Trade Union Royal Commission

  The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

 Website for live streaming when the Royal Commission is sitting: www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au

Latest News

Final Report

The Commissioner provided his Final Report to the Governor-General on 28 December 2015.

As each State issued the Royal commission with State Letters Patent, the Report is also provided to each State Governor.

The Report is comprised of 6 volumes, one of which is a confidential volume.  Each volume, other than the confidential volume, is available at the links below:

Volume 1 – Introduction and Overview

Volume 2 – CEPU, HSU, MUA, NUW and TWU

Volume 3 – CFMEU

Volume 4 – CFMEU and AWU

Volume 5 – Law Reform and Policy

Volume 6 – Confidential Volume – not publicly available

 

Media Release – 18th December 2015

Final Report to be delivered by year’s end

Royal Commissioner, the Hon J.D. Heydon AC QC will deliver his final report to the Governor-General on or by 31 December 2015.

The report, which is likely to extend over several volumes, will conclude the Commission’s national inquiry into trade union governance and corruption which began on 13 March 2014.

The timing of the tabling of the report in Parliament and its public release will be a matter for Government.

The Commission considered 75 distinct case studies under the Terms of Reference and received evidence from 525 witnesses in public and private hearings on 189 individual hearing days in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.

Many other matters were considered by the Commission’s investigators which did not culminate in public hearings. In conducting its investigations, the Commission issued more than 2000 ‘Notices to Produce Documents’ and generated a database of over 852,000 individual documents comprising millions of pages.

As of 30 November 2015, expenditure for the Office of the Royal Commission (ORC), the police taskforces of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, the Attorney General’s Department’s financial assistance to witnesses and Commonwealth legal representation was under budget at $45.905m.

The Office of the Royal Commission was initially funded as a nine month operation but was extended in October 2014 to run for 21 months, with no change in its capital and operating funding of approximately $57m.
Referrals:

The Interim Report, delivered to the Governor-General in December 2014, referred 26 people to 11 agencies:

  • Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
  • NSW Director of Public Prosecutions
  • SA Director of Public Prosecutions
  • QLD Director of Public Prosecutions
  • VIC Director of Public Prosecutions 
  • WA Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission
  • Fair Work Building Inspectorate
  • Fair Work Commission
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Australian Information Commissioner

Law Reform:

The Commission issued discussion papers on policy and law reform to help inform its inquiry:

  • Four discussion papers were released in 2014 seeking comment on the funding of trade union elections, the protections available to whistleblowers, the duties of union officials and relevant entities
  • The Discussion paper on Options for Law Reform released in May 2015 received 20 submissions, including from Victoria Police, Master Builders Association and the ACCC.

Mr Heydon extended his gratitude to the barristers, lawyers and Commission staff for their hard work and professionalism throughout the inquiry.

 

The Royal Commission statement and submissions – Friday 6/11/15

In very brief overview, counsel assisting have submitted that the Commissioner should find that a number of officials of the AWU and the AWU itself may have engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the falsification of invoices and the taking of commissions.

It is further submitted that a number of persons employed by major employers and employers themselves may have engaged in similar criminal conduct, by receiving and paying bogus invoices and paying commissions (see e.g. Chapter 3 – Thiess John Holland, paragraph 213; Chapter 5 – ACI, paragraph 118; Chapter 6 – Chiquita Mushrooms paragraph 85; Chapter 8 – Winslow Constructors, paragraph 44).

Counsel assisting have submitted further that a number of officials of the AWU may have engaged in conduct in conflict of interest by causing the union to enter into lucrative side deals that were not disclosed to the members.

There is no submission that Mr Bill Shorten may have engaged in any criminal or unlawful conduct.

Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter which summarises many of the main points.  There are 10 Chapters in total.

Since these are submissions, they do not contain any recommendations. Any recommendations will be made by the Commissioner in his Report.  That will only occur after the Commissioner has received submissions from all parties and considered all competing points of view. (Click on the below links for each chapter)

Chapter One – Introduction (Click here to read)

Chapter Two – Cleanevent (Click here to read)

Chapter Three – Thiess John Holland (Click here to read)

Chapter Four – Paid Education (Click here to read)

Chapter Five – ACI-O-I (Click here to read)

Chapter Six – Chiquita Mushrooms (Click here to read)

Chapter Seven – Unibuilt (Click here to read)

Chapter Eight – Winslow Constructions (Click here to read)

Chapter Nine – Misc Membership Issues (Click here to read)

Chapter Ten – Downer EDI (Click here to read)

5/11/15: Bill Shorten’s mate David Asmar flees to Lebanon to conceal multi-million dollar fraud at the HSU


AWU/HSU – DAVID ASMAR
COUNSEL ASSISTING STATEMENT – 5 November 2015

In 2014 the Commission held hearings into a number of relevant entities, including generic funds and fighting funds.

