce a contest between equals.

Even it the remaining claimants receive satisfactory settlements (and I have no reason to think that will be the outcome) it is crucial that the process be investigated in the interest of accountabilty of publical companies and the public servants in other government agencies. 

Because I am not aware of the exact citrcumstances surronding your meeting with Mr Smith, nor your identity, you can appriate that I am being  fairly circimspect in what I am prepared to commit to writing. Suffice it to say, though, I am fast coming to share the view that a public inquiry of some discripion is the only way that the reasons behind the appalling treatent of these people will be brought to the surface.

I would be happy to talk to you in more detail if you think that would be useful, and can be reached at the number shown above at any time. 

Thank you for your interest in this matter, and for sparing the time to talk to Alan. (See " File 501 -  AS-CAV Exhibits 495 to 541 )

Absent Justice - Senator Ron Boswell


On 20 September 1995, eleven months after Senator Ron Boswell raised the issues of Telstra's Paul Rumble threatening about my supplying FOI documents to the AFP and the repercussions which I had suffered because I had broken my promises and continued to assist the AFP, I did I see tears in this man's eys? 

After we COT Cases discussed the ongoing harassment and bullying by Telstra, a very emotional Senator Ron Boswell discussed the injustices we four COT claimants (i.e., Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and me) experienced before and during our arbitrations. He stated:

“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. …

“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 Evidence File No 1 20-9-95 Senate Hansard A Matter of Public Interest)

Absent Justice - Helen Handbury 

Helen would have Rupert publish it.

In 1999, I provided the draft of this story which discussed the funaamentally flawed Bell Canada International Inc report to Rupert Murdoch’s sister, Helen Handbury. She was aghast at the blatant denial of natural justice that I had received. Helen twice visited my holiday camp and on both occasions stayed in the Old  Presbyterian 1870s church. She like most of my guest loved the rustic surrounds within after reading the draft of abseentjustice,con, stated that she would have Rupert publish it.

She believed Rupert would be shocked, especially upon seeing George Close’s information (see the following two pages titled Australian Federal Police Investigations, - Chapter 6 - US Securities Exchange - pink herring and Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13which clearly shows a secondary facsimile machine was intercepting (scanning) arbitration-related faxes before redirecting them to their intended destination. George Close’s office and residence was a primary target – he was the official technical consultant for the Casualties of Telstra arbitrations hell-bent on exposing the faulty BCI tests which could not have been performed using the faulty Ericsson equipment which Telstra was still using in their telephone exchanges throughout Australia. 

I explained to Helen that the Bell Canada International Inc testing process would have failed because of the faults in the Ericsson AXE exchange in Portland and Cape Bridgewater, and the equipment BCI stated they were using [CCS7 equipment] could not be facilitated at Portland and Cape Bridgewater.

It was the combination of the BCI and CCS7 equipment that concerned Helen. How could Telstra not have known they were using fraud (not my words) to defend their network at Cape Bridgewater? 

Unfortunately, Helen died in 2004. Some years later, on 26 September 2012, I sent a draft of the original version of Absent Justice to her husband, Geoff Handbury, and told him about my conversation with Helen. I asked whether he could suggest the best way for me to get a copy of the book to Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Handbury replied on 17 October 2012 in a handwritten letter (with beautiful, old-fashioned penmanship that we no longer see). However, he was then 87 years old and although highly respected for his philanthropic support of many worthwhile projects in Victoria, too much time had passed and, sadly, he wasn’t able to help. Still, I have the memory of how the sister of the biggest newspaper owner in the world believed my “intriguing story” was certainly one that her brother should publish and I’m grateful for her comments.

Of course this offer and suggestion ny Helen was made years before Rupert Murdoch got caught up in the News of the World scandal and Telstra became a 35% sharholder in FOX News at the time FOX News became embroiled in the Donald Trump saga.

It is important to note that before Robert Nason became Chairman of Fox News he was a partner of Coopers & Lybrand investigators. Robert Nason, and his secretary, Sue Hurley, met with me at his Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp on 13 October 1993, I supplied them with evidence supporting my claims that Telstra had knowingly misled and deceived mr during my 11 December 1992 settlement. I explained that two technicians visited my businesses on 3 June 1993 to investigate my continuing complaints regarding his phone service and inadvertently left behind a briefcase. When Robert Nason and Sue Hurley saw this evidence they were shocked and likewise convinced that Telstra had clearly disadvantaged my previous settlement claim under the heading Coopers & Lybrand - Bad Bureaucrats.

Before Mr Nason joined FOX News, he was seconded to Telstra. 

Mr Nason promised that he would ensure he advised Telstra that my claims, which he assessed on 13 October 1993, proved that Telstra had misled and deceived me in a manner he had never seen in all his years as a commercial forensic investigator.

I doubt whether I will ever know if Mr Nason did record back to Telstra his findings because Telstra continued to mislead and deceive me right through my 1994 to 1995 arbitration. 

Ironically, Mr Nason and his secretary Sue Hurley both visited the Old Presbyterian 1870s church at my holiday camp, where Rupert Murdoch's sister Helen Handbury felt so much at home during her two visits to Cape Bridgewater in 1999. And two decades later, Robert Nason is now working for Helen's brother Rupert. Perhaps Robert Nason might follow the footsteps of Helen Handbury and suggest to Rupert Murdoch I might well have a story.  

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

Most Disturbing And Unacceptable 

On 27 January 1999, after having also read my first attempt at writing my manuscript, the same manuscript I provided Helen Handbury, Senator Kim Carr wrote:

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

“Your manuscript demonstrates quite clearly how Telstra has been prepared to infringe upon the civil liberties of Australian citizens in a manner that is most disturbing and unacceptable.” (Arbitrator Evidence File No 66)

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

The Rights Of Citzens

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

And addressing Telstra’s conduct, by saying:

“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

Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston

Forced To Proceed Without The Necessary Information 

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

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

Absent Justice - Senator Mark Bishop

Senator Mark Bishop’s statement 

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

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

The final sentence reads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation

Telstra's Unlawful Witholding Of Documents

Senator Len Harris, who won his senate seat on 2 July 1999 for the One Nation party, then lived in Queensland, 2,977 kilometres from Melbourne. On 25 July 2002, Senator Len Harris travelled from Cairns in Queensland (a trip that took more than seven hours) to meet four other COTs and me, in Melbourne, in an attempt to ensure our claims of discrimination against the Commonwealth were fully investigated.

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

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

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

Senator Len Harris was distrurbed that A fair resolution of those sixteen COT cases had never been resolved (see 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 was far from truly independent, but rather could be convinced to alter their official findings in their COT Case 13 April 1994 public report, just as Telstra has requested in many of the points in this first letter.

