This is a work in progress last edited July 2019
It is important to remind the reader as we have on our Absent Justice brief summary page that various exhibits supporting our story are linked in the text: for example, FrontPage Part One File No/1, Main Evidence File No/3 or Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C. Clicking on these links with your cursor will automatically open a PDF of the exhibit.
Karina Barrymore, the journalist at the Melbourne Herald Sun Newspaper, wrote on 3 August 2016
“Dobber, Snitch, Rat, Squealer. It’s insightful how the words used to describe a whistleblower are so negative.
“Yet being honest and speaking the truth is supposed to be the cornerstone of our society. A cornerstone of our families, communities, corporate world and government.”
“So why aren’t we applauding and raising up these people, instead of shutting them down and ruining their lives.”
“Apparently we only demand truth and honesty from our youngest children – a fairytale told to toddlers in a short term attempt to let them believe it’s normal to be honest and ethical. Despite dutifully telling our children not to lie, Australia’s society quickly shows them otherwise.”
“In the real world, people are allowed to do what they like, be as dishonest as they like, steal, rip off and lie as often as they like, especially our corporate leaders and politicians. And the higher up the totem pole these liars and cheats climb the more willing we are to brush off their wrong-doing.”
“And it never fails to shock me just how far the liars and wrong doers are prepared to go to keep their dishonesty hidden and keep their own reputations unsullied. Their first and most lethal weapon of choice is attacking the messenger. Never is this modusoperandi more obvious than in the investment and finance worlds. Big money often means big bad behaviour.”
We only have to see how little has been done about the financial advice scams, insurance rip-offs, lending shonks and investment rorts involving our biggest and supposedly best banks and financial institutions, to know that if you’re a big enough bad guy you’ll get away with it.”
“But why, as a country, do we allow this?”
“Why are we so beaten down that can’t insist this corporate and political culture is changed. The whistleblowers have done their job, spoken the truth, suffered the consequences, lived the hardship and financial burden. But our corporate leaders, our regulators, our governments have not done their job either.”
Karina Barrymore’s statement is right on target because the Australian Establishment, which includes ex-government ministers as well ex-senior members of two government regulators, are aware Dr Gordon Hughes, arbitrator to my arbitration, and Warwick Smith, administrator to the same process acted in concert with the defendants and used their drafted arbitration agreement instead of the agreed totally independently drafted arbitration agreement. NONE of the corporate leaders, neither our regulators nor our government ministers have had the courage to investigate this matter. Set out below is only one of many examples where the arbitration process should not have commenced until after the Australian Federal Police had finished their investigations.
After our arbitrations
Because the Hon David Hawker MP and The Hon Senator Richard Alston (the Shadow Minister for Communications) both supported what the four COT cases were trying to achieve, back in 1993, particularly in relation to the very inadequate telephone service provided by Telstra at that time, I personally supported their Liberal Party challenge that year, against the then-Labor Party Prime Minister, Paul Keating. Although Mr Hawker had very little chance of losing his seat, I was still vocal in the Portland media against a prominent lawyer in a very large Portland legal firm, who stood against Mr Hawker, because I believed that both Mr Hawker and Senator Alston were worth supporting for what they were attempting to achieve i.e. a better rural telephone system. This tactic, however, created problems for me with that legal firm for many years after, but that is another story, which includes the firm’s correspondence with the new owners of my business, advising them they had a good case of misleading and deceptive conduct against me for selling them a business that still had ongoing telephone problems. I advised the new owner Darren Lewis, when purchasing my business, they were buying it at land value without the business component and that this was why the price was so low.
I advised the Australian Federal Police and other interested parties of my belief that as soon as Telstra found out I had sold the premises, it would fix the problems. This is exactly what happened, in November 2002, when they rewired the business at a major cost to Telstra. But, as the TIO office explained to Telstra in its correspondence of 28 January 2003, although Darren’s incoming business calls more than doubled, “he was still experiencing intermittent problems receiving calls, and continued to have problems with his fax line”. (See Home-Page File No/76 and D-Lewis File 1-I). And nothing changed for the Lewises over the next three years as the following link shows (See Main Evidence File No 13).