Included among these funds was Industry 2020 Pty Ltd, which was examined in Chapter 3.3 of the Interim Report, and the funding of the HSU No 1 Branch Election campaigns, which was examined in Chapter 4.7 of the Interim Report.

These two investigations were connected in the following way: Mr David Asmar is the husband of Diana Asmar and was her campaign manager in the HSU No 1 Branch elections; Mr Asmar is also associated with Cesar Melhem and was the recipient of significant funds from Industry 2020.

One issue the Commission has been considering is what Industry 2020 funds were used for, including those funds supplied to Mr Asmar.

As was noted in the Interim Report, David Asmar did not give evidence at a public hearing in 2014, which inhibited the ability of the Commissioner to make concluded findings on some issues related to this matter (see Interim Report, Chapter 4.7, paragraphs 99-100).

In 2014 Commission staff had sought to make arrangements for David Asmar to give evidence in a public hearing in October 2014. However at that time the Commission was advised by Mr Asmar’s solicitor that he had travelled to Lebanon, and was therefore not available to give evidence.

This year further attempts have been made to resume and complete these investigations, including by having David Asmar give evidence at a public hearing.

In particular, on 15 September 2015 Commission staff contacted Mr Asmar’s solicitor and asked if he had instructions to accept service of a summons to Mr Asmar to appear at a public hearing on 21 October 2015.

Mr Asmar’s solicitor advised that he did not have instructions to accept service of the summons. Consequently Mr Asmar had to be served personally.

On the same day David Asmar changed an existing flight booking and arranged to depart Australia for Lebanon on 18 September 2015.

Commission staff did not know of Mr Asmar’s travel arrangements. However, following unsuccessful attempts to serve Mr Asmar with a summons on 17 September 2015, as a precaution, Commission staff caused a Passenger Analysis Clearance and Evaluation alert to be placed with the Australian Federal Police.

On 18 September 2015 David Asmar arrived at Melbourne Airport to fly to Lebanon. When he sought to pass through customs the alert was triggered. Australian Federal Police officers attended the customs screening point and David Asmar was then served with the summons.

The summons required Mr Asmar to appear at the Commission to give evidence at a public hearing on 21 October 2015.

After receiving the summons, Mr Asmar departed Australia by boarding a flight to Lebanon. At that stage Mr Asmar was scheduled to return to Australian on 27 October 2015, a date after the date on which he was required to appear in the Commission pursuant to the summons on 19 and 20 October 2015 Commission staff and Mr Asmar’s solicitor exchanged communications concerning his compliance with the summons.

These communications culminated in the date for Mr Asmar’s public hearing being further fixed for 5 November 2015. This date was specifically chosen in consultation with Mr Asmar’s solicitor to suit the convenience and availability of both Mr Asmar and his chosen counsel.

On Monday 2 November 2015 the Commission was advised that Mr Asmar was still in Lebanon and for medical reasons would not be in Australia on 5 November. A medical certificate was attached his solicitor’s communications.

The practical result of all this is that Mr Asmar is in Lebanon and it will not be possible to proceed with his examination today. Since his medical adviser, who prepared the medical certificate, is also in Lebanon, it will not be possible for that adviser to be examined on his certificate.

However, the Commission’s inquiries are continuing into this matter. The Commission continues to consider its position in respect of this case study to determine whether further light can be shed upon the use of Industry 2020 funds, whether or not David Asmar becomes available to give further evidence.

The purpose of these remarks is put on public record the reason why a public examination which was foreshadowed in the Interim Report, and which was publicly announced by the Commission just a few days ago, will not be proceeding today

30/10/15: The Commission will briefly adjourn next Thursday, 5 November at 2pm to examine Mr David Asmar in relation to the funding of HSU No.1 Branch elections. To read about David Asamar and the HSU #1 Branch click here: Bill Shorten’s supporters involved in multi-million-$ fraud at the HSU

The NUW hearing will resume immediately upon completion of his evidence.

