We Don’t Need Another Hero – Williamson guilty, Jackson hailed as hero by the right wing despite evidence

Posted: October 17, 2013 in HSU Saga, Politics

Tuesday the 15th October 2013 was a significant day in the history of the Health Services Union.

It was the day that Michael Williamson finally pleaded guilty to over 50 charges relating to fraud and the destruction of evidence. The amount of money he defrauded from the union came to close to $1 Million, that’s a lot of member contributions.

Williamson now faces a hefty jail sentence where he will have plenty of time to sit back and ponder how he took the funds of some of the nations lowest paid workers to live the high life.

Williamson performs the walk of shame

Williamson performs the walk of shame

Even Kathy Jackson came out of hiding to have her say, being hailed as a hero from the right wing press and telling reporters that there should be an inquiry into the HSU.

Kathy, I could not agree more.

We could start with your fiancé and his involvement. When there was an independent inquiry into the Fair Work Australia Investigation, an organisation your fiancée was Vice President of, your fiancé Michael Lawler was the only one who refused to co-operate with KPMG in the inquiry. The only one. Why is that?

No need for an inquiry into Williamson, he is facing it in court as we speak.

No need for one into Thomson either, he is still in and out of court and Fair Work seem to be looking to bow out quietly in the civil matters by going into mediation.

So I guess that leaves an inquiry into your spending on ski holidays, child care, booze etc and the cash payments and cash cheques, and companies that you owned such as Neranto #10. I could go on, but I won’t, the police have it all, and much of it is up on my Jacksonville resource page.

I think it is a fair question as to why you would think Craig Thomson spending $15 on an in-house movie while away from home on business is a horrendous rort of union members funds that should be punished, but your spending over $20,000 on a ski holiday on a union credit card is fine.

As I suggested in a previous post the Williamson case is being used as a trigger to mount a Royal Commission or Judicial Enquiry into union corruption. Kathy Jackson is being used as the Coalition puppet that pulls the trigger.

So what’s in this for Jackson?

I would presume that she is trying to seek immunity from prosecution for the mountains of allegations against her, and immunity for Michael Lawler her partner as well for his alleged involvement.

Lawler & Jackson - Seeking immunity?

Lawler & Jackson – Seeking immunity?

This cannot be allowed to happen at any cost, and if it does will be a sure sign that the corruption goes all the way to the top of the Liberal Party given Lawler was appointed by Tony Abbott himself, and George Brandis and Eric Abetz have been involved throughout the ordeal.

As a bonus she gets to drag her arch-enemy Bill Shorten into the thick of the debate, as is now happening.

If Kathy Jackson is given immunity then she will leave others to take the fall for her, other such as her BCOM members must be concerned about where they sit in all of this, and also Marco Bolano.

Bolano was also out yesterday telling the story of how he has been “bullied” out of the union. Chris Smith told gullible listeners yesterday about how the whistleblower Bolano had been bullied out of the union, lost his car, his computer and his phone.

What he didn’t tell listeners is that the bullying was actually a Federal Court Order to place the union into administration and stand down all officials and then an election where he was voted out by the members. Since when has losing an election been referred to as being bullied out?

When most people lose their job that comes with a car a computer and a phone, they tend to lose those things with it.

Also neglected from mention is that Marco Bolano is still claiming workers compensation from the union at his pay rate of $230K per annum for his allegations of bullying, this is being paid by the taxpayer through Workcover.

This should be stopped immediately.

Bolano - Your taxes are current paying his $230K salary while he is at home on compo

Bolano – Your taxes are current paying his $230K salary while he is at home on compo

There are however other players in the saga in NSW, two of these players are Richard Hew and Alf Dowling, both suppliers of printing services, in fact Richard Hew has hardly rated a mention at all.

Much of the focus of the police investigation and media speculation has been the involvement of printing companies of which there are three primary players, Communigraphix, ER Printers and Access Focus. Although these companies provided printing services, they each provide a variety of other services also.

Much of the media focus has been on Communigraphix as the owners, the Gillelands had their home raided back at the start of the investigation after a falling out with Kathy Jackson led to the finger being pointed their way.

Much speculation has been promoted in the press about the Gillelands providing secret commissions, however evidence of invoices have emerged that prove otherwise. After Williamson’s guilty plea it has also been shown in the police statement of facts that whilst they were approached to destroy evidence, they in fact didn’t they handed it over to authorities.

When Michael Williamson was elected in 1995 he dumped Communigraphix as the printer of the union magazine without explanation, instead giving it to a company called Macquarie Business Systems after a tender process. After failing to produce the magazine adequately, producing only three editions instead of the 12 produced by Comminigraphix  the union was forced to dump Macquarie Business Systems and approach Communigraphix again.

Communigraphix then started to produce the magazine at the end of 1996.

In her Oct 15th article Kate McClymont refers to the printing of the union magazine like this;

“Communigraphix, was receiving $680,000 a year to produce 10 issues of the union newsletter. The same service is currently being provided for just over $100,000.”

This is both incorrect and misleading.

According to the Temby report $680,000 is the total charges for 12 months from Communigraphix. This include 11 issues of the union magazine, not newsletter, and not 10 issues, other printing services, a contract to write a history of the HSU and some work involving conferences and conventions. The Temby report can be found on my resource page.

McClymonts reporting of this is like saying that Coles made $1.3 Billion profit selling baked beans. They clearly didn’t, they made $1.3 Billion profit and one of the products sold for profit was baked beans. Communigraphix invoiced $680K in total, part of which was the printing and mailing of the approximately  48 page glossy magazine referred to as a newsletter. In fact referring to the union magazine as a newsletter is not unlike referring to the Sydney Morning Herald as a pamphlet.

The same service for just over $100K is also a big call, a similar service would not even be an appropriate description. The current magazine being printed is much thinner than the former magazine and is direct mailed to approximately half of mailing list it was formerly sent to.  In addition to this the current magazine appears to be bi-monthly rather than monthly and is being done in-house, so wages and other costs of business like tax, power and rent are not being taken into account.

Communigraphix were approached in 1997 to provide the credit card services for the NSW branch of the HSU and did so reluctantly as a service for a client in a bid to keep the printing business and after seeking advice from a solicitor. They produced tax invoices and reported the activity through the ATO so there was nothing secret about it from their end, nor was it a form of commission.

The approach to provide credit cards came from Cheryl McMillan who was the unions procurement manager and Michael Williamson’s lover, and who was also the account holder for the notorious American Express black card which Williamson used. Williamson had held a second card attached to MacMillan’s account from around 1999.

However after the Gillelands sought advice from Kathy and Jeff Jackson on how to get out of the credit card service, as invoices were not being paid, they lost the bulk of their business again.

This time it went to a company called ER Printers.

Kathy Jackson held a national role within the HSU, she was Secretary of HSU Number 3 Branch and also National Secretary, but there was one thing she didn’t have, and that was a key to the NSW office.

However many sources have claimed that Richard Hew, owner of ER Printers did.

Richard Hew

Richard Hew

Why would a printing subcontractor have a key to the unions office when even the National Secretary doesn’t?

Before starting ER Printers Richard Hew worked for another supplier that did some work for the HSU, Richard was allegedly approached to start his own company so that he could take the HSU business away from his employer.

Richard Hew had pre-dated Communigraphix as a supplier to the HSU, however he was now handed the bulk of their business. Was this where some of the secret commissions we hear so much about actually coming from? He was certainly well known for giving large cash presents each Xmas sources claim.

As suggested here back in January this year, it would seem secret commissions came from another supplier called Access Focus, a company which until now had been widely ignored by the press with the exception of some investigating by Ean Higgins of the Australian which ended up at a dead-end for him.

As I mentioned in a previous post Access Focus  received a little over $4.5m ex GST from 3 October 2007 to 30 September 2011. That is over $1.1Million a year.

However when Kate McClymont briefly looked at Access Focus owner Alf Dowling, he told her;

”I don’t give backhanders because I don’t make enough money”

 Over a million a year not enough money?

Then again this is a guy who owns an island resort in Fiji, the Viwa Island Resort, maybe a cool million doesn’t register with him.

.According to the police statement of facts Mr Dowling paid Michael Williamson over $600,000 in cash after inflating his prices.

The cash payments were organised by and made to Cheryl McMillan who also received vast sums of money for the trouble.

One would hope that the police will be laying charges on Mr Dowling soon, and investigating Richard Hew.

Alf Dowling of Access Focus

Alf Dowling of Access Focus

Both Access Focus and ER Printers were approached to become suppliers by Cheryl McMillan, and Richaed Hew is also alleged to have had a credit card attached to Cheryl McMillans personal American Express account.

When it came to the Temby report Richard Hew refused to co-operate with Temby.

Craig Thomson has also confirmed that he was asked questions regarding Richard Hew and ER Printers by police investigating the HSU, yet the press have not picked up on him.

Last week I approached Richard Hew by phone and asked him if he wanted to put his side of the story forward. Hr Hew would not answer questions and said he just wanted to stay out of the whole ordeal.

Somehow I don’t think the Fraud Squad are going to allow that to happen Mr Hew.

Call it a hunch.

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Comments
  1. Marilyn says:

    Considering the revelations of the amount of thieving of taxpayers money by Abbott he is in great company with the lovely Kathy.

  2. George says:

    Michael Williamson finally admits he is guilty of betraying members trust by using their hard
    earned money to enjoy his lavish lifestyle over many years. I wait in anticipation that other trusted officials finally have to answer to the members for their role in this saga.

    Sadly for the members of HSU Vic number 1 branch who are about to lay charges against
    the new officials and branch committee of management for financial mismanagement, as well
    as reporting the same to Fair work Australia the saga continues for Victorian members.

  3. George says:

    Peter are you sure that Marco is on work care payments? How does the bully of members
    claim that he was the subject of bullying, Stuart Miller left under the same conditions and is not claiming work care payments.

  4. Bridget says:

    Wixxy – you know my thoughts. I hope Williamson receives the maximum prison sentence and the judicial system seize his assets so as to repay the Union the amount that was stolen PLUS interest. What a dog !

    • wixxy says:

      Absolutely agree, but I also think and wish the same for Jackson and Bolano should be taken off compo and made to pay back what he has already received.

      • Bridget says:

        As you keep reminding members Wixxy – everyone is innocent and entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Like it or not both CT and KJ are innocent at this stage but Williamson IS guilty. He can rot in a cell.

      • wixxy says:

        You make out like I thought he was innocent.

        I have always thought Williamson guilty and never said otherwise

  5. George says:

    HSU/HWU Vic 1 members will look forward to your next post.
    You maybe interested in looking at the VIc 1 documents that have been lodged to Fair Work Australia and are being investigated not sure how to get them to you.

  6. F.Hunt says:

    The human condition goes overboard when there are large amounts of money involved and no accountability. K Jackson and others are pointing fingers but it is obviously a divergence, look over there but don’t look over here. Seems to be a lot of sticky fingers
    ..!!

  7. Rubens Camejo says:

    The whole affair has more than a whiff of corruption at all levels, involving most players and it stinks all the way to Liberal party HQ, including our current political masters in parliament. A royal commission? I doubt it,; those things can take a life of their own and gather up all the flotsam about and some of it are in very powerful positions, enough to prevent such a commission being established.

    Williamson should get his just desserts. That should include the $1 million super going to his wife – as she didn’t know…then again… maybe she didn’t. However must that justify her keeping some ill-gotten gains? perhaps her pain might serve as a warning to other would be offenders that when they go down, so will their families.

  8. Nic says:

    Bridget again playing everyone like a fiddle….

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