I first met Ian Cambridge in 2005. The same Ian Cambridge who called for a Royal Commission into the Julia Gillard / Bruce Wilson / AWU fraud in 1996. He was a Commissioner of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and I had just been sacked for warning people about a health and safety danger.
Ian Cambridge took a bribe in 1996 to cover-up the AWU fraud. His bribe was being appointed to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission which the then NSW Premier Bob Carr facilitated.
In 2005/2006 when I met him he was back up to his old tricks and covering up corruption for the benefit of the Labor Party and the evidence and documents are very clear cut in proving this.
There was no disputing there was a health and safety danger so much so that during the course of the proceedings Commissioner Ian Cambridge issued interim orders against the company, Cardcall a division of Telecorp, in the interest of public health and safety. This is unheard of. But there was a major problem, NSW WorkCover had been trying to cover-up the health and safety danger.
The court orders were breached with the help of NSW WorkCover as the documents show. There was no justification for the court orders being breached and Ian Cambridge knew it and he ultimately did the hatchet job on the case to cover-up the corruption at WorkCover.
All the evidence pointed to WorkCover employees taking bribes. Why would the company bribe them? As it turns out the company did not have Workers Compensation Insurance and were in a lot of trouble which only came to light after I used a Freedom of Information application to get the WorkCover file. In 2005 numerous WorkCover staff were already under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for taking bribes and from my experience it was a lot more widely spread than that. (Click here to read more)
It was not until a few years later that I realised fully why Cambridge had done the hatchet job on my case. The Labor Party could not have corruption at WorkCover exposed as they were busy stealing money from it. This is the same WorkCover that John Della Bosca and the NSW Labor Party stole $660,905 from over a six year period and funnelled through the Transport Workers Union back into Labor Party bank accounts. (Click here to read my previous post)
The reason Cambridge had to issue the interim orders during the proceedings is because evidence showed there was a health and safety danger. The same evidence that the Cardcall and NSW WorkCover had been sitting on for over 3 months but had failed to act.
This post is the first of two or three posts on this. Some of the documents are just jaw dropping and the corruption at NSW WorkCover blatant.
In 2005 I worked for a company called Cardcall which was a division of Telecorp. My role was mainly distributing point of sale material to shops for the sale of international calling cards. Plastic flags for outside shops were one of the items that I distributed. Initially they were fine.
But then they bought a new batch of flags which had strong fumes coming from them. When they are made they are dipped in chemicals that eat away at the rough edges and makes them smooth and then they are dried. But these flags had been dipped in the chemicals and then packaged straight away and a lot of the chemicals were still on the flags. These chemicals then vaporised when in a hot place such as a car in the sun making it very dangerous for anyone in the car. The fumes were chemicals that eat away plastic so obviously very dangerous to be inhaled and very flammable. The staff and customers were not made aware of this even though as you will see the company had advice that they should make them aware and to take various precautions and safety measures which included to stop distributing the flags.
The company did not have Workers Compensation Insurance and financially it was potentially a company killer if people were injured and made claims. The directors would have to take responsibility for any injuries.
I complained to management as had others but they did nothing. One day I left my car in the sun and when I came back it stunk of fumes. After more complaints I decided to get the flags tested. The person where I went to get them tested said to save my money as he knew what the chemicals were in the fumes and he gave me the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which tell people how they should handle the chemicals from a safety view-point.
I sent the MSDS sheets to the company and still they refused to act and warn staff. I then had a lawyer send a letter to the company on the 20th April 2005. (Click here to see the letter) The company’s response on the 28th April was they admitted that fumes were coming from the flags and that I did not have to distribute them anymore. But other staff did and they did no more than that. They were still sending the flags directly to customers as well. (Click here to read their response)
I decided to go back to the testing place and get the flags tested so there was no doubt. Initially when I went to get the flags tested the guy was very casual about it and he gave me the MSDS sheets and said to save my money and not test them. When he did test them I spoke to him on the phone and his attitude had changed. He said he could not believe the figures coming from the tests so he had them tested twice. (Click here for the laboratory report) I asked him how safe they were to carry around in cars. Even though he is an expert in that area you need a certain qualification to give companies advice which he did not have, his role is the actual testing. But he said “put it this way I would not like to be driving around with them in my car.” His attitude and tone had changed from one of being casual about the situation to hey there is a major problem and health hazard.
I sent to report to Cardcall. Their response was once again nothing. What came out in evidence, in an email, during the hearing is that they did send the lab report to Ross Hansen Senior Workplace Health and Safety Consultant at Commerce Queensland. They also had the flags tested but in an outdoor environment to simulate erecting a flag outside a shop knowing full well the amount of fumes would be greatly lower than fumes coming off flags stored in a car or an enclosed environment. For example people in head office who looked after point of sale material had also complained.
