Royal Commission

Shafting Whistleblowers the Union way. Where’s ACTU President Ged Kearney hiding?

Two whistleblowers at the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) are being vilified by the CFMEU management for doing what they should be congratulated for which is blowing the whistle on corruption at the CFMEU. This is not unusual as it is well known when people become whistleblowers more often than not they get shafted by the organisation that they are blowing the whistle on.

Vilifying whistleblowers is not unique to unions and happens everywhere. A well known example is federal MP Andrew Wilkie who blew the whistle on the lies the John Howard government used to justify Australia’s involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Mr Wilkie was vilified and had lies told about him by the government at the time. But what does make this situation unique is that it is happening in the middle of a Royal Commission who are investigating the CFMEU for corruption.

But back to CFMEU whistleblowers Andrew Quirk and Brian “Jock” Miller who have been charged by CFMEU National Secretary Dave Noonan for “gross misbehaviour”. The charge sheet can be seen on Michael Smith’s website who broke the story on Wednesday. (Click here to read) Thursday the Herald Sun wrote a story (Click here to read) and Friday the SMH followed (Click here to read)


The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption is investigating numerous unions including the CFMEU. Andrew Quirk and Brian Miller who are both CFMEU officials gave interviews with Fairfax Media on the 16th of October (Click here to read) and the ABC’s 7.30 Report the same day (Click here to read or watch). During both interviews they made allegations of corruption within the CFMEU.

Andrew Quirk and Brian Miller

CFMEU whistleblowers: Andrew Quirk and Brian “Jock” Miller


Dave Noonan issued Summons and Charge Sheets on the 5/11/14 against Mr Miller and Mr Quirk and for them to appear at a meeting at the CFMEU on the 18th November to answer the charges.

If found guilty they can be removed from office which means they will be sacked and without a job and highly likely black banned from working in the construction industry.

To me that is an open and shut case of intimidating a witness. Not only is the CFMEU trying to intimidate Mr Quirk and Mr Miller, they are sending a loud message to anyone else at the CFMEU that is thinking of blowing the whistle or giving evidence at the Royal Commission.

Dave Noonan – Criminal offence of intimidating a witness and possible other crimes

Dave Noonan Brian Parker - 2

Dave Noonan sitting and chatting with Brian Parker after Mr Parker gave perjured evidence at the Royal Commission.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and to me the above picture of Dave Noonan and NSW CFMEU Secretary Brian Parker says plenty more. I took the picture just after Brian Parker had given evidence where he had clearly perjured himself and he sat there afterwards chatting with Dave Noonan like it was just another day at the office, no big deal. In fact it has been recommended by the barrister assisting the Royal Commission, Jeremy Stoljar, that Mr Parker should be charged with perjury. Why all the perjury by Brian Parker? One reason was clearly to protect Dave Noonan and that is why Mr Noonan has taken no action against Brian Parker yet is taking action against Mr Quirk and Mr Miller.

The actions of Dave Noonan and the CFMEU are the actions of desperate people with nothing to lose. They must know judgement day is coming and do not care. But all they have really done is shoot themselves in the foot by making it obvious what they are up to and how much corruption they must have to hide give their desperate actions. 

What will the Royal Commission do?

The Royal Commission should take action immediately and subpoena the CFMEU senior management and make them give evidence under oath to justify their actions. The bottom line is they couldn’t justify it and would only dig a bigger whole for themselves.

Another option the Royal Commission might take is that they will wait to see what happens with the dodgy charges the CFMEU have laid first before they take any action. That way they have further evidence of intimidating Royal Commission witnesses. But I don’t think they should wait as they already have enough evidence.

If the Royal Commission takes no action it will undermine their authority for the next 12 months so they really have no choice but to act fast and hard.

Where’s Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Gerardine (Ged) Kearney hiding?

In a situation like this the ACTU could and should take action because it brings the whole Union movement into disrepute. Why have they done nothing? One reason might be because Ged Kearney is on the payroll of CFMEU controlled Industry super fund Cbus ($46,781) as a director.

