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Absent Justice - Conflict of Interest

It is quite clear from the exhibit called Open letter File No/46-A to 46-l, which is attached to Absent Justice Part 2 - Chapter 14 - Was it Legal or Illegal? that AUSTEL (then the government communications regulator) allowed Telstra to address previously unaddressed arbitration issues outside the legal arena of my arbitration procedure

I have still not received those documents. 

Perhaps even more alarming is to know that the witness statement that Telstra secretly used in their 16 October 1995 submission to AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator) had initially been prepared by a Telstra technician in Portland, who I have called ‘Joker 7’ for the purpose this story: and please note that I have chosen not to disclose this person’s actual name because my story is not a ‘name and blame’ story, I only want the truth of what really happened during the COT arbitrations to be made public, and I have no desire to condemn anyone who might have been pressured by Telstra management to tell lies (see Summary of Events - Chapter 3 Lies under oath). One of the lies described by Joker 7, in his 12 December 1994 arbitration witness statement to the arbitrator, is that he had never experienced phone problems at my business: False Witness Statement No 7-A) however, makes it quite clear that he had massive problems when he was testing my fax lines, e.g.:

“During testing the Mitsubishi fax machine, some alarming patterns of behaviour were noted, these affecting both transmission and reception. Even on calls that were not tampered with the fax machine displayed signs of locking up and behaving in a manner not in accordance with the relevant CCITT Group 3 fax rules. … Even if the page was sent upside down the time and date and company name should have still appeared on the top of the page, it wasn’t. During a received call the machine failed to respond at the end of the page even though it had received the entire page (sample #3).” (See False Witness Statement No 7-A)

While the issue of Joker 7 lying under oath to the arbitrator is not the main problem being exposed here, it does help to prove what a basically deceitful organisation the Telstra Corporation is, for them to have allowed this false witness statement to be used, more than once, to cover up even more of the lies that Telstra told AUSTEL in their secret 008/1800 billing submission of 16 October 1995.

Perhaps even more alarming is that this failed testing process, which was carried out at my business (See False Witness Statement No 7-A), was first used by Telstra’s Corporate Lawyer, Ian Row, in March 1994, when Telstra provided Detective Superintendent Jeff Penrose of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with advice stating that the testing process I had referred to on 28 October 1993 had not met with any problems at all.  Even back then, and even though Telstra knew that this was blatant lie, they still used this document during an official AFP investigation, as False Witness Statement No 7-A) shows.

It is also interesting to note that the Australian government has allowed this behaviour towards their citizens (see Bad BureaucratsTampering of EvidenceTelstra's Falsified BCI Report and Telstra's Falsified SVT Report) to remain unresolved for so many years, a clear indication of why they are themselves so often accused of lying in parliament.  

When the Telstra board allowed Telstra previous arbitration defence unit to address my 1994 arbitration 008/1800 billing claims in secret with the government communications regulator on 16 October 1995 (five months after my arbitration was over) which meant I was disallowed my legal right to challenge that information provided to the government as well as having made no public comment concerning their previous CEO Frank Blount manuscript which was released in early 2000 which acknowledges Telstra did have a 008/1800 billing problem shows just how much integrity the Telstra board has, even today. 

The following link Evidence - C A V Part 1, 2 and 3 -Chapter 4 - Fast Track Arbitration Procedure confirms Frank Blount, Telstra’s CEO, after leaving Telstra he co-published a manuscript in 1999. entitled, Managing in Australia. On pages 132 and 133, the author exposes the problems Telstra were hiding from their 1800 customers:

“Blount was shocked, but his anxiety level continued to rise when he discovered this wasn’t an isolated problem. 

The picture that emerged made it crystal clear that performance was sub-standard.” (See File 122-i CAV Exhibit 92 to 127)

Frank Blount's Managing Australia › managing-in-australia › fran can still be purchased online. 

The fact that DMR & Lane stated in their formal report concerning these same unadressed 008/1800 faults at point 2.23 (see Prologue - Chapter 1 - The collusion continues that: "... As the level of disruption to overall CBHC [Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp] service is not clear, and fault causes have not been diagnosed"... confirms beyond all doubt that none of my billing claim documents were ever investigated. 