When I raised these ongoing unaddressed arbitration issues with the Hon David Hawker MP, Senator Ron Boswell and Senator Alston in their Parliament House, Canberra offices, in September 1995, Senator Richard Alston clearly stated, in front of many witness, including Mr Hawker, that if he had been back practising law, he would win an appeal against Telstra solely on the grounds that the arbitration process did not investigate any of my ongoing phone problems, which both the Senator and the government communications regulator (AUSTEL) knew were definitely still occurring. At the Senator’s request, I left numerous documents with him, including a condensed version of the report Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two discussed below. The many attachments accompanying this report confirmed that my phone problems were ongoing, the same report that had prompted the Senator to state that he would win my case if he had still been practising law.
It is important for anyone who reads our Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, to understand that a copy of that report dated June 1996, was also updated and was sent to Paul Fletcher, during the period he was adviser to Senator Richard Alston (the then-newly appointed Minister for Communications and the Arts). A copy of the same report was provided to Hon David Hawker MP (who was my Federal Member of Parliament at the time). After reading Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, it will become clear that the exhibits and evidence that were attached to the report show my claims have always been true.
As shown below, on 26 September 1997, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman John Pinnock formally addressed a Senate estimates committee (see page 99 > COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA – Parliament of Australia): noting:
“Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process, because it was a process conducted entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedures.”
I again state, after reading Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two, and the statement by John Pinnock (TIO) it will become clear that the exhibits and evidence that were attached to the report show my claims concerning the unethical way in which my arbitrations were conducted was proven to be correct by 26 September 1997. So why has the government completely ignored my evidence contained in Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two.
We COT Cases have always believed that it was the condensed version of the report Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two and the accompanying attachments to that report which was originally provided to Senator Ron Boswell in September 1995 that prompted him to make the above statements to the Senate. During the second week of September 1996, I received from Paul Fletcher, Senator Richard Alston’s new Chief of Staff stating:
“In addition, I have examined the material you sent me. On the basis of the information I have received, I do not believe that there is any action in relation to your case that would be appropriate for the Minister to take at this time. The Minister has no power to intervene in the conduct of the COT arbitrations. which are being administered by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
What troubles me, regarding this September 1995 meeting, is that I was advised to prepare an itemised chronology of events showing Senator Alston where I believed the arbitration rules were not abided by and where the arbitrator did not perform his charter as AUSTEL and the government were told he would. I provided my report to Senator Alston’s new chief of staff, Paul Fletcher (refer Open Letter File No/41/Part-One and File No/41 Part-Two. Mr Fletcher’s reply to me, dated 5 September 1996, is available at Open Letter File No/41/Part-One.
It is important to draw the readers attention, not only to the heartache my partner Cathy and I have endured these past 23 years, due to The Hon Senator Richard Alston’s previous office not assessing my evidence back in 1996, but also to the very real possibility that Paul Fletcher (as Chief of Staff to the Senator) was misguided by a number of parties, within his office, who did not correctly convey the facts. I am certainly not personally attacking The Hon Paul Fletcher regarding these unaddressed issues. I am only asking for your assistance, one more time, in asking that he revisits this matter with a view to resolving these long outstanding issues.
On 26 May 2119, Paul Fletcher became Australia’s Minister for Communications and the Arts (see https://www.paulfletcher.com.au/media-releases/media-release-fletcher-deeply-honoured-to-be-appointed-minister-for-communications a portfolio he is professionally equipped to handle.
As the new Minister for Communications, I can only hope The Hon Paul Fletcher will now look at the evidence I provided Senator Alston in September 1995, and the more updated version of June 1996 and the more recent information now exposed on absentjustice.com, especially as numerous senators found our COT arbitrations were not conducted lawfully.
Systematic Judicial Persecution
On 25 June 1997, a number of senators discussed Telstra employees rorting millions upon millions of dollars from Telstra shareholders: i.e., the government and Australian citizens, who then owned Telstra see page 5163, in the following link > SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia. It has since been shown that both the Telstra CEO and its board members had known, for some time, that millions upon millions of dollars were being unlawfully syphoned from the government coffers. In fact, figures running into the billions have also been quoted. It is important to view page 5163 because it proves beyond all doubt that systemic criminal conduct did exist within the Telstra Corporation while the COT matters were being discussed. This corruption was certainly real and not a figment of our imaginations.