National Union of Workers, New South Wales (NUW)

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 19, 55 Market Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, between 4 and 6 November 2015.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

Commencing 4 November 2015 (Sydney)

  • Darack (Derrick) Belan
  • Nicklouse Belan
  • Ian Dalziel
  • Paul Gibson
  • Michelle Holweg
  • Michael Hudson
  • Lincoln Hudson
  • Marilyn Issanchon
  • Greg Jenkins
  • Wayne Meaney
  • Bruno Mendonca
  • Terry McQuillan
  • Charlie Morgan
  • Danielle O’Brien
  • Anthony O’Donnell
  • Mark Ptolemy
  • Paul Rixon
  • Ross Shrimpton

Please note, this list may be subject to change. 

………………………

Please be advised that the public hearings into the CFMEU will be held on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October.  At this stage the hearings are scheduled to run between 10am and 4pm on Thursday and will be running from 2pm on Friday 30 October.

29 October – 30 October (Sydney)

  • Tom Boglis
  • Gary Cheetham
  • Jason Vieusseux
  • Andrew Zaf

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Commission announces its final hearing block

The Royal Commission presently intends to conclude its public hearings into trade union governance and corruption on Friday, 6 November 2015.

Public hearings will be held in Sydney on Thursday, 29 and Friday, 30 October 2015 to conclude existing CFMEU VIC and CFMEU QLD matters. Witness lists will be published once finalised.

This will be followed by an inquiry into new matters involving the NSW Branch of the National Union of Workers from Wednesday, 4 November to Friday 6 November.

In 2015, Counsel assisting the Commission have released submissions relating to 16 case studies involving the CFMEU as well as other case studies into the ETU NSW, TWU WA and the HSU.

Further submissions will be released over the next few weeks as outstanding matters are completed. 

At the conclusion of its two year inquiry, the Commission will have publicly investigated approximately 75 individual case studies under its Terms of Reference, and conducted more than 170 public and private hearings involving almost 500 witnesses in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne.

Commissioner Dyson Heydon will deliver his final report to the Governor General by 31 December 2015.

AWU Witness List

12 October – 23 October

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 19, 55 Market St, Sydney between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

Monday, 12 October

THIESS JOHN HOLLAND CASE STUDY

  • Michael Connell
  • Christopher Herbert
  • Michael Minotti
  • Gordon Ralph
  • Stephen Sasse
  • Deborah Swinley

Tuesday, 13 October

THIESS JOHN HOLLAND CASE STUDY CONTINUED

  • Don Johnson
  • Julian Rzesniowiecki
  • Gregory Sparkman

Wednesday, 14 October

ACI/O-I CASE STUDY

  • Neil Cooper
  • Michael Gilhome
  • Brendan Mitchell
  • Gregory Ridder
  • Peter Robinson

Thursday, 15 October

ACI/O-I CASE STUDY CONTINUED

  • Mario Minniti

DOWNER EDI CASE STUDY

  • Bill McGuire
  • Jamie Spencer
  • Predrag Susa

Friday, 16 October

UNIBUILT CASE STUDY

  • Edward Lockyer
  • Lance Wilson

Monday, 19 October

CLEANEVENT CASE STUDY

  • Zoe Angus
  • Paul Howes
  • Thomas Jeffers
  • Julianne Page

Tuesday, 20 October

CLEANEVENT CASE STUDY CONTINUED

  • John-Paul Blandthorn
  • Steven Hunter
  • Craig Winter

Wednesday, 21 October

  • Jelica Addamo
  • Michael Chen
  • Angela Leo
  • Paul Vine

Thursday, 22 October

  • Cesar Melhem

Friday, 23 October

Reserve Day

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

29-9-15 – CFMEU Witness List 2015

1 October – 2 October (Sydney)

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 19, 55 Market St, Sydney between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Brian Parker
  • Yulei Zhou

6 October (Sydney)

  • Michael Deegan
  • Peter McClelland

7 October – 9 October (Sydney)

  • Dean Hall
  • John Lomax

24-9-15 Monthly Schedule

Please note, this schedule may change at short notice.

October ​Hearing description ​Location
Thursday 1–Friday 2 Public hearing: CFMEU NSW Sydney
Monday 5 Public holiday  
Tuesday 6 Public hearing: CFMEU Funds Sydney
Wednesday 7–Friday 9 Public hearing: CFMEU ACT Sydney
Monday 12–Friday 23 Public hearing: AWU Sydney
Monday 26–Friday 30 TBC Sydney

The Royal Commission has set aside 10 days for hearings into the AWU in Sydney between October 12 and 23. At this stage the Commission does not propose to recall Mr Shorten as a witness. However, during the course of the inquiry, affected parties may seek authorisation to cross examine Mr Shorten. In the event that such an application is made, it will be considered in due course.