It is true that most (maybe even all) of the COT Cases would have been able to walk away from their businesses with sadness if they had lost that business through fire, or flood, or any other of life's tragedies. But losing a business because the government appointed a spinless arbitrator, along with those other officials who were under the arbitrator's control, meant that the defendants, Telstra, and their lawyers, were free to ensure that the claimants could not fully prove their claims, no matter how much proof they had in support of their claims.  This has perhaps been the hardest aspect for the COT Cases to live with. Writing this story in all its awful detail has helped, but only in a small way, because no matter how hard we try to ignore this calamity, nothing will properly heal the wounds and scars left by those events that the government is still declining to properly investigate.

How dare Mr Frank Blount flaunt such a major problem in his manuscript (See File 122-i CAV Exhibit 92 to 127) when he was still Telstra's CEO when Telstra was secretly allowed provide false information in their 16 October 1995 submission to the Australian government communications regulator (Absent Justice Part 2 - Chapter 14 - Was it Legal or Illegal?)

According to Section 52 of the Australian Trade Practices Act under Part V - Consumer Protection Division 1 - Unfair Practices - Misleading or deceptive conduct:

-          52.  (1) "A corporation shall not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive"

Telstra has continued to conceal their knowledge that I had a valid claim against Telstra under the Trade Practices Act, when that false 008/1800 billing advice was provided to AUSTEL 16 October 1995. The current government regulator ACMA and the Minister The Hon Paul Fletcher should treat this misleading and deceptive conduct towards me as a matter of some concern. The government regulator breached their statutory obligation to me, by concealing their knowledge that Telstra misled and deceived the government under the Trade Practices Act when supplying this false 008/1800 submission. Espercially since Frank Blount's book (See File 122-i CAV Exhibit 92 to 127) confirms Telstra did have a major 008/1800 problem and yet Telstra concealed their knowledge of this from firstly the arbitrator, secondly from me as the claiamnts and the government.  

There is no statute of limitations under Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act under the citcumstances of which I have raised here.


1994-2008 unread claim documents

There are many similarities between the 21st April 1994 TIO-administered arbitration process with the 13th March 2005 independent-assessment process administered by Senator Helen Coonan.

  1. Arbitration: We have shown the TIO-prepared agreement was altered at the last minute without alerting the claimants.
  2. Arbitration: The TIO and Telstra arranged for the TIO-appointed Resource Unit to vet arbitration documents and decide which documents should be given to the arbitrator and the claimants and which should be withheld.
  3. Arbitration: In the Allen Bowles fax-interception file, dated December 2006 at exhibit 1, we provide evidence of 43 separate claim documents, faxed to the TIO-administered arbitration process in 1994, that were not assessed during the process.
  4. DCITA Assessment: The Minister’s office altered the independent-assessment agreement after Senator Barnaby Joyce gave his vote for the privatisation of Telstra.
  5. DCITA Assessment: It is confirmed, as late as 1st February 2008 that, in the Government-facilitated independent assessment process, at least two sets of claim-related documents were not assessed.
  6. DCITA Assessment: It is likewise confirmed, as late as January 2008, the Minister’s appointed assessors admitted, in their internal emails, they intended to only assess the DCITA claimants’ claims on their merits.

At point 23, in the People to Contact document, we question the role of Grant Campbell when he was Manager of the TIO Complaints Department during the early period of 1994 when Graham and Alan were in arbitration noting:-

  1. “It is interesting to note that the 1993/94 TIO Annual Report does not list Mr Campbell as having worked for the TIO office, even though Mr Campbell held a Senior Managerial position with Telstra.”
  2. TIO documents dated 9th February 1994 confirm Grant Campbell signing letters on behalf of Warwick Smith, particularly in relation to the fax billing and lock-up complaints included in Alan’s Smith’s arbitration claims.
  3. Telstra FOI documents H36271, H36281 and H000027 confirm Grant Campbell addressed the same types of billing issues on behalf of Telstra’s Customer Response Unit, in January and February 1995.  This unit wrote to Dr Hughes on 16th December 1994 to confirm Telstra advised AUSTEL, in writing, they would address Alan Smith’s billing issues as part of their defence of his claim, as per the arbitration agreement.  Alan Smith has always been concerned about Grant Campbell’s handling of Alan’s arbitration material that went through the TIO’s office in 1994/95.
  4. During the early stages of the COT arbitration process, the COT claimants were told that Pia Di Mattina had been seconded from Minter Ellison by the TIO to assist him with the COT arbitration process.  Ms Mattina’s name does not appear in the TIO 1993/94 employee list included in the 1993/94 Annual Report. Grant Campbell’s name is not included on the employee list either, even though he dealt with a number of billing issues that Alan Smith raised during his arbitration.