There are not many lower acts than attacking and undermining a whistleblower who is trying to make the world a better place. But with today’s technology whistleblowers are getting louder and louder so it is pointless in trying to stop them. I am sure we will hear a lot more about the above story in the near future.

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27 replies »

  1. Are there corrupt union officials in charge of Aussie super funds. Could they be getting secret commissions for investing Aussie funds in certain ‘investments’ ? They spend lots on advertising, which could be seen as attempting to get favourable eporting treatment

  2. Excellent article but you did get one thing wrong, Howard did not lie about the reason for the invasion of Iraq. Any comment about this second war in Iraq has to be looked at through the prism of the first war following the invasion and plundering of Kuwait by Iraq, the 9/11 attacks and the conclusion of the UN WMD team led by no other than that Labour Part stooge Richard Butler [ remember his appointment as Governor of Tasmania and how it all ended] which concluded that Iraq did possess these weapons and would use them. Remember also the gas attacks on the Kurdish village and on troops of Iran during that war again started by Iraq.
    Wilke was no more than another Labour Party wannabe who enjoys his moments in the sun and would do and say anything to discredit the Libs. He is beneath contempt.

    • Kuwait was stealing Iraqs oil through drilling at a angle from Kuwait into Iraq backed by their allies including the USA. No wonder Iraq was pissed off. Many angles on this and Wilkies whistleblowing. This can not be described in your one hundred words it needs a book to give it justice

      • I never thought I would be saying this out loud but much of the conversation here is about shafting WB’ers in general. So here are a few awful aspects:
        I’m often asked if the AMA and other noble medical colleges ARE unions. Of course they are. Is that a bad thing? Of course it is, because they deny it. Who controls them? Doctors who enjoy exhibiting some sort of power, influencing members’ opinions and unlimited self-promotion. Do they achieve good things? Only for selected members. Is that a bad thing? Yes, because their pretences far exceed their effectiveness and their promises are hollow wind-bagging.
        Am I embittered by this situation? Greatly but less now that I know they do not protect individuals (especially WB’ers) who assume they are safe from attack if they advertise their “union” affiliations. BEWARE of such deceptions before you end up deserted.

    • Kevin Rudd is on the record in Hansard as offering not only bi-partisan support for the invasion of Iraq but stated on the record that he believes Iraq definitely had weapons of mass destruction so if one lied, they both lied.

  3. Thirty years ago I had been a senior surgeon-supervisor and administrator in two major Sydney public hospitals for 25 years. I was advised by a top health bureaucrat to report dangerous medical practices which I observed regularly in my colleagues.
    So I prepared lists of improper conduct and sent them confidentially to all those responsible for correction of these defects in procedure. Instead of getting action, I was suspended, publicly suspended and investigated by trumped-up “kangaroo courts” of non-peers who offered me no natural justice or due process. My good name was trashed.
    Despite complete clearance of my record by expert independent referees and a Supreme Court, I was dismissed and have never returned to my surgical work in the last 30 years. My life, employability and reputation were destroyed forever. Those I had criticised were having a field-day.
    Many hundreds of approaches later to every level of health administration in NSW have produced no proper enquiry or salvage of my career in any form. No authority has ever met me, my letters are ignored, reports are “lost” and calls go unanswered. I am told “nothing can be done”, “it’s all too long ago” but “we do understand your concern”.

    My form of whistle-blowing is to do with deaths and damage to us all. Even that deadly price can be ignored by those who wait for agitators like me to die.

    • You are a brave man Jack. I hope some good fortune will exonerate you soon. Maybe you could write a book about what happened to you? Nonetheless you are a good man.