10-9-15 – Witness list – CFMEU QLD

The list of witnesses (in alphabetical order) that will be called to give evidence between 14 and 18 September 2015 at the Brisbane Magistrates Court is below:

  • Benjamin Carter
  • Colin Considine
  • Shane Dalby
  • Brad Garlick
  • Dianne Graham
  • Steve Gray
  • Daniel Greenland
  • David Hanna
  • Mathew McAllum
  • Adam Moore
  • David Mullan
  • Lucas Nicoll
  • Adam Shuttlewood
  • Glen Wadsworth
  • Darren Wall

Please note, this list may be subject to change.  Additional lists of witnesses will be published for hearings to take place commencing in the week of 21 September 2015.

7-8-15 Counsel releases submissions on CBUS Superannuation fund. (Click here to read the submissions)

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has released submissions relating to its inquiry into the CBUS Superannuation fund.

The submissions by Counsel Assisting the Commission relate to hearings conducted in July, September, October 2014 and June 2015, which have now been finalised.

The hearings concerned two main matters:

1. disclosure of the personal information of members of the CBUS Superannuation fund; and

2. the conduct of CBUS and CFMEU officers in facilitating this disclosure.
The issues for the Commission include:

  • whether Mr Parker, state secretary of the CFMEU Construction and General Division NSW, engaged in unlawful conduct and ‘gross misbehaviour’ in the context of his role as an officer of the CFMEU;
  • the extent to which Mr Parker sought to encourage Ms Zanatta, Ms Butera or Mr Atkin to conceal the truth about the leak; and
  • whether, and if so, to what extent Mr Atkin, the CEO of CBUS, participated in the leak of private member information by Ms Zanatta to Mr Parker.
  • Affected parties have until Friday 11 September 2015 to lodge their submissions in reply.

Hearings into the CFMEU ACT branch will resume at 10am Tuesday 1 September in Sydney

4-9-15 Public hearings of the Commission resume in Brisbane on 14 Sept, when an inquiry begins into the CFMEU Qld branch.

The CFMEU ACT hearing has now adjourned to a date to be fixed.

31-8-15Dyson Heydon handed down his recusal judgment today and has rejected the Union’s application for him to step aside. (Click here to read the judgment)

SUMMARY OF REASONS 31.08.15

1. The Commissioner has rejected the applications by the ACTU, CFMEU and AWU (the applicants) to disqualify himself for ‘apprehended bias’. There has never been an application based on ‘actual bias’.

2. The Commissioner has prepared written reasons which have been published.

3. In summary, the test set out in the reasons is whether, by reason of his agreement to speak at the sixth annual Sir Garfield Barwick Address, a fair-minded lay observer might reasonably apprehend that the Commissioner might not bring an impartial mind to the resolution of the issues for decision in the Commission.

4. Two key arguments were made by the applicants.
First argument

5. The applicants’ first main argument was that a fair-minded lay observer might apprehend bias merely because he or she might apprehend that the Commissioner had agreed to deliver a legal speech to a function organised by two lawyer branches of the New South Wales Liberal Party. Issues of fundraising were irrelevant to this argument.

6. The Commissioner rejected this argument for three reasons:

1) First, the nature of the event was a legal address in memory of Australia’s longest-serving High Court Chief Justice. It could not rationally be concluded that a person who merely agrees to give a legal address at such an event, albeit organised by the lawyer branches of the Liberal Party, believes in, supports or has any relevant association with the Liberal Party.

2) Secondly, the applicants did not explain how there was any logical connection between their argument and the actual issues for determination in the Commission, in particular having regard to the way material is collected and the Commission’s hearings are conducted, in which detailed evidence is given publically and tested by cross-examination.

3) Thirdly, even assuming the first and second reasons were wrong, the applicants did not show that a fair-minded lay observer might conclude the Commissioner, a highly experienced lawyer and former judge, would not be able to put out of his mind any extraneous or irrelevant matters and deal with the issues impartially.

7. The concession by the applicants that nothing could be said about the political leanings of the speaker at the 2014 Sir Garfield Barwick Address significantly undermined the applicants’ argument.

Second argument

8. The applicants’ second main argument was that a fair-minded lay observer might apprehend bias because the observer might apprehend that the Commissioner intended, in agreeing to deliver the sixth annual Sir Garfield Barwick Address, to raise funds or assist in raising funds or generate support for the Liberal Party.