Alan Smith receives GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See GS-CAV 448 to 456 on 4th March 2008.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See 448: confirms sometime around 6th December 1994, Steven Mead, Telstra’s General Counsel, investigated Ken Ivory’s 1800 problems (Ken Ivory was a COT claimant).  At approx. the same time, Telstra and AUSTEL were passing information regarding Alan Smith’s 008/1800 billing problems to Dr Hughes.  Page 8 of this Mails Details Report refers to a separate 164-page report in relation to Solar-Mesh (Ken Ivory’s business) confirming law firm, Blake Dawson Waldron were involved in this matter with Telstra, together with the TIO’s office.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  449: another Mails Details Report dated 17th February 1997 also relates to Ken Ivory of Solar-Mesh, and confirms Blake Dawson Waldron had an interest in the Ken Ivory/1800 issue.  This document further confirms Telstra’s Ted Benjamin and Graeme Ward were both involved in this particular COT-related 1800 billing problem while, at the same time, Graeme Ward was a member of the TIO Board and Ted Benjamin was a member of the TIO Council (the administrative arm of the COT arbitrations).

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  450: letter dated 10th July 1995 from Wally Rothwell (Deputy TIO) to Grant Campbell (Telstra), discussing Ken Ivory’s 1800 billing problems.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  451: letter dated 15th December 1995 from Ted Benjamin to John Pinnock, confirms they were both aware of the 1800 problems Ken Ivory was experiencing.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  452:  letter dated 1st April 1996 from Grant Campbell (Telstra) to Wally Rothwell (Deputy TIO), discusses Ken Ivory’s 1800 billing problems.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  453:  an internal Telstra email (FOI folio 000973) dated 5th February 1997 from Philippi Hore to Carmel Parist, discusses Ken Ivory and ex-Telstra employee, Grant Campbell, noting:-

“Quinton advised me that there was an employee who was the main case officer for Ivory in the early stages. The ex-employee’s name is Grant Campbell. Grant then worked as the Deputy Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman and then on a senior management review team.”

This suggests that, after first working for Telstra, Grant Campbell became the Deputy TIO before returning to Telstra.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  454:  facsimile cover-dated 10th January 1994 from Grant Campbell to Warwick Smith TIO, notes:-

“Warwick – Two COT related faxes follow:

  1. Allan Smith [sic] – Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp
  2. Expression of Interest by Ferrier Hodgson in conjunction with DMR Australia & Dr Gordon Hughes.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  455:  letter from Grant Campbell dated 9th February 1994 written on behalf of Warwick Smith, to Fiona Hills, Telstra’s Manager – Serious Disputes, discusses faxing problems still being experiencing by Alan Smith during his FTSP.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  456:  letter from Grant Campbell dated 13th February 1994 to Fiona Hills, in his capacity as TIO Manager, Enquiries and Complaints, discusses a number of complaints raised by Alan Smith regarding his phone and faxing problems.

GS-CAV Exhibit 448 to 458 - See  454 to 456:  relate to Grant Campbell’s handling of COT case matters while he was TIO Manager of Enquiries and Complaints.

IMPORTANT Food For Thought

During Graham and Alan’s arbitration procedures they were never informed Grant Campbell defected to Telstra’s Customer Response Unit.

As discussed for the date of 29th December 1997, Dr Hughes wrote to William Hunt on Blake Dawson Waldron letterhead noting:-

“I noted the following reservations and qualifications expressed by the parties:

(GS-CAV Exhibit 324 to 367 - See GS CAV 344)


Was Dr Hughes aware, at the time he wrote this letter, that:-



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“…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

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

Hon David Hawker

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

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

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

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

Cathy Lindsey

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

Sister Burke

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

Sister Burke

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

– Edmund Burke