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This website is a work in progress last edited January 2022.  

All events quoted on this website are supported by copies of the original documents: for example,  Evidence - Telstra's Falsified SVT ReportCriminal Conduct PrologueBad Bureaucrats - Manipulating the Regulator, and Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 1 - Hacked documents, etc. Clicking on these links automatically opens a PDF of the exhibit. By using this method and following the file numbers, you can verify our story. We could not have successfully produced this website absentjustice.com without these exhibits to prove our story. The corruption and injustices perpetrated against the Casualties of Telstra (COT cases) by those in various 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 this publication, regularly check the evidence on the website and the numbered exhibits to ensure you truly appreciate the enormity of what you are reading.

Until the late 1990s, the Australian government fully owned Australia’s telephone network and the communications carrier, Telecom (today privatised and called Telstra). Telecom held the monopoly on communications and let the network deteriorate into disrepair. 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. 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.

As we started to tell our COT vs Telstra arbitration stories and placing each collusive and deceitful act into some sequence, we found many further acts of collusion and deceit committed by others outside of our arbitrations. As the website grows, we have discovered some issues relate to more than one event and, in fact, are often linked to multiple events and therefore one event may need repeating in different sections of the website, to enable the depth of the corruption and illegal activities committed during the arbitration to be fully understood. Hence a number of previously detailed situations in other parts of absentjustice.com are used on this website, again, and we make no apology for that. 

The corruption that festered itself during our government-endorsed arbitrations was ignored by those who endorsed the process. This corruption has never been acknowledged. In August 2001 and again in 2004, (see An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens  Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police. I was threatened by the Chair of the Senate that if ever exposed privileged government in-Camara Hansard dated 6 and 9 July 1998, which acknowledges how undemocratically the COT Cases had been treated, I would be held in contempt of the Senate

This could result in me facing a possible two-year jail term. So the truth surounding this corruption which was rampent during a government-endorsed arbitration is being exposed on this website as a last resort.

Absent Justice - Where was the Justice

How is this democratic?

After reading Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, it will become clear that the exhibits and evidence that were attached to the report show that, if Paul Fletcher current Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastucture, Cities and the Arts, in the 2022 Morrison government had properly had investigated that evidence in June 1996 (when he asked me to prepare it) then most (if not all) of the issues that I have been trying to have investigated since then, would have been settled in 1996, twenty-six-years ago (see also 12 Alternate remedies pursued - Chapter 5 - The fifth remedy pursued).

My name is Alan Smith. This is the story of my battle with a telecommunications giant and the Australian Government, a battle that has twisted and turned, since 1992, through elected governments, government departments, regulatory bodies, the judiciary, and the Australian telecommunications giant, Telstra, or Telecom, as it was known when this story started. 

I began compiling the above menu bar back in November 2007 when I received the government communications regulatory AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings which ,AUSTEL had previously concealed from prior to and during my government endorses 1994 arbitration process (see Introduction My story). I was unaware up and until November 2007 that the Government Communications Regulator AUSTEL (now called the Australian Communications Media Authority) (ACMA) had compiled a different set of facts pertaining to their investigation into my ongoing telephone problems than what was provided to the relevant arbitrator hearing my case.  Had I been aware of those findings, which confirmed that I had a much stronger case against Telstra (the now defendants in my arbitration) the arbitrator would have been compelled to award me a far greater compensation payout than he awarded. This damning evidence supplied to me under the Freedom of Information Act years after the conclusion of my arbitration is part of the material now avaialble on this website see also Bad Bureaucrats - Manipulating the Regulator.

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 (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings10, 17, 18, 23, 37, 39, 40, 42, 44,46,47, 53, 56, 61, 62, 70, 75, 76, 79, 85, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 98, 100, 101, 104, 105, 109, 110, 111, 112, 118, 115, 129, 130, 136, 144, 151, 153, 158, 170, 173, 186, 187, 188, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 and 212.

How Telstra and its legal arbitration defence team perverted the course of justice by using such dubious strategies as intercepting relevant faxes, (see Evidence - Australian Federal Police Investigations) 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 (see Bad Bureaucrats- Tampering of 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?

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 Telstra's Falsified BCI Report and Telstra's Falsified SVT Report). Relying on defence documents that are known to be flawed in arbitration is unlawful. 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.

And so, my saga began. It had been a quest to get a working phone at the property since February 1988, through to the commencement of my arbitration in April 1994, nothing had changed.  On the way I have received some compensation for business losses and many promises that the problem is now resolved. It was not resolved by 11 May 1995, when the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes prematurely brought down his findings without ever assessing the losses associated with the ongoing telephone problems still being experienced at the holiday camp. I sold the business in 2002 and subsequent owners have suffered a similar fate to me (see Chapters 1 to 3 - Bad Bureaucrats - Taking on the Establishment).

Other independent business people similarly affected by poor telecommunications have joined me on my journey. We are known as the Casualties of Telecom, or the COT cases. All we want is for Telecom/Telstra to admit to our various problems, fix them all, then pay compensation for our losses.  A working phone: is that too much to ask?

This is not hypothetical or a mythical fable; it is the true story of a powerful group of people in Australia and the lengths they were prepared to go to, to protect the gravy train they had joined, as part of the privileged in Australian society, regardless of how badly their conduct impacted on other Australians.  It describes how one Australian politician, who was soon to become part of a new government, seriously compromised the judicial system so that a government body that was the defendant in a government-endorsed legal arbitration process could design their own rules for the process while telling government ministers, and the claimants, that the rules had been drafted entirely independently.

