Senator Mark Arbib who resigned yesterday has some serious questions he needs to answer in relation to his own shady financial dealings and more importantly his involvement in the Craig Thomson HSU fraud case.
The reasons he gave for his resignation do not cut it when you know what is happening in the background. He said that he resigned so the Labor party could help heal and for family reasons. This is garbage as he would be well aware his involvement and close association with Craig Thomson and HSU President Michael Williamson was about to come under close scrutiny.
Only last week John Gilleland, the printer accused of bribing Mr Thomson and Mr Williamson, had his house raided by police. (Click here to read) How did the media know? The police probably let it be known to see whose cage it would rattle and it looks like Mr Arbib was the first taker.
Obviously Mark Arbib would highly likely be a person of interest to the police and would have to be a good chance of at least being questioned by them as the rest of this post shows.
The Craig Thomson affair will move into overdrive in the next few weeks and months as the Victorian and NSW Police investigations start to dig deeper and Fair Work Australia reluctantly takes action.
Mark Arbib’s own financial dealings were raised last year in an article by Kate McClymont at the SMH where she starts off “The sale of land for $1, mysterious donors, property developers bankrolling a company of an MP’s son, union officials getting mining deals – welcome to the NSW Right where connections are crucial.”
It is a must read and raises questions about whether or not Mark Arbib received beneficial pricing when he bought a unit in Maroubra in the same block as another Labor boy Eric Roozendaal.
It then says “Neither has been able to explain what coincidence led to them purchasing boutique beachside apartments not only in the same suburb but also in the very same block.”
And goes on to say “Meanwhile, questions have been raised in Labor circles as to whether Mr Arbib, the federal Sports Minister, was receiving an undisclosed benefit by not paying rent when staying in Canberra during parliamentary sitting days.”
“During 2007 to 2009, Mr Arbib stayed in Alexandra Williamson’s two-bedroom apartment in Forrest. Ms Williamson, a staffer in the office of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is the daughter of Mr Arbib’s and Mr Roozendaal’s close friend, embattled Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson, who is the subject of a police investigation.” Like I said the article is a must read.(Click here to read)
A quick recap on the Craig Thomson scandal for those who have not been following it closely, which is best set out on Wikipedia:
“In December 2008, the Health Services Union (HSU) requested its lawyers to retain forensic accountants to investigate allegations of impropriety around Thomson’s use of a union-issued corporate MasterCard. Specifically, there were accusations that Thomson had used the credit card to: make payments to three companies which provide or facilitate prostitution and escort services in Sydney; make payments for goods and services consumed by Thomson personally; and to withdraw $101,533 in cash. The HSU further suggested that Thomson had used the credit card to finance his election campaign in a manner which would breach Australian electoral law. For his part, at that time Thomson denied all allegations of wrongdoing, stated that an independent audit had not identified any inappropriate use of the card, noted that other people would have been able to incur charges on the account and claimed the accusations had been fabricated by rivals within the HSU.”
“The union’s accusations were reported by The Sydney Morning Herald in April 2009.In response, Thomson initiated defamation proceedings against both the Health Services Union and against the publisher of the Herald, Fairfax Media. In pretrial proceedings in the New South Wales Supreme Court, Fairfax Media claimed that subpoenaed records showed that details of Thomson’s driver’s license had been noted on the credit card receipt, that phone records showed that Thomson’s phone had been used to call two phone numbers associated with a Sydney escort agency and that mobile phone records showed that Thomson had travelled from his constituency to Sydney on one of the nights on which one of the impugned charges to the credit card had been made.”
“Thomson continued to deny accusations of impropriety and Fairfax Media’s claims were never tested or proven at trial: shortly before the defamation trial was due to begin in April 2011, a notice of discontinuance was filed on Thomson’s behalf with the New South Wales Supreme Court. Thomson claimed that he had reached an out-of-court settlement with Fairfax Media and continued to deny any allegation of impropriety made against him; Fairfax Media claimed that Thomson had “dropped” the case and maintained all allegations made against him. It was subsequently revealed that the Australian Labor Party had contributed towards Thomson’s legal costs in the actions.” (It was actually the NSW ALP that paid Mr Thomson’s legal bill and Mark Arbib has admitted that he is the one who negotiated the deal.)
“In a radio interview in August 2011, (with Mike Smith) Thomson stated that he had approved payments made by the Health Services Union to a Sydney escort agency but denied having used the card to pay for prostitution. Rather, he said, another man (who he declined to identify) had used his credit card to pay for escort services and may have forged Thomson’s signature in the process and produced a copy of his photo drivers licence as identification; he claimed that unidentified man had subsequently repaid $15,000 to the Health Services Union.”
So lets look at some of the facts:
1. Mark Arbib has been living in Canberra with, Alexandra Williamson, the daughter of the HSU President Michael Williamson who is being investigated by the police. Ms Williamson is a staffer in the office of the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I have to wonder why she has not resigned or why Gillard has not gotten rid of her, maybe Mr Arbib has had something to do with that.
2. Mark Arbib helped negotiate the NSW ALP paying for Craig Thomson’s legal bill.
3. Mark Arbib has some serious questions to answer in relation to the unit he bought in Maroubra. It is very strange indeed. Like what price did he pay and was he given a discount?
4. If Craig did steal from the HSU (which everyone in the country knows he did) could the legal fees paid by the NSW ALP be seen as an attempt to conceal a crime. definitely worth a close look at by the police.
5. We all know that FWA has been deliberately delaying their investigation into Craig Thomson. Given that it is ex-union officials at FWA doing the investigation has Mark Arbib used his union contacts to help delay the investigation on behalf of his mates Craig Thomson and Michael Williamson. Another good question the police should be asking.
In other news at FWA, Bill Shorten has just appointed another union crony as its president, Iain Ross.
Iain Ross is an ex ACTU official and this it what I quoted in a previous post:
“Among those appointed to the bench last week were high-profile Melbourne barrister and human rights advocate Lex Lasry who will sit on the Victorian Supreme Court and former ACTU assistant secretary and Labor Party member Iain Ross to the County Court.”
“However, Clark was less than impressed with the appointment of Ross.”
“Mr Ross has very little practical experience. He appears to have practised barely 20 months as a solicitor; prior to that his career was as an assistant secretary of the ACTU and then as a member and vice-president of the Industrial Relations Commission. The Victorian County Court has negligible industrial relations practice and Mr Ross appears to have negligible experience of general court practice in Victoria,” Clark said.” (unfortunately the page at Lawyers Weekly has gone so I can not put a link to it here) (But for the dodgy judicial appointments post I did click here)
Bill Shorten is starting to get some form on the board for dodgy appointments as only two weeks ago I did a post on him titled “Bill Shorten appoints two stooges to review the Fair Work Act.” (Click here to read)
It must be remembered when Julia Gillard was Deputy PM she was also the minister for Workplace Relations and she herself was stacking the bench at FWA with Labor party cronies. If you are new to this site a previous post is essential reading titled “Julia Gillard who admitted helping rip off the AWU of over $1million stands by and supports Craig Thomson who is accused of ripping off the Health Services Union. The Australian Labor Party, beautiful one day, perfect the next.” (Click here to read)
Unions make up about 17% of the workforce but Labor have appointed about 90% of the people to FWA with union backgrounds. Makes you wonder does it not, they are that corrupt they just do not care.
Given that the NSW Police originally refused to investigate Craig Thomson (a bit like FWA) I think we should help them out with Mr Arbib. In the comment section try to come up some questions that the police should ask Mr Arbib like I have above.
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