Justice Dyson Heydon

Royal Commission into unions. There ain’t no heroes

A good gage of whether the Royal Commission into unions has done its job is if we end up with a long list of heroes who saved the day when the Royal Commission hands its report to the government. If the Royal Commission does write up people as being heroes or implied heroes then it is almost guaranteed that the Royal Commission was a dud and nothing more than a selective witch-hunt.

A large percentage of the people who give evidence will be coming from one side or the other in union factional fights and there are no heroes there.

A prime example is the Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge who will likely be a key witness and give evidence at the Royal Commission. Mr Cambridge is written up in almost all media as a hero or implied hero because he called for a Royal Commission into the AWU in 1996. But Cambridge was also involved in a factional war at the Australian Workers Union (AWU) at the time when he called for the Royal Commission.

Cambridge wrote to the then federal Minister for Industrial Relations Laurie Brereton on the 23rd January 1996 asking for the Royal Commission into the AWU. Ian Cambridge knew full well that the federal government that was Labor, union controlled and led by Paul Keating would not have a Royal Commission. Four days later on the 27th January 1996 the Paul Keating federal government announced the election to be held on the 2nd March 1996. The John Howard led Liberal Party won power yet Ian Cambridge never wrote to the Liberals asking for a Royal Commission. Calling for the Royal Commission in 1996 was just part of Cambridge’s strategy for his internal fight at the AWU. (Click here to read more)

I have dealt with Cambridge personally and he is a major league grub, corrupt as they come and right up there with the worst of any of them and if he comes out smelling like roses than you know that the Royal Commission failed to get to the whole truth. There are plenty of skeletons in Ian Cambridge’s closet from his union days and elsewhere and I am sure the union boys will let everyone know.

Ian Cambridge is one example but almost everyone from the union movement has similar baggage although maybe not as bad as Cambridge. So don’t hold out for any heroes.

I was at the Royal Commission’s first hearing day on Wednesday and I found it to be a time waster, although probably a necessary one as it had to start somewhere. No witnesses were called and Commissioner Heydon and the council assisting the commission, Jeremy Stoljar, read out what they were going to do, but gave very little away as far as specific details are concerned. It will probably be a month or more before they have hearing days with witnesses giving evidence. For starters they need a hearing room and more staff as they had to borrow both on Wednesday for the first hearing day from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. (Click here for Commissioner Heydon’s opening remarks and click here for Mr Stoljar’s opening address)

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver says the Royal Commission is a witch hunt and if he is correct then he is in a lot of trouble as Mr Oliver and his wife Justice Suzanne Jones have had their snouts in the union / Labor Party trough for a long time and have made millions from it. (Click here to read more) Mr Oliver is not part of the solution, he is part of the problem and should resign the same way the AWU National Secretary Paul Howes has.

The Labor Party are already under extreme pressure to change for the better from a corruption view point and I believe the Royal Commission can help the process if it does its job properly.

This is the peoples Royal Commission (we’re paying for it) so do your bit with social media and help make sure the Royal Commission does its job. Government departments do monitor social media and react to it so if you spend a minute or two on Facebook and Twitter etc. it does help.

It is a bit of a slow start to the Royal Commission but I would expect when it does get up to speed it will be a fast and furious battle to get to the truth.

You can make a submission to the Royal Commission into unions using the contact details on their website. It is tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au (Click here to go to their website)

Admin: If you use Twitter the best hash tag for the union Royal Commission so far is #UnionRC or #unionrc

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20 replies »

