Tuesday, 1 November 2011

WikiLeaks Cable Highlights High Level CDM Scam in India | International Rivers

WikiLeaks Cable Highlights High Level CDM Scam in India | International Rivers

WikiLeaks Cable Highlights High Level CDM Scam in India

By:
Katy Yan

A recent WikiLeaks cable from the US Consulate in Mumbai provides irrefutable evidence that carbon credits generated by Indian projects and sold to European countries under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are a lot of hot air.

It reports on a seminar in 2008 with the US Consulate General Office, analysts from the Government Accountability Office (which later released a critical report on offsets), and the executives of top Indian companies. The cable notes that these companies "conceded that no Indian project could meet the 'additionality in investment criteria' to be eligible for carbon credits."

While none of this is really surprising (studies from the University of Zurich and by other experts have provided ample evidence that Indian hydro and coal-fired power plants under the CDM would have been built regardless of carbon credits), the shocker is that these admissions come from not just project developers but also high-level people within the CDM.

Conflicts of interest

One such person is R K Sethi, Member Secretary of the National CDM Authority in India and then-Chairman of the CDM Executive Board. In the cable, he admits that India's National CDM Authority "takes the 'project developer at his word' for clearing the ‘additionality' barriers."

25 percent of all CDM projects in the pipeline are from India. The fact that Sethi, a top CDM Executive Board member, is also the member secretary of India's designated national CDM authority (DNA) shows a clear conflict of interest.

Lots of hot air and no real emissions reductions

Non-additional projects in India mean no real emissions reductions are occurring.

Non-additional projects in India mean no real emissions reductions are occurring.

According to the cable, Mathsy Kutty of Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a CDM Executive Board-accredited validation and verification organization for CDM projects and an insider in the CDM shell game, affirmed what Sethi said when she told the US Consulate General Office that:

"the designated authorities of host countries approve projects in a cursory manner and do not check to see whether the project meets all the requirements laid down by the CDM Executive Board."

India accounts for 15% of all Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) expected by 2012. A total of 112 million CERs have been issued so far to Indian projects, the equivalent of 112 million metric tons of CO2. The fact that Sethi admitted that his DNA does not take seriously the additionality criteria throws into question whether any of these emission reductions are real. Supposing that all these CERs are fake, that would be equivalent to allowing 26.5 coal-fired power plants to continue polluting in Europe.

Banks complicit with gaming the system

A number of bank representatives were also present at the seminar. According to Somak Ghosh, President of Corporate Finance & Development Banking at Yes Bank:

"project developers prepare two balance sheets to secure funding: one showing the viability of the project without the CDM benefit (which is what the bank looks at) and another demonstrating the non-viability of the project without the CDM benefit."

Ghosh continued to point out that:

"no bank would finance a project which is viable only with carbon revenues because of the uncertainty of the registration process, unclear guidelines on qualifying CDM projects and because carbon revenue is only a by-product revenue stream of the main operations of the company."

Since the risks with acquiring CDM projects are so high, banks would never finance a truly additional project – further proof that most Indian projects are non-additional. This is not just limited to national banks like Yes Bank, who decide to look the other way as these scams play out, but also to major global players like the World Bank.

Case study: Mega Hydro Project in India fails additionality and sustainability criteria

The Rampur Village, site of the proposed Rampur dam, in Himachal Pradesh (SANDRP)

The Rampur Village, site of the proposed Rampur dam, in Himachal Pradesh (SANDRP)

The Rampur Hydropower Project is the latest example in a series of non-additional Indian projects that have tried to game the system. Rampur is a 412 MW hydropower project on the Satluj River in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN), an Indian hydropower company originally created by the World Bank, signed an implementation agreement for the project with the local government in 2004. The Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for it in 2005. The World Bank approved a loan of $400 million for Rampur in 2007. Rampur is now over 70 percent complete. At no time during this process did SJVN signal any prior consideration of the CDM or that it would depend on carbon credits to move forward.

Rampur would supposedly cut emissions by 1,407,658 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, equivalent to the CO2 emitted from over 276,000 passenger vehicles. The Swedish Energy Agency is the buyer, and if the project is registered, Sweden would benefit by not having to reduce their emissions by the same amount even though the offsets in India are fake.

Instead of reducing emissions at home, Sweden is paying India to do it for them. (http://www.ecofriend.com)

Instead of reducing emissions at home, Sweden is paying India to do it for them. (http://www.ecofriend.com)

In addition, Rampur fails to meet the CDM's sustainability criteria. The Linking Directive under the CDM requires EU Member States to ensure that the World Commission on Dams (WCD) criteria be respected when approving hydro projects exceeding 20 MW. Yet local communities affected by the project claim that they neither were consulted nor did they benefit from the project. Environmental and health concerns include an increase in dust problems, asthma rates, and lower harvests. According to a 2009 field report, no prior consultation had been conducted and none of the developer's promises for clean water or school supplies had been delivered.

Climate change no laughing matter

The impacts of climate change are taking a real, present and serious toll on our rivers, biodiversity, and communities, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Weather-related disasters in India and Pakistan, for instance, are a serious problem that's likely to increase in a warming world. This means that the UNFCCC, which administers the CDM, should not be asleep at the wheel when all this is happening, but instead should reject all dubious projects like Rampur. This also means that both host countries (particularly India given its vulnerability to climate change) and buyer countries have a responsibility to ensure that emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol are real, that significant emissions reductions occur at home, and that renewable energy projects benefit local communities instead of putting them at further risk to climate change impacts.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Climate change scientist faces lie detector test - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent

Climate change scientist faces lie detector test - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent

It's the next step in "Polarbeargate" – one of two scientists whose report on dead polar bears in the Arctic helped make the animal a potent symbol of climate change has been asked to take a lie detector test as part of an investigation by US agents.

The 2006 report from American wildlife researchers Jeffrey Gleason and Charles Monnett told of dead bears floating in the Arctic Ocean in 2004, apparently drowned, and focused attention on the vulnerability of the animals to the melting of the Arctic ice, which they need for hunting. Widespread references were made to the dead bears and they figured in the film An Inconvenient Truth, made by Al Gore to highlight the risks of global warming.

But earlier this year, allegations were made within the US Department of the Interior that acts of scientific misconduct might have been committed in relation to the report, and the Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) began an inquiry.

Mr Monnett, who works for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, a Department of the Interior agency, became the focus of the inquiry and was interviewed several times by OIG agents; in July he was suspended.

The OIG said the suspensions followed concerns about a research contract he had been involved in awarding, and not his polar bear article. But some pressure groups alleged the episode represented political interference with science and was a witch-hunt, or at least an attempt to intimidate researchers whose studies might affect the politics of climate change. The issue became known in some quarters as "Polarbeargate".

Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute with the Centre for Biological Diversity, a charity that campaigned to have the polar bear listed as a threatened species in the US, said at the time: "There's no way this can have anything but a chilling effect on the ability of other scientists to carry out their work."

Mr Monnett has now returned to work but the investigators are now focusing on his colleague and fellow author of the report, Mr Gleason, who has already been interviewed, earlier this year. This week Mr Gleason was interviewed intensively by investigators and asked if he would take a polygraph (lie detector) test; he responded that he would only take such a test if the agent interviewing him took one as well.

"There appears to be kind of a desperate, almost fierce nature to pursue this until they find something," said Mr Gleason's lawyer, Jeff Ruch, of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Mr Ruch accuses the investigators of taking issues raised during the normal scientific peer-review process and acting as though they constitute evidence of wrongdoing.

He has filed a complaint with the department under its new scientific integrity policy, saying these issues should be investigated not by the Office of Inspector General, but by a review performed by other scientists.

Polar bears are the world's largest land carnivores and it is widely believed that extensive melting of the summer sea ice in the Arctic will seriously compromise the bear's ability to hunt the seals which are their principal food.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Not the alleged 99%

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Real Life Superheroes: Pam Coronado :: Psychic Detective, Psychic Investigaator, Psychic Reader and Spiritual Teacher

Pam Coronado :: Psychic Detective, Psychic Investigaator, Psychic Reader and Spiritual Teacher

Pam Coronado was instrumental in solving the Dally murder case in Ventura County many years ago and has worked ever since on missing persons and other mysteries. Her success rate clearly establishes her psychic superpowers, as does the inability of cheapjack destroyers masquerading as "skeptics" in making any attempt at discrediting her.

Real Life Superheroes- not just costumed nonpowereds, there are genuine superpowers out there!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Goldman Sachs rules the world. Where did Malcolm Turnbull work again?



Notes: he says it's not just the elite who can make money; the crisis is like a cancer, etc.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Sarah Palin speaks the truth, as usual

Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars.  They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

-Sarah Palin

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Why the ALP want Australian carbon credits to be property...


Below is the email I received and my original comments as emailed earlier
today.

What is obvious:

the industry overseas involved in selling all manner of credits treats the
Gillard plan as what it is- a SCHEME. The word scheme implies exactly what
it is- a plot, a plan. Not a proper emissions reduction project.

Durban is a grim conference with the whole world's carbon schemes either
already folded or dying.

Australia is shining out for all the salespeople overseas as the last
place left where they can run their unregulated sales pitches and scams.

I say unregulated- what the government claims is great regulation will have
zero impact on stopping the dangerous types of deals because at the end of
the day they're private contracts.

