Once more into the fray …

Back from the Goldfields, with not a nugget to show for it.

But little grapes, tiny little fetal grapelets on every vine. If they can just survive the frost for another month … most promising. The trouble with Victorian country life, though, is the total absence of broadband in my little hamlet. The local telephone exchange is not equipped for ADSL, will not be equipped for ADSL, and even if it were the copper wire is too small and too old to cope and the house too far from the exchange. Mobile phone coverage? Not at my house. Oh for the NBN.

So home  to Melbourne and a rush for the news. Not good so far as the NBN goes …

EXECUTIVES at the company building the national broadband network pocketed more than $600,000 in bonuses in 2011-12 despite the project running a year behind schedule.

The NBN Co annual report shows the company is spending 25 times more on executive salaries than it earned from selling broadband to customers …

The opposition’s communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, said the report, released on Friday night, showed the roll-out of the network was a year behind schedule with 24,000 homes and businesses connected to the national broadband network at the end of last month. <SMH>

Julia, meanwhile calls sexism wherever she finds it …


Maybe she went on a bit long about the uranium sales.

She probably yearns for the good old days when the law firm she was working for brought this defamation action …

Concerns among union officials about financial irregularities and the conduct of the then branch secretary were silenced by Mr Blewitt in the Supreme Court defamation action brought on his instructions in October 1993.

The action came six months after Mr Blewitt, who now admits to being involved in fraud, transferred about $100,000 from the slush fund to buy a $230,000 Melbourne terrace for the use of Ms Gillard’s then boyfriend, union boss Bruce Wilson.

Ms Gillard attended the auction for the Melbourne property, helped in the transaction, and witnessed a power of attorney giving Mr Wilson control over the asset.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly and strenuously denied any wrongdoing, and said she did not know about the workings of the slush fund. <The Australian ( paywall)>

Taking a leaf out of her book, one of the punters she relies on to stay in power has threatened to sue anyone that suggests he may have had sex with prostitutes …

But the allegations FWA has presented to the Federal Court are detailed and extensive, listing dates and times in which Mr Thomson allegedly called escort services and paid for them with his credit cards. In all, there are 10 occasions where FWA alleges Mr Thomson called prostitute services and then used $9603 of union money on them. <news.com>

and he did sue Fairfax last year … but dropped the matter at the court room door. The Labor Party shelled out to keep him from bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy, there’s a thought, how’s that budget coming Wayne?


Slow and steady …

Fair Work Australia takes yet another slither forward …

The FWA, which spent three years investigating Mr Thomson’s lavish spending as HSU national secretary from 2002 to 2007, said it will be seeking “pecuniary penalties, as well as compensation” from the embattled MP.

Mr Thomson is accused of misusing his union credit card for cash advances without receipts, while the FWA also found the MP had splurged hundreds of thousands of dollars on prostitutes, air travel and other personal spending without authorisation. (Herald Sun).

In response Mr Thomson …

“Clearly Fair Work Australia has felt pressured into responding this way given the political process which it is part of.”

The proceedings against Mr Thomson will begin in the Federal Court in December.

We await with bated breath.

For a very long, long, long time to come …

In jail one hopes …

Paul Sheehan covers the story, from the time it broke until now.

More than three years have passed since Mark Davis broke a story in this newspaper on April 8, 2009, which began: ”The federal Labor MP and former union boss Craig Thomson faces allegations that his union credit cards were used to pay for escort services and to withdraw more than $100,000 in cash, as well as bankroll his election campaign for the central coast seat of Dobell.

Thomson sued but discontinued the action just before the case began. The Labor Party forked out $150,000 to meet his legal bills, stave off bankruptcy and keep him in parliament.

On August 16 last year, Gillard, by now Prime Minister, responded to a question in Parliament: ”I have complete confidence in the member for Dobell. I think he is doing a fine job … [and] I look forward to him continuing to do that job for a very long, long, long time to come.”

Meanwhile FWA conducted its enquiry. And conducted its enquiry, and conducted …

The Thomson defence: Someone else misused his union credit card. They also misused his driver’s licence. Then forged his signature on receipts. They misappropriated his phone and made calls near his home and from hotels where he was staying. The phone was used to call escort agencies. The $250,000 allegedly spent by Thomson to help get into Parliament but never declared was not spent on electoral matters.

He can also explain why his credit card, driver’s licence and phone were never reported stolen. And why bills that included receipts from escort agencies and cash withdrawals were paid under his authorisation.

The FWA report, finally released, gives that defence no credence.

Three years and one month have elapsed since the story hit the public domain. Will Mr. Thomson get away with the electoral offences because the statute of limitations has expired?

The members of the HSU, working Australians as Julia likes to put it, have paid for prostitutes, lunches, airfares and an election campaign. Mr. Thomson was still using his credit card even after leaving the union’s employ. The Labor Party have kicked in another $150,000. Julia Gillard, champion of working Australians, has blessed him with her confidence.

It stinks. Labor stinks. Its time …

Update. From The Telegraph

The ALP last night confirmed it agreed last September to engage lawyers Holding Redlich to assist him in the Fair Work Australia inquiry …

Mr Thomson appears to have broken parliamentary rules by failing to declare the assistance in the MPs pecuniary interest register.

He updated his register last night after The Daily Telegraph began making inquiries into the breach.

Remember Larry Pickering …?

He has a blog, well worth a visit, perhaps start here

Shorten’s “promise” to reform unions is tantamount to Dracular monitoring the blood bank.

Unions have always been corrupt, world-wide, it’s in their nature. FWA is very much an arm of the Gillard Government. It is a union creation designed to assist unions and the ALP.

Presumed guilty …

In a democracy, you’re entitled to the presumption of innocence,” Senator Conroy told Channel 9.

Reports the Sydney Morning Herald

Well not in Julia Gillard’s democracy.


Reason for action to be presumed unless proved otherwise

(1)  If:

(a)  in an application in relation to a contravention of this Part, it is alleged that a person took, or is taking, action for a particular reason or with a particular intent; and

(b)  taking that action for that reason or with that intent would constitute a contravention of this Part;

it is presumed, in proceedings arising from the application, that the action was, or is being, taken for that reason or with that intent, unless the person proves otherwise.

In plainer English this means the employer is guilty of the complaint levelled by the employee unless he can prove otherwise – a reverse onus of proof. Ms. Gillard is the author of this act. Perhaps Mr. Conroy should ask Nicola the First Law Officer Roxon to explain that to him … she might have worked it out by now.

Our first law officer …

Nicola to Emma on Lateline

But there is such a thing – we have a legal system so those complaints can be tested, so people are given the opportunity to defend them. We cannot live in a world – we might as well have no legal system if we just say as soon as the allegation is made, that then it’s proven true.


Charles to Andrew Bolt

Ashby’s Application relies on the Adverse Action sections of the Fair Work Act 2009. Specifically, he claims, amongst other matters, that the Commonwealth breached section 351 – Discrimination .

In all Adverse Action matters under the FWA, the Respondent is presumed guilty unless they prove otherwise. We call this “the reverse onus of proof”. This is what section 361 provides.

Nicola to Emma

And I make no claim about the allegations or the defence. I’m simply as the first law officer of the country pointing out that we should be respectful of that process …

As first law officer Roxon might be expected to know the law especially as it was written by Julia Gillard.

Once again Ms. Roxon demonstrates that she is remarkably ill-informed.