Below are two unchallenged statutory declarations showing federal politicians Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy trying to get union charges laid against Kathy Jackson in an attempt to discredit her and/or have her sacked from her position as National Secretary of the HSU.
The statutory declarations say this happened back on the 15th April 2012. It obviously failed and looks like they went for plan B which was to have an administrator appointed to the union branch and have Kathy Jackson and others sacked.
If the statutory declarations are true it is very disturbing and at this point they have to be taken as being true as Shorten and Conroy have not filed anything with the court to refute them. What they ultimately show is two government ministers trying to shut down a whistleblower and cover up corruption.
The union charges would be things like dereliction of duty and if other union members signed of on them then she could have been sacked from her position. Although I believe it would have needed to go to a vote of members.
It is my understanding that the two statutory declarations were part of an affidavit that Kathy Jackson tried to file in the recent Federal Court proceedings. It is also my understanding that Justice Flick refused to allow the affidavit to be filed.
The lead-up is best summarised by an article by Kate McClymont at the SMH on the 26th of April 2012 where she says:
“The Government’s move to place the critically ill Health Services Union into administration, the business equivalent of intensive care, has probably less to do with concern for the members’ industrial wellbeing and more to do with the deep concern that the HSU contagion is infecting the broader union movement and adding to the death rattle coming from the Gillard government.”
“Added to the problem is that Labor heavyweights have been unable to shutdown the HSU’s whistleblower, Kathy Jackson.
Jackson’s launching of action in the Federal Court this week, which was aimed at disqualifying 17 of Williamson’s supporters, if successful might have delivered control of the HSU to her faction” (Click here to read the full article)
Bill Shorten has said on the 7.30 report in relation to the Peter Slipper court proceedings that “I think I, like all Australians, want to get to the truth of the matter.” and “I think Australians just want to know the truth of the matter. That’s what I know that’s what the Government is interested in.” (Click here to read the transcript) I totally agree with Mr Shorten. And I think Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy should come clean and sign affidavits or statutory declarations and address the two statutory declarations below. Verbal responses by Shorten and Conroy would not be sufficient given the below are statutory declarations.
Statutory Declaration by: Fleur Behrens
- I am employed as an Industrial Officer with the Health Services Union East Branch
- On 26 April 2012 at about 1pm I received a phone call from Marco Bolano. He said words to the effect
- “The barrister wants us to try and get an affidavit from Sherrie Jacks confirming what she said about speaking to Bill Shorten”
- Can you go with Lorraine and see if she is prepared to give an affidavit
- I contacted Lorraine Di Pietro and we met together at the Austin Repatriation Hospital in order to speak to Ms Jacks.
- Lorraine and I spoke with Ms Jacks. I made a recording of that conversation. I did so on the basis of past experience in the present crisis of Kathy Jackson and others being “verballed” in relation to conversations that they had with persons associated with Michael Williamson or his ALP allies. I was concerned that there was a significant risk of this occurring in relation to Ms Jacks. I believed &at under the Surveillance Devices Act l was not prohibited from recording the conversation
- Ms Jacks advised me that on Sunday evening on the 15th April 2012 she had received a telephone call from Ms Diana Asmar
- Ms Asmar had asked her if she knew anyone who would sign charges against Ms Kathy Jackson and that she needed them signed by midnight that night.
- Ms Jacks told me that she advised Ms Asmar that she did not know anyone who would sign the charges.
- Ms Jacks then advised that she spoke to Mr Bill Shorten who was with Ms Asmar at the time.
- Ms Jacks advised that Mr Shorten asked her how two of their mutual friends were, Ms Jacks then asked Mr Shorten what he was doing.
- Ms Jacks advised that Mr Shorten said words to the effect that ‘he was there helping Ms Asmar’
- Ms Jacks advised she then spoke again to Ms Asmar, Ms Asmar advised that she had to go as she had a list of members to call and they needed to find someone by midnight to sign the charges
Statutory Declaration by: Lorraine Di Pietro
On Wednesday 18 April 2012 I attended a Sub Branch meeting at the Austin Repatriation Hospital scheduled for 10.3Oam.
At that meeting Sherida Jacks the Sub Branch President, told me that Diana Asmar had telephoned her the previous Sunday evening (15 April 2012).1 understood that Ms. Jacks said that Diana Asmar in her conversation with Ms. Jacks, indicated to Ms. Jacks she was with Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy.
Ms. Jacks conveyed to me that Ms. Asmar asked her if Ms. Jacks knew anybody who would sign resolutions against Kathy Jackson by midnight on that evening. I asked Ms. Jacks what the resolutions were, she advised that she had asked Ms. Asmar what they were but was not told.