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 of 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 arbitration defendants in the COT arbitrations) were able to pressure the Government Regulator to change their original findings during a government endorsed-arbitration in the formal 13 April 1994 AUSTEL report, which in my case at point 3.7 in the arbitrator's award he placed the AUSTEL Report into arbitration as evidence is alarming. At point 3.5 in the same award, the arbitrator placed the Bell Canada Report into evidence and at point 3.36, placed, the Coopers & Lybrand Report into evidence.

Three official Reports were all placed into arbitration by Telstra as evidence for the arbitrator, his advisors and the COT case advisors to use as reference material, and all three formal reports have since been proven to be grossly deficient and tampered with to protect Telstra to the detriment of the COT claimants.

The fact that 120,000 COT-type problems being experienced by other Australian citizens are not referred to in the Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) report either see Falsification Report File No/10 DCITA even though the DCITA used it to determine their March and April 2006 assessment of the validity of my claims of ongoing telephone problems that by then had forced me to sell my business.

It is clear from the following two letters dated 3 and 16 October 1995 (see Files 46-K and 46-L - Open letter File No/46-A to 46) that the essential part of my arbitration claim was addressed in secret by AUSTEL and Telstra, thus denying me my legal arbitration right of challenge. 

Likewise, the arbitrator could not make a finding for or against, possibly the most essential part of the arbitration.

How many of the 120,000 previously concealed faults which should have been shown in AUSTEL's COT Cases report were related to the 008/1800 defects which AUSTEL allowed Telstra to address outside of my arbitration arena? The wording at point 2.71 in AUSTEL's formal COT Cases publiv released report of April 1994 Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C,when discussing the COT-type problems reads: "may be higher than Telecom's original estimate 0f 50." 

Quite a difference from the original 120,000 COT-type problems that AUSTEL found Telstra consumers were expiencing (see Manipulating the Regulator Chapter 1 Fraudulent Conduct Falsified Reporting  to  Chapter 5 Fraudulent Conduct

Absent Justice - Where was the Justice


To add yet another alarming set of circumstances to this unbelievable story, I need to take the reader back to 1999, when the Victoria police Major Fraud Group seconded me as a witness in their attempt to prove Telstra had committed fraud against five of the twenty-one COT Cases during their arbitrations (see namely Ann Garms, Graham Schorer, Ralph Bova, and Ross Plowman. It had been common knowledge in some government circles that I had prepared two separate technical reports (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report and Telstra's Falsified SVT Report) using Telstra late received documents (that had not been provided to me during which proved Telstra had used fraud during my arbitration that had stopped a proper investigation into the ongoing telephone problems still being experienced by the COT Cases during their respective arbitrations.

Telstra had also knowingly misled and deceived the Australian Senate, concerning this fraud.

The Victoria police wanted me to explain to the Major Fraud Group the method I had used in these two reports, which, even today, in 2022, leaves no doubt that Telstra should have been charged under Section 52 of the Australian Trade Practices Act for 'Misleading and Deceptive Conduct' and perverting the course of justice.

Over three different 3-day periods between 1998 and 1999, I worked alongside Neil Jepson, Barrister for the Major Fraud Group, and assisted three other investigators. After working with the two male and one female officer, I knew I had, years before, chosen the wrong career.

After the Federal Government put the Major Fraud Group under political pressure to abandon the four COT claims of fraud against Telstra, I met two senior Victorian police officers who apologised for what they realised was truly an ordeal for me: not only my failed arbitration but also the failed Victoria Police investigation. I was provided with a small A4 storage box, taped shut. They advised me my four larger boxes of evidence would be couriered to my designated location. I asked if this small package could be included, as I preferred not to carry it away. The look in the eyes of the police officer in charge was stern and direct, and when he stated, “NO, you take this box with you now,” I didn’t argue!

A sneak view of the content proved what I have always suspected the current 2022 Telstra Corporate Secretary, Sue Lever surely new in Janaury 1998, that the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International Inc tests allegedly conducted at Cape Bridgewater could not possibly have been transmitted through the CCS7 testing equipment (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report). There was damning information against Telstra in this A4 storage box as my story is about to expose.  

Absent Justice - Telstras Contempt of the Senate

Startling Documents Not Seen Before

It turned out that this box contained some more startling documents I had not seen before, documents that would shock most Senators today but which clearly indicated that their predecessors had allowed only five of the twenty-one legitimate COT claimants to have access to discovery documents and had also organized compensation for those five, compensation that ran into the millions upon millions of dollars in hush money, and all of that was accomplished so that the Telstra Corporation could be privatized.  Now, if I am wrong, and that is not the case, then why were the remaining sixteen COT claimants all denied access to any of the privileges that the five ‘litmus test cases’ had been granted, and why did a letter from the Senate Estimates Committee Chair advises the police that two In-camera Hansard records, dated 6 and 9 July 1998, must not be provided to anyone outside of the Major Fraud Group and, if someone did reveal them then that person risked being sentenced to jail?  Interestingly, the 9 July 1998 Hansard clearly states that to only award compensation to the ‘litmus test cases’ that were being investigated by the Senate Committee Working Party, and not to the other sixteen claimants, would be an injustice?

It might be hard to believe, but back in August 2001 and again in December 2004, the Australian Government threatened, in writing, to have me charged with contempt of the Senate if I was to ever disclose these in-camera Hansard records, even though those documents could well have won our cases if the COT claimants had appealed against the arbitration process? Where is the justice in that? Being charged with contempt of the Senate can result in a two-year jail term, and, of course, the Government has always known that, but if I had been in a position to safely go ahead and make these documents public, they would have been an enormous help, probably resulting in me winning my appeal against Telstra for gross misconduct. So how can the Senate continue to hide this conduct and, in the process, destroy so many lives? How is this democratic?

It might be hard to believe but, back in August 2001, and again in December 2004, the Australian Government threatened, in writing, to have me charged with contempt of the Senate if I was to ever disclose these in-camera Hansard records, even though those documents could well have won our cases if the COT claimants had appealed against the arbitration process? Where is the justice in that? Being charged with contempt of the Senate can result in a two-year jail term and, of course, the Government has always known that but, if I had been in a position to safely go ahead and make these documents public, they would have been a huge help, probably resulting in me winning my appeal against Telstra for gross misconduct.  So how can the Senate continue to hide this conduct and, in the process, destroy so many lives? How is this democratic?

