Bill Shorten and his supporters are a major target for the Trade Union Royal Commission in 2015. While the Royal Commission did not expressly name Bill Shorten it did mention matters that involve him and also his Labor Unity factional supporters at the Health Services Union (HSU).
On Thursday (23/4/15) at the 2015 Opening Session Commissioner Dyson Heydon said his final report would also deal with some matters relating to:
“the Australian Workers Union (concerning Chiquita Mushrooms) and the HSU Victoria No 1 Branch under the secretaryship of Ms Diana Asmar.” (Click here to read the full opening remarks by Commissioner Heydon)
The Chiquita Mushrooms scandal was investigated by the Royal Commission to a degree last year and involved Bill Shorten when he was National Secretary at the AWU.
The Age reported: “Labor leader Bill Shorten faces his biggest test yet before the trade union royal commission with claims he oversaw an employment deal that lowered wages for hundreds of mushroom pickers in return for unusual payments to the union he led at the time.” (Click here to read more)
Mr Shorten never gave evidence but if the Royal Commission is going to investigate the matter further then one of the key places left would be Bill Shorten and his involvement. This will put extreme pressure on Bill Shorten to either give evidence voluntarily or for the Royal Commission to subpoena him as a witness. The Royal Commission never made any findings last year in relation to Chiquita Mushrooms but they will this year. This would be a major concern for Bill Shorten and the Labor Party as the finding will probably be made public next year which is an election year.
HSU Victoria No 1 Branch (Trades as the HWU). The branch is controlled and run by Bill Shorten’s supporters
The Royal Commission will look at some matters regarding “the HSU Victoria No 1 Branch under the secretaryship of Ms Diana Asmar.” This could mean many things and one of the likely areas for further investigation would be the financial fraud I wrote about in February in an article titled: “Bill Shorten’s supporters involved in multi-million-$ fraud at the HSU“.
In that article I compared the 2013/2014 financial statements which showed very suspicious blow-outs in spending in many areas. I wrote in the post:
“I am not an accountant but even I can see the evidence of the scams they were running. For example wages in the 2013 financial year were $1,820,807 and blew out to $3,451,989 in the 2014 financial year. This is a massive increase of $1,631,182 and consistent with the fact that we knew that Asmar and crew were employing Labor Party and Union cronies to work at the union. In practice they did very little work except to collect their pay. A prime example would be Kitching who was employed as General Manager on a package of about $120,000 yet did very little if anything. She has since left I understand trying to avoid the criminal charges that were recommended against her by the Royal Commission.”
And: “I have been told in the last few months up to 13 staff have been sacked as the Branch is rapidly running out of money and has very few assets left to sell to keep them going.”
“On paper it says they made a $735,745 profit for the 2014 year but in fact they really made a loss when the sale of their building is taken into account. The building was sold, without the approval of members, for a reported profit of $2,238,012 but if Andrew Landeryou was involved it is highly likely that some profit was skimmed off the top.”
“Take the $2,238,012 profit from the sale of the building out of the 2014 finances and the reported $735,745 profit becomes a $1,502,267 loss. This financial year they have no building to sell so that is why they have been sacking staff to try and avoid bankruptcy. They have been selling assets to fleece the union and its members.” (Click here to read the full article)
Other areas that the Royal Commission may investigate are the roles of Diana Asmar’s husband David Asmar and Kimberley Kitching’s husband Andrew Landeryou. Both Mr Asmar and Mr Landeryou were named at the Royal Commission last year. Diana Asmar gave evidence that Mr Asmar was the brains and organiser behind Mrs Asmar’s election campaigns.
Also, Victorian Labor state MP Cesar Melhem gave evidence that he paid money from his 2020 slush fund to help with Diana Asmar’s election. Andrew Landeryou was also the recipient of money from the slush fund, Mr Melham said in the witness stand. Neither Mr Asmar nor Mr Landeryou have given evidence on the matter which could happen this year.
Both Mr Asmar and Mr Landeryou are well-known vote riggers which might also be an area of interest for the RC given Mrs Asmar won the Victoria No 1 Branch union election last year with 93% of the vote. No one gets 93% of the vote except in countries where they have dictators or when an election has been rigged. At the time Mrs Asmar won the election everyone knew she was facing possible criminal charges which the RC has recommended against her and she is currently before the Fair Work Commission on civil charges. So it is extremely hard to see how she managed to get 93% of the vote.
The reason why this is important and a matter of public interest is because it is people like the ones at the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch such as the Asmar’s, Landeryou and Kitching that Bill Shorten will take to Canberra with him if he is elected Prime Minister. They will be helping Shorten run Australia. So who and what they are does matter. Given their performance at the HSU do we really want them running the country?