9. The Commissioner rejected the second argument, also for three reasons.
1) The first reason was that, when the documents are considered properly, there was no factual basis to support the argument that a fair-minded lay observer might apprehend any intention on the Commissioner’s part to raise funds or assist in raising funds or generate support for the Liberal Party.
2) The second and third reasons for rejecting the second argument were similar to those for rejecting the first argument. The concession by the applicants that nothing could be said about the political leanings of the speaker at the 2014 Sir Garfield Barwick Address also significantly undermined the second argument.

28-8-15 Commissioner Dyson Heydon AC QC has received supplementary submissions from the ACTU, the AWU and the CFMEU in response to his directions made yesterday.

The Commissioner will deliver his decision on the disqualification application on Monday 31 August at 2pm.

Proceedings will be webcast in the usual manner.

27-8-15 The Commission is releasing a letter from the solicitor for the Commission dated today, which is in response to a letter from solicitors for the ACTU dated earlier today. (Click here to read the letter)

The letter from the solicitors for the ACTU is to the same substantive effect as the ACTU’s media release of this afternoon.

Given the matters raised in that correspondence, the Commissioner has vacated the fixture at 10.00 am tomorrow to give any party an opportunity to make any further submissions. 

The Commissioner presently expects to deliver his decision on disqualification on Monday, 31 August 2015 at a time to be fixed.

Commission announces date for ruling

The Royal Commission has announced the date for Dyson Heydon AC QC to deliver his ruling on the application to disqualify himself from the current inquiry.

Commissioner Heydon will announce his decision at 10.00am on Friday, 28 August 2015.

The decision will be broadcast through the Commission’s webcasting facility, which is available through a link on its website 

The reasons for Mr Heydon’s decision will also be published online as soon as possible thereafter.

24-11-15 – Commissioner Dyson Heydon AC QC has reserved his decision on an application by unions to disqualify himself from the current inquiry.

On Friday, the Commissioner indicated that he hoped to publish his ruling on Tuesday, 25 August 2015.

Mr Heydon is still considering his ruling, which will now not be delivered on that date.

The Royal Commission will make a further statement on the timing of Commissioner Heydon’s decision in due course.

A public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, 26 August 2015, involving the CFMEU NSW Branch, has been postponed to a date to be fixed.

21-8-15 Transcript for today’s hearing (Click here to read)

21-8-15 Submissions for application for Commissioner Heydon to recuse himself

 

20-8-15 The Commission has confirmed it received three submissions in the application for Commissioner Heydon to recuse himself.

The submissions were lodged by the ACTU (on behalf of the CEPU, HSU, TWU, Unions NSW and MUA), the CFMEU and AWU.

Please be advised that the hearing will commence at 10am, Friday 21 August.

The media room and hearing room will open from  930am and proceedings will be webcast in the usual manner.

19-8-15 Hearing – 10am Friday 21 August 2015 – Notice of Motion for Commissioner Dyson Heydon to recuse himself from the position of Commissioner. Notice of Motion is filed by the ACTU with the support of a number of Unions.

19-8-15 Brisbane hearings to be held in September

The Royal Commission has announced a two week hearing block in Brisbane as part of its inquiry into the Queensland branch of the CFMEU.
Proceedings are scheduled to take place from Monday, 14 September to Friday, 25 September 2015 between 10.00am and 4.00pm daily, in a hearing room on Level 4 of the Brisbane Magistrates Court, 363 George St.

A list of witnesses will be published online once finalised.
Members of the public can watch proceedings through the Commission’s webcast, which is available through the Commission’s website on public hearing days.

Monday, 10 August – Friday 14 August 2015 – a hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 19, 55 Market Street, Sydney between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

 The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • James Angelis
  • Peter Chatburn
  • Steve Dixon
  • Andrew Ferguson
  • Colin Huntley
  • Michael Knott
  • Rita Mallia
  • Toni Mitchell
  • Tony Papa
  • Brian Seidler
  • Trevor Sharp

Trade Union Royal Commission hearing schedule for August 2015

​August ​Hearing description ​Location
Tuesday 4 – Friday 7 Public hearing: CFMEU Sydney
Monday 10–Friday 14 Public hearing: CFMEU Sydney
Monday 17–Friday 21 Public hearing: CFMEU Sydney
Monday 24–Tuesday 25 Public hearing: CFMEU ACT Sydney

Please note, this schedule may change at short notice.

Commission to hold hearings into CFMEU funds

The Royal Commission will commence hearings into CFMEU funds and related entities in Sydney next week.

Three days have been set aside for the proceedings, which will commence on Tuesday, 4 August, at the Commission’s hearing room on Level 19, 55 Market Street, Sydney at 10.00am.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

Dean Hall, Jason Jennings and Jason O’Mara

The Commission today concluded three weeks of public hearings into the CFMEU ACT Branch in Canberra.