To understand how and why this occurred, we need to go back to 1997, when the John Howard Coalition Government was in the throes of executing the first of its three steps towards the final privatisation of Telstra. Then, towards the middle of October 1998, the COT ‘litmus test’ cases were, eventually and slowly, beginning to receive some of the previously withheld documents they had legally requested. It then became apparent that the Howard Government was selling the Telstra Corporation, i.e. a government asset, which was in a much worse state than the Government Communications Regulator had claimed it was in (see Manipulating the Regulator). After some 150,000 previously withheld documents were finally delivered to the ‘litmus test’ cases (see An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens) the picture that began to emerge clearly identified exactly how bad the Telstra copper-wire network was, certainly in many rural locations. It then seemed that this was the real reason for the Government’s decision to stop the remaining sixteen COT claimants from receiving the same privileges as those awarded to the ‘litmus test’ cases, which eventually took more than two years to assess. Could the Government afford to have the truth of Telstra’s dilapidated network exposed just as they were about to privatise the corporation? I think not.

I am convinced that when the Major Fraud Group provided me with copies of these Hansard records, they believed that those records would be instrumental in eventually creating justice for the remaining sixteen COT Cases. Our webpage shows however that this was never the case.

After I provided another 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.

It was sometime later (after the Major Fraud Group abandoned the four COT litmus cases’ claims against Telstra) that I was again seconded to Melbourne by Neil Jepson. Mr Jepson was clearly distressed – not only because the case against Telstra had folded through political pressure by the then Liberal National Party – but also because my evidence against Telstra was ignored by the Senate, despite Telstra knowingly providing this Bell Canada International Cape Bridgewater false testing information to the arbitrator as well as the Senate.

Some twelve months later, Mr Neil Jepson and I were called as witnessed in a Victorian Supreme Court Action while waiting to be called to give evidence that Mr Jepson said words to the effect that the COT story should be recorded in the public interest. was born from that statement and the immense respect I had for Mr Jepson, who has since passed away. He was indeed a good Barrister with morals.  

Questions Still Not Answered 

Absent Justice - My Story There are a number of very important and STILL unanswered questions related to Telstra’s involvement in this issue from the very beginning, including: 

Why didn’t anyone from Telstra attend the meeting on the 21st April 1994, when COT members Ann Garms, Graham Schorer and I were required to sign the COT arbitration agreement? Why did it take eight days before a copy of that signed agreement was provided to any of us? 

How is it that that version of the agreement was apparently signed by Telstra's Steve Black, also on 21st April 1994, even though no-one, particularly not Mr Black, attended the actual, official signing? These questions become even more interesting when you factor in how Telstra's main complex, in Melbourne’s Exhibition Street, was only a ten-minute walk away from where we met to sign the agreement – without anyone from Telstra?

Is it possible that the agreement we three members of COT signed was tampered with in some secret way, after we had signed it? 

Perhaps I should now remind you that no-one of sound mind, even if they were suffering from stress at the time, would actually sign away the only insurance they could get (because it was the only insurance that was made available to them at the time) that would ensure that the legal process they were about to enter into would be run properly and ethically. Part of our problem back then, as we now know, was that the now-exonerated financial company of Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory had been appointed as the arbitration ‘resource unit’ and, as part of that role, was then provided with a secret charter that was deliberately hidden from all the COTs. 

This secret charter provided Ferrier Hodgson with the power to secretly assess every one of the documents that were submitted to the arbitrator and that were connected, in any way, to any of the COT arbitrations, along with the power to then decide which of those documents the arbitrator would see and which were to be completely removed from the process without the official arbitrator ever seeing them and without the sender of those documents being notified about that removal either (see File 590 - AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647).  This alone certainly indicates that the process was never intended to be run according to the agreed ambit of the arbitration procedures that had been shown to the COTs, or according to the legal rules of arbitration here in Australia.

Chapter 5 - Who benefited from exonerating FHCA, DMR and Special Counsel? shows on 2 August 1996 (fifteen months after the conclusion of my arbitration) Ferier Hodgson Corporate wrote to the Dr Gordon Hughes, previous arbitrator to my arbitrationnoting "...due to a number of factors including confidentiality, it was felt not appropriate to answer Austel’s comments in detail, in particular the issue was under consideration in the Arbitration. As agreed the Resource Unit did not responde to the AUSTEL letter.” (see File 220 AS-CAV Exhibit 181 to 233)

One of the documents, dated 16th December 1994 referred to in this memorandum to Dr Hughes and had three AUSTEL and Telstra billing documents attached (see File -129 AS-CAV Exhibit 128 to 180. I did not see this letter or the attachments until years after the conclusion of my arbitration.  

I reiterate, File 220 AS-CAV Exhibit 181 to 233 shows as a result of those powers that had been so surreptitiously provided to Ferrier Hodgson, they then decided that none of my billing claim documents would be addressed during my arbitration or even seen by the arbitrator: yet another indication that, during my arbitration at least, there were secret, behind-closed-doors meetings that were held behind my back and secret agreements entered into, all with one aim:  to ensure that my claims would never be viewed on their actual merit.

The statement made by Sue Hodgkinson of FHCA at dot point 6 in her report to Warwick Smith i.e.; 'The magnitude of fault complaints reported is unsubstantiated and appears overstated ' does not coincide with AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 10, to 212.  Here is a further testament that FHCA should not have been appointed by Warwick Smith as the secret installed arbitrator. 

See Hiding behind a tainted confidentiality agreement: 

Absent Justice - Deception Continues

 A Tainted Confidentiality Agreement 

On the day we signed the arbitration agreement (see Open letter File No 54-B), clause 10.2.2 and the $250,000.00 liability caps in clauses 25 and 26 had been removed and clause 24 modified. We were told there would be NO arbitration if we did not accept these late changes. 

I have always maintained our lawyers thought we were signing the arbitration agreement COT Case Maureen Gillan had signed two weeks before. I only agreed to clause 10.2.2. being removed. With our banks declaring they were ready to take over our assets if we could not show settlements were imminent, I buckled to the removal of only that clause.

No one in their right mind, no matter how must pressure was applied to them would have accepted a compromise the comple of such a magnitude. Modifying clause 24, and removing clause 25 and 26 meant we could not sue anyone for acts of negligence. Meaning, the legal counsel to the arbitration and the professional consultants were now bullet proof. They could freely do what ever they liked, when they liked and there was nothing anyone could do. This website shows this is exactly what happened. 

The Secret meeting tells it all the way it was:

Telstra's minutes [transcripts] from this clandstine meeting show no COT claimant or their representative were present at this important meeting show 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 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 originally exposed in those two points that prompted Telstra’s lawyers to remove them from the minutes that the arbitrator would have surely received or composed his own? (see Open letter File No 54-A

The TIO (administrator to the arbitrations) Telstra and the arbitrator have refused to provide those removed clauses even though the Commonwealth Ombudsman sought that information on my behalf between October 1995 and October 1997.