  1. I agree with you Shane that their will be no heroes in this Royal Commission into unions. Almost everyone who will give evidence (and yes Ian Cambridge as well) will be exposed as people with dirty little secrets where as a result they will be questioned if they knew the corruption or being involved in the corruption as well. Justice Heydon and others will do their jobs throughly to get to the bottom of union crime in Australia that has been festering for decades. I believe Cambridge will be questioned over his involvement in the AWU fraud cover up and his refusal to ask for a Royal Commission after John Howard won the election in 1996 when before that he asked for a Royal Commission in early 1996 when the Keating labor government was still in power so he could curry plenty of favor with the labor party. I’m sure Cambridge will be fingered by his former enemies in the AWU of how Cambridge accepted a bribe by Graham Richardson & Bob Carr to stay silent on the AWU fraud to be on the NSW industrial relations commission in 1997 & as well Cambridge will be questioned about his appointment as a commissioner with Fair Work Australia, with the commission I believe knowing that Julia Gillard personally appointing him as a way to shut Cambridge up because of Cambridge’s full knowledge of Gillard’s proven (not yet by the police) criminality with Bruce Wilson in the AWU fraud. Justice Heydon I believe is no fool and will put Cambridge under the hammer big time. As for Dave Oliver, his days are numbered. I’m sure that the commission has plenty of evidence against him. This Royal Commission will be fast & furious where I think maybe not everything will be exposed because there will be so much corruption into the unions that there may be not enough time to get to every bit of it because it’s expected to finish in December this year. This Royal Commission must go into next year too, I fear some corrupted union/labor party officials may get away with it, because the time frame in this commission is too short I believe.

  2. A good question Shane would be when has a Royal Commission every really achieved anything of it’s true Goals and brought about Lasting Change, I hate to be cynical about them but I have too admit that I have personally lost faith our Goverment and System of Justice (as have many).

    I would love to see some examples of when they have worked achieved anything except spending a LOT of tax payer dollars..???

  3. Bill Shorten said there was no need for a royal commission into unions.
    he is also blocking in the Senate. the Australian building and construction commission.
    And yes you can understand why they are blocking these in the senate
    as we will see with RC into unions.
    So when Bill Shorten says he want to cut ties with the unions I DON’T THINK SO.

  4. You are absolutely correct Shane, there will be NO HEROES but it is also a witch hunt. Sadly, corruption is everywhere and not restricted to trade unions and the Labor Party but also rife in the Liberal Party, legal profession and business circles. Geez…even our churches are dodgy. Hopefully some get sorted out along the way. Regards, Warren Olsen

  5. I am always disappointed with the narrow frames of reference set out at the beginning of these investigations. That, to me, is the decider as to how determined they are to get to the truth and to call out the bad guys. Time will tell but I’m not holding my breath on this one.

    • If you look at the frame of reference for this one you would see it would be almost impossible to make it any broader than it is without just saying, “we are looking into everyone and everything everywhere ever.”

  6. I am writing my submission at this very moment. What will happen will be interesting. I have No faith in the RC but you are right Shane it will be up to the people to run this Royal Commission and see a fair outcome. If we just leave it to the Royal Commission to do their job it will be a typical government stuff up. They all still get paid whether they stuff it or not

  7. Shane, i agree totally with you on Ian Cambridge, my opinion is once a Union-thug, always a union-thug. Of course Gillard put him in Fair Works to keep him silent.
    I do not believe there will be any heroes in this. I am just worried that this Royal Commission does not go far enough, as the corruption goes right up into the Judiciary, we have seen the results of that only too often.

    I will be putting in a submission, and I think it is up to us to show that this RC must continue after the end of this year and has to be widened.

    There is always some wasted time, as what happened last Wednesday had to happen, Let us be grateful, that you could be there, that is going to be another problem: ‘Is the MSM going to report on the proceedings, or is it again just a handful, including you.

    I would ask all friends of this web-site, to write in to the Commissioner and make it quite clear, that without the Kangaroo Court web-site we would have never known what was really going on. I have been with this site since the beginning and can remember quite clearly the amazement and the disgust I felt, with what Shane published.

    I think it is more important that we advise the Commissioner that he would not be there, had this web-site not existed.

    It is the likes of you Shane, and there are not many of you, who have made this happen and I thank you for it.