When the arbitrator realized Telstra had designed the rules to suit themselves thus disallowing a time frame in the agreement which was long enough to allow the claimants proper access to documents needed to support their claims, he and the administrator still used that deficient agreement to bring down a finding on my claim (see  My story and Criminal Conduct Prologue - Chapter 5 - Open Letter File No 55-A, even though the arbitrators' technical consultants advised him their findings were still incomplete. 

Absent Justice - Justice for All

He did not like what they had uncovererd 

But we need to go back into the early part of the COT arbitrations for the reader to fully understand how corrupt and one sided our government-endorsed arbitrations were.  Had we COT Cases accepted the documents being offered by the hackers [free of charge], we would have proved our claims that Telstra was acting unlawfully during our arbitration, which the Australian Senate (see directly below) established five years after the conclusion of our arbitrations. Mr Schorer's statutory declaration Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3 shows being honest by only accepting our arbitration documents from Telstra under the Freedom of Information Act (documents Telstra never supplied) cost the COT claimants dearly. 

On 26 September 1997, after most of the arbitrations were concluded, John Pinnock (the second-appointed administrator of the COT arbitrations), advised a senate committee (see pages 109 to 110, Senate – Parliament of Australia) that:

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

After the Senate Committee had been officially briefed concerning the fact the arbitrator had no control over the arbitrations six senators further voiced their concerns regarding our arbitration noting > Eggleston, Sen Alan – Bishop, Sen Mark – Boswell, Sen Ronald – Carr, Sen Kim – Schacht, Sen Chris, Alston and Sen Richard) The fact that these six senators formally record that Telstra had ‘acted as a law unto themselves’ throughout all of the COT arbitrations, is incredible.

What influenced the government only to allow five of the COT Cases arbitrations to be investigated by the Senate Committee when they were aware that the arbitrator had no control over all COT Cases arbitrations? After all, every one of those COT cases, including the five litmus-tests cases, had suffered the same fate? 

Even though the government knew that not only should the five COT litmus-test cases receive their previously withheld FOI requested documents but so should the other 16 Australian citizens who had been in the same government-endorsed arbitration and mediation processes. Yet only five of the twenty-one cases received their withheld documents and the twenty-million-dollar compensation payout which was shared amongst those five for pain and suffering. As can be seen from An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens - Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police, regardless of the same pain and suffering suffered by all twenty-one cases, the remaining sixteen Australian citizens have still not received their withheld documents or the compensation for the same pain and suffering.

This has to be the worse case of discrimination against sixteen fellow Australian ciitizens by their own government since Federation.

Absent Justice - My Story Senator Alan Eggleston

Forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information 

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

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

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

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

Absent Justice - Senator Len Harris  One Nation

Unlawful withholding of documents 

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).

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 like the arbitrator had no control as to how the arbitration process was conducted (see My story) , meant that the defendants, Telstra, and their lawyers, were free to ensure that the claimants could not fully prove their claims. Without documents, the claimants were sitting ducks in a very small pond.

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Threats caried out 

Threats were also made against me by Telstra arbitration officials because I continued to assist the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into the phone and fax hacking issues that were destroying the very fabric of Australia's democratic system of arbitration. 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.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) interviewed me at my business on 26 September 1994, while they were investigating evidence confirming Telstra had indeed bugged my telephone conversations without my knowledge or consent they asked me 93 questions see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 surrounding these threats by Paul Rumble (Telstra's main arbitration liasion officer) as well as the interception of my telephone conversations and my lost faxes. I told the AFP that John McMahon AUSTEL's General Manager of Consumer Affairs had told me of the documents AUSTEL had uncovered confirmed beyond all doubt that my phone conversations had been bugged over a period of time. Question 81 in these AFP transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 the AFP asked me:

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

Answer. "No, no never".

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

Answer: "Right"

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

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

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

As I have explained in the body of thw Australian Federal Police segment, before the COT cased signed their arbitration agreements in April 1994, the government communications regulator AUSTEL [their represemnntatives] met with the COTs advising them that Telstra employees had been intercepting private and business telephone conversations and/or hacking into information faxed through Telstra's network. This was later confirmed after the completion of these arbitrations in January 1999 (see Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd fax hacking report Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13) shows. 

One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of the Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd fax hacking 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 now In 2022, nether the Australian Government nor the Australian Federal Police have still not disclosed to me why Telstra senior management has not been brought to account for authorising this intrusion into my business and private life regardless of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating:

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks" - Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Why am I not surprised?

In January 2018 my partner, Cathy, was with me for my first appointment with our local doctor after I had survived a heart attack and double bypass surgery. 

Although the doctor was very sympathetic to my situation (and he knows this COT story) he couldn’t help but ask:  “Why Am I Not Surprised?”                                                                              

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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 absentjustice.com

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

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

Senator Carr

My Story - Absent Justice

My Story

My name is Alan Smith.

This is the story of my battle with a telecommunications giant and the Australian Government, a battle that has twisted and turned, since 1992, through elected governments, government departments, regulatory bodies, the judiciary, and the Australian telecommunications giant, Telstra, or Telecom, as it was known when this story started. The quest for justice continues to this day.

My story started in 1987 when I decided my life at sea, where I had spent the previous 20 or so years, was over. I needed a new land-based occupation to see me through to my retirement years and beyond.

Of all the places in the world I had visited, I chose to make Australia my home.

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

– Edmund Burke