***

Hi,

this arrived in my inbox:

"
Subject: Access Code: 15th September -Webinar on Overview of
Australian
Carbon Scheme and Role of Offsets
From: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
Date: Wed, September 14, 2011 7:30 am
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@climate-connect.co.uk
Priority: High
Read receipt: requested [Send read receipt now]
Options: View Full Header | View Printable Version | Download
this as
a file

Dear Industry Colleagues,



As a build up to Durban Climate Conference (COP-17) ,Climate Connect is
organizing a series of webinars that will be focused on upcoming Carbon
schemes in different parts of the world. Below is a complimentary invite for
you to attend our AUSTRALIAN CARBON SCHEME WEBINAR.



A SPECIAL "A ROAD TO DURBAN-WHAT'S NEXT IN CLIMATE MARKETS" Conference
Booklet is being prepared and will be released at the COP-17 venue. For
sponsorship and advertising opportunities contact
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@climate-connect.co.uk .



ClimateConnect.jpg

WEBINARS

Australia.jpg15 September 2011: Overview of Australian Carbon Scheme and
Role of Offsets

Australia has announced a carbon tax regime to be implemented from 1 July
2012 and cap & trade 2015 onwards. The quantum of tax has been decided to be
A$23 per ton of CO2e. About 500 industrial units will be affected by this
tax. Companies impacted include likes of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Qantas.




Some of the Topics that will be covered during webinar:

. Which sectors are impacted?

. Which sectors will be given free allocation?

. Can non Australian projects supply carbon credits?

. When will international carbon credits be accepted?





WEBINAR DETAILS
Date: 15th September 2011- Thursday
Time: New York 10:00 / London 15:00 / New Delhi 19:30

Broadcast location: Climate Connect Knowledge Center, New Delhi
Duration: 30 mins



ONLINE ACCESS DETAILS

Link to webinar: Meeting: Australia_Carbon_Scheme
or copy paste the following link in your browser
(https://climateconnect.megameeting.co.uk/?page=guest
&conid=Australia_Carbon_Scheme)

Meeting Host: CC Speaker
Meeting Name: Australia_Carbon_Scheme
Meeting Password: climateconnect

PHONE DIAL IN OPTIONS

Dial in number: From UK ( 0844 84 84 84 0 or 0844 8 360 360 )
Any other country ( +44 844 873 60 60 or +49
1803 002 063 )
Participant passcode:xxxxxxxxxxx "

This is a briefing for the exploiters of the carbon market, overseas
exploiters, just as Tony Abbott predicted, for how they can dive straight
in and start trading in our market. This is the same crowd that has
destroyed the EU trading scheme and looks like wrecking any sensible
trading scheme in California, etc.

We have no regulations in the proposed legislation that will make any
impact on foreign traders doing deals that are of shall we say
questionable value to Australia and Australian businesses.

Meanwhile, 100% locally owned business of my acquaintance are being buried
under red tape in NSW and Vic which is preventing them from selling new,
fully tested and approved, products which could reduce people's energy
bills by 10, 20 or even up to 50%.

Not good.
Another point about this latest insanity of making carbon credits
"permanent" is that, as tradable securities, this directly enriches the
government and ALP-linked businesses.

There are specific exceptions in all the carbon tax laws that say no one
in Australia will trade credits immediately- except for government-backed
projects, many of which are owned or run by labor luvvies...

This 2013 date when they were going to launch it does NOT apply to their
own projects. They will sell credits from their own projects as soon as
the law is passed.

Further, the securitisation of the carbon credits turns them into a
phantom currency, or fiat currency, in other words the ALP carbon credits
become a money printing exercise.

On these points alone the Liberal vision for direct action is so far superior as to make the ALP sinister agenda a sick joke, and another HSUgate / AWUgate / hookergate style scandal and grift in the making.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Gillard at Slater and Gordon; AWU; AWUgate

I would welcome the chance to talk personally with my old friend Stephen Conroy, (now Senator Conroy) about what he knew about Mr. Bruce Wilson during the 1990s. I worked out of the same office as Stephen in 1991 / 1992. Stephen, along with others helped me in my AWU unon campaign against Mr. Bruce Wilson in the AWU elections to elect 5 AWU members to represent AWU Victorian members at the AWU national convention. Myself and the 4 other AWU members who joined my ticket won that election. My campaign was centered on me calling on AWU members to support me in my attemt to have an open and INDEPENDENT inquiry into gross missapropriation of AWU union members monies .... Stephen, along with other, now senior ALP players helped me and AWU members win that election.... , Mr Bolt, I would appreciate it if you could pass on my personal email details to Stephen if he wishes to discuss our old freindship that we formed during the 1990s. My name is Bob Kernohan

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Get Rid of this Monster NOW!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

LEE RHIANNON’S (POLITICAL) PAST – A DOUBLE DENIAL
Lee Rhiannon (nee Brown) delivered her first speech, as a Greens senator for New South Wales, on Wednesday 24 August 2011. Soon after, on Sunday 28 August 2011, Senator Rhiannon was interviewed by Peter van Onselen, Paul Kelly and Michael Stutchbury for the Sky News Australian Agenda program. On both occasions, the Greens senator was in denial about her past as a left-wing extremist and supporter of repressive communist regimes. Senator Rhiannon is also in denial about the Stalinist past of her late parents who never renounced their support for the Red Army and the repressive regimes of Eastern Europe.

In her first speech, Rhiannon claimed success in achieving electoral reform while in the New South Wales Legislative Council and referred to her role in “exposing the influence of corporate donations on politics”.  On Australian Agenda she also called for transparency with respect to “electoral funding and lobbyists”. So Senator Rhiannon believes in transparency for others – but not, it seems, for herself.  She was anything but frank about her political past during her first speech and was quite evasive during her Australian Agenda interview.  Also, despite a promise to the contrary, she has declined to answer questions put to her by The Australian’s Christian Kerr.
Let’s start with some facts.  Lee Brown was born on 31 May 1951 to Wilton John Brown and Freda Yetta Brown (nee Lewis). Lee’s parents were commonly known as Bill Brown and Freda Brown.  Lee Brown married Paddy O’Gorman – when the marriage dissolved in 1987 she changed her surname to Rhiannon.  Lee Rhiannon joined the Socialist Party of Australia around 1971 and broke off her association with the SPA in 1990 – around the time she turned 39. In 1990 Lee Rhiannon joined the Greens. The SPA broke away from/was expelled by the Communist Party of Australia in 1971.  The CPA, which was led by Laurie Aarons, became disillusioned with the communist rulers of the Soviet Union following Moscow’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.  The SPA group, which was led by Bill Brown, continued to support the communist rulers in Moscow until the Soviet Union collapsed around 1990.

Mark Aarons (born 1951) is the son of Laurie Aarons.  He traced the history of the Communist Party of Australia in his important book The Family File (Black Inc, 2010). Mark Aarons documents that the CPA received financial support from the Soviet Union and that, after the split in the CPA, Moscow provided money to the SPA.

In an article in the May 2011 issue of The Monthly, Mark Aarons wrote about the split among Australian Communist Party members, which led to the formation of the SPA:
The August 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia precipitated a bitter struggle inside the CPA. The majority condemned Moscow but a vocal minority supported the invasion. Recently, Rhiannon has sparred with Gerard Henderson about her parents’ role in the pro-Soviet faction; her defence has largely obscured the truth.
Soon after the invasion, Lee’s parents formed a clandestine relationship with the Soviet embassy, which directed and financed those who opposed the CPA’s principled stand on Czechoslovakia. By late 1971, it was clear they could not seize back control of the CPA. So the dissidents formed a new, pro-Soviet communist party, the Socialist Party of Australia (SPA), which uncritically supported and promoted Soviet policies.
Lee Rhiannon has just turned 60 years of age. She was a committed communist from the time she became politically active at about age 16 until she left the SPA and joined the Greens in 1990 at about age 39.  In other words, Lee Rhiannon spent over two decades of her near adult or adult life supporting the communist regimes of Eastern Europe.  She now chooses to deny her political past – and declines to answer questions about her past political involvements.

Senator Rhiannon’s First Speech
In her first speech, Senator Rhiannon spoke about her parents whom she claimed were “deeply committed to making the world a fairer, more peaceful place for all”. And she referred to the fact that she went to Canberra in 1968, at age 16, along with one hundred high school students who were protesting against the Allied (including the Australian) commitment in Vietnam.  So Senator Rhiannon will discuss the political beliefs of her parents and her early political involvement. But only to a certain extent.
In her first speech, Senator Rhiannon had this to say about her “political journey”:
On my political journey, I joined the Socialist Party and I am proud of the campaigns on unemployment, women’s rights and nuclear disarmament that I was involved in. Over recent months, there has been a revival of Cold War rhetoric and McCarthyism style politics with the intent to discredit my work and in turn that of the tens of thousands of Australians who have joined socialist and communist parties. By far the majority of these people were motivated by altruistic values and a desire to serve the best interests of Australia and all humanity.
Senator Rhiannon’s apologia for her one-time communist comrades was greeted with thunderous and prolonged comradely applause from her Greens supporters in the Senate chamber.

Senator Rhiannon on Australian Agenda
On Australian Agenda on 28 August 2011, the following exchange took place:
Michael Stutchbury: It is unusual to have a new senator, or new member of parliament, in Australia really singing the praises of socialists and communists in their maiden speech. And you spoke of a revival of McCarthyist rhetoric around the place. While talking about your own history and so forth, shouldn’t you have really got into the issue of why socialism and communism got it so badly wrong?
Lee Rhiannon : I think there has been a whole lot of really wrong things done and I have often acknowledged the mistakes and the crimes that have been committed by different socialist countries.  I think probably what you are also referring there to is some of the comments from Michael Danby, Gerard Henderson sometimes comes into it, Paul Howes –  all running their criticisms of me.  I think there is an interesting point here, that I do actually acknowledge those crimes that have been committed. But I am not behoven to one regime or to one government. I have also been critical of the French when they were bombing, testing the nuclear weapons in the Pacific.
Paul Kelly : Surely there is no parallel here whatsoever between French tests on the one hand and the 20th Century history of what communists did in a range of countries?  Surely that’s a completely false comparison?
Lee Rhiannon : I am not comparing one crime to the other. My point was is that how I live my life is that I will speak out against injustice, oppression and exploitation. I believe I have been consistent in doing that. I have been a member of the Greens for 20 years, I have stood up for our policies. If you look at my track record in parliament, you can see what I have worked for. So a lot of these attacks on the work that I did when I was very young, I think, has got a great deal to do with the fact that the Greens are in balance of power and it is an attempt to smear us. It’s not about actually engaging with the challenges that we have before us.
So, these are Lee Rhiannon’s two essential claims about such critics as Labor MP Michael Danby, Gerard Henderson and Australian Workers’ Union national secretary Paul Howes.  Namely, that criticisms of her past political involvements are McCarthyist in nature and related to a period when she was “very young”.

Lee Rhiannon’s (Alleged) “McCarthyist” Critics
Senator Rhiannon believes that those who criticise her political past engage in “Cold War rhetoric” and practise a “McCarthyism style of politics”.
The essential criticism of Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) was that, when an influential Republican in the United States Senate in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he made false or unsubstantiated allegations that certain Americans were either members, or supporters, of the Communist Party.   Clearly, the term “McCarthyist” does not apply to critics of the Brown family.  For it is an undisputable fact that the Brown family were life-time barrackers of Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev and the other communists who resided in the Kremlin between the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the collapse of Soviet Communism some seven decades later.

Bill Brown and Freda Brown as Followers of Soviet Totalitarianism
Lee Rhiannon’s father Bill Brown (1917-1982) joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1940.  In other words, Bill Brown became a Communist Party member during the mid-point of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Under the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union became formal allies and divided Eastern Europe between themselves.  Bill Brown opposed the Allied War effort until June 1941 because Stalin had instructed Communist Party members the world over to support Hitler – since Germany was an ally of the Soviet Union.  Bill Brown only commenced supporting the Allied war effort after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and Stalin instructed Communist Party members to cease their support for Hitler’s Germany – because it had become an enemy of the Soviet Union.
Freda Brown (1919-2009) joined the CPA in 1936 and soon after supported the Nazi- Soviet Pact. In other words, between mid 1939 and mid 1941 the Browns wanted Nazi Germany to win the Second World War.

As virtually life-long communists, Bill Brown and Freda Brown supported the “glorious history” of the Bolshevik Revolution from 1917 on. This included (i) the military conquest of the nationalities during the formation of the Soviet Union at the time of the Civil War, (ii) the brutal suppression of the workers’ uprising at Kronstadt in 1921, (iii) the forced famine in the Ukraine in the 1930s in which millions died and (iv) Stalin’s purge trials of the late 1930s.

As active CPA members, Bill Brown and Fred Brown actively supported (i) the Nazi- Soviet Pact of 1939-1941 which saw Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania forcefully incorporated into the Soviet Union, (ii) the suppression of virtually all of Eastern Europe by the Red Army in the mid-1940s following the defeat of Nazi Germany, (iii) the creation of dictatorial communist regimes in such “satellite” nations as Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania after the end of the Second World War, (iv) the crushing of the East German workers’ uprising in 1953, (v) the savage extinguishment by the Red Army of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and (vi) the suppression of human rights and rampant anti-semitism of the Soviet regimes during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
Then, in 1968, the Soviet Union crushed the “Prague Spring” in Czechoslovakia. At this time the CPA split.  One faction – headed by Laurie Aarons – decided that enough was enough and broke with Moscow.  The other faction – headed by Bill Brown – supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and remained friendly with the Brezhnev regime in Moscow.
Bill Brown died in 1992 – just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He remained a supporter of Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev and their political heirs up to the time of his death.  Freda Brown died in 2009.  She never renounced Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev or their political heirs up to the time of her death.  Indeed, in Moscow in 1977, Freda Brown was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Brezhnev regime (see the obituary by Tony Stephens in the Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2009).
In her first speech in the Senate, Lee Rhiannon claimed that her late parents were “deeply committed to making the world a fairer, more peaceful place for all”. This claim is completely misleading – unless Senator Rhiannon seriously believes that supporting Soviet totalitarianism was consistent with working to achieve fairness and peace.  If she does hold this view, Senator Rhiannon is seriously deluded.
In letters published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 28 July 2010 and The Australian on 12 April 2011, Lee Rhiannon wrote:
Neither my parents nor I were Stalinists.
Senator Rhiannon’s claim that Bill Brown and Freda Brown were not Stalinists is simply untrue.  The fact is that all members of the Communist Party were Stalinists at least up to 1956 – when Nikita Khrushchev denounced some of Stalin’s crimes at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  In 1986 Bill Brown wrote The Communist Movement and Australia: An historical outline – 1890s to 1980s (Australian Labour Movement History Publications).  It was dedicated to his daughter Lee “without whom this project would not have been possible”. Bill Brown’s book does not contain any criticism of Lenin, Stalin or Brezhnev. None whatsoever.

Lee Rhiannon as a Follower of the Soviet Dictators
Lee Brown – who became Lee O’Gorman and then Lee Rhiannon – joined the Socialist Party of Australia in 1971.  In other words, she joined a communist organisation which was both loyal to and funded by Moscow and which explicitly supported the invasion of Czechoslovakia.  From the time Lee Rhiannon joined the SPA in 1971, until the time she left the party following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, she consistently supported the communist regimes in Eastern Europe.
In May 1972, when a university student, Lee Brown was challenged by a left-wing activist Brian Aarons to indicate whether “she supports the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the shooting of Polish workers and the suppression of socialist democracy in the Soviet Union”. (See Tharunka, 30 May 1972, Page 2). In her reply, Lee Brown specifically declined to criticise the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 or to condemn the shooting of Polish workers by the communist regime in Warsaw. (See Tharunka, 13 June 1972, Page 4).  See generally MWD – particularly Issue 90.
In 1975 Bill Brown became editor of the SPA’s magazine Survey – which was substantially funded by the Soviet Union.  In time, he handed over to Lee O’Gorman, who edited Survey until the magazine expired in July-August 1990.  A read through Survey – when it was edited by Bill Brown or his daughter Lee – indicates that Survey praised all the regimes in Moscow from its first edition in 1975 to its last in 1990.
Writing in The Weekend Australian on 2-3 July 2011, Christian Kerr documented Lee Rhiannon’s role as editor of, and contributor to, Survey.  On Sunday 3 July 2011, Senator Rhiannon was interviewed on Channel 10s Meet the Press program when the following exchange took place:
Hugh Riminton: Welcome back. This is Meet the Press. Our next guest is no stranger to politics, but she is new to the Senate. The former NSW State representative, now part of the Green tide to Canberra, Senator Lee Rhiannon. Welcome to the program.
Lee Rhiannon : Good morning.
Hugh Riminton : This wasn’t the reason that we asked you on to this program, but I want to clear it up and get it out of the way. Did you write for and edit a newspaper in the 1980s called Survey that was funded in whole, or in part, by the Soviet Union?
Lee Rhiannon : Yes, I assisted with it to some extent. You’re referring to the Christian Kerr article yesterday?
Hugh Riminton: There’ve been reports in the media that this was something you’ve not been entirely frank about?
Lee Rhiannon : I’ve always been frank about my work. Absolutely. What we’ve just seen here is another one of these articles. I mean, when you read it, it was a little bit hard to get to the end, but it was sort of like being hit with a wet sock. I’m quite proud of my history. I’ve always been very open about it.
Hugh Riminton : If you’re proud of it, why isn’t it part of your official Senate biography?
Lee Rhiannon : Not everything is part of my official Senate biography. When I was young, I also worked at Regent Park Zoo. I’ve travelled widely. I’ve done a whole range of jobs in different countries. [In fact, Lee Rhiannon’s official biography on the Greens’ website does refer to her having “worked at the Regent Park Zoo in London” – Ed].
Hugh Riminton: But the argument is that, for a number of years, you were working for an organisation that was being funded by the Soviet Union as a communist entity, and that’s not on your official Senate biography. And there is a view that perhaps people should be aware that that is part of your past.
Lee Rhiannon : Well, firstly, I’m quite proud of my past. I have no problems in discussing any aspect of it. I think we also need to see it in the context of why this carry-on is occurring. It’s because the Greens are in the balance of power – and that’s why I’m being targeted. We’ve also seen these comments from Tony Abbott this week where he made the extraordinary statement of likening the carbon tax to socialism masquerading as environmentalism. We’re back to Cold War rhetoric that is really out of place.
Senator Rhiannon’s statement that she merely “assisted” with the publication of Survey “to some extent” is wilfully misleading.
Survey commenced publication in March 1975 – the last issue was published in July-August 1990. Bill Brown was the inaugural editor of Survey and Lee O’Gorman (i.e. Lee Rhiannon) was a frequent contributor.  She was also Survey’s last editor.  The final Survey editorial, published over the name of Lee O’Gorman, read as follows:
In March 1975, a new magazine started circulation throughout Australia. Survey described as a monthly digest of trends in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, was established by Sydney journalist and peace activist, Bill Brown. With a readership that stretched far beyond the progressive movement, this small but very readable publication became well-known for printing the news that in the 1970s and early 1980s was still not accessible through the mainstream media in this country.
Bill Brown, who remained as editor until 1989, when ill-health forced his retirement, worked tirelessly writing and promoting this publication. Bill and the other people who worked on Survey over the years would like to thank its readers for their consistent support. Special thanks go to the many people, too numerous to mention by name, who have assisted with regular donations, on top of their annual subscriptions, and those supporters who arranged distributions, when each issue rolled off the presses.
The July-August 1990 issue will be the last Survey.  This publication, small in size, but large in content, has appeared every month for 15 years. The workers on Survey are sad to see it come to an end – a decision that was unavoidable due to rising costs and increased competition.  The changed political situation in the socialist world has resulted in many more publications in this country printing the news and features that once could only be read in Survey and a few other progressive magazines. With regret for Survey’s passing and thanks to all our readers.
Lee O’Gorman, Editor

Tony Smith MP On The Soviet Funded “Survey”
Speaking in the House of Representatives on 4 July 2011, Liberal MP Tony Smith commented:
…Senator Rhiannon was a Soviet Union propagandist, not just for a  couple of years as a young student but over many, many years, until she was nearly 40 years of age. In fact, she was the editor of the magazine Survey, apparently funded from Moscow. Indeed, she was the editor at its demise in 1990, under her then married name Lee O’Gorman.
That was, as everyone in this House would appreciate, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Just imagine it, Mr Deputy Speaker: all of us here—Liberal, National, Labor—rejoicing that the Berlin Wall had come down and presumably Senator Lee Rhiannon, back then, crying tears of anguish at the collapse of communist rule. You can only imagine what she would have done had she been over there on the East German-West German border. Presumably she would have had a wheelbarrow full of mortar trying to rebuild the Berlin Wall brick by brick to preserve the awful communist experiment.
At the end of his speech, Tony Smith sought leave to table Lee O’Gorman’s editorial in the final issue Survey.  Leave was refused by Labor MP Catherine King.

Lee Rhiannon’s Delegation to Brezhnev’s Moscow
In 1977 Lee Rhiannon (as Lee O’Gorman) led an SPA delegation to Moscow – at a time when the Soviet Union was under the brutal dictatorship of Leonid Brezhnev.  Mark Aarons, in an article titled “The Greens and Fundamentalism” which was published in the May 2011 edition of The Monthly, had this to say about Lee Rhiannon’s early political involvements:
Lee joined the SPA, attending its founding congress. She became a senior office-bearer of the youth wing, serving on the central committee’s youth subcommittee; attended Australia–Soviet Friendship Society meetings; and developed close relations with Soviet, Czechoslovak and East German communist youth groups. In 1977, Rhiannon led an SPA delegation to Moscow at the invitation of Leonid Brezhnev’s neo-Stalinist regime. Persecution of Soviet dissidents was widespread in 1977, with psychiatry routinely used as an instrument of torture. Repression of Jews and the wider population was also endemic under the most pervasive secret police regime in history. All of this became even clearer after communism’s collapse but was apparent well before 1977.

“Survey” Under Mr Brown and His Radical Daughter
Here’s a snapshot of Survey during the time Lee Rhiannon contributed to the magazine.
▪ March 1979 Survey runs an article titled “Stalin – an historical materialist analysis” on the occasion of “the centenary of J.V. Stalin on December 21, 1979”.  The fact that Stalin killed millions of Soviet citizens is not mentioned.
▪ April 1979. Lee O’Gorman writes an article about an International Year of the Child conference in Moscow. She comments:
Moscow has merit as a venue for this important conference.  The delegates will be meeting in a land that has already implemented the ten principles of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
▪ Jan-Feb 1982.  Survey publishes an article on communist Poland which criticises both the Catholic Church and the CIA but says nothing about the repression engaged in by the communist regime in Warsaw.
▪ June 1982.  Survey publishes “Why socialism means real freedom” – which depicts Brezhnev’s Soviet Union as an example of “democracy or common rule by the people”.
▪ April 1985.  Lee O’Gorman writes an article praising technology in the Soviet Union.
▪ July-August 1985.  Lee O’Gorman writes an article defensive of Bulgaria and suggests that Ali Agca, who was convicted of attempting to murder Pope John Paul II, was framed in order to defame the communist regime in Bulgaria.
▪ August 1986.  Survey runs a special (and favourable) feature titled “Soviet Life Today”.
▪ September 1987.  Survey runs an article titled “West lags behind Soviets in human rights implementation”.  The article contains no criticism of the repression of human rights in the Soviet Union.
▪ October 1987.  Survey runs two views on Stalin.  Ivan Karasev writes that “Stalin did a great deal for his people”.  The alternative view by Alexander Samsonov, while critical of the Stalin’s personality cult, claims that “Stalin did make a contribution to the building of socialism” in the Soviet Union.
▪ December 1987.  Lee O’Gorman writes an article entitled “Peer pressure helps youth give up smoking in the GDR”.  She found time to praise East Germany’s anti-tobacco campaigns but not to condemn the brutality of the Stasi, East Germany’s dreaded secret police.

Lee Rhiannon’s Left-of-Centre Critics : Mark Aarons and Michael Danby MP
Most of Senator Rhiannon’s considered critics come from the left-of-centre in Australian politics – with the obvious exception of Liberal Party MP Tony Smith.
Michael Danby, the Labor MP for Melbourne Ports who is Jewish, has drawn attention to Lee Rhiannon’s support for the Soviet Union during Brezhnev’s time when the Communist Party leadership in Moscow was avowedly anti-semitic.  Danby, who has a consistent record of opposing totalitarian regimes of both left and right – wrote an article on The Punch website on 26 August 2011 titled “Whether she likes it or nyet, Lee Rhiannon was a Stalinist”, in which he commented:
Now, some people will say that it’s hypocritical for me to criticise Senator Rhiannon when there are people in the Labor Party who have similar pasts. It’s true that many people who grew up in the Vietnam War era were radicalised as students and joined Maoist, Trotskyist or anarchist student groups. But most of them rapidly grew out this youthful phase and became moderate social democrats – some, such as Christopher Pearson, who supported the Khmer Rouge in his youth, have even become conservatives!
Senator Rhiannon’s case is different. She grew up not as a wild student radical, but as a dedicated member of a pro-Soviet Communist Party. When the CPA tried to free itself from Stalinism, she followed her parents into the breakaway pro-Soviet SPA. She loyally supported all the crimes of the Soviet Union during that time. And this was not a passing phase for her. She remained a senior and active member of the SPA until well into her 30s. She only abandoned communism when it had visibly failed as a useful vehicle for left-wing politics. She then joined the Greens, which is now the main vehicle for left-wing politics in Australia.
People should not be punished for the follies of their past. We should forgive and forget. But as Mark Aarons pointed out…forgiveness must be preceded by repentance. Christopher Pearson has expressed his shame over his support for the Khmer Rouge, and that should be accepted. Labor figures such as Michael Costa have made similar statements. But Senator Rhiannon has expressed no such regrets. She says she is no longer a communist, and I accept that. But she has not said that communism is and always was a false and pernicious doctrine which caused the deaths of tens of millions of people, and is still causing oppression and misery in China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba.

Australians would have liked to have known what Senator Rhiannon now thinks about certain events of the 1970s and ‘80s which took place while she was an enthusiastic supporter of the Soviet Union. What does she now think of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? What does she now think of the suppression of Solidarity and the imposition of martial law in Poland? What does she now think of the Berlin Wall, and the shooting of people trying to escape across it to freedom? What does she now think of the persecution of Andrei Sakharov, Nathan Sharansky and Yelena Bonner? What does she now think of the anti-Semitism of the Brezhnev regime? I’m sure I’m not the only person who’d like to know.
My challenge to Senator Rhiannon was to tell us clearly and honestly about her political past. This went unanswered. Her brief, emotional reference to all the criticism of her determination to tear out the pages of her history, like they used to from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia in the 1930s after Bukharin or Zinoviev were purged [was to accuse her critics of McCarthyism style politics]…
What Australians wanted to hear Senator Rhiannon say was that she had repudiated communism, not just as a tactical convenience but as a matter of conviction; and that she regretted the harm caused by her years of advocacy and activism for the Soviet Union. Senator Rhiannon did none of these things and the Australian people will judge her accordingly.
In her self-serving autobiographical note titled Responding To Attacks On My Family And Political Background – which Lee Rhiannon posted on her website – the point was made that “we all have a past”.  This criticism was directed at AWU national secretary Paul Howes who, as a teenager was a self-declared Trotskyist and a contributor to Green Left Weekly.
On 11 July 2011, Paul Howes wrote to Lee Rhiannon in the following terms in response to Rhiannon’s criticism of him:
For your information I’m happy to outline my political background. At the age of 14 I joined the Resistance. I remained a member until the age of 16 when I decided that the ideology that I had rather foolishly subscribed to was (to borrow a phrase) dead, buried, cremated.
Unlike you I was never employed by any group receiving funding from dictatorships like the Soviet Union.  I never supported nor defended the murderous regimes of the former Soviet Bloc and indeed for that brief period whilst I was a member of Resistance I then still opposed Stalinism and the representatives of that ideology in Australia; your alma mater the Socialist Party of Australia.
Senator, I am always happy for you to speak about my political background, after all I have come to terms with it and have written-off my brief flirtation with far-left politics as a folly of youth. I suggest if you were more open about your background you would too be more comfortable speaking about it, and wouldn’t have to resort to mistruths and lies to smear others, to cover up your own reluctance to finally admit that the ideology you followed for so many years is flawed and wrong.
In The Family File, Mark Aarons wrote how his friendship with Lee Brown did not survive their profound disagreement over her support for the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and early 1970s:
I could not conceive of someone of my age and experience supporting Moscow’s politics. Friendship persisted, however, and I continued to visit Lee’s home.  This grew less frequent as I became more uncomfortable with the tenor of her politics.  On a visit in early 1975 I mentioned that the ABC Radio National program Lateline, for which I worked as a producer, had interviewed Mick McGahey, a communist official of Britain’s miners’ union, about a strike that had brought down the Tory government. Lee’s response convinced me that our friendship was finished, as she aggressively praised McGahey’s endorsement of Moscow’s invasion of Czechoslovakia.
In his essay, in The Monthly, Mark Aarons depicted the essential problem with Lee Rhiannon’s present political predicament as turning on the denial of her past.  He pointed out that her past could be dismissed as mere history “if Rhiannon had admitted her youthful errors and moved on”. However:
…nowhere does she acknowledge how dreadfully wrong she was about the Soviet Union, nor express regrets for her gullible admiration of this abominable system.  In failing to deal with her history honestly, Rhiannon places a question mark over her suitability for any leadership role, especially in a party supposedly built on integrity.

Lee Rhiannon’s Human Rights Contradiction
These days Senator Rhiannon is perhaps best known for her leadership role in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.  She maintains that her support for the BDS movement is indicative of her general support for human rights.
The problem with Senator Rhiannon’s human rights advocacy is that it is built on a double standard.  She has never supported a BDS campaign against the former East Germany or such contemporary dictatorships as Cuba and Syria.
On 6 September 2011, following one of Senator Rhiannon’s regular litanies about human rights, Professor Douglas Kirsner wrote to The Australian in the following terms:
What are Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon’s credentials for her claim that she regularly speaks out against human rights abuses (Letters, 2/9)?
Did she boycott any communist countries when they were committing some of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century? When the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring, did Rhiannon boycott the Soviets? No, she joined the Socialist Party of Australia, a pro-Soviet grouping that split from the Communist Party of Australia after the CPA abhorred the Soviet actions.
Did she boycott the Soviet Union when it was administering psychiatric abuse such as electro-shocks to its dissidents? No, she led a delegation to Moscow. She even made an appearance in Soviet Woman.
Not even in the dying days of the Soviet dictatorship did she protest about human rights abuses.
Rhiannon leads a movement that singles out Israel for boycott. Yet Rhiannon never boycotted or distanced herself from the communist regime she supported for decades.
- Douglas Kirsner, Caulfield North, Vic
That’s the problem with Senator Rhiannon’s political persona. Her contemporary advocacy of human rights in inconsistent with her two decades spent supporting communist regimes in Eastern Europe which repressed human rights.  And she will not apologise for her communist past or even acknowledge that she was a barracker for Leonid Brezhnev and other Soviet followers of Lenin and Stalin.
Put simply, Lee Rhiannon (nee Brown) advocates transparency for others – but not for herself or the Brown family. When it comes to Bill Brown, Freda Brown, Lee Rhiannon/O’Gorman/Brown is into serious denial.

Friday, 9 September 2011

It certainly makes you think (which is more than AGW alarmism can claim)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Michael Smith redacted by 2UE - cached version

Q&As between Smith and the PM

Posted by: 2UE | 31 August, 2011 - 12:56 PM
Julia Gillard and questions raised over her clothing for this photos Michael Smith posed several questions to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and reveals the responses he has received today. Critical questions, revealing answers to the topics many want answered, but suddenly silence?
 

It's On the Public Record:
I write to the Prime Minister's office on your behalf quite a lot.   They're normally very professional and speedy in getting back with responses.
The PM has a large staff, as you would expect.
I have set out my correspondence with the PM's office below, starting with my first note and ending with my last, unanswered note.
During my program today my producer sent a further chaser, she received a brief response that said "Maryann, I provided a response, regards, Sean."
Are you satisfied with the PM's response to my questions?   Are they reasonable questions?   Can you show me where the answers are?

30/08/2011, at 8:44 AM, "Michael Smith \(2ue\)" <msmith@2ue.com.au> wrote:
Dear Prime Minister,
Did you ever create or cause any legal entity(ies) to be created with the letters AWU or words Australian Workers Union in its/their title(s)?
Did you create an Association known as "AWU Members Welfare Association"?
Did you establish or in any way instruct any person to establish any bank accounts associated with the "AWU Members Welfare Association" or "AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc" ?
Did you establish or in any way instruct any person to establish any bank accounts for the Australian Worker's Union?
Did you receive any monies from any of the following bank accounts "AWU Workplace Reform Association" or "Australian Workers Union Members Welfare Association"?
Did you receive any clothes paid for by any other person or entity from the business known as Town Mode of Melbourne Fashion House?
Have you ever paid back any money to the Australian Workers' Union?
Thanks,
Michael

From: Michael Smith (2ue)
Sent: Tuesday, 30 August 2011 9:55 PM
To: Michael Smith (2ue)
Cc: Kelly, Sean
Subject: Re: For the PM Please

Dear Sean,
I am looking at my file of correspondence with your office.
You have always impressed me with your speed in reversion.
What's gone wrong?   Why is this enquiry different?   Did my message go missing?
Michael


From: Kelly, Sean
Sent: Wednesday, 31 August 2011 8:20 AM
To: Michael Smith (2ue)
Subject: RE: For the PM Please [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Hi Michael,
These are matters that have been dealt with on the public record over a period of fifteen years.
Sean

From: Michael Smith (2ue)
Sent: Wednesday, 31 August 2011 9:38 AM
To: Kelly, Sean
Subject: RE: For the PM Please [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

Thanks Sean,
Just for clarity, the only public record I can find that goes close to answering those questions can best be summarised thus.
The PM was a partner at Slater and Gordon.   She took instructions from Bruce Wilson, an official with the AWU.
On Mr Wilson's instructions she set up legal structures styled in a similar fashion to "AWU Welfare Association".
The public record (ie media reports, including Glen Milne's) says she set up the accounts, I infer from that bank accounts.
The PM is explicit in saying that she had no idea what the accounts were being used for.   She specifically and emphatically denies any prior knowledge of improper conduct or fraud.
She vigourously denies being involved in any way in any improper or illegal conduct.
The public record includes the Hansard reports in the Victorian Parliament.   The statements in the parliament include specific commentary about the renovation of a house and the acquisition of certain clothing from the Melbourne fashion house.   Just for clarity, is that public record accurate?
Michael


From: Kelly, Sean
Sent: Wednesday, 31 August 2011 9:41 AM
To: Michael Smith (2ue)
Subject: RE: For the PM Please [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Michael,
The Prime Minister, as you note, has made comments about these matters in the past. I’d refer you to her comments.
Sean

From: Michael Smith (2ue)
Sent: Wednesday, 31 August 2011 9:44 AM
To: Kelly, Sean
Subject: RE: For the PM Please [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Thanks Sean, clearly we would love an interview about them, are there any circumstances in which the PM will speak with me?
Michael

From: Kelly, Sean
Sent: Wednesday, 31 August 2011 9:52 AM
To: Michael Smith (2ue)
Subject: RE: For the PM Please [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Michael, the Prime Minister has made comments about these matters, and has nothing to add to those comments.

From: Michael Smith (2ue)
Sent: Wednesday, 31 August 2011 9:56 AM
To: 'Kelly, Sean'
Subject: RE: For the PM Please [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Sean,
I'll wait to hear from you about the circumstances in which the PM might be available for an interview.
Separately, I would like to take you up on the offer in your last sentence to refer me to the PM's comments.   You have a considerable taxpayer funded media unit with publicly funded access to the Media Monitors organisation and its resources in collating and analysing media commentary.
May I ask that you make good on the offer you made below to refer me to her comments?   Where are they, what are the comments that you are happy for me to use?
Michael

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Blog comments Your Say

  • DID SHE OR DIDN'T SHE???
    Why can't she answer such easy questions???
    LOGICAL-CANBERRA Friday 2 September, 2011 - 4:40 PM
  • The Italians might be concerned at the behaviour of Silvio Burlusconi and young women but what our Prime Minister is doing to the entire Australian public makes Burlusconi pale into insignificance
    Its no longer the ALP its ILP or Incompetant Labor Party
    rod Friday 2 September, 2011 - 1:33 PM
  • A LEOPARD NEVER CHANGES ITS SPOTS;
    Given the High Court, Malaysian asylum-seeker debacle, Ms. Gillard needs to comply with regulations, tell the truth and take what comes!
    It appears that there is still no visible change from the "young & naive" employed Partner in the AWU's Law Firm Slater & Gordon, 20 odd years ago! Is this just another case of a leopard never changes its spots????
    ADRIAN Friday 2 September, 2011 - 10:01 AM
  • How ridiculous that this station will silence a broadcaster, but when the time comes and the Prime Minister goes into campaign mode, she will be given unfettered access to the airwaves.
    Ray Thursday 1 September, 2011 - 11:28 PM
  • its not that hard for someone to answer a plain question with a plain answer, if she DID answer the question plainly in the PAST and its on the public record, where is it? i think that is all Michale Smith is asking for, he isn't trying to pull her teeth.
    I too would like to see the public record of her response to the allegations ?
    where was the article, letter, or affidavit, or ANYTHING that Ms Gillard said, wrote or stated concerning the expenditiue upon herself by her then Union Leader boyfriend?
    if its ON the public record , PLEASE reveal it for us to see,
    gazza Thursday 1 September, 2011 - 7:18 PM

The battle for freedom and democracy in Australia has only just begun.

Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

KJV Jeremiah 25:30


Words: Ju­lia W. Howe, 1861, alt. This hymn was born dur­ing the Amer­i­can ci­vil war, when Howe vis­it­ed a Un­ion Ar­my camp on the Po­to­mac Riv­er near Wash­ing­ton, D. C. She heard the sol­diers sing­ing the song “John Brown’s Body,” and was tak­en with the strong march­ing beat. She wrote the words the next day:
I awoke in the grey of the morn­ing, and as I lay wait­ing for dawn, the long lines of the de­sired po­em be­gan to en­twine them­selves in my mind, and I said to my­self, “I must get up and write these vers­es, lest I fall asleep and for­get them!” So I sprang out of bed and in the dim­ness found an old stump of a pen, which I re­mem­bered us­ing the day be­fore. I scrawled the vers­es al­most with­out look­ing at the p­aper.
The hymn ap­peared in the At­lant­ic Month­ly in 1862. It was sung at the fun­er­als of Brit­ish states­man Win­ston Church­ill, Amer­i­can sen­at­or Ro­bert Ken­ne­dy, and Am­er­i­can pre­si­dents Ron­ald Rea­gan and Ri­chard Nix­on.
Music: John Brown’s Bo­dy, poss­i­bly by John Will­iam Steffe (MI­DI, score). John Brown was an Amer­i­can abo­li­tion­ist who led a short lived in­­sur­­rect­­ion to free the slaves.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.





Gillard, and Rudd, and yes, Hawke, Keating, Whitlam and the rest are evil, reckless and monstrous people, destroyers and wolves sent to lead the weak, the feckless and selfish and exterminate the peaceful, the prosperous and the good in a tidal wave of genocide, cultural annihilation and waste.

Their evil will continue until YOU who read this rise up and stop them.

MOLON LABE!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Enemy Within

As Hobbes noted in Leviathan, the evil was bred at the universities and preached by community organisers for decades before it manifested.

Same here.

ALP is a fascist organisation of anti-white collectivists adhering to the dead creed of socialist elitism.

There's no place for them in our culture or society.

Julia Gillard: YOUR FU IS WEAK!


ABC dumps commentator Glenn Milne | The Australian

ABC dumps commentator Glenn Milne | The Australian

This is fascism.

Gillard thinks she is above the Rule of Law in Australia.

She has to go NOW.

And the rest of the ALP are no better than her.

We need an election NOW.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Chimes of Big Ben

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Tradesmen 'face ruin' as solar-energy business collapses | The Australian

Tradesmen 'face ruin' as solar-energy business collapses | The Australian

A COMPANY that acted as a clearing house for solar panel installers to trade their renewable energy certificates has collapsed owing up to $7 million -- sparking warnings tradesmen will be forced to the wall.

Creditors to the company Well Being Green, which was placed in administration this month, will next week receive a report into its affairs that is expected to show directors moved about $1.6m out of the company in the weeks before it collapsed. Of this, more than $500,000 is suspected to have been sent to Pakistan, where Ali Obeid, the brother of the company's sole director, Nasir Naveed, moved to after the administrator was appointed.

Mr Naveed has told the company's administrator most of the money taken out of the company was used to pay creditors and to fund a call centre.

Administrator Pino Fiorentino said he was examining the withdrawals from the company and the transfers to Pakistan as far back as 2007.

He said Mr Naveed had been co-operating with his inquiries, giving him access to records, and had told him most of the withdrawals had been used to pay creditors. He had claimed the money that had been transferred to Pakistan had been used to fund a call centre.

But Brian Carroll, whose Allsafe Energy Efficient Products is owed $1.2m, said the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator should have conducted due diligence and warned installers there were risks in using an intermediary. Mr Carroll's company runs nine stores and employs about 40 people. Solar panels and solar hotwater systems generate renewable energy certificates and installers pay householders the value of the certificates and then redeem them through intermediaries.

"One or two stores have a real prospect of having to close their doors very, very soon," he said.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said he had written to the minister months ago about Mr Carroll's problems. "We have taken all the steps we possibly could to let them know and at this stage there's a complete blind eye," he said.

A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said disputes between solar panel installers and intermediaries usually needed to be handled under the normal commercial and consumer dispute resolution processes. "Registration (in the scheme) allows a person to hold legal title to certificates -- it was not created to be a government endorsement of a company or their products," he said.


Bill Shorten PM


Gillard: Psalm 109:8 ~ “Let their days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace them.”

Gillard:

Psalm 109:8 ~

“Let their days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace them.”

Monday, 29 August 2011

AWUgate: Stat dec in full




Gillard at Slater and Gordon; AWU; AWUgate

VICHANSARD
Hansard Search Result

[Previous page] [First Match] [New Search]
Selecting a highlighted speaker's name will display only that speaker's contributions to the whole speech.
TitleCity Link: tender
HouseASSEMBLY
ActivityQuestions without Notice
MembersSTOCKDALE
Date12 October 1995
Page656

many unnamed bank spokesmen engage in political propaganda.

City Link: contractual arrangements

Mr BRUMBY (Leader of the Opposition) -- Will the Treasurer confirm that the major sticking point in the negotiations between the government and Transurban is that Transurban is insisting that it be given a guarantee that in order to increase toll revenue and force cars onto the tollways the government will, firstly, reduce the width of Footscray Road; secondly, close Alexandra Avenue; and, thirdly, allow parking on Toorak Road so that it is no longer a clearway? Will the Treasurer give an undertaking to the house that he will not agree to any of these measures?
Mr STOCKDALE (Treasurer) -- It is a pity for Hollywood that the fertile imagination of the Leader of the Opposition is not captured by somebody who makes movies, because his flights of fancy are beyond belief.
I do not propose to go into the detailed matters that are subject to negotiation.
Honourable members interjecting.
The SPEAKER -- Order! The Leader of the Opposition has posed his question and the house should listen in silence to the answer.
Mr STOCKDALE -- The fanciful suggestions the Leader of the Opposition has made are the first I have heard of that kind. They would be unacceptable to the government in the form in which he proposes them. So far as I am aware, nobody other than the Leader of the Opposition is contemplating them.

AWU union official

Mr PERRIN (Bulleen) -- Will the Minister for Industry and Employment inform the house what action the government is taking on allegations of corruption in the trade union movement?
The SPEAKER -- Order! The Chair has some difficulty with the question. Unless the answer can be related to government administration the question will be out of order.
Mr GUDE (Minister for Industry and Employment) -- This matter should be of serious concern to all Victorians. Serious allegations of fraud and impropriety have been brought to my attention.
It is alleged that the former secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Mr Bruce Wilson, who left the union's employ in August of this year, has apparently misappropriated union funds and used his position as secretary in the most improper manner.
I understand the AWU is still receiving bills for strange items ordered by Mr Wilson. All attempts thus far to find him have come to nothing. What did Mr Wilson do when he found out that his actions had been discovered? The first thing he did was to seek legal advice from the union's solicitors, none other than Slater and Gordon. From whom did he receive that advice? One Julia Gillard.
I am informed that Ms Gillard is no longer with Slater and Gordon due to commitments as an ALP Senate candidate. That may not be the only reason she is no longer working at Slater and Gordon.
Mr Bracks -- On a point of order, Mr Speaker, from the outset you asked the minister to relate his answer to government administration. The minister is not talking about government administration but is speculating. He is seeking to try in the Parliament a case which should be dealt with outside the Parliament.
Mr GUDE -- On the point of order, Mr Speaker, I should have thought that of all members opposite the one who has just risen in his place to make a point of order should have known better because, after all, he is supposed to be the spokesperson in the industrial relations area.
The Employee Relations Act clearly provides for investigation of alleged improper action against a union. I make the point to the honourable member that the AWU is a registered and recognised organisation under the Employee Relations Act.
The concerns that have been expressed have been expressed on behalf of decent working AWU members. I have not only a right but a responsibility as the responsible minister to deal with the matter, and I propose to do that irrespective of the point of order.
The SPEAKER -- Order! If the minister can relate his answer to the act he mentioned he will be in order, but if he strays from that he will be out of order and I will no longer hear him.
Mr GUDE -- Consistent with the provisions of the legislation I am informed that the first thing Ms Gillard did, when asked what she would be doing and why she was getting out of Slater and Gordon, was to pay back moneys to the AWU for work -- --
Mr Brumby -- On a point of order, Mr Speaker -- --

AWU: funds

Mr LEIGH (Mordialloc) -- I grieve about the Australian Workers Union and the allocation of some of its money. The union has a well-known history in the Labor Party. It has been involved in a lot of rorting of the funds of many union members. Today I am seeking a fraud squad investigation into what happened to $57 000 of the union's money.
To set the scene, I want to show the credibility of the witness from whom the information was supplied.
Honourable members interjecting.
Mr LEIGH -- The gentleman concerned -- and government members may laugh -- is a 20-year member of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party, the joint president of the Australian Workers Union and a four-year member of the Victorian ALP administrative committee. He is well known to the Minister for Transport because he sat on the administrative committee during the Nunawading Province re-election inquiry that checked out what the honourable member for Thomastown -- now the Minister for Transport -- was doing when he was secretary of the ALP.
Mr Bob Kernohan has been hounded. Together with a whole range of things that have been done to him, through Telstra the union found his silent phone numbers and has made threatening phone calls to him. Today, the union is still up to its tricks and so are a number of members of the ALP. In a letter to me Mr Kernohan states:
When this is used ... may counteract by attacking me over the $6500 I received from Wilson ...
That is Bruce Wilson, who was then involved in the union. The letter continues that this person:
is well aware that the money I received came out of the Wilson election fund, this was confirmed by John Cain Jr, senior partner, Maurice Blackburn and Co.
On top of that --
this person --
is also aware that I went to the federal fraud squad and made a statement to this effect.
They found that I had no case to answer.
You must also remember that over half a million dollars went missing that --
the secretary of the union --
was aware of prior to him paying out Wilson and his mates (an additional $300 000).
I will make all of the material I have available to the house, including a copy of Mr Kernohan's statement to the federal police, following which no charges were laid against him.
This is a man who has spent a lot of years in the Victorian ALP. He has decided to come forward today

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because he is sick of what is going on in this open, honest and transparent government. Is it so honest?
Government members interjecting.
Mr LEIGH -- Who pays for you guys? The material I will make available includes several statutory declarations and I intend to read them.
Mr Maxfield -- Can you read?
Mr LEIGH -- I refer to the first statutory declaration which was signed yesterday, although I also have another one signed some time ago by Mr Kernohan. The statutory declaration states:
I had a discussion with ...
the then secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) in mid-1995 and, during the discussions --
the secretary --
alerted me to the fact that a building contractor had been to see him seeking final payment for renovation works undertaken and completed at an address that was authorised by the AWU. AWU officials Bill Shorten and Terry Muscat were also aware of this serious matter.
The secretary:
told me that a considerable amount of ... union funds had already been spent on renovations at this property and that his investigations had disclosed that the property in question belonged to --
an individual. I have not named the individual as yet, but I will in a minute. The statutory declaration continues:
... he told me that $40 000 had been spent by the AWU to date.
The secretary:
told me that --
the person concerned --
was a ... close friend of Bruce Wilson. Wilson was also an AWU secretary.
The person:
was not known to me but --
the secretary --
and Bill Shorten knew her, in fact Bill Shorten said that he knew her well.
I asked --
the secretary --
what was he and the union going to do to recover our members union funds.
The secretary:
told me that he would not rest 'until these --
I cannot use the expletive that is in the document --
crooks are in jail and that the money is returned in full to the union'. To this day, despite court action taken against Mr Wilson and a court order authorising the AWU to recover these moneys nothing has been done.
The secretary:
and myself had a significant fallout over this and other serious fraudulent activities within the union because they wanted to 'cover it up'.
The secretary:
told me that Wilson also spent $17 000 on women's clothing for --
this person --
out of union funds. The ladies clothing store is called the Town Mode of Melbourne Fashion House.
I do not believe the store exists any more. So $17 000 of the union's funds were spent by the Victorian branch of the AWU to make this person well dressed. This person ultimately became what one would describe as the best-dressed chief of staff in the country for a Leader of the Opposition, because this person was a former Leader of the Opposition's chief of staff and received the clothes and the renovations.
Mr Hulls -- I was the chief of staff.
A Government Member -- Do you wear dresses?
Were you wearing a dress at that time?
Mr LEIGH -- I am well aware of some of the strange habits of the now Attorney-General but I think dressing up in women's clothes is not one of them -- that I know of!
I am talking about a former Leader of the Opposition's chief of staff -- not the current or former chief of staff, the honourable member for Niddrie -- Ms Julia Gillard, who was the chief of staff to the now Victorian Treasurer. While Ms Gillard was swanning around the country, presumably with the Leader of the Opposition, to promote the Labor Party, union funds were being used to renovate her property and $17 000 of the $57 000 bought her the best clothes -- --
Mr Hulls -- On a point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, the honourable member is casting aspersions on a member of another Parliament. His remarks are

Page 54

grossly inaccurate, outlandish, outrageous and indeed highly defamatory. The grievance debate is not a time for members of Parliament to get on their high horse and grossly defame federal members of Parliament for their own purpose, whatever that may be. I ask that you bring the honourable member back to the forms of the house and conduct the grievance debate in a proper manner without allowing the honourable member to cast outrageous defamatory aspersions on a federal member of Parliament.
Mr McArthur -- On the point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, I request that if there are points of order in this vein that you ask the Clerks to stop the clock. I also refer you to Speakers' rulings on this issue. I refer especially to Speaker Wheeler's ruling in 1973 when he said:
In the best traditions of this place, members should refrain from making imputations concerning the official actions of members of other parliaments ...
Mr Acting Speaker, I draw your attention to two things in relation to the ruling. Firstly it says 'in the best traditions of this place'; it is not an absolute prohibition from drawing into question the actions of members of other parliaments. Secondly, the ruling draws a very clear line. It says, 'should refrain from making imputations concerning the official actions of members of other parliaments'.
The honourable member for Mordialloc is bringing into question the actions of a person while not a member of another Parliament, but he is certainly not questioning this person's official actions in any way. The honourable member's issue relates to the possibly fraudulent use of members' funds from a union and where those funds were eventually expended. It does not relate to the official actions of a member of another Parliament. On those grounds you should rule the point of order out of order.
Mr Cooper -- Are you going to stop the clock?
Mr Brumby -- On the point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, the rules of debate in this place, as in other parliaments, are very clear. If a member of Parliament wants to make substantive allegations against another member of Parliament -- --
Mr Leigh interjected.
Mr Brumby -- You have mentioned the person's name now in this debate. If you want to make those sorts of allegations, as repeated in the house by the honourable member for Monbulk, it must be done by way of substantive motion.
To come in here as the honourable member does -- a member who has a reputation for never getting out of the gutter, for always being in the gutter -- --
Honourable members interjecting.
Mr Brumby -- Accusations of that type should be made by way of substantive motion. I stated through you, Mr Acting Speaker, that I assume the honourable member is prepared to make those allegations outside the house, and the gutless little coward opposite says, 'I don't have the guts to do it'!
This is a member of Parliament who cannot help himself to get out of the gutter. I suggest that if he wants to make these allegations he should get to his feet, walk out of this house, stand on the front steps and repeat them. We will then see whether he has the guts and the backbone to back up the filth that he has peddled today in Parliament.
Mr Cooper -- On the point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, there are some rules that govern matters that come before this house, and in particular rules that govern points of order. Neither the Attorney-General nor the Treasurer has followed those rules: they have simply made wild allegations. The Treasurer has tried to debate the issue and extend the debate into an attack upon the honourable member for Mordialloc. The realities are that the house runs by standing orders and precedents set by previous Speakers and by the present Speaker.
The honourable member for Monbulk stated that the precedent states that there is no point of order. The only standing order that is relevant to this matter is standing order 108. I notice that the Attorney-General very carefully avoided quoting that standing order because it refers to members of the house and states that:
...
all imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on members shall be deemed disorderly.
The honourable member for Mordialloc did not breach standing order 108 in his remarks about Ms Gillard and her misuse of union funds. There is no point of order. Further, the clock should have been stopped to allow the honourable member to finish his contribution.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Kilgour) -- Order! I do not uphold the point of order.
Mr LEIGH -- If the Labor government is true to its word under its leader, Mr Bracks, that it is an open and honest transparent government, I seek from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services an admission that the government has a rogue union inside

Page 55

its organisation, affiliated to its body, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have a record of the former president of that organisation saying that hundreds of thousands of dollars of union money has been rorted. What we have uncovered is a small proportion of that money.
The now secretary of the union, Mr Bill Shorten, knew about it, and the former secretary and now the upper house member in this Parliament, Mr Bob Smith, knew about it. They all know about it. Ms Julia Gillard knew about it and she took the 57 000 bucks to avenge herself.
Mr Maxfield interjected.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Kilgour) -- Order! The honourable member for Narracan should not shout like that from the back seat.
Mr Lenders -- On a point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, I draw your attention to standing order 108, on which the honourable member for Mornington so helpfully addressed us before. The honourable member for Mordialloc has in this case directly and unequivocally impugned the motives of the honourable member for Chelsea Province in another place. It is unambiguous in terms of standing order 108, which reads:
No member shall use offensive or unbecoming words in reference to any member of the house ...
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Kilgour) -- Order! I have heard enough. I do not uphold the point of order.
Mr LEIGH -- In closing, I seek a police investigation into the misuse of those funds, and I urge the Minister for Police and Emergency Services to take some steps to demonstrate that the Victorian ALP government is as honest as its leader, Mr Bracks, says it is. I do not believe he will do that.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 

AWU: funds

Mr McINTOSH (Kew) -- I am glad to be able to follow the honourable member for Tullamarine in the grievance debate. She talked about workers, but a lot of the issues I propose to raise deal with the way workers have been mistreated by at least one large public institution that operates throughout this country. All honourable members have been concerned about the collapse of HIH Insurance and the appropriate regulatory and prudential controls that should be established to ensure that people do not lose their money through mismanagement and misappropriation, if not criminal behaviour.
Mr Acting Speaker, I have asked the honourable member for Glen Waverley to pass to you a draft report by Coopers and Lybrand and a bundle of various documents. I am happy to table those documents for the benefit of the house.
The honourable member for Monbulk has some copies for any honourable member who wishes to follow my comments.
The institution I wish to deal with is the Australian Workers Union. The Australian Workers Union is now a super-union that resulted from the amalgamation of the AWU and the Federation of Industrial Manufacturing and Engineering Employees on 1 November 1993.
I refer you to the draft report by Coopers and Lybrand, which is addressed to the Australian Workers Union and raises major matters for the attention of the union's committee of management. As I understand it, it is a draft report that was prepared for the head office of the AWU.
The covering letter dated April 1998 deals with matters that arose in the financial years ended 30 June 1995, 1996 and 1997.
I say from the outset that I make no allegation against any individual member or official of that union. I am concerned that the processes adopted by the union raise substantial questions that should be dealt with by way of a public inquiry, if not a police investigation. Most importantly, the dispassionate draft report by the auditors indicates that the union has substantial difficulties.
I refer you, Mr Acting Speaker, to the first page of the draft report, which is the first page of the April letter, and in particular to the second paragraph, which reads:
The issues detailed in this report are considered to be the major issues which significantly impact the control environment and financial integrity of not only the head office branch --
that is, the head office of the AWU --
but also the union as a whole. The seriousness and magnitude of the issues we have identified have resulted in an extreme limitation in the scope of our audit, and as a consequence we propose to issue a disclaimer of opinion on the financial statements for each of the financial years presented.

Page 880

I refer you to what may be the most important words, at the end of the third paragraph:
It must also be noted that should this less than adequate financial environment persist, we would be required under our professional auditing and ethical standards to tender our resignation as auditors of the union.
I refer you to some of the substantial allegations made by the auditors. On page 16 of that draft report, the following observation is made:
During our audit we identified a significant number of transactions for which no supporting documentation was available.
They state that that impacts on their ability to determine income and expenditure and to correctly detail the accounts of the union.
On the last page, page 17, the auditors make the following observation:
With regard to contributions paid by branches and payments on behalf of branches, we noted that:
in the general ledger there are no separate accounts to record contributions/payments for other branches separately ...
It goes on to say that there is a substantial discrepancy between what the state branches and the head office say the income and expenditure should be.
The second bundle of documents relates to a number of exhibits to an affidavit sworn on 19 September 1996 by Mr Ian Cambridge, who was then the national secretary of the AWU. As I understand it, he is now a member of the New South Wales industrial relations court.
The source of the information I propose to put before the house is the affidavit filed in proceedings in the federal industrial relations court.
I refer honourable members to the last three pages of that bundle of documents, numbered 15, 16 and 17. Those pages contain a list of some 30 bank accounts in Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Page 16 contains a list of substantive accounts in Western Australia and Victoria detailing not only account names and numbers but also huge deposits -- $156 000 in one case and $383 000 in another.
Mr Cambridge says in his affidavit that he wrote to every bank in Australia and that the replies he received were from the Commonwealth Bank alone. The list of the individual bank accounts relate to the Commonwealth Bank and not to any other. He says in his affidavit that the AWU does not operate these accounts. They are not union accounts but somebody else's.
But they are using the name 'AWU' or 'Federation of Industrial Manufacturing Engineering Employees' or some variation on a theme in all those cases.
By way of example, on page 16 of the documents the first two accounts are shown as the 'AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc. (Cash Management Call Account)', which I will name the call account. The second account is named the 'AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc. (Cheque Account)', which I will refer to as the cheque account. As the front of the documents shows, in about April 1992 a corporation called the Australian Workers Union -- Workplace Reform Association was incorporated in Western Australia. The top document is an application for its incorporation. The second document is the certificate of incorporation.
The association opened the two accounts in Western Australia referred to above, the call account and the cheque account. One must remember that these are not union accounts but accounts operated by a person or persons unknown.
Mr Cambridge names a Mr Blewitt and a Mr Wilson as the signatories and the operators of the accounts, and it appears from his evidence that they were not doing it for the purpose of depositing moneys for the union.
Most importantly, during the course of the operation of those accounts a number of deposits were made by, among others, corporations such as Thiess Contractors in Western Australia. Page 3 is a deposit slip for the cheque account for the sum of $16 000. The second deposit slip on page 4 shows a deposit of some $31 000. Mr Cambridge has deposed that this is the only deposit slips he has, but he understands that the vast majority of the deposits were made by Thiess Contractors. I make no allegation against Thiess Contractors, in fact quite the opposite.
It appears that Thiess Contractors operations were above board.
It had an arrangement with the AWU to employ people for the purposes of training them on their sites in Western Australia under the then Labor government's workplace reform legislation. According to Mr Cambridge's affidavit, the Western Australian government also made substantial contributions to the union in that regard. This was dealing with taxpayers moneys! Those moneys were built up over time. Page 5 is lifted straight out of Mr Cambridge's affidavit. I am happy to table a copy of the affidavit or make it available to anyone who wishes to peruse it.
The table on page 5 gives details of expenditure and shows an unbelievable amount of cash money -- $50 000 -- together with further amounts of $8000 all

Page 881

the way down the table. Payments were made to unknown people. Items 3 and 4 on page 5 show that on about 10 February a cheque was drawn for $25 000 and made payable to a Mr Blewitt. As I indicated earlier Mr Blewitt was a union official, and his involvement raises questions that need to be answered.
On 13 February Mr Blewitt purchased a property in Victoria for $230 000, paying a deposit of $23 000. This happened three days after he was given a cash cheque for $25 000. He nominated a firm called Slater and Gordon to handle the transaction. I emphasise that I make no allegation against Slater and Gordon. It is important to note that that firm was the union's solicitors in Victoria, so no doubt Mr Blewitt went to his internal solicitors. But on or about 18 March, at the request of Slater and Gordon, some $67 000 was paid to complete the settlement of the property, and a further $2000 was paid out of that account. It is not the union's account, but it certainly appears to be union money.
Mr Cambridge has given evidence to say that the property has subsequently been sold and not 1 cent has been used from the sale proceeds to reimburse the union. It has disappeared into the ether, despite the fact that there is a civil order out against Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt in that regard.
On page 16 of the documents the first account under the heading 'Victoria' is named 'Australian Workers Union Members Welfare Association (No. 1) Account'. Again Mr Cambridge knows nothing about that account. It is not a union account, although money has been paid into it.
Page 14 indicates that over a long period corporations such as Thiess Contractors, John Holland, Phillips Fox on behalf of Woodside, Chambers Consulting and Fluor Daniel paid moneys into the account. This is not an account operated by the union. Curiously, on page 15 there are all sorts of extraordinary items.
Items 13 and 14, totalling $17 500, were paid to Town Mode, which is a women's fashion house in Melbourne. Mr Cambridge has given evidence about the likely proceeds of this. The companies were doing no more than they were obliged to do, which is to remit union fees on a regular basis to the AWU. They were the fees of ordinary members. These moneys were put into an account not operated by the union, so ordinary members were paying for items from a women's fashion house. There may be a perfectly innocent explanation but I cannot see it.
Curiously, on my accounting some $185 000 in bank cheques has also been drawn and paid back to individual corporations, presumably because by that time August had expired. At page 16, a letter dated 4 August indicates real concerns on the part of the Victorian finance committee. It states that people are to be charged under various union rules and that those matters will be referred to the industrial relations tribunal and the police. So far as I am aware, those investigations have not been completed.
At page 17, Mr Cambridge indicates he wants the accounts frozen, and they are frozen. Then, for some reason, at the behest of Maurice Blackburn Solicitors, who were then acting on behalf of the Australian Workers Union, moneys were paid out to various accounts. A handwritten note indicates that notwithstanding that the accounts contained union moneys, according to a number of documents signed by union officials they were not appropriately dispersed.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Plowman) -- Order! The honourable members time has expired.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 
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