      • Thanks, twinky. I procrastinated for too long and now I’ve run out of time. A glowing opinion of my work from a world expert got “lost” in the Health Ministry hiding places for 10 years until a Health Minister (Refshauge) secretly sent his car to my home to get a “personal copy for safe-keeping”!
        And then it “went-missing ” for another 10 years. Apart from meeting him briefly and secretly on that night, I have not met a health boss in 30 years. Indeed, they are waiting for me to disappear. They call me a “ratbag” but my credentials exceed theirs by far.
        I worked in dark and dangerous places for most of my surgical life. I wept for better and safer conditions but I was called a “dramatist”. And yet I managed to build what they called the “flagship” of a new health system.
        But I learned the hard and bad way that whistleblowing on health amounts to professional suicide. So that’s how I’m dying.

      • There is a saying ~ “Only you have the power to make yourself feel bad.” It doesn’t matter what others think. In this internet age, nothing should be secret. Hidden stories should have the spotlight put on them. Have you contacted the present Federal health minister? You were instrumental in a new way of doing things to your credit. That must give you some pride. What a story you have just waiting to be put into a book. Anyway, I am sure I am not the only one who thinks you are pretty special. Bless you.

  4. I always found it quite an anomaly (when I was a CFMEU member and construction worker) that the Union would give the Labor party a couple of million every time an election was on, either state or federally.It was interesting then, at some stage in the Howard years, that someone conducted a survey of building workers, to find out how they voted, in the recent election?Howard had won that election, and it turned out that 2/3 of those surveyed had voted for the Liberals!!!If that was the case, then the CFMEU should have put the money with the other crowd, yes?

  5. Amazing action from Noonan, it does remind me of the Nazi’s, and Noonan being a little Hitler.
    I also hope, that the RC will take some action, as it is obvious, that they are making fun of this RC.

    I am sorry for those men, who might loose their job, but that is what will happen, or they make it so unbearable in the work-place for them , that that have no alternative but to leave, probably with very little money!

    I remember the case of the surgeon, there was a similar case in Victoria.

    I have read quite a few books about the Unions and it has never been any different, the things they did during WW2 and in the early fifties and sixties are unbelievable.

    The trouble is, that these practices are undermining the economy, especially at a time like this, where all the money has been spent and some savings have to be
    made, whether we like it or not.
    The unions disregard all of that, they only think of how they can disrupt the country, they
    are so close to communism, that it is dangerous.

  6. The union movement provides a platform for people that don’t have the fortitude and intelligence to forge their own way in the world. Their intelligence takes the form of rat cunning and physical intimidation laced with a strong anti-establishment sentiment. They rely on coercing their fellow unionists into destructive actions against the establishment as they see it. The pretence is that they are fighting for better wages and conditions for the ‘workers’ Often the outcome of their actions is to put the workers out of work, taking back handers while still retaining their own employment as the head of the union. Unfortunately the ‘workers’ don’t seem to be able to see this.
    I have a relative that is strong union and Labor and considers himself a ‘working class man’ He doesn’t see me as a man who built a business, employing 12 people and working 7 days a week as working class. He displays all the resentment of someone who had the opportunity but failed to exploit it. The unions are full of the same. All they want to do is vent the frustrations of their own failures by bringing down anyone that challenges them, this includes whistle blowers. As Labor is welded to the unions the same attitude is exhibited by some of its leaders, vote for Labor and you vote for the unions and their misguided philosophies.

  7. Who would think the National Parks and Wildlife would hate Whistle Blowers. They have the public believe they love nature and protect the environment so of course they would be nice to people too….. No way not when a Whistle blower exposes their corruption which a certain investigative journalist said to me was more corrupt than the NSW police ever was. From my experience with NPWS as a whistleblower NPWS invented the ‘how to destroy a whistleblower 101’ manual. NPWS has a lot to lose when wildlife trafficking is the third biggest black market in the world. Who cares about Africas Wildlife corruption when we have it thriving right here in Australia

  8. Ged Kearney can be found safely tucked up in a CBUS boardroom collecting directors fees from the hard earned money of others.

  9. A union in charge of large amounts of money in a super fund? I am tempted to mention the hackneyed joke about putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank, but won’t.

    • Aussie workers are too busy working hard to realize who is actually running their Super funds…would you trust a Union official or Labor pollie with your money?