I reiterate, that Telstra, the TIO and the arbitrator are stating the confidentiality clauses in the arbitration allow them not to disclose to the claimants and the public anything about the conduct of our arbitrations. 

I feel Helen Handury found the content of Chapter 5 Fraudulent conduct possibly the most disturbing part of my story (I am not sure about Senator Kim Carr) but I am convinced the removal of the $250,000.00 liability caps is the part in my book she wanterd her brother Rupert to publish.

letter File 590 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647 shows the exonerated Ferrier Hodgson Corporation decided that none of my billing claim documents would be addressed during my arbitration. Clandestine decisions and actions during my arbitration prevented my claims being viewed on their merit.

In Chapter 2 under the heading Ms Sussan Hodgkinson’s Memorandum (see Chapter 5 - Who benefited from exonerating FHCA, DMR and Special Counsel? it becomes obvious that FHCA concealed vital arbitration billing claim documents from the arbittrator as well as taking it upon themseleves not to respond to AUSTEL's letter to Dr Hughes. In simple terms, FHCA had taken over the roll as arbitrator in deciding how the arbitrations were to be administered. 

Absent Justice - My Story

Most Rural Businesses Were Not Using The Internet

The government noted at Point 109 –

"The view of the local Telecom technicians in relation to the RVA problem is conveyed in a 2 July 1992 Minute from Customer Service Manager – Hamilton to Managers in the Network Operations and Vic/Tas Fault Bureau:

“Our local technicians believe that Mr Smith is correct in raising complaints about incoming callers to his number receiving a Recorded Voice Announcement saying that the number is disconnecte. They believe that it is a problem that is occurring in increasing numbers as more and more customers are connected to AXE. 

and at Point 210

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

PLEASE NOTE: When I exposed the Ericsson AXE problem referred to in AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings the average call loss to the telephone exchange was from 15% to 50% as File 10-B Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f so clearly shows. Other countries around the world were removing or had removed the faulty AXE equipment from their exchanges (see File 10-B Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f.

Just imagine how vaulable AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings would have been to me had I received it at the same time Telstra had received their copy from the government.

All events quoted on this website are supported by copies of the original documents that support our claims that corruption in government is real and not a figment of our imagination: for example, C A V Part 1, 2 and 3Prologue - Chapter 1 - The collusion continuesBad Bureaucrats - Manipulating the Regulator, and Australian Federal Police Investigations etc. Clicking on these links automatically opens the nominated page in the above menu bar. By using this method, you can verify our story. We could not have successfully composed this website without these exhibits to prove our story. The corruption and injustices perpetrated against the Casualties of Telstra (COT cases) by those in various government administrative roles, under the umbrella of legally administered arbitrations, are so overwhelming that we would have lost clarity had we placed all in one manuscript. So, as you read the various mini stories as displayed in the above menu bar, regularly check the evidence on the website and the numbered exhibits to ensure you truly appreciate the enormity of what you are reading. 

As the website grew, I also discovered that some of the issues related to more than one event and, in fact, were sometimes linked to multiple events and that meant that the one event needed to be repeated in a number of different sections of the website, so that the depth of the corruption and the illegal activities that were committed during the arbitration could be fully and properly understood

This is the story of a group of ordinary small-business people fighting one of the largest companies in the country. The story of how for years Telstra refused to address the many phone problems that were affecting the capacity of the COT Four to run their businesses, telling them 'No fault found,' when documents on this website show they were found to have existed as our story shows.

What the COT Cases never knew prior to arbitration is that as soon as we started to uncover what the government communications regulator (the public servants within government) had been concealing from the citizens of Australia, we were upsetting the Australian Establishment, the public servants who had been milking Telstra 'skimming millions upon millions of dollars from the then government-owned Telstra Corporation. We COTs were now enemies of the State, and our private and business lives were about to be targetted. 

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, which confirms the soon to be adminisrator of our four settlement/arbitration processes was providing Telstra in-house part room privilge COT Case discussion material. The plot to stop the COT Cases from proving their claims had already started (see COT Case Strategy below - Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C)

Absent Justice - Telstras FOI Game

The COT cases and their four businesses were targetted.

Telstra's lawyers had set up a COT Case Strategy naming the four COT Cases and their businesses in there so far successfull attempt to stop us four from fully proving our claims Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C - Golden Messengers Graham Schorer, Tivoli Restaurant / Ann Garms, Japanese Spare Parts / Maureen Gillan, Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp / Alan Smith from gaining any further relevant technical documentation under the Freedom of Information Act. Our lives were about to be ruined even further, not just from the faulty phone service our businesses had been subjected to for years and years; we were now about to experience the wrath from within. Even the government, the politicians elected by the people, knew nothing of the power the Establishment had over government public assets. The tits of the milling cow were in jeopardy. We four COT Cases had to be stopped at all costs from proving our claims.

Starting on page 5163, this link > SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia, shows Telstra employees rorted millions upon millions of dollars from the public purse: i.e., the government and Australian citizens, who then owned Telstra. The pressure applied by several Australian Senators including Senators Richard Alston and Ron Boswell, for a Senate investigation into the Casualties of Telstra (COT cases) claims that Telstra was knowingly incorrect charging their customers for service not proved, was one of the reasons the government communications regulator AUSTEL facilitated  an arbitration  process with a confidentiality clause attached to it that forbade anyone assocated with the arbitrations could reveal how serious these billing issues were.

As shown in Absent Justice Part 2 - Chapter 13 - Believe it or not and Absent Justice Part 2 - Chapter 14 - Was it Legal or Illegal? the government allowed Telstra to secretly address my arbitration billing fault claim material on 16 October 1995, five months after the conclusion of my arbitration. 

Faults continued to occur. In January 2003 – seven years after the arbitration process – the new owners of my business wrote to David Hawker MP, seeking help (see Arbitrator File No/118). Ex-Telstra technical guru Brian Hodge, after viewing Telstra’s own fault material, confirms the problems were still affecting the business in November 2006. When the project manager admitted that NONE of the billing issues was addressed during my arbitration (see below), he also admitted to not investigating the faults that caused these billing issues. In fact, in both the draft and final 30 April 1995 technical arbitration evaluation Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp reports, the consultants state:

“2.23  Continued reports of 008 faults up to the present. As the level of disruption to overall CBHA (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” (SeeIntroduction File No/1-B)

What was the point of my arbitration if the two technical consultants did not diagnose the fault causes of my ongoing billing faults. It is clear the exonerated arbitration consultants did not worry about liability for not investigating my ongoing phone problems? 