His advice was “Gotalk Operations should instruct all sales executives transporting these flags to ensure they are transported in air-tight containers” (Gotalk was part of Telecorp) and “As these solvents are flammable, it would be appropriate for Gotalk Operations to enforce a “no smoking in vehicles” policy, to reduce the risk of vapour ignition.” and “While there is no denying that some adverse effects are being experienced by your sales executives” and “I question the figure in your sales executive’s email to all staff of 153Omg/square metre i.e. 1.5g of solvent per square metre of flag. I would expect the flags to be extremely slimy with that level of solvent. 1530 micrograms per square metre may be more believable. If, on the other hand, the data are correct and the flags are slimy with these solvents, then an appropriate action might be to cease distribution of these flags forthwith and advise your sales executives and your clients to only handle these with rubber gloves (cyclohexanone will dissolve many of the commonly available plastic gloves) and/or to wash hands thoroughly after handling.” (Click here to read Ross Hansen’s full email)
Now remember the person who did the testing questioned the results so he had them tested again so for Ross Hansen to question the results is no surprise. I have no doubt they were accurate.
So what did Steve Picton and Cardcall do on the above advice? Nothing! I ultimately sent an email to numerous staff and customers warning them about the dangers and was sacked.
The termination letter which is dated the 16th May 2005 and was sent to my lawyer says that I warned that if I make “any further comment to retailers employees regarding health risks posed by the flags” that I would my employment terminated. It was quite a mind-blowing admission by the company. It was from the lawyer Jonathon Hassett who hopped in the witness stand and tried to back pedal from it. (Click here to read the full termination letter) When I went to court I represented myself for cost reasons.
First Hearing Day
18th of August 2005 – This was the first hearing date. The four people who gave evidence that day were 1. William Gore from the Queensland Health Scientific Services who did the dodgy test for Cardcall. After cross examination his evidence actually supported me. Hence the interim orders by Cambridge 2. Myself 3. Sally Garner who was the OH&S officer for the company 4. Steve Picton who was the CEO of the company. Transcript – 18th August 2005 (Click here to read)
25th August 2005 – I got a phone call a day or two before from Commissioner Cambridge’s associate saying that I had to come to court as Cambridge was going to issue interim orders. I could feel the stress in her voice and she would not tell what the orders were for.
I went home and Googled Interim Orders as I did not know what it meant. When I found out I thought maybe he was going give me some back pay as the evidence that came out the first day was just so mind-blowing in my favour.
When I got to court Cambridge’s associate knocked on the door as is customary and Cambridge stormed into the room. He sat down and said in the matter of Dowling v Cardcall “The Commission issues this Statement and Interim Orders in the interests of the health and safety of employees and customers of the respondent employer” and stormed out. I looked up at his associate and said “what just happened? I do not understand.” She said read this it explains it and she gave me a copy of the interim orders. (Click here to read)
The key parts in the orders are: “During the presentation of evidence on 18 August, an issue arose regarding the alleged contamination of plastic promotional flags used by CardCall.” and sections:
4. The applicant complained about the odour that was emitted from the plastic flags particularly if the flags were stored in a confined space under raised air temperature, for example a motor vehicle parked in the sun. Some scientific tests were conducted on the plastic flags and evidence in this matter included certain test results.
5. In brief, the test results appear to indicate the presence of elevated levels of two particular solvents, Cyclohexanone and Isophorone. These solvents are toxic and can be harmful depending upon the concentration to which a person is exposed.
11. It was therefore disconcerting to discover during evidence provided on 18 August from CardCall managers, that no advice had been issued to CardCall employees and/or customers about the potential hazards that may be presented by elevated concentrations of solvents in the plastic promotional flags. At very least, in such circumstances, an employer should have provided its employees with information about the issue of elevated concentrations of solvents in the flags and implemented further investigation into the safe handling protocol for flags that have elevated concentrations of solvents such as Cyclohexanone and Isophorone.
The two orders that were issued were that Cardcall take the following action:
(a) notification to Workcover New South Wales with formal documentary request for assistance in further scientific testing of plastic promotional flags aimed at establishing appropriate safe handling protocols, and,
(b) written communication to all employees and customers who may be likely to handle plastic promotional flags advising of concerns regarding elevated concentrations of solvents in plastic promotional flags and suggesting that until conclusive safe handling protocols are established care should be exercised with the handling of the flags. In particular, the care that should be exercised with handling the flags may include the use of protective rubber gloves and/or thorough washing of hands after contact. Additionally, all persons handling the flags should avoid inhalation of fumes emitted from the flags and generally flags should only be handled in well ventilated situations.
The court case should have been won then and there. They admitted they had sacked me for warning people about a health and safety danger and there was one. My initial complaint had been made on the 12th May 2005 (Click here to read)
The reason Cambridge had to issue the orders is because the company and WorkCover had failed to act. WorkCover had been in receipt of the material before I was sacked but had done nothing.
As per the court orders Cardcall wrote to WorkCover CEO Jon Blackwell to have the flags tested. (Click here to read)
Elissa McGregor at WorkCover to inspector Belinda McKean asking her what the current situation was. Belinda McKean was meant to be investigating my complaint but was as sneaky as they come. (Click here to read)
Belinda McKean wrote back to Elissa McGregor telling e few lies and deliberately concealing information. She said that I had not made a formal complaint in relation to being sacked. This was a straight out lie. She makes no mention in the letter that CardCall had not had Workers compensation for 5 to 6 years and were only fined $750. She makes no mention of the Laboratory report that I gave WorkCover. And then Ms McKean advises they should not bother testing the flags because Cardcall say they are not going to distribute them any more. What Ms McKean is a lawyer is she. All WorkCover inspectors would be fully aware that the flags should have been tested not just for current injuries but also potential future injuries. (Click here to read)
John Watson from WorkCover wrote to Cardcall in effect saying don’t worry about the court order. Just ignore it. The letter mentions the test that Cardcall had done at Queensland Health Scientific Services and says that WorkCover was not able to establish that there was a health risk to employees.
The letter makes no mention of the test results which were from the commercial laboratory Packaging Inks (Aust) Pty Ltd which I provided to WorkCover. The same test results that forced Cambridge to issue interim orders. The same test results that are mentioned in the interim orders which WorkCover had a copy of. So why did John Watson ignore it?
The letter also makes no mention of Cardcall not having workers compensation insurance and having only been fined $750. The numbers I crunched said they could have been fined up to $250,000 for not having the workers comp for the last 5 to 6 years.
If it is a court order it is a court order
If a court issues an order that is it. You do what it says no if buts or maybes. The only person who can override that order is another judicial officer in court. John Watson, Jon Blackwell, Belinda McKean and the others would have been fully aware of this. The court order was in effect against WorkCover as well as they were mentioned in it. WorkCover have a large internal legal department so they knew.
But even if there was no court order they had an obligation to test the flags not just for current injuries but potential future injuries. When I was at the Telecorp head office one of the people in the stock room said words to the effect “this could be another James Hardie case in 10 to 20 years” and WorkCover knew their obligations.
The letter from Workcover to Cardcall breaching the court orders is one no one can explain. They all knew about it. I raised in court that the court orders had been breached and tendered the letter as part of an affidavit. Cambridge said there was no evidence. Cambridge knew but did not care at that stage because he knew it was his job to cover it up. His initial interim orders were to cover himself but someone obviously had gotten to him and told him he needed to sweep this under the carpet as a lot of people could be gone. Then there is the money that the Labor Party was stealing from WorkCover that might of dried up if ICAC had kept looking at WorkCover. (Click here to read)
Second Hearing Day
6th September 2005 – There were 3 witnesses but it started with the barrister Tristan Bors who was representing Cardcall saying the below
COMMISSIONER: I think we’re up to the respondent’s evidentiary case, are we not?
BORS: We are. I believe on the last occasion Mr Dowling closed just before we finished. In the interim there were some orders made by the Commission. Those have been complied with and I have some documents, evidencing compliance. Would the Commission care to take them or is that sufficient from the Bar table?
COMMISSIONER: If you tell me they’ve been complied with, that’s sufficient for me.
Well they had not been complied with and Tristan Bors knew it and Cambridge should have asked to see the evidence. The three witnesses that day were 1. Russell Shields – General Manager for Cardcall 2. Ms Gabrielle Badman who claimed to be the Employee Relations Manager for Cardcall. She was actually the payroll manager but that is another story. 3. Jonathon Hassett of Hassett Dixon Lawyers who perjured himself like there was no tomorrow. The problem Hassett had is that he had written his statutory declaration saying the flags were safe and filed it with the court before Cambridge had issued his interim orders. Transcript – 6th September 2005 (Click here to read)
It was about November when WorkCover rang me and said that they were going to do nothing about my complaint in relation to Cardcall. I asked for written reasons and they said they do not give written reasons. I argued with the person and they eventually told me that I could file a Freedom of Information application for the file, which I did.