  10. Ged Kearney is an another union grub who won’t lift a finger to help the 2 heroic CMFEU whistleblowers. She is a disgrace as the ACTU president, knowing she is a director of Cbus which has aided & abetted CMFEU’s crimes. As for Dave Noonan’s disgusting actions against the 2 whistleblowers, Mr Noonan must be charged along with Mr Parker for blackmail & hopefully both of them go to jail. Both Noonan & Parker deserve jail time.

  11. While employed with a large cash pick up and delivery service company our union (clerical/inside staff, all women) sold us out to the TWU so that the drivers and offsiders got everything and more that were in their demands whereas our union gained a small pay rise but gave away all of our hard fought for entitlements gained over the years. We had no say and ended up worse off while the TWU members jumped for joy. Just proved to me how corrupt and in cahoots all the unions are. The Company didn’t care, they lost nothing because what we lost covered all the TWU demands. I have refused since then to join or have anything more to do with Unions. The sad thing is that workers now have it written into employment agreements that they have to use Union run Industry Super Funds or no job. Corruption and extortion!. Do as we say or no job! Notice that the Unions are spending Millions $$’s with their anti Abbott and Anti Coalition advertising campaigns on TV and in print media. Big push to get their Mates, Labor back in charge so they can continue their corrupt ways with the blessing of the Labor Party. Why would any thinking, hard working person let them get their way and allow this to happen?

  12. It all goes the same way. “If I don’t shaft you, don’t you shaft me.” Pollies and Union officials are hand in hand with each other from all sides.

    All Union Officials should be registered and University qualified in Industrial Law. If they are struck off then they are out of the system.

    Union books should be audited by a Public authority and the findings should be published each year so those who choose to support these corrupt organisations can see first hand which pocket their money is going into.

    Those sheep in the work force who believe in their Unions and their Labor party are getting every thing they deserve. If they won’t stand up for them selves, why should the rest of us do the dirty work for them? May be because it is in the Australian’s nature to assist those less fortunate.

  13. The comment by William Ash regarding Wilkie is just about accurate except I think of him as a wannabe human being. he was sucked in by a crafty female and used to support the failing government and then tossed aside when he became irrelevant by Slipper. Willie is a gutless has been who had the power so end the tragedy of a useless government and save us a few billion. Roll on the day when all these diminishing union members open their eyes and see the con job they have been coerced into. Allan from Myalup WA.

  14. New to this site and shocked at the Liberal bias I’ve noticed over a few articles, especially ones about the corruption of the Libs! They are no better than Labor yet so many people pretend they want honesty and integrity in our politics but are only out for the desire to support the party that fooled them best. A two party dominated democracy will always lead to corruption.

    If we are unable to step back and look at the whole picture we will continue to get sub performing hypocrites and dodgy deals. This isn’t a post to support a certain party or system of government, I am not that wise, so save the delusion I am promoting any as an excuse to avoid confronting your own bias.

    To Shane and the rest, you are wise and we need more of you to stand up to them all. I love the idea of a rotating investigation into the states.

    • Sorry George. The labor party are far more corrupt than the liberals. I’m afraid that the labor party use a lot of it’s corruption with it’s dirty deals with the unions. The Royal Commission into the unions have already exposed plenty of corruption hand in hand with the labor party. Julia Gillard was the most corrupt prime minister Australia’s ever had. Her involvement in the AWU fraud, her dodgy, grubby minister/Prime Minister’s decisions are one example. Another example is Bill Shorten in his knowing involvement in union crime. There are many other people George that are involved in labor party corruption. This isn’t a liberal party website George. There is liberal party corruption George, but on a smaller scale. Labor are simply rotten, simple as that.

  15. Hi Shane; a system, that allows pent up hatred of others to flourish does not belong in our community. One only happens to remember the slime ORKOPOLOUS and the whistle blower Ms Sneddon to realise how low Labor can go. Anyone out there on the left side of politics that thinks the activities of ORKOPOLOUS were reasonable ———-take a bow–but not to the left.

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