Kangaroo - Court

No legal right of reply

16 October 1995: Five months after my arbitration was deemed complete (and hence outside the arena of the arbitration process) AUSTEL allowed Telstra’s original arbitration defence liaison officer to address the 008/1800 billing faults my (see Open letter File No/46-A to 46-l). These were some of the billing RVA Ericsson AXE faults that the resource unit later admitted (2 August 1996) to the arbitrator and TIO that they had withheld from the arbitration process (see Open letter File No/45-H).

Unbeknown to the COT Cases the legal firm assisting NSW Telstra employees in their Telstra superannuation and other legal issues was by a legal firm to who the arbitrator  was a partner before he became to arbitrator to the COT arbitrations. This legal firm were still assisting NSW Telstra employees at the time Dr Hughes agreed to become the COT arbitrator. None of the COT Cases knew of this possible conflict of interest or the fact that faxes arriving at Dr Hughes office after the close of business each day were authmatically redirected to the Sydney office where Telstra related legal documents were also being received.  

Furthermore, although it is astonishing, page 5163 of > SENATE Official Hansard – Parliament of Australia shows that, even before COT members and a number of senators applied pressure, both Telstra’s CEO and all the members of the Telstra board had already known, for some time, about the millions of dollars that Telstra was unlawfully withdrawing from government coffers. Perhaps even more unbelievable is that the COT cases received no recognition, from either the government or Telstra, for our stand for honesty and truth; instead, we have been treated in the worst possible way, labelled as vexatious litigants and our lives have been ruined, simply because we believed that what we were doing would eventually benefit all Australians.

COT members pleaded with the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO) not to force us into arbitration with Telstra whilst Telstra was under investigation by the Australian Federal Police for unauthorised interception of COT cases’ telephone conversations – this was undemocratic. The TIO ignored our concerns. What we did not know, was that the TIO and arbitrator had secretly agreed with Telstra to use their drafted arbitration agreement and NOT the independent agreement the government was assured would be used to assess our matters. Even worse, although the arbitrator wrote to the TIO, advising him the arbitration agreement was not credible to use in the arbitrations, it was still used. This letter from the arbitrator was then concealed from the claimants during their designated appeal processes, regardless of its value.

Even before the arbitrator brought down his first deliberation, both he and the TIO were warned, on 18 April 1995, that there were “forces at work” derailing the arbitrations. They both ignored this written advice. This letter to the TIO, from the arbitration project manager, was also concealed from the claimants during the same designated appeal process.

Absent Justice - The Firm

The Firm - John Grisham 

It was while all this skulduggery and deception was taking place and Denise McBurnie along with Freehill Hollingdale & Page had drained me of all my reserved energies to keep going,  that I remembered the ruthless legal firm portrayed in the 1991 novel The Firm by John Grisham.

Both Telstra’s 14 April 1994 letter, to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), that admits at least one Telstra employee was intercepting my telephone conversations, and my 9 September 1994 response, concerning this unauthorised interception over an extended period, are now stamped “Protected AFP” material. The SENATE official Hansard clearly refers to Telstra’s conduct, stand-over tactics and threats towards the COT cases. The Senate Hansard, AFP transcripts (of conversations with me concerning these threats) and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s records, all confirm Telstra carried out those threats against; yet neither the arbitrator nor the TIO addressed this during my arbitration. Why has no one ever addressed this unethical conduct publicly? Why is there no record, in the arbitrator’s award, exposing these threats? Why was Telstra allowed to make these threats and commit similar unlawful acts against the COT cases during their arbitrations? Neither the TIO nor arbitrator came to my aid or demanded answers to why a corporation can take control over arbitrations in a government-endorsed process.

Although I have already raised the Freehill Hollingdale & Page - COT Case Strategy above, it was again important to raise it right through my story because having to register phone complaints to a lawyer in writing brought on not just PSD, it stopped me focussing on what telephone calls that did make it through the minefield of a very congested telephone network. 

During this turbulent period where it felt like I was in a dream telephoning a lawyer to explain the previous four incoming calls had just dropped out I felt as though Denise McBurnie was playing a cat and mouse type game with my mind. 

he long term effect it had on the well being of the four COT Cases, i.e., two have died, the third has dementia, and in November 2017, I suffered a heart attack and double bye-pass (living with a pacemaker) finally took its toll. 

In January 2018 my partner, Cathy, was with me for my first appointment with our local doctor after I had survived this heart attack and double by-pass surgery.  Although the doctor was very sympathetic to my situation (and he knows my COT story) he couldn’t help but ask:  “Why am I not surprised?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absent Justice - Further Insult to Injustice

Unsigned Witness Statement 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ending in those to paragraphs which appeared to have stopped half way through the sentence (the folowing words did not flow) back into the previous statement made.

Absent Justice - Australian Senate

Stop the COT Cases at all cost

Worse, however, the day before the Senate committee uncovered this COT Case Strategy, they also told under oath, on 24 June 1997 see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate - Parliament of Australia/from an ex-Telstra employee and then-Whistle-blower, Lindsay White, 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 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 O’Chee then asked Mr White - "What, stop them reasonably or stop them at all costs - or what?"

Mr White responded by saying - "The words used to me in the early days were we had to stop these people at all costs".

Senator Schacht also asked Mr White - "Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said 'stopped at all costs" (See Front Page Part One File No/6)

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 costs’ from proving their my against Telstra’. One of the named Peter's in this Senate Hansard is the same Peter who swore under oath, in his 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 267055 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. Telstra is fully aware Peter (on page 38 of this Hansard) received advice from AUSTEL, on 11 October and 16 November 1994, regarding the Service Verification Tests (SVT) being grossly deficient. AUSTEL demanded Telstra advise what it intended doing about this deficiency see Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B. No second SVT test ever took place at my business during my arbitration. However, in November 2002 (eight months after I sold the business) Telstra tested the business for the new owners, concluded the wiring, cabling and the Telstra-installed infrastructure was corroded and the whole holiday camp was rewired.

This is the same Peter who somehow had the power to direct a Government Regulator regarding who they could release this known faulty SVT information to and who they could not release it to see Arbitrator File No/98 even though the Government Regulator (AUSTEL) knew that the inaccurate SVT results were being used to support Telstra’s arbitration defence of at least four COT Cases claims (which included me)

This same Peter refused to conduct any sort of testing at my premises. Both Peter and David Reid (an ex-Telstra technician, and now with Lane Telecommunications) were present to investigate on-site telecommunication arbitration information. Lindsay White, whistleblower, admitted, under oath to senators, that Peter said I was to be stopped – at all cost – from proving my claim. Peter was able to pressure David Reid, part of the allegedly independent arbitration resource unit, not to test my three service lines that were experiencing ONGOING problems when they visited my business on 6 April 1995. From what happened on this day, it is apparent the government-endorsed arbitration process was designed – NOT to assist the COT cases in proving their claims – but to destroy the credibility of the COT cases’ claims in order to sell off the Telstra network, no matter how degraded the arbitration process found it was.