Ms. Jacks advised that Bill Shorten then got on the phone greeted her and I understood that Ms. Jacks relayed that Bill Shorten said something about appreciating her help. Ms, Jacks advised that Diana Asmar then got back on the phone, Ms. Jacks then declined Ms. Asmar’s request and also advised her not to bother contacting another member named Rhonda Barclay.
Ms. Jacks advised that Ms. Asmar then said that that was fine and that she had a list of members that she was calling anyway.
On Thursday 26 April 2012 l attended the Austin Repatriation Hospital with my colleague Fleur Behrens for the purposes of speaking with Ms. Jacks regarding our conversation the previous week. We found Ms. Jacks and she agreed to speak to us.
Ms. Jacks clarified that she did not say that Stephen Conroy was with Ms. Asmar when she called on 15 April 2012. She advised that she had said that she assumed Conroy was there because she had assumed Ms. Asmar was calling from Conroy’s Office, as Ms. Asmar told her that she was calling from the Office. Ms. Jacks assumed that was Mr. Conroy’s Office as Ms. Asmar’s husband worked for Conroy and they often utilized his Office.
Ms. Jacks confirmed to me and Ms. Behrens that Mr. Shorten was definitely there as she had spoken to him. She advised that she had met Bill Shorten before through the HSU and through her husband’s and another relative’s ALP connection. She advised that she considered Mr. Shorten a friend.
Ms. Jacks then went through what had occurred on the evening of 15 April 2012 with Ms. Behrens and me.
She advised that Ms. Asmar had contacted her on the Sunday evening of 1 5 April 2012 and said she was calling from ‘the office’.
She advised that Ms. Asmar asked her if she knew any members that may be willing to sign resolutions against Kathy Jackson and that they needed them signed by midnight. She then told Ms. Jacks that Bill Shorten was with her and then said to someone in the Room, that she was speaking to Sherri (Ms. Jacks). That person said “ask her how Peter and Norm are” she recognized the voice to be Bill Shorten’s.
She advised that Bill Shorten came to the phone said hello to her and asked how Peter and Norm were, Mr. Shorten told her he was there helping Diana.
She advised that Ms. Asmar then got back on the phone and Ms. Jacks told her that she was not able to assist and also suggested that Ms. Asmar should not bother contacting another member named Rhonda Barclay for assistance.
She advised that in response Ms. Asmar advised that that was alright and that she had a list of members to keep going through.
The two statutory declarations seem to be consistent with an interview that Kathy Jackson gave on the 27th of April where she says “”For the minister to come in here and make out that he’s got clean hands when his hands are dirty as, is just astounding,” she said.”
and “Where were they eight months ago when I raised these allegations? People in the ALP knew about this and did nothing about this. And here they are turning up today trying to make out that they’re here to help.” (Click here to read the full article)
The Financial Review obtained a full copy of one of Kathy Jackson’s affidavits and did a story on the 21st June 2012 titled “Shorten abused and threatened me, says Jackson” which says:
“Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Shorten was involved in a physical confrontation with union leader Kathy Jackson and threatened to cut her off politically and personally when she refused to back his ally in an internal Labor election, the national secretary of the Health Services Union has claimed.”
“He was red in the face. He said words loudly to the effect: ‘You will f—ing well vote for the candidate that I tell you to vote for. If you defy me, you will never be welcome in my home again and you will never have our support when you f—ing well need it.’ (Click here to read the full article)
Bill Shorten has form on the board for this sort of thing. It is worth repeating what I wrote in a previous post:
As a side note back at the end of February 2012 Electrical Trades Union New South Wales secretary Bernie Riordan “accused of pocketing $1.8 million in directors fees was appointed a commissioner of Fair Work Australia just the day after long-running legal action against him was withdrawn.” (Click here to read more) I wonder who put the call through to make sure the legal action was dropped so he could be appointed to FWA?
Bill Shorten was the one who appointed Bernie Riordan as a commissioner. He did not just decide to appoint him the day after the legal proceedings had been dropped. The planning for appointing him would have been weeks in the making. It looks to me that Bill Shorten did a deal to appoint Bernie Riordan as a commissioner to save embarrassing the union movement and the Gillard Government even more. He probably did a deal with the people who launched the legal action against Bernie Riordan along the lines that he would appoint him a commissioner and they could move up the pecking order in the union and Labor Party. The point to this is that is consistent with how Bill Shorten operates as outlined in the two statutory declarations above. Sticking his nose in union matters to protect the Labor government which is an extension of the union movement.
Stephen Conroy and Bill Shorten work as a Laurel and Hardy team in the Victorian Labor party and they were part of the team that stabbed the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in the back, so destroying a whistleblower union official like Kathy Jackson would be nothing but breakfast for them.
I will do a follow-up post with more documented evidence of interference by the Labor Party in the near future.
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