The matter was set down for closing arguments but I filed further evidence that I had obtained from the WorkCover file and requested that further evidence be allowed and that some of the witnesses be brought back for further questioning. That was heard on the 1st February 2006. Cambridge handed down his judgement that day and dismissed my case.
The judgement is legendary for how little it says. A clear tactic to allow him to lie later if need be. He makes two key points, neither stack up against the evidence.
1. He says at section 7 “The actions of the applicant in sending the e-mail to customers, represented an act of gross misconduct which, in the circumstances of this case, can not be justified by any associated, legitimate, occupational health and safety complaint.” Then why did Cambridge direct the company to warn people of the danger in his interim orders.
and at 8 “Rather than protect the health and safety of others, the applicant’s actions only served to deflect attention away from the elevated concentrations of solvents in the promotional flags and focus upon his misconduct instead. The simple, logical alternative would have been to make a documentary report to the appropriate agencies so as to hasten a comprehensive analysis of the solvent in flag issue.” I had the flags tested out of my own pocket and gave it to WorkCover. What more could I do. And WorkCover did nothing. So I was right to warn people.’
and at 6 “The applicant had knowledge of and access to other proper channels for raising occupational health and safety concerns. Indeed the employer invited the applicant to pursue his occupational health and safety complaint with the relevant government authorities. The Statement and Interim Orders of this Commission as issued in this matter on 25 August 2005, would have been unnecessary had the applicant devoted his energies to constructing a documentary report to, inter alia, Workcover New South Wales, rather than the e-mail that he understood would precipitate his dismissal” Well the company wanted me to go to WorkCover and take their chances there because they did not have workers compensation insurance which Cambridge knew. Cambridge also knew that WorkCover were in receipt of my complaint over three months before he issued his interim orders. So to blame me is a joke. For the final judgement (Click here to read)
There is a lot more to this story than the above. But the bottom line is when someone takes a bribe to cover a crime like Ian Cambridge did in 1996 they are criminals. And once they commit a crime there is a good chance they will again like Cambridge has in the above post. There is plenty more evidence than what I have outlined above. But the above is extremely powerful by itself as there are too many questions that have no legitimate answers to them.
I will write another one or two posts as I took it further to ICAC and the government and up through WorkCover. More fun times.
So what’s with the title of this post. It was in 2006 that I started investigating Ian Cambridge. That led me to news articles and Hansard on the Victorian Parliament website which spoke about Ian Cambridge and the AWU fraud which also involved Julia Gillard. From there I kept on following both of them. In 2007 Glenn Milne wrote his articles on the story including the infamous article where Julia Gillard said “I was young and Naive”.
But she also complained in the article. “I was obviously hurt when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrong-doing. I didn’t do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing.” But in November 2010 she falsely accused Julian Assange of breaking the law. It clicked with straight away her hypocrisy. At that stage I did not have this blog to write about it. In August 2011 I eventually wrote about it when this site had been up just over 7 months. (Click here to read the post)
From there other media picked up on it and it has been an up and down ride since. But it is gathering pace now again. Cambridge wrote to the then federal Minister for Industrial Relations Laurie Brereton in 1996 asking for a Royal Commission into the AWU scandal. Well this may come true, but it is his corruption outlined above that will be the catalyst for it, not his letter to Brereton. Cambridge was not expecting a Royal Commission, all he was doing is improving his negotiating position for a bribe which he eventually took. He would have been fully aware that a Labor government that is controlled by the unions was not going the have a royal commission into their own supporters.
If Cambridge and myself had never crossed paths Gillard would probably not have the problem she has now and has had for the past 14 months since I wrote that post.
I did my apprenticeship in judicial corruption with Ian Cambridge as my lecturer. This site is not motivated by him or the above but would certainly not be here without his teachings in the lessons above. So every supporter of this site should thank Ian Cambridge for being the criminal he is.
I have been waiting to until the time is right and until I have time to write this post. Anyone who has a copy of my book can go to page 167 and it says “Mention the name Ian Cambridge to Julie Gillard and watch her choke. Who is Ian Cambridge you ask? He is Julie Gillard’s very own personal Grim Reaper.” The book was published in 2009 and that would have passed over the head of most people but plenty from the political fraternity would have known exactly what I meant.
The time is right now as some are painting Ian Cambridge as a hero for what he did in 1996. Well he is no hero. He is a criminal who took a bribe in 1996 and shut his mouth to conceal a crime and he has continued on his criminal path since as the above shows.
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Categories: Commissioner Ian Cambridge