After viewing the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp (SVT) CCAS data dated 29 September 1994 (see Arbitrator File No/110) Brian Hodge, B Tech, MBA (B.C. Telecommunications), on 27 July 2007, prepared a report and on page 23, (see Main Evidence File No 3) concludes:

  • "It is my opinion that the reports submitted to Austel on this testing programme was flawed, erroneous, fictitious, fraudulent & fabricated, as it is clear that no such testing has taken place as Telstra’s own call charge system DOES NOT record any such activities. Therefore the results are flawed or did not occur"   

Didn't the statements made under oath by Lindsay White to the Senate Estimates Committee on 24 June 1997, mean anything at all regarding the advice he received from this Peter that we FIVE COT cases had to be stopped at all cost from proving issues such as the falsified arbitration SVT witness statements to the arbitrator (see Telstra's Falsified SVT Report)

On 26 September 1997, the new TIO advised a Senate Estimates Committee, that:

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

There is no amendment attached to any agreement, signed by the above-mentioned COT members, allowing the arbitrator to conduct those particular arbitrations entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedure – and neither was it stated that he would have no control over the process once we had signed those individual agreements. How can the arbitrator and TIO continue to hide under a confidentiality clause contained in our arbitration agreement when that agreement did not mention the arbitrator would have no control because the arbitration would be conducted entirely outside of the agreed ambit of the procedures?

Also in the above Senate Hansard on 24 June 1997: (refer to page 76 and 77 Senate - Parliament of Australia Senator Kim Carr states to Telstra’s main arbitration defence Counsel (also a TIO Council Member) Re: Alan Smith: (Senate Evidence File No/1-B)

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 judo 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.

Tampering of Evidence. 

Exposing corruption and holding the corrupt to account can only happen if we understand the way corruption works and the systems that enable it (see ) What happened when Telstra tampered with my TF200 after it left my business is corruption and therefore the TIO (administrator to my arbitration) and the arbitrator should have held Telstra to account for this corruption (see Transparency International).

The marked Telstra FOI documents folio A64535 to A64562 (see Tampering With Evidence File No/5), are clear evidence that Telstra did do two separate TF200 tests on my collected phone two weeks apart. FOI folio A64535 confirms with this handwritten Telstra laboratory file note, dated 26 May 1994, that when wet beer was poured into a TF200 phone the wet substance dried up within 48 hours. The air vents within the phone itself allowed for the beer to escape. In other words, how could my TF200, collected on 27 April 1994, have been wet inside the phone on 10 May 1994 when it was tested at Telstra’s laboratories?

Absent Justice - A disturbing twist

An Out Of Control Fire 

Another disturbing side to this tapering with arbitration evidence by Telstra is that for many years before this tampering took place, I was a volunteer for the Cape Bridgewater Country Fire Authority (CFA). The following chapters show that during my arbitration Telstra twisted the reason I could not be present for the testing of my TF200 telephone at my premises on a scheduled meeting on the morning of 27 April 1994. Telstra only reported in their file notes (later submitted to the arbitrator) that I refused to allow Telstra to test the phones because I was tired. There was no mention in these file notes that I advised the fault response unit that I had been fighting an out-of-control fire for 14 hours or that my sore eyes made it impossible to observe such testing by Telstra. I fought the fire the previous evening from 6 pm to 9 am the following morning.

It is clear from our Tampering With Evidence page that not only did Telstra set out to discredit me by implying I was just too tired to have my TF200 phone tested, but after Telstra removed the phone, it was tampered with before it arrived at Telstra’s Melbourne laboratories: someone from Telstra poured beer into the phone. Telstra then alleged, in its arbitration defence report, that sticky beer was the cause of the phone’s ongoing lock-up problems, not the Cape Bridgewater network. This one wicked deed, along with the threats I received from Telstra during my arbitration, is a testament that my claims should have been investigated years ago. So, even though I carried out my civic duties as an Australian citizen, over and beyond by supplying vital evidence to the AFP, as well as fighting out-of-control fires, I was still penalised on both those occasions during my arbitration.

The other twist to this part of my story is, how could I have spilt beer into my telephone as Telstra's arbitration defence documents state, when I had been fighting an out of control fire? I cerainly would not have been driving the CFA truck or assisting by fire buddies had I been drinking beer. Reading this part of my story on  Tampering of Evidence will give the reader some idea of the dreadful conduct that we COT Cases had to put up with from Telstra as we battled for a relaible phone service. 

And then, as if all this un-addressed skulduggery and secret plotting has not been difficult enough to live with for these past twenty-four years, let us take a look at the senior Telstra engineer who organised the removal of my tampered-with TF200 phone and then arranged things so that it would be held in his office from that day, 27 April 1994, until 6 May 1994 when, finally, it actually reached Telstra’s laboratories.

It is important to look at this engineer because it turns out, this was the same Telstra Chief Arbitration Engineer who swore under oath, in his Witness Statement of 12 December 1994, that the Service Verification Testing process that he conducted during my arbitration had met all of the mandatory Government requirements but, somehow, the CCAS data for the day in question does not show that any SVT processes as being conducted at all, neither in connection to my phone lines nor according to Government specifications nor, for that matter, according to ANY specifications at all.

The plot thickens. As it turns out that this is also the same Telstra engineer who, during a Senate Committee hearing on 24 June 1997, (see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia was named by an ex-Telstra employee (Lindsey White) as the person who told Mr White that I was one of the Five COT Cases, who had to be stopped at all cost from proving our arbitration claims and, astonishingly, this is, again, the same Telstra engineer who visited my business on 6 April 1995 with the TIO-appointed arbitration resource unit, but then refused to conduct any of the suggested tests on the service line, at my business, that this tampered-with TF200 had been connected to.

Pages 5163 to 5169 SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia. proves beyond all doubt that systemic criminal conduct did exist within the Telstra Corporation prior to and during our arbitrations.

Absent Justice - Crimes Against the COT claimants

Eighty-Six Thousand Documents Received

Some eight-six thousand documents have been received after the COT Cases arbitrations were over and mostly received after the statute of limitations had expired for them documents to be used in any appeal against the arbitrator's handling of the arbitration process.

How Telstra and its legal arbitration defence team perverted the course of justice by using such dubious strategies as intercepting relevant faxes, failing to deliver crucial FOI documents (or delivering them months and even years too late, often so highly censored that little intelligible remained), even destroying documentary evidence and fabricating evidence.

How the central points of our claim at arbitration was ignored by the arbitrator and how no amount of effort to have these points addressed bore any fruit. How, in the course of all these travesties, the regulatory bodies — Austel (for the government) and the TIO (for the carriers) — failed to exercise any control over Telstra to the point where they could reasonably be seen as acting in concert.