More than 50 witnesses have given evidence into allegations of corrupt payments, industrial intimidation, coercion to sign EBAs and possible price fixing.

CFMEU witnesses are expected to give evidence in relation to the Canberra allegations at a hearing of the Commission in late August or early September.

Monday, 13 July 2015 – CFMEU Witness List

A public hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place at the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal, Level 1, 12 Moore St, Canberra City, commencing Monday, 13 July 2015.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

Nebojsa Aleksic, Troy Armstrong, Micah Beaumont, Clint Burgmann, Sam Deloranzo, Anthony Derouw, Giuseppe Gioffre, Aaron Golledge, Dean Hall, Shayne Hall, Garry Hamilton, Brett Harrison, Dick Hook, Jason Hooper, Douglas Jones, Petar Josifoski, Halafihi Kivalu, Darrell Leemhuis, Matthew Leemhuis, Russell Leemhuis, Richard Lewis, Joe Lo Re, Nikki Lo Re, Johnny Lomax, Pietro Mercantonio, Rose Mercantonio, Mazen Merhi, Peter Middleton, Dennis Milin, Kenneth Miller, John Nikolic, Jason O’Mara, Robert Rossi, Jason Sands, Zvonimir Seselja, Zachary Smith, Tim Staines, Zoran Stojanovic, Anthony Vitler.

9th July 2015: Bill Shorten will be back in the witness stand at the Royal Commission at 10am on Thursday the 9th July 2015. You can watch live here: http://www.commcast.com.au/turc

Bill Shorten to give evidence – Royal Commission has adjourned until the 8th July when Bill Shorten will give evidence.

Latest article 28/6/15 Bill Shorten supporters Diana Asmar & Kimberley Kitching caught committing perjury at the FWC (Click here to read)

Royal Commission is adjourned until 10am Friday 26th June. George Alex is due to give further evidence.

19th June 2015: Commission announces public hearings in Canberra

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption today announced three weeks of public hearings in Canberra.

The Commission is inquiring into new matters involving the CFMEU. The hearings are scheduled to be held at rooms provided by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal, Level 1, 12 Moore St, Canberra from Monday 13 July to Thursday 30 July.

A witness list will be published online once finalised.

The hearings in Canberra will commence at the conclusion of a three week hearing block into matters involving the CFMEU NSW Branch, which is currently underway.

Thursday 18th June 2015: The Hon. Bill Shorten is scheduled to appear on July 8 when the Royal Commission resumes its hearing into the AWU.

It is almost certain that Bill Shorten will have to make at least 2 appearances at the Royal Commission given the below media statement:

Media Statement from the Royal Commission:

Commissioner Dyson Heydon today issued a summons for the Honourable William Shorten to appear before him on Wednesday 8 July 2015.

The Commissioner has agreed to a request from lawyers representing Mr Shorten to bring forward the date of his proposed appearance from August/September.

The Commission’s preference had been to address all matters concerning Mr Shorten in one sitting. However, given Mr Shorten’s request to bring his examination forward by several months, this will now not be possible.

The hearing will be pursuant to Practice Direction 1, which means Mr Shorten will initially only be examined by Counsel Assisting.

Any person affected by Mr Shorten’s evidence will be able to apply for authorisation to cross examine him at a later date.

Next live hearing: Thursday 18 June at 10am. George Alex who is currently in jail is listed to appear. Watch live here: http://www.commcast.com.au/turc

17 June 2015 public hearing Sydney. The witness list in alphabetical order is:

  • Athina Alex
  • George Alex
  • Nectaria Alex
  • Darren Greenfield
  • Robert Kera
  • Brian Parker

The CFMEU Cbus hearing has adjourned to 9.30am Friday 12 June.

Witnesses still to give evidence are (in alphabetical order):

  • Bob McWhinney
  • Nabil Mubarak
  • Brian Parker
  • Anthony Walls
  • Lisa Zanatta

10/6/15 Witness list for this week’s CFMEU hearings, which commences in Sydney on Wed 10 June at 1pm. Proceedings will be webcast. The Royal Commission will be investigating corruption at industry super fund Cbus and the CFMEU.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

  • David Atkin
  • Maria Butera
  • Bob McWhinney
  • Nabil Mubarak
  • Brian Parker
  • Robert Van Woerkom
  • Anthony Walls
  • Lisa Zanatta

7/6/15 Latest article: Bill Shorten caught perjuring himself at the Cole Royal Commission new evidence shows”. (Click here to read the article)

5/6/15 Click here for a copy of Senator Sam Dastyari’s witness statement tendered at the Trade Union Royal Commission  

The ETU NSW hearing will resume Friday, 5 June at 10am.  The witness list is:

  • Paul Sinclair – Assistant Secretary of ETU NSW (he last gave evidence on 27 April)
  • Warwick Penfold -former financial controller of ETU NSW

This is a continuation of the ALP loan story. 