Kathy Jackson and Craig Thomson
The Royal Commission announced they will also look further at the Kathy Jackson allegations and former federal Labor MP Craig Thomson as well. Neither has any hope of ending up as Prime Minister, so while investigating them is important they are only side issues compared to Bill Shorten and his supporters.
TURC Police Task Force – Phone taps
Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar SC announced in his opening address on Thursday that:
“The Commission’s activities during the first months of 2015 have continued on a number of fronts.”
“First, the Commission has been involved in the establishment the TURC Police Task Force, with officers drawn from the AFP, and the police forces of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.”
“The Task Force is independent of the Commission and operates under its own command. At the same time it will work in conjunction with and in support of the Commission.” (Click here to read the full opening remarks by Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar SC)
The Royal Commission on Thursday again raised the amount of perjury and destruction of evidence by the witnesses such as the emails destroyed by the NSW CFMEU and how this undermined the work of the Commission. This would clearly justify phone taps and now the commission has its own police task force it is almost guaranteed that is what they have been doing for the last couple of months. Phone taps by the Royal Commission would certainly make some interesting evidence.
It will be a few months before witnesses in the AWU/ Chiquita Mushrooms and the HSU matters are called before Royal Commission but I have no doubt it will be well worth the wait. People involved in those matters should watch what they say on the phone although it is probably too late now.
Bill Shorten was named many times in 2014 at the Royal Commission by numerous witnesses in unrelated matters so it no surprise he would be targeted further by the RC whether deliberately or not. The Royal Commission should have a big year and I will report on it regularly.
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Categories: Bill Shorten, Fair Work Commission, Royal Commission
I do not have great faith in the Royal Commissions. So much talk, accusations, evidence has only put Williamson in gaol. All others are still enjoying fruits of their deeds, i assume!
seems that way
The attached document is, I believe, as good an explanation as anyone is going to get, as to why no-one can get a job, It involves deliberate undermining and destruction of the economy, at a level greater, by far, than Bill Shorten’s Mushroom factory escapades, but intimately related. Gaz
Royal Commissions always drag their feet when investigating matters concerning the Left… and very little media concern or coverage – actually, no media coverage.
Imagine the frenzy were this any persons associated with the Liberal or National Party.
The Royal Commission, all gas and no go, and if the discovery of corruption was pushed to the enth degree, Australia would have a shortage of politicians and judiciary members.
The outcome of Julia Gillard’s ‘attendance’ on stage, she smiled and waved as she exited stage left to enjoy the fruits of her ill-gotten gains.
What about this rape case against Shorten supposedly being carried on by QC Peter Faris? Things seem very quiet on that front. Have the Labor Party paid him off? When is this bloke going to be publicly exposed for what he is?
I bet my life, nothing,absolutely nothing will happen to Shorten.
Gillard was guilty of wilful blindness, professional negligence, yet the RC called her serious misconduct carelessness. No the Short one is in no danger.
Gillard did not get off totally free. Because of the Royal Commission she was embarrassed nationally and even internationally to some degree and now a lot more people know what a crook she was and is.
Shorten could be looking at the same problem but it could cost him the leadership of the Labor Party or maybe cost him the next federal election. The Royal Commission still has 8 months to go so lets see what happens.
Maybe not free, but definitely lightly.
She became PM and is now living a very very comfortable life.
I am sure she can endure some minor embarrassment .
Much better than serving time for helping to facilitate her married boyfriend to commit fraud, and deceive her employer.
Shane is completely right that Gillard didn’t get off totally. Gillard’s reputation was badly damaged by her appearance at the Royal Commission. Many more people now know that Gillard is a crook from her appearance in the Royal Commission. A lot of people do know what Gillard did in concealing her & Bruce Wilson’s crimes and that she lied at the Royal Commission with her evidence. I think also you need to realize that Gillard is still a suspect in the Victorian police investigation. If she gets charged, her reputation will be ruined.
The future prospects for Bill Shorten look pretty grim but if you take into account the toothless pussycat that they call “royal commision” he will probably end up with a Knighthood when the Labor party has paid off all the people that supposed to bring justice to the criminals. Shorten has as much chance off being Prime Minister as I have of winning a gold in the next olympics. If you look at it from the right prospective, we have had a right bunch running this country over the last few years. Rudd Gillard Rudd,and wannabe Shorten, what a motley crew on the tiller and on the till. The past political history has been that of a penal colony rather than a lucky country. To misquote the immortal words of Gough Whitlam,” God save the Queen for he won;t save the Labor Party” and the Royal commision will not put anyone in jail where they belong. I wonder who is footing the bill for Craig Thomson’s cravings now. not the HSU I bet. Allan Usherwood from Myalup.(Studying Cynicism in Open University)
After the conclusions of Mr Heydon, which gave a fairy-tale reason why Julia Gillard could not be guilty of fraud, I also have not much faith in the procedure.