Together, these travesties spell a breakdown of justice, way out of proportion to the problem we began with — people asking that their phone services be guaranteed to work to a reasonable standard so that they can reliably conduct their businesses.

Each of the COT members assumed, as most telephone users would assume, that their phone faults would be quite easily found and fixed by Telstra's skilled technicians. But 'No fault found' was the constant refrain, and the problems continued unabated throughout the course of our arbitrations, and for years afterwards, with disastrous effects on our businesses. This seemed incomprehensible: everyone had a phone the system is supposed to work for everyone. What was going on?

Instead of our very deficient telephone services being fixed, as part of our government-endorsed arbitration process that became an uneven battle we could never win, they were NOT fixed as part of the process, regardless of the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it cost the claimants to mount their claims against Telstra. Crimes were committed against us and our integrity was attacked and undermined (see Bribery and Corruption - Part 1 and Bribery and Corruption - Part 2). Our livelihoods were ruined, we lost millions of dollars, and our mental health declined, yet those who perpetrated the crimes are still in positions of power today. Our story is still actively being covered up by those who helped these injustices to continue well past the government endorsed arbitrations set up to investigate these injustices by the Telstra Corporation (see Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and Manipulating the Regulator).

And why did it seem everyone was protecting Telstra, turning a blind eye to what was unlawful behaviour? Withholding important discovery documents in an arbitration procedure is unlawful. Tampering with evidence in the arbitration is unlawful (see Tampering of Evidence).. Relying on defence documents that are known to be flawed in arbitration is unlawful (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report and Evidence - Telstra's Falsified SVT Report. The TIO and Austel often refused to act; Members of Parliament, when in Opposition, were happy to provide support for the COT cause, but as soon as the government was theirs, that support vanished. No one was prepared to make Telstra accountable. It was enough to make the most level-headed person suspect conspiracies.

The depths to which Telstra stooped in its conduct with the COT claimants seems to suggest just how little confidence Telstra had in its own case. But why was it so fearful of being found liable? What was the worst that could happen if our claims were vindicated? What was it trying to conceal?

Julian Assange is only part of our COT story, but a major one as the reader will see as they go through my story. Therefore, it is essential to introduce Julian Assange at the beginning of this COT story

Hackers For Justice

Absent Justice - Julian Assagne

A Man With A Conscience

On page 15 in the novel The Most Dangerous Man In The World by Andrew Fowler, he makes the following statement:

"The Lonsdale Telephone Exchange in the centre of Melbourne with its black marble gacade, is an eye-catching building. In the last 1980s it was the gatway to other telephone exchanges and organisations linked to super computers around the world".

The information on Bad Bureaucrats Taking on the Establishment and Chapters 1 to Chapters 9 Julian Assange Hacking are all related to the following a discussion Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) had with a group of young hackers who we now beleive was Julian Assange and his friends. These young hackers contacted the group during the early part of COT arbitrations.

That the hackers informed Graham Schorer they had broken into.the Melbourne Lonsdale Telephone Exchanges.  

In June 1993, more than twenty years before Andrew Fowler and Julian Assange had ever heard of the Lonsdale Telephone Exchange, Telstra had left an unlocked briefcase at my premises; it revealed that the Lonsdale Telephone Exchange had poorly been programmed and that the Ericsson AXE telephone exchanges equipment being used by Telstra in their telephone exchanges were known to be suffering significant faults.

On 4 and 5 June 1993, I freely provided AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator this evidence without copying much of it because of my limited copying facilities. A facsimile machine and a roll system were OK for faxes arriving, but that was its fundamental limitation. Later AUSTEL's Queens Road Melbourne office discovered from reading further documents that it became apparent other countries around the world were now removing the Ericsson AXE equipment from their exchanges or had removed it from their exchanges. So why was Telstra still using this equipment that destroyed businesses throughout Australia?

I provided the AUSTEL with further damaging information concerning the weaknesses in Telstra's Melbourne Lonsdale Exchange which showed that 50 per cent of my Melbourne telephone callers from Melbourne calling into my business at Cape Bridgewater 430 kilometres away were trunked through the Lonsdale Exchange. Telstra had somehow forgotten to programme the first six digits 055 267 of the Cape Bridgewater telephone exchange into the system for at least eight months. While this was bad enough, those callers received a recorded electronic message telling them my business was no longer trading.

So, when we were offered documents from an unknown source stating the hackers had gained access to Telstra's Melbourne Lonsdale Telephone Exchange which we knew was linked to the outside world, alarm bells began to ring. We were being offered emails and faxes proving Telstra and others had us COT Cases under electronic surveillance during our arbitration; we thought this might be set up. Was the Lonsdale Exchange the carrot to trap us into accepting documents outside of the arbitration process? Therefore, we declined to take the documents on offer.  

A statutory declaration prepared by Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) on 7 July 2011 was provided to the Victorian Attorney-General the Hon Robert Clark. This statutory declaration discusses three young computer hackers who phoned Graham to warn him during the 1994 COT arbitrations. The hackers had discovered Telstra and others associated with our arbitrations were acting unlawfully towards the COT group. Graham’s statutory declaration includes the following statements:

“After I signed the arbitration agreement on 21st April 1994 I received a phone call after business hours when I was working back late in the office. This call was to my unpublished direct number.

“The young man on the other end asked for me by name. When I had confirmed I was the named person, he stated that he and his two friends had gained internal access to Telstra’s records, internal emails, memos, faxes, etc. He stated that he did not like what they had uncovered. He suggested that I should talk to Frank Blount directly. He offered to give me his direct lines in the his [sic] Melbourne and Sydney offices …

“The caller tried to stress that it was Telstra’s conduct towards me and the other COT members that they were trying to bring to our attention.

“I queried whether he knew that Telstra had a Protective Services department, whose task was to maintain the security of the network. They laughed, and said that yes they did, as they were watching them (Telstra) looking for them (the hackers). …

“After this call, I spoke to Alan Smith about the matter. We agreed that while the offer was tempting we decided we should only obtain our arbitration documents through the designated process agreed to before we signed the agreement.” (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3)

PLEASE NOTE: the Warwick Smith referred to by Graham Schorer in this statutory declaration was also the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (see TIO Evidence File No 3-A) which 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. 

It is highly likely the advice Warwick Smith 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.

Absent Justice - Fax + Telephone Hacking

Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd Report 

January 1994: A Telstra arbitration liaison officer faxed this document to the TIO in relation to the appointment of an assessor for the Fast Track Settlement Proposal. The words across the top of this document, in the space that should record the sender’s business identification are absent, and it records only the wording “Fax from” then followed by the fax number. The Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report discusses this “Fax from” issue (see Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13). The fact that a secondary fax machine installed in Telstra’s network during the arbitration process intercepted this document (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No 26) is another reason why this illegal interception of legal in-confidence documents should have been investigated during our arbitrations, when these illegal acts were first discovered. Who were the faceless people who were soon termed the “forces at work”?

One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of this fax interception report emailed me on 17 December 2014, stating:

“I still stand by my statutory declaration that I was able to identify that the incoming faxes provided to me for review had at some stage been received by a secondary fax machine and then retransmitted, this was done by identifying the dual time stamps on the faxes provided.” (Front Page Part One File No/14)

It is also clear from Front Page Part One File No/1File No/2-A to 2-EFile No/3File No/4 and Front Page Part One File No/5, that numerous documents faxed from my office to the arbitrators office did not reach their intended destination.

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

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

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

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

Exhibit AS 492-A file AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E is a letter dated 26 August 1998 from George Close to the new Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. The fax header records: Fax from: — 61 74 453198 — 17:54 which was Mr Close’s residential fax number. Our Main Evidence File (see Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13), is the technical findings of both Scandrett & Associates and Peter Hancock showing that they both agree that, if the wording Fax from: followed by the numbers of the various COT faxes does not also include the correct business identification of the respective COT business then that indicates that those faxes were intercepted by a secondary fax machine and then redirected on to the intended destination. 

Absent Justice - Ongoing Faxing Problems

Was my essential letter to the arbitrator via the Deputy TIO Grant Campbell concerning George Closes assertion the BCI tests were flawed intercepted via this second installed fax machine on George Closes service line, or was it discarded by the TIO-appointed arbitration unit who had been given authority by the TIO and Telstra to which documents reached the arbitrator and which did not? (see Chapter 3 - Julian Assange - Hacking -1 (File - 590 AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647). 

This intercepted letter from Mr Close was copied to the offices of twelve different Government Ministers in Parliament House Canberra, which then raises a number of very important questions. Since we constantly hear about politicians questioning how information has been leaked from the party room, could this be because even Government offices in Parliament House are also routed through Telstra’s Fax Streaming centre? Even if the Fax Streaming arrangement has been officially organised by those Government offices, what could be happening to the documents that go through that system, without the Government’s knowledge? Could it be that privileged, in-confidence material ‘leaks’ out of Parliament house through Telstra in this same way? Could it be that Telstra’s Fax Streaming process means that, around the country, private is not so private at all?

PLEASE NOTE: although the George Close exhibits are of poor quality (having been copied a number of times) the poor quality does not take away the truth that these exhibits when viewed together still prove our claims.

Exhibit AS 492-B file AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E, which is a report faxed by Mr Close on 16 April 1998, has the correct identification across the top of the page see 61-74-453198 — GEORGE CLOSE & ASSOC — 17:34. In simple terms, those with access to Telstra’s network were able to use ‘keywords’ so only certain faxes leaving Mr Close’s residence were intercepted. I have used these two examples because they were both sent at approximately the same time in the afternoon, although months apart.

How many other arbitration and legal processes is this interception of the legal documentation is being hacked by the opposing side, screened, and copied before sending it on to its intended destination? The advantage of knowing the other sides weaknesses and strengths is endless. And this all happened in Australia. I firmly believe up to the day George Close passed away; he never got over the fact that Telstra had used his residence and office to the detriment of his COT Case clients. 

When Four COT Cases presented our dispute to the government, George Close & Associates joined us as the official technical consultants. George, along with me and the other three COT Cases, Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, and Graham Schorer, were all manipulated, pressured and squeezed into an unfair and costly arbitration. The arbitrator relied on the Bell Canada International Inc (BCI) tests as key evidence on whether our ongoing phone faults were still present or had been fixed. Commonwealth Ombudsman records, along with my own download evidence files, show George Close tried in vain to have the arbitrator access under official discovery the raw data all of the BCI successful tests results, which would have proved whether the BCI test carried out at the four telephone exchanges our businesses was connected had met the mandatory government requirements.

The arbitrator, Dr Gordon Hughes, refused to access this data to enable George Close to provide an accurate, detailed technical report on our four businesses.

BCI and Telstra claimed the BCI tests conducted at my local Portland and Cape Bridgewater telephone exchange gave these exchanges an excellent report. Telstra even proclaimed this and praised the BCI tests (see pages 106 to 108 COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA - Parliament of Australia) publicly on nationwide TV.

However, in late-May 1995, two weeks after my arbitration concluded, previously requested discovery documents arrived that proved the BCI tests could not have been performed as BCI had alleged in its official report. Among the papers in this late FOI release, I found two particularly relevant documents, (see File - AS-CAV 135 and AS-CAV 136 AS-CAV Exhibit 128 to 180 numbered N00005/6 and N00037).  Document N00005/6 is a letter dated 6th September 1994 from Telstra to Gerald Kealey of Bell Canada International in Ottawa, which confirms that the BCI tests conducted at Cape Bridgewater on 5th November 1993 were impracticable.

The arbitrator refused to convene a meeting regarding these documents and the arbitration administrator stated he also would not investigate. I wrote to BCI and also to the Canadian Minister for Communications exposing this fraud. My own report on this matter is attached as Telstra's Falsified BCI Report.

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 4

I also tried to access a copy of the same arbitration file held by the TIO office, which, as the administrator of my arbitration – under law – had to retain a copy for at least six years: until 2002. Mr Pinnock’s letter, of 10 January 1997, in response to my request, states:

“I refer to your letter of 31 December 1996 in which you seek to access to [sic] various correspondence held by the TIO concerning the Fast Track Arbitration Procedure. …

“I do not propose to provide you with copies of any documents held by this office.” (See Open Letter File No 57-C)

What was so important in this arbitration file that both the defence [Telstra] and the administrator [Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman] would not release to me even though the law required them to do so? Was there more to the falsified (BCI), SVT Cape Bridgewater failed tests? What was in this arbitration file that prompted Julian Assange to tell the COT Cases we needed to see it to beleive what he had uncovered in Telstra's Londsdale Telephone Exchanges?

Clicking onto Bribery and Corruption - Part 1 will show you just how corrupt the system of arbitration is in Australia.

Absent Justice Ebook

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In Alan Smith’s new book he shows us the twisting path of government arbitration,
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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 on Alan's website

Without those documents, most people would really struggle to believe that public officials and their lawyers committed the illegal offences they did.

Using the acquired evidence that can be downloaded from is possibly a world first.


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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

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

Sister Burke

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

Hon David Hawker

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

Sister Burke

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

The Hon David Hawker MP

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

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

Hon David Hawker MP

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

– Edmund Burke