    But as I said, we need to tell the Commissioner of this site and anything else we feel should be looked into and we have to try that all proceedings are reported on by the MSM and especially the ABC, as the ABC has up till now made it clear that to them there is nothing to see!

  8. Hi Shane; i don’t think that Mr John Dyson Heydon has anything to apologise for—as this is how i read your blog. Like any person in a vocation, i consider Johns Dyson Heydon’s inferences acceptable. If the normal MSM had their way it all would be over there somewhere. In this case Mr John Dyson Heydon has a chance to put his own stamp upon current politics and i can only hope that his utterings are as quintessential as they need to be.Regards.

  9. Had to borrow staff? I argued here some time back that Gillard’s RC into child sexual abuse was dodgy in that it had no real aim or end point, and was actually intended to tie up resources indefinitely, and I think this gives a good early illustration of that in action.

    • I think that they had to borrow staff and a hearing room was a reflection of the fact that they have had to move fast and have not yet put all the foundations of the RC down yet. I am sure they will in the next few weeks.

  10. We have had Martin Ferguson come forward today with what he feels is pertinent information (proof) regarding the AWU slush fund that implicates Julia Gillard in the receiving of money from Wilson’s slush fund (set up by her) for renovations on her home. Let’s hope that it will be sufficient for the RC to have a good long look at her involvement in the fraud and theft and the subsequent cover up along with all the others who have been rewarded by her for their actions in the cover up.

  11. If there are any heroes at all it would be Bob Kernohan who despite being bashed and having his severance pay withheld for years, and offered a seat in Parliament to shut up, has tried repeatedly to have people held accountable. It is only the rise of social media that has finally allowed enough people to hear about all this and for him to finally have a platform to speak.

  12. Shane
    Will Tony Abbott’s slush fund collected and used to wrongly gaol Pauline Hannson and David Etteridge be listed for mention

    Will Cathy Jackson and her partner—— (who holds a high position in FWA)
    be investigated for accountacy annomolies far exceeding the $25.000 that Thomson was found to have shortchanged the HSU —BY as much asTen Times

    —or do you have Knowledge that a deal has been done –that she has paid this large sum back to the HSU coffers —or has the HR Nicholls Society paid it back for her?

    • I do not know. Have you made a submission to the Royal Commission? Why haven’t the Labor Party said anything. Why didn’t the Labor Party do anything when they were in power. Are you implying two wrongs make a right?

      • Shane
        The answer to “are you implying two wrongs make a right –is no —
        but as your website has been calling for justice over the years
        Should not fair play and justice apply to all ?

    • So much accusing but no proof. Tony Abbott was already cleared by the court regarding the Hanson Etteridge case and even though Etteridge thought it would be a good idea to bring it again just before the Sept election, he was thrown out of court and told to come back when he had some new evidence. I suggest the same advice could apply to you.

      As for Kathy Jackson and the inuendo spread by the corrupt lackies of Shorten, of which it appears you most likely are one, put the proof on the table. Since Shorten appointed a receiver to manage the HSU affairs to try and protect his little friends, I would expect they would be shouting from the rooftops if there was even one shred of evidence against her.

      • Exactly, if a person is perceived to be “not a team player” gossip and innuendo to discredit the witness, whistleblower, whatever, are the tool of choice for lazy people playing a low rent diversion strategy.

        If the RC is really going to go back (how far says he?…say, farther back than JG & the AWU slush fund slash building & travelling fund), the RC will not end in my lifetime. The scope of work would be enormous, the sheer volume of findings, witness processing etc, etc. just might reach critical mass, and a lot of ex-union & current union people, some now of a certain age, just might be getting anxious, or should be. The incidents that were happening on an almost a daily basis during the construction boom in the ACT, including the new Parliament House construction, were amazing, but unbelievable to a person like me who has never needed, nor wanted to be in a union or union work environment.

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