This week’s AWU hearing has adjourned to a later date.

Queensland Police Taskforce makes arrest

22 May 2015

The Queensland Police Taskforce attached to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption this morning arrested a 42 year old man on common assault charges.

Police arrested the man shortly before 6.00am today in the Brisbane suburb of Brighton.

He was taken to the Brisbane watch house where he was charged with two counts of common assault.

The man was bailed to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 9 June 2015.

Police allege that a 58 year old female construction site owner was assaulted at a construction site in the Brisbane CBD on Thursday, 14 May.

The Royal Commission continues to investigate matters relating to union governance and corruption as part of its two year inquiry, supported by police taskforces in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, under the command of the Australian Federal Police.

The Commission will not be making any further comment in relation to the matter.

AWU hearings to commence in late May

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has announced a week of hearings into the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), commencing on Thursday, 28 May.

The six day hearing block will examine new matters relating to the AWU, including the AWU’s Victorian Branch.  Parties have been notified of the hearing, which is expected to run until Thursday, 4 June.

Witnesses will be made public once the list has been finalised. A hearing schedule is now available online.

http://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Hearings/Pages/Hearing-schedules.aspx

Proceedings will be webcast from 10am each hearing day.

 

Discussion Paper – Options for Law Reform – 19 May 2015 (Click here to read)

Counsel Assisting Statement (Click here to read)

Media Release

Commission calls for discussion on policy reforms

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption today released a Discussion Paper seeking comment on a number of key potential policy and legislative reforms.

The 116-page document is designed to elicit discussion on a range of areas arising from the Terms of Reference.

The Discussion Paper is open for comment until 21 August. The feedback will help inform the Commissioner’s Final Report, due in December 2015.

Copies of the Discussion Paper will also be sent to unions, employer groups and other interested persons or entities seeking their feedback.

Key areas for discussion include:

How unions and union officials are regulated

 Establishment of a Registered Organisations Commission or single independent regulator

Implementation of banning orders for those engaged in egregious or repeated breaches of the law

 Changes to right of entry permits

 The use of so-called slush funds

 The choice of superannuation funds in EBAs; and

 How Court orders can be enforced at industrial disputes.

Submissions can be made, preferably electronically, to submissions@turc.gov.au or, in writing, to GPO Box 2477, Sydney NSW 2001.

The Commission is continuing its public hearings into unions. A schedule is available below and updated regularly.

 

Updated Hearing Schedule for 2015

May

​Beginning ​Hearing description
​Monday 4 ​Public hearing: CEPU (ETU NSW)
​Monday 11 ​Public hearing: TWU WA
​Tuesday 19 ​Release of Discussion Paper
​Wednesday 20 ​Private Session

June

​Beginning ​Hearing description
Friday 5 ​Public hearing: CEPU (ETU NSW)
​Wednesday 10 ​Public hearing: CFMEU
​Monday 15 ​Public hearing: CFMEU
​Monday 22 ​Public hearing: CFMEU

 

8 May 2015

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will commence its public hearing into the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU), Western Australia Branch on Monday 11 May.

Eleven witnesses have been summonsed to appear at the hearing in Sydney, which will investigate new matters involving the union.

The TWU hearing is expected to run until Wednesday, 13 May.

Proceedings of the Royal Commission take place on Level 19, 55 Market St Sydney between 10.00am and 4.00pm unless otherwise notified.

The public can watch a live stream of hearings via a webcast on public hearing days.

Transcripts and documents are published online at the conclusion of each hearing.

TWU Witness List

The Royal Commission commences its public hearing into the Transport Workers’ Union (WA) on Monday, 11 May 2015.