Although the following ‘COT strategy’ has already been discussed above, it is raised again here because the Australian Government should have been called as a direct result of the Government Communications Regulator, AUSTEL (now ACMA), discovering that Freehill Hollingdale & Page, who had been appointed by Telstra as their main arbitration defence lawyers, were about to be involved again. After all, AUSTEL/ACMA knew that Freehills had put that COT strategy together for Telstra (see page 5169 SENATE official Hansard) and so they (AUSTEL/ACMA) and had already assured both the members of COT and numerous Senators that Freehills would not be used in any way in connection with our arbitrations (see point 40 in the following Prologue Evidence File No/2). So why didn’t the Government immediately insist that this legal firm, one that had already caused so much heartache and grief for the COT Cases, could not be used again as the whip to ensure the COT Cases did not win their cases?
The author of this COT strategy is the same lawyer Denise McBurnie, with whom I was forced to register each of my phone complaints, in writing, before Telstra would address these problems seeabove. NONE of the fault information I provided to this lawyer, concerning ongoing telephone problems and Telstra’s response to those problems, were ever released to me during my arbitration.
To add further insult to these injustices, on 12 September 1994, as part of the arbitration process, I was obliged to meet with Telstra’s consulting forensic psychologist in Portland’s Richmond Hotel so he could analyse my mental health as part of Telstra’s defence of the arbitration process. One of the most important issues I raised with him was the trauma I suffered at the hands of the legal firm that hired him. He appeared to listen carefully to what I described and he said being directed to register phone complaints, in writing, with Telstra’s lawyer, before they would be investigated, was most disturbing. I provided confirmation that losing six incoming calls in a single day was common. Writing to a lawyer, explaining lost calls, was more than just soul destroying, it just about broke my will power to carry on. He said he was shocked Telstra and its legal firm forced this on me and agreed this would certainly affect my mental state over the many months I had to do this.
However, when Telstra’s lawyers, which the government assured us would not be used in our arbitrations provided this clinical psychologist’s witness statement to the arbitrator, it was only signed by a lawyer from this legal firm. It bore no signature of the psychologist and didn’t contain his concerns regarding me having to first contact this legal firm, in writing, before Telstra would address my telephone problems.
The most alarming points about this unsigned witness statement are:
- Before the psychologist met with me, Telstra’s lawyers provided him with a copy of the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International (BCI) addendum report stating 13,590 test calls were carried out, over a five-day period, into the Cape Bridgewater RCM exchange, using the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring equipment. This report stated the test calls had a 99 per cent success rate.
- Neither the psychologist nor the arbitrator was told tests through the Cape Bridgewater exchange was impracticable: the nearest exchange that could accommodate the TELELEC CCS7 equipment was the Warrnambool exchange, 120 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater (see Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report ‘masked identities’)
Had the psychologist known the 13,590 test calls allegedly carried out by BCI, could not terminate through the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system at Cape Bridgewater, his assessment of my mental state would have been somewhat different. He, too, might have been distressed if he had been aware Telstra misled and deceived him prior to him assessing my mental state.
At point 3, in this unsigned witness statement, the forensic psychologist states:
“I have been retained by Messrs Freehill Holllingdale & Page, the solicitors acting for Telstra Corporations Limited (“Telecom”) to review a report on the psychological status of Mr Alan Smith”...etc etc
Had this forensic psychologist been provided with the same COT strategy (see Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C) showing my businesses were one of the four being targetted by Freehill’s in order to destroy our cases against Telstra he might have made a different set of findings in his witness statement, that he did.
It was Freehill’s lawyer, Wayne Maurice Condon, who verified, under oath, the ‘signature’ on the forensic psychologist’s witness statement, thereby attesting to a signature that was not actually on this significant document at all, so why was Mr Condon never investigated for this unlawful conduct? Furthermore, it is also clear, from absentjustice.com/brief summary, that at least three other arbitration witness statements that had all been sworn under oath by Telstra employees, included numerous false statements that were identified as grossly inaccurate by the AUSTEL/Adverse Findings report that the Government Communications Regulator prepared, and yet the TIO and the arbitrator have still continued to refuse to independently investigate why Telstra management allowed their employees to pervert to course of justice to these extremes.
On 5 October 1993, prior to arbitration AUSTEL’s chair Robin Davey provided a draft of the COT Cases Settlement Proposal to Mr Ian Campbell, Telstra’s commercial managing director. This proposal was to be used in the four COT cases’ Fast Track Settlement Proposal (discussed below). The draft notes at point 40:
“Finally, if the attached letter (Attachment ‘D’) dated 7 July 1993 from Freehill, Hollingdale & Page to one of the COT Cases’ solictiors is indicative of the way that Freehill, Hollingdale & Page have approached the COT Cases in the past, I would be more than a little concerned if they were to have a continuing role.” (See Prologue Evidence File No/2)
This FOI document folio R00524 – COT 1306. (AS Personal File 179) dated for the month of September 1993 was released to me by the Telstra under FOI (two years after my arbitration was over). The fact that I received it and the content appears to relate to my ongoing telephone problems which I had previously been forced to provide Denise McBurnie of Freehills before Telstra would investigate my complaint. folio R00524 actually admits to concealing technical information under Legal Professional Privilege,i.e.
“All technical reports that relate to the customer’s service are to be headed “Legal Professional Privilege”, addressed to the Corporate Solicitor and forwarded through the dispute manager”.
It is also important to note that, during the first week of January 1994, the COTs advised the TIO, who was also the administrator of both the Fast Track Settlement Proposal (FTSP) and the Fast Track Arbitration Procedure (FTAP), that AUSTEL’s Chairman, had assured the COTs that this aforementioned legal firm would no longer be involved in their Fast Track Settlement Proposal. An internal carrier email (FOI folio C02840) to various carrier executives AS Personal File 180 notes:
“Steve Lewis (Australian Financial Review news reporter) is following up on his own yarn NOT with the Davey letter to the minister but with the Davey letter to the CEO raising concerns about our use of Freehill’s”.
Telstra continued use of this legal firm throughout the COT arbitrations and the arbitrator’s refusal, in my case, to look into why Telstra was withholding technical data under Legal Professional Privilege suggested at the time that Dr Hughes (arbitrator) was not properly qualified as an arbitrator since he didn’t seem to understand that Telstra could not legally conceal technical information under Legal Professional Privilege when it had been accessed under the FOI Act.
It is also clear from exhibits Open Letter File No/50-B and 50/C that I was still having to register my phone complaints with Freehill Hollingdale & Page in 1994 before Telstra would attempt to address my valid complaints.
On the 2 January, 25 March, 6 May and 11 of November 1994, various members of the Commonwealth Ombudsman Office wrote to Telstra demanding to know where my legally requested FOI documents were. As the segment above shows, I was one of the four COT Cases who were having their technical requested documents withheld illegally under Legal Professional Privilege. It was left to Senator Ron Boswell to assist me in this matter unaware that I was now fighting these none released FOI documents on two fronts. Firstly, they were being withheld under illegally under LPP and secondly, because I was assisting the AFP with their own investigations into Telstra’s unauthorized interception of my telecommunications services.
Systematic Judicial Persecution (continues)
Possibly even worse, however, the day before the Senate committee uncovered this COT Strategy, they were also told under oath, see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia by an ex-Telstra employee turned -whistle-blower, Lindsay White, that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical information which had been requested by the COT claimants, he advised the Committee that:
“In the first induction – and I was one of the early ones, and probably the earliest in the Freehill’s[Telstra’s Lawyers] area – there were five complaints. They were Garms, Gill and Smith, and Dawson and Schorer. My induction briefing was that we – we being Telecom – had to stop these people to stop the floodgates being opened.”
Senator O’Chee – “What, stop them reasonably or stop them at all costs – or what?”
Mr White – “The words used to me in the early days were we had to stop these people at all costs”.
Senator Schacht – “Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said ‘stopped at all costs”. (See Front Page Part One File No/6)
The It is clear from Mr White’s statement he identified me as one of the five COT claimants that Telstra had singled out to be‘stopped at all costs’ from proving their my against Telstra’. One of the named Peter’s in this Senate Hansard is the same Peter who swore under oath, in his witness statement to the arbitrator that the testing at my business premises had met all of AUSTEL’s specifications, when it is clear from Arbitrator File No/110that Telstra’s own Customer Call Analysis System (CCAS) data for 29 September 1994 show NONE of the mandatory required 20-tests calls to each of my service lines 055 267 267, 055 267230 and 055 267260 were generated into my business and held open for the required period of 120-seconds for each completed call. In simple words, the SVT process at my business was not carried out according to the government communications regulatory mandatory specifications. Telstra is fully aware Peter (on page 38 of this Hansard) received advice from AUSTEL, on 11 October and 16 November 1994, regarding the Service Verification Tests (SVT) being grossly deficient. AUSTEL demanded Telstra advise what it intended doing about this deficiency see Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B. No second SVT tests ever took place at my business during my arbitration. However, in November 2002 (eight months after I sold the business) Telstra tested the business for the new owners, concluded the wiring, cabling and the Telstra-installed infrastructure was corroded and the whole holiday camp was rewired.
This is the same Peter who somehow had the power to direct a Government Regulator regarding who they could release this known faulty SVT information to and who they could not release it to (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report) even though the Government Regulator (AUSTEL) knew that the inaccurate SVT results were being used to support Telstra’s arbitration defence.
This same Peter refused to conduct any sort of testing at my premises. Both Peter and David Reid (an ex-Telstra technician, and now with Lane Telecommunications) were present to investigate on-site telecommunication arbitration information. The allegedly independent arbitration resource unit did not test my three service lines that were still experiencing ONGOING problems when they visited my business on 6 April 1995. From what happened on this day, it is apparent the government-endorsed arbitration process was designed – NOT to assist the COT cases in proving their claims – but to destroy the credibility of the COT cases’ claims in order to sell off the Telstra network, no matter how degraded the arbitration process found it was.
No control over the process
The Australian government, including the communications regulator AUSTEL, and the COT cases themselves were all assured the arbitration process would be conducted under the ambit of the Arbitration Act 1984. They were also assured the arbitration rules would be drafted totally independently of Telstra, in the same fashion as in the UK when British Telecom agreed to arbitration. In that case, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK drafted the arbitration agreement. The evidence we supply on absentjustice.com shows Telstra’s lawyers covertly drafted the arbitration agreement and, even though Dr Gordon Hughes condemned that agreement as not credible (see Open Letter File No/50-A), he still used it to the detriment of the claimant.
The government promised the claimants that if they accepted this endorsed process then it would be conducted under the ambit of the Arbitration Act. However, unbeknown to the government and the claimants, the arbitrator and administrator of the process secretly met with the defendant, Telstra (see Chapter Three Burying The Evidence) and, between them, it was decided the arbitration agreement – the rules concerning how the process would run – would be altered. We suggest the reader views Chapter Three Burying The Evidence page because it will enlighten them to understand how undemocratic the COT arbitration process was going to be even before the claimants signed this tainted arbitration agreement.
On 26 September 1997, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman John Pinnock formally addressed a Senate estimates committee (see page 99 > COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA – Parliament of Australia): noting:
“In the process leading up to the development of the arbitration procedures – the claimants were told clearly that documents were to be made available to them under the FOI Act.
“Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process, because it was a process conducted entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedures.”
This contradicts information in a letter dated 24 January 1994 (see Open Letter File No/48-A). This letter, written to Dr Hughes before he was formally appointed as arbitrator, confirms Mr Frank Shelton (the TIO-appointed special counsel to the arbitration process) agreed with Dr Hughes that the first four COT claimant’s arbitrations would all be conducted according to the Victorian Commercial Arbitration Act 1984. This was despite the four COT cases still wanting to have their matters assessed under the previously signed and agreed to commercial assessment process. When this letter was provided to the four COT claimants, they were also given verbal assurances by the first TIO, Warwick Smith, and Dr Hughes that if they abandoned their commercial assessment process, the arbitrations would be conducted under the ambit of the arbitration procedures.
Why was John Pinnock’s admittance that our arbitrations were not conducted under the agreed-to process not acted upon?
Why weren’t the arbitrations put on hold until the claimants received their promised documents? Why were the arbitrations not conducted under the agreed ambit of the arbitration procedures? How can arbitration be a just process when the arbitrator has no control over how it is conducted? When did Dr. Hughes lose control over the arbitrations? Was it the first week, or two months or even nine months into the process? And, just as importantly, who authorised him to conduct the process entirely outside of the ambit of the arbitration procedures?
There is no amendment, attached to the arbitration agreement signed by the COT members, allowing the arbitrator to conduct those particular arbitrations entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedure – and neither was it stated that the arbitrator would have no control over the process once we signed those individual agreements. How can the arbitrator and TIO continue to hide under the confidentiality clause contained in our arbitration agreement, when that agreement did not mention the arbitrator would have no control because the arbitration would be conducted entirely outside of the agreed ambit of the procedures?
Senator Kim Carr again criticised the handling of the COT arbitrations on 11 March 1999 as the following Hansard link shows. Addressing the government’s lack of power, Senator Carr stated:
“What I do make a comment on is the question of civil liberties and the rights of citizens to approach this parliament and seek redress for their grievances when corporate power, particularly in a publicly owned corporation, has been abused. And there can be no question that that is what is at the heart of this issue.”
And addressing Telstra’s conduct, he stated:
“But we also know, in the way in which telephone lines were tapped, in the way in which there have been various abuses of this parliament by Telstra—and misleading and deceptive conduct to this parliament itself, similar to the way they have treated citizens—that there has of course been quite a deliberate campaign within Telstra management to undermine attempts to resolve this question in a reasonable way. We have now seen $24 million of moneys being used to crush these people. It has gone on long enough, and simply we cannot allow it to continue. The attempt made last year, in terms of the annual report, when Telstra erroneously suggested that these matters—the CoT cases—had been settled demonstrates that this process of deceptive conduct has continued for far too long.”(See >http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/chamberhansards1999-03-11)
Senator Schacht was possibly very vocal when he stated:
“I rise to speak to this statement tabled today from the working party of the Senate Environment Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee—a committee I served on in the last parliament—that dealt with the bulk of this issue of the CoT cases. In my time in this parliament, I have never seen a more sorry episode involving a public instrumentality and the way it treated citizens in Australia. I agree with all the strong points made by my colleagues
on both sides who have spoken before me on this debate. What was interesting about the Senate committee investigating this matter over the last couple of years was that it was absolutely tripartisan—whether you were Labor, Liberal or National Party, we all agreed that something was rotten inside Telstra in the way it handled the so-called CoT cases for so long.
The outcome here today is sad. There is no victory for citizens who have been harshly dealt with by Telstra.”
I respectfully remind the current Liberal and National Coalition Government of a newspaper article that appeared on 23 March 1999, in the Australian Financial Review, on the conclusion of the Senate Estimates committee hearing into why Telstra concealed so many arbitration documents from the COT cases:
“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report focussed on the difficulties encountered by COT members as they sought to obtain documents from Telstra. The report found Telstra had deliberately withheld important network documents and/or provided them too late and forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information,” Senator Eggleston said. “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves.”
The Australian Government already has evidence confirming one of the main Telstra players Liberal Party Senator Alan Eggleston referred to when said, “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves” was Sue Laver (now in 2019 Telstra’s corporate secretary).
Let us go back to that Senate Committee investigation for the date of the 12 January 1998, when Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) provided Sue Laver with a number of documents. On page 12 of his letter, Graham states:
“Enclosed are the 168 listings extracted from Telstra’s Directory of Network Products and Network Operations, plus CoT’s written explanation, which alleges to prove that parts of the November 1993 Bell Canada International Report is fabricated or falsified.”
On pages 23-8 of this letter, and using the Cape Bridgewater statistics material, Graham provided clear evidence to Sue Laver and the chair of the Senate legislation committee that the information Telstra provided to questions raised by the Senate on notice, in October 1997, was false (see Scrooge – exhibit 62-Part One – Sue Laver BCI evidence and Scrooge – exhibit 62-Part Two – Sue Laver BCI Evidence).
The actual Cape Bridgewater BCI material discussed above is contained as exhibit 62-Part Two – Sue Laver BCI Evidence, and relates directly to the false BCI/Cape Bridgewater test results that were provided to the Senate Secretary as a result of a formal question on notice, are particularly important because, as is also reported in Absent Justice My Story/Chapter 2 and Arbitrator /Part One/Chapters Two and Three and TIO – Arbitration Administrators, between 1993 and 1994, Jim Holmes (another Telstra Corporate Secretary) was aware that, even before my settlement of December 1992, I had already been provided with other false information about my telephone problems. Mr Holmes was further aware that, in relation to the documents left (in a briefcase) at my businesses on 3 June 1993, not all of the information that the Government Communications Regulator asked for had been provided to the Government, even though the regulator, AUSTEL, had officially asked for this information.
Not providing all of the facts regarding exactly what was in that briefcase when it was left at my business seriously affected the Government Regulator’s investigations into the validity of my claims of ongoing telephone problems back in 1992 and 1993 but yet, once again, here we have Telstra actually providing even more false information to the Senate, again in response to a question on notice, in October 1997, and the very person who was present at that time (Ms Sue Lava) was not Telstra’s Corporate Secretary. Furthermore, it is the Corporate Secretary who, for the past few years, has consistently refused to investigate this BCI matter at all.
Surely most reasonable-minded people would read this information and come to the conclusion that Telstra’s provision of this false BCI/Cape Bridgewater information to the Senate was actually a matter of a deliberate contempt of the Senate?
If the 12 January 1998 letter to Sue Laver, with the false BCI report attached, is not enough evidence to convince the Australian Government that Ms Gamp cannot continue pretending she knows nothing about the falsified Cape Bridgewater BCI tests, Sara Gamp and the Senate estimates committee chair were again notified, on 14 April 1998, that the Cape Bridgewater BCI tests were impracticable. When is Sue Laver going to come forward and advise the Telstra board that my claims are right and that indeed it was unlawful to use the Cape Bridgewater BCI tests as arbitration defence documents as well as grossly unethical to have provided the Senate with this known-false information when answering questions on notice?
Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report and Main Evidence File Nos/1 and 3 are all the evidence necessary to show that Free Wheelers provided false information to Telstra’s arbitration witness, namely the clinical psychologist, during my government-endorsed arbitration, and two years later Telstra supplied that same BCI false information on notice to the Senate.
It is ironic that two Telstra technicians, in two separate witness statements dated 8 and 12 December 1994, discuss the testing equipment used by Telstra in overall maintenance and state that the nearest telephone exchange, to Portland and Cape Bridgewater, that could facilitate the TEKELEC CCS7 equipment was in Warrnambool. Telstra proved my claims correct themselves, and yet Sarah Gamp has written to me for years, maintaining my arbitration addressed my matters when she knows this is far from the truth, as she knows it to be.
Part of my response, dated 20 June 2010, to one of those letters from Ms Laver states:
“In your letter you note: ‘I refer to your letter dated 1 June 2010 addressed to Robert Nason, Group Managing Director of Corporate Strategy & Customer Experience. The letter also indicates that you also wrote to Mr Nason on 27 April 2010. Mr Nason did not receive a letter from you dated 27 April or the CD to which you refer.’…
My partner Cathy Ezard, and various other members of the Casualties of Telstra (COT) group have similar stories to tell concerning Telstra related mail (including emails and facsimiles) not reaching their intended destination. A copy of my previous letter to Mr Nason’s dated 27th is enclosed. To alleviate any confusion to what CDs have been received by Telstra I have attached herewith two CD disks ti[t]led (1) Simon Cleary (Acting TIO) (2) BCI and SVT Telstra’s Misleading & Deceptive Conduct. Please note: this correspondence has been hand delivered by courier.” (See Open Letter File No/26)
My above letter to Sarah Gamp shows that Telstra always knew, even before they submitted the Cape Bridgewater/Bell Canada International Tests and the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp/Arbitration Service Verification Tests, that both were fabricated. However, the full evidence of the fabrication was not revealed until 1997/98, during the Senate estimates’ investigations into COT matters, which Sara Gamp was party to.
Sue Laver keeps insisting that the issue of the fabrication of these reports was addressed during my 1994/95 arbitration with her latest letter of 11 April 2016 stating: “As stated in my letter of 13 October 2015 (attached), your claims were resolved over 20 years ago.” (See absentjustice.com/Open Letter File No/27)
However, that’s just not possible because she and the Senate estimate committee did not see this fresh evidence confirming both reports were fabricated until 1997/98, when that evidence was also copied to both the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Senate chair (see Scrooge/exhibit 62, Part One and Two).
How could the matter of the fabrication of these reports have been addressed in an arbitration that was finalised in 1995, two years before that evidence actually came to light?
Other government ministers have shown their disgust at the way Telstra was able to act as a law unto themselves as can be seen from Senator Mark Bishop’s statement shown below notes in the following link > aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/displaychamberhansards1999-03-11
Significant issues do arise. I think it is appropriate to refer to the final paragraphs of the committee report. In the second to last paragraph, the report of the committee tabled by Senator Eggleston says:
Estimates of Telstra’s costs in relation to the CoTs issue since the claims were made exceed $20 million ($14.285 million to 1997 and rising). Most of the expenditure has been spent, not on settlement but on administrative and legal costs. It became quite clear early in the process that the claimants had in fact been disadvantaged by malfunctions in their telephone system. It is difficult to understand why Telstra appeared to prefer to deny that there was a problem and then prolonged the difficulties in establishing the extent of that problem.
The final sentence reads:
In the Committee’s view Telstra should now seek to reach a negotiated agreement with the interested parties.
If fault is to be allocated at this very early stage of the final lap, that fault lies at the door of Telstra. It really is appropriate for Telstra, a $100 billion corporation, to stop using its monopoly power, to stop retaining the services of dozens of highly paid solicitors and to come to the table and to seek to reach a negotiated agreement with these four or five persons. It is simply outrageous that Telstra, which is still a public corporation, can spend something in the order of $20 million – Senator Boswell – Some $24 million.
Senator Mark Bishop –
“I am informed by Senator Boswell it is 24 million – defending a claim when the claim before it is somewhere between $2 million or $4 million. This is simply an outrageous propostion and a waste of public money”.
A fair resolution of all the COT cases claims has still not been reached as the following An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens shows.
Senator Len Harris, who won his Senate seat on 2 July 1999 for the One Nation party, then lived in Queensland, 2,977 kilometres from Melbourne. On 25 July 2002, Senator Len Harris travelled from Cairns in Queensland (a trip that took more than seven hours) to meet four other COTs and me, in Melbourne, in an attempt to ensure our claims of discrimination against the Commonwealth were fully investigated. He was appalled that 16 Australian citizens were so badly discriminated against in such a deplorable fashion by the then-Coalition government, despite a Senate estimates committee working party being established to investigate all 21 COT-type claims against Telstra.
He was stunned at how I had collated this evidence into a bound submission. When Senator Harris read the 9 August 2001 letter from Senator Alan Eggleston Liberal Party warning me that if I disclosed the in-camera Hansard records (which supported my claims that sixteen Australian citizens had been discriminated against in the most deplorable manner) I would be held in contempt of the Senate and risk jail, he Senator Harris, was very upset to say the least.
At a press conference the next day, Senator Harris aimed questions at the chief of staff to the Hon Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications. He asked:
“Through the following questions, the media event will address serious issues related to Telstra’s unlawful withholding of documents from claimants, during litigation.
- Why didn’t the present government correctly address Telstra’s serious and unlawful conduct of withholding discovery and/or Freedom of Information (FOI) documents before the T2 float?
- Why has the Federal government allowed five Australians (from a list of twenty-one) to be granted access to some of the Telstra discovery documents they needed to support their claims against Telstra, but denied the same rights to the other sixteen?
- Why has the Federal Government ignored clear evidence that Telstra withheld many documents from a claimant during litigation?
- Why has the Federal Government ignored evidence that, among those documents Telstra did supply, many were altered or delivered with sections illegally blanked out? (See Senate Evidence File No 56 ).
Senator Len Harris is possibly one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, a true man that believes in justice for all, not just those with political clout. The senator could not understand how, despite various senators from both houses of parliament openly condemning Telstra’s unethical conduct towards those five litmus test COT claimants during their arbitrations and the Senate investigation itself, the other 16 were left to their own devices. The in-camera Senate Hansard records indicate that no one seemed to grasp the importance of Senator Schacht’s advice to the committee that, if Telstra only provided compensation to the five litmus test cases and not the other 16, it would be an injustice because they had also suffered similarly at the hands of Telstra.
The Senate committee helped those five litmus test claimants gain access to documents previously withheld from them, as Senator Harris’ press release shows. These claimants, on top of receiving their long-awaited discovery documents, also received millions of dollars in compensation; not only as a result of their business losses but also because of the unethical conduct they suffered at the hands of Telstra. In 2015 however, the remaining claimants from the 16 on the B list (some have now died) are still waiting for the justice that was denied them (see An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens)
Imagine how I felt, on 6 December 2004, when I received the second threat from Senator Alan Eggleston on top of the threats I received from Telstra, after I assisted the Australian Federal Police in their investigations into Telstra’s unlawful interception of my telephone conversations. All these threats are linked to the one single issue: the right of all citizens in a democracy to have access to documents classified as ‘discovery’, in any legal process.
The Major Fraud Group’s two senior officers were adamant that I take the small A4 storage box of documents with me after the police were pressured to close down their investigations. Perhaps, it had something to do with me being one of the 16 COTs who had still not received their documents, unlike the five litmus test cases who HAD received over 150,000 documents between them – documents that the TIO initially promised ALL of the COT cases they would receive if they signed the TIO arbitration agreement. That agreement appears to have been deliberately crafted by the defendants (Telstra) to include a limited period for the production of documents and the obtaining of further particulars. These were the same issues that the arbitrator confirmed had affected a number of COT arbitrations (see Main Evidence File No 34).
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