Shane you say in the above article that Kathy Jackson and Craig Thomson would never be Prime Minister
I believe Craig Thomson was more important than the Prime Minister in the Gillard Government as without him, she would not have been Prime Minister, as she would not have been able to produce sufficient votes, therefore she had to keep Thomson in the government by hook and by crook.
And crook she was, as he has now been convicted of some charges and should never have been in that government.
I do think that it was a very smart move of the government to make sure, that the Royal Commission has its own Police-force, so no interference of state-governments.
I do hope you are correct in your assumption that Bill Shorten may be caught this time, he has been a slippery eel so far, but I do agree there should be a lot of evidence against him and much more than Chiquita Mushrooms.
As much as I believe in the TURC, unfortunately having worked in the public service, the types of issues being uncovered are very common everyday occurrences there. These incompetences, fraudulent activities, bullying, harassment etc.etc.etc are considered “that’s the way we do it!” And there’s no conscience for it being wrong. In fact, in my experience, all of these, in my opinion, the people stealing taxpayers funds just consider as the appropriate way to work. They see it as the right way. Therefore, I may be a pessimist, but I can’t see anything worthwhile coming from the RC’s. The entire system has become so corrupted that the abnormal has now become normal. It will take extraordinary leadership to change such a disturbing culture. Those who stand up for right are quickly despatched and their supporters stared down to ensure they understand that they will suffer a similar fate if they don’t “fit in”.
So, I hope to be proven wrong.
Keep up the great work exposing the corruption though.
While a large proportion of the population remain apathetic to the crime, corruption, bullying and harassment in the public service, Unions and the Politicians this will never be stopped. The MSM and their reticence at reporting on all the instances that have come to light over the past few years have a lot to answer for. If the RC do not take drastic action/decisions and ensure these criminals are bought to justice I feel Australia with all the problems we are now facing will degenerate quicker than it already has. My biggest fear is that Shorten is pushing for a Republic so that the constitution has to be rewritten and if he is PM he and Labor owe a lot of favours especially to some minority groups in the Australian Community who wish to do us harm but whom Shorten and Labor have allowed to dictate not just policy but also decisions within the Labor Party itself..like Paul Howes not getting the Senate seat vacated by Bob Carr because the Imams threatened to withdraw the support of the Muslim population for Labor if they allowed this, based on Paul Howes support for Israel. Then we only have to look at their Border Protection policy (lack of) How many other favours dangerous to Australia does Shorten and Labor owe??
The Royal Commission is no different from the union entities they are investigating – plenty of folks lining their pockets at the expense of the private taxpayer.
There is no doubt in my mind that vote was rigged in the HSU Victorian elections. Many HSU members would know about Diana Asmar by now. Bill Shorten must be supoenaed at the very least this year in the Royal Commission. It will give the Royal Commission a lot of credibility. If Shorten does get questioned at the RC then Shorten’s chances of becoming prime minister will likely be ruined. The Australian public will finally know that Shorten is a thief. I agree with you Shane that the Kathy Jackson & the Craig Thomson investigations are only side issues. The real issue is Bill Shorten & his thieving, criminal supporters. They all deserve to go to jail. They must never ever be allowed to run this country at all costs. This country will be a better place with Bill Shorten’s criminal network in jail.
Unfortunately there are many thousands of Labor supporters who are so one eyed, they would rather vote for a blind dog than LNP. So they will vote for a corrupt Shorten .
They only want all the freebies that Labor dish out with abandon, regardless of the cost to Australia.
How many of our Asian neighbour countries’ governments and judiciary are not corrupt, my guess would be none.
The way the ‘stage-play’ court cases and Royal Commissions are being handled we seem to be heading in the same direction as our neighbours, money/corruption/money being the factors which rule every agreement and every law ever written(or unwritten)
Is the HSU really paying Asmar $180,000????
How much is David Shaw from Holder Redlich taking out of the HSU? building new mansion I hear.
Why are we , as law abiding citizens, doubting the outcome of the RC?
If heads don’t roll and criminals are not sent to prison, fellow Australians, Australia is in serious trouble.
Our constitution includes the point that no one is above the law.
What gives us reason to doubt the RC?