Witnesses are listed in alphabetical order and details are subject to change:

11 May 2015 (Sydney)

  • Paul Aslan
  • Glen Barron
  • Mark Bebich
  • Richard Burton
  • Michael Connolly
  • Timothy Dawson
  • Debra Hodgson
  • James McGiveron
  • Ray McMillan
  • Kevin Starr
  • Marius Van Der Merwe

Witness List – ETU (NSW)

The Royal Commission commences its public hearing into the Electrical Trades Union (NSW) on Monday, 27 April 2015. Witnesses are listed in alphabetical order and details are subject to change:

Neville Betts • Kevin Brett • Michael Brien • Steve Butler • Mark Buttigieg • Joanne Crowder • Brad Currey • Michael Doust • Wayne Forno • Andrew Hanger • Colin Harris • Barry Humphries • Michael Koppie • Mark Lennon • Benjamin Lister • James MacFadyen • Stephen Magann • Noel Mahon • David McKinley • Michael McManus • Dean Mighell • Wesley Oakes • Phillip Oswald • Warwick Penfold • Geoffrey Prime • Glen Potter • Allan Reid • Bernie Riordan • Trevor Russell • Mary Stylli • Paul Sinclair • Robert Whyburn • Russell Wilson • Peter Woods

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will commence its public hearing into the Electrical Trades Union’s NSW Branch in Sydney on Monday 27 April.

More than 30 witnesses will give evidence at the hearing, which is a continuation of matters raised during the Commission’s inquiry in 2014.

The hearing block is expected to run until at least Wednesday, 6 May 2015. A witness list is now available online.

The Commission will then commence its inquiry into matters relating to the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) on Monday 11 May, followed by hearings into the CFMEU, commencing in June.

A hearing schedule is updated regularly on the Commission’s website. http://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Hearings/Pages/default.aspx

During 2014, the Commission conducted more than 70 public and private hearings involving 240 witnesses at hearings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

During 2015, it is expected to sit over a six month period between April and September, with a final report to be delivered to the Governor General by 31 December 2015.

Proceedings are held in the Commission’s hearing room on Level 19, 55 Market St Sydney, commencing at 10.00am and webcast online. Transcripts and documents are published online after each hearing.

Preliminary 2015 statement by Commissioner Dyson Heydon: (Click here to read)

Preliminary 2015 statement by Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar SC: (Click here to read

2015 Hearing Schedule

The Royal Commission will continue its program of public hearings in 2015. Witnesses and affected parties will be advised of any changes as soon as possible. Hearings are held in the Commission’s hearing room on Level 19, 55 Market St Sydney at 10.00am, unless otherwise advised.

Legend

​AWU: Au​stralian Workers’ Union
​CEPU: Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia
​CFMEU: ​Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union
​HSU: ​Health Services Union
​TWU: ​Transport Workers’ Union

Schedule

Please note that this schedule may change at short notice.

April

​Week starting Hearing description
​Thursday 23 ​Preliminary hearing
​Monday 27​ ​Public hearing: CEPU (ETU NSW)

May

​Week starting ​Hearing description
​Monday 4 ​Public hearing: CEPU (ETU NSW)
​Monday 11 ​Public hearing: TWU WA
​Monday 18 ​Public hearing: CEPU

June

​Week starting ​Hearing description
​Tuesday 9 ​Public hearing: CFMEU
​Monday 15 ​Public hearing: CFMEU
​Monday 22 ​Public hearing: CFMEU

 

2015 Hearings start Monday 27th April at 10am in Sydney. “The Royal Commission will continue its program of public hearings in 2015. The first public hearing is scheduled for Monday, 27 April at 10.00am.”

Interim Report

The Commissioner John Dyson Heydon AC QC handed his Interim Report to the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra on Monday 15 December 2014.

The Interim Report was tabled in Parliament on 19 December 2014.

A copy of the report is available for download below:

 

Julia Gillard - Kangaroo_Court_of_Australia_dot_com

December 15th: Interim Report 2014

The Commissioner John Dyson Heydon AC QC today handed his interim report to the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra.

During 2014, the Commission conducted more than 70 public and private hearings involving more than 220 witnesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

Public hearings will resume in 2015 on dates to be announced.

 

Oral submissions will continue on Friday 28 November at 830am.

A revised list of appearances has been issued:

  • Adam Morrison (for Brian Fitzpatrick) – 20 mins
  • John Agius SC (for CFMEU) – 2hrs
  • Tim Game SC (for Brian Parker) – 45 mins
  • Miles Condon SC (for Leah Charlson) – 20 mins
  • Patricia Lowson (for Peter Mylan) – 45 mins

The hearing will be available on webcast and the media room on Level 19 of 55 Market St Sydney will be open.

http://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Media/Pages/24November2014–CommissionOutlinesTimetableForOralSubmissions.aspx

 

12 November 2014

The Commission will hold a short directions hearing tomorrow in relation to the timetