Hate To Say I Told You So

Posted: July 31, 2012 in HSU Saga, Politics

I found myself awestruck reading an article in The Australian on Monday. You may have seen it, the one about Fair Work Australia and their losing of the public’s faith.

I thought to myself, “Geez, does this mean that there are question marks over FWA’s investigation of the HSU?”. I wondered why nobody has reported on this before.

Then I remembered that someone had… Me.

It was all the way back on the 16th of May when my first article on this went up on Wixxyleaks, and shortly afterwards was published by Independent Australia. Since then I have done many articles on the fiasco surrounding the HSU, the players, the investigations, the politicians, and the media. Independent Australia even has a dedicated page into the ongoing investigation, the now infamous, Jacksonville page.

I however, am not here to criticise those running FWA, not much anyway. After over 10 weeks since my first story ran, I’m just glad to see they are starting to catch up.

To use the words of another, I felt the report in The Australian “vindicated me” of any tin foil hat wearing claims. I could also say that it “exonerates me” from any suggestion of bias in my suggestions that this FWA investigation be probed further.

But in reality, people still query whether or not I am biased.

To them I say this. “Damn right I am, and I ain’t scared to admit it”.

You see, I am firmly on the side of the union members, and I feel no shame in saying it. They have suffered for more than long enough, and deserve better.

So let’s have a quick refresh of Fair Work Australia.

I have mentioned before the words of Iain Ross, FWA President, emphatically distancing himself from the FWA investigation into HSU.

Are things starting to look shady for Iain Ross?

I have also mentioned how the investigator, Terry Nassios, told a senate committee that the investigation “would not stand up to police scrutiny”.

We have spoken before of how Kathy Jackson told us on 7 30 that she discussed the investigation into HER union with her partner Michael Lawler, the Vice President of FWA.

We have spoken before how Michael Lawler initiated a police investigation into the HSU as a “private citizen”

We have even shown computer files, seen below, that show that Kathy Jackson accessed a FWA computer during the investigation into her union.

Note Date And Author Name

Note Company Name

So, what now?

Well, now apparently FWA has caught up. So now FWA  is beginning to see the damage done to its credibility as any organisation capable of investigating, and ruling on matters without bias, or corruption. Now it seems it is time to fix it.

It seems, that now that the horse has bolted, FWA finally, at long last wants to close the gate.

The problem with this to me is that not only has the horse bolted, it has taken its mates with it, and now the rest of the world is learning how it opened the gate in the first place. It seems the horse may have had some inside help…

The article in The Australian briefly touches on a discussion Iain Ross tells us he had with his VP, Michael Lawler.

The conduct guide says members should exercise considerable care to “avoid using the authority and status of a member’s office for private purposes”.

Justice Ross said he would soon release a future directions document that would include proposals for a more transparent complaints system.

OK, so I guess that “considerable care” would cover launching a full-blown investigation into your fiancés factional enemies at a union? Is that considerable care? My gut tells me it sounds a wee bit reckless, and a bit like trying to exert authority for personal gain… but that’s just me.

It then goes on to say regarding Iain Ross

He also wants the Fair Work name changed, suggesting the Australian Workplace Commission or the Australian Workplace Relations Commission.

Wow, this will be a big help. Really it will…

If we just changed the name of Asbestos to Envirofibre, it will remove the stigma, right?

People are not that stupid in the real world Mr Ross. Maybe in the upper management of FWA, but not the real world.

Here are some of my tips for redeeming integrity Mr Ross, for what it’s worth.

Ask for the senate committee to be disbanded.

Any senate enquiry that is chaired by the Liberal Party, that is set up to investigate allegations of corruption in a FWA investigation is questionable. It is questionable as one of those in question, Michael Lawler, was appointed by the Liberal Party’s current leader, Tony Abbott. Add to that, the fiancé of Michael Lawler is known to have been in direct contact with Eric Abetz’s office on numerous occasions during the time of the enquiry. Eric Abetz, of course is part of the committee.

Get me Jackson on the hotline, or the boatphone

My advice, ask for this senate committee to be ditched, it smells a bit fishy at any rate, and ask for a Judicial Enquiry, or a Royal Commission.

My other advice would be to bring Mr Nassios back from what seems like the longest holiday in history, and ask him why the investigation was so seemingly targeted, and steered away from Michael Lawler’s fiancé, Kathy Jackson. If he claims there was no directions given, ask then why he missed so much evidence. Speaking of evidence, you could also ask why Kathy Jackson was allowed to deliver much of it.

I would not suggest sacking Mr Nassios, but find out from him where things went so pear-shaped, by your own admission.

As for Michael Lawler, I would ask that he be immediately suspended without pay, pending a Judicial Enquiry/Royal Commission. Anything less, and I’m sorry to say, FWA will always have a stigma.

We have already seen many breaches of protocol, which have been shown here, and admitted on programmes like 7 30 by Kathy Jackson. You have now been kind enough to point out another breach of the conduct guide, hell, maybe you should call for him to be sacked.

I can tell you this, moving Lawler up to Sydney won’t fix the issue. Just like after his son’s birthday bash that Michael threw in FWA’s offices, some serious cleaning up needs to be done.

It is also worth remembering, although FWA is seen as Julia Gillard’s baby, all she did was change the nappy. This organisation has been around far longer than Julia Gillard has been at the Lodge, it just went by a different name, and had different legislation to work with, you may remember WorkChoices.

Also worth remembering, the question mark regarding this whole investigation is over Michael Lawler, fiancé of Kathy Jackson, and proud appointee of Tony Abbott.

Question marks over the HSU investigation by FWA… hate to say I told you so.

  1. Buff McMenis says:

    Interesting. Between your prognosis and the one done by Pollytics in 2010 on other matters, I’m starting to wonder why these matters out in plain sight have been wrapped into obfuscating fluff and hidden from the common people?

  2. Marilyn says:

    You are entitled to scream it from the roof tops and you have educated a good number of us in the process.

    I too am on the side of the members of the union who have been utterly screwed over.

    • jane says:

      Absolutely right, Marilyn. I’d suggest they ask you to be their watchdog. At least the members will be secure in the knowledge that their interests would be protected fearlessly.

  3. paul walter says:

    Its sooooo Mal Brough. Gordon Gretch, come home. All is forgiven.

  4. Slumdog says:

    If not for News Ltd and the mining barons Abbott and the LNnoP would only be a very small blip on the radar

  5. Jane says:

    The reputation of the FWA as an independant and transparent legal institution where everyone is traeated as equal before the law has been tarnished permanently and it’s going to take more then some boot polish and a name change to recover it. Lady law is often portrayed as blindfolded, illustrating the important oath of Officethe Jury take , to lead a life free of influence direct or indirect from any source.Michael Lawler took this important oath , but did he read the fine print?
    There is no single model for achieving judicial independence. Nevertheless, there is a clear set of
    essential requirements to ensure the institutional independence of courts and the institutional impartiality of judges. Such independence and impartiality must not only exist. It must also appear to exist – reflected in the aphorism that justice must not only be done but must manifestly be seen to be done. The significance of appearances creates additional institutional restraints and requirements.”Supreme Court NSW.
    Time for Lawler to revisit some law books

  6. jaycee says:

    “Caesars wife must be above suspicion”.. The same must be said for the FWA…Let justice be done!
    Nothing less than a judicial enquiry.

  7. Marilyn says:

    I have never been able to work out why Nassios wasted so much time doing nothing much and why Lawler didn’t get the conflict of interest thing.

  8. Lee says:

    Jane do those “institutional restraints and requirements “include refraining from the following:
    *Attending political fundraisers & forums?
    * interference in political and industrial matters ?
    * Providing advice on industrial matters that may be conflicting in nature?
    * Appear before the law courts as an “independant judicial officer” representing parties that may seen to bring conflict to your role?

    Does the FWA seriously have us believe that it’s questionable treatment of evidence and proper process , and overall lack of probity and enforcement of it’s extensive reports will be helped by a name change a new code of conduct that states the obvious ? Courts should never become a political football & a Royal Commission with teeth and real outcomes is needed if we are to ever regain faith in this judicial basket case.

  9. Corinne says:

    In what appears to have been the shortest lived twitter account in tweet history @BroughMal , appeared then dissapeared in 48 hours, as short lived as his credibility?Apologies, credibility is too strong a term especially when the Grech/Ashby/Jackson /Newslimited dots are all joined the LNP may start looking at new political strategies other then grubby grabs for the power at all costs.

  10. Jed Davis says:

    So, FWA is paying for Kathy Jackson to move to Sydney (with her partner Michael Lawler of course). From there Ms Jackson plans to run for Michael Williamson’s old spot. Lawler hopes to get his old FWA spot from before FWA paid for him to move to Melbourne to tie up with Jackson.

    Is this for real?

  11. savetherange says:

    It’s in everyones’ interests for this to be aired truthfully and completely.

  12. Laura says:

    What ever came of those complaints against Lawler’s interference in union matters by Union employees Carol & Gerard ? Maybe the FWA and Mr Ross could clawback some credibility , if it addressed why the complaints were not dealt with . Read this interview to see how quickly Lawler changes hat from civilian to “Independant judicial officer” to avoid accountability. FWA you know how to pick ’em.


  13. jane says:

    Time for another clean sweep in both FWA and HSU. It’s glaringly obvious that the government was very naive in trusting these people to do the job they were charged with.

    Jackson Lawler and the whole rotten bunch should be bunged in the stocks and the people they preyed on should be provided with rotten eggs and vegetable matter.

    None of them should be allowed to have any position better than toilet cleaner, and even then i wouldn’t trust them not to pinch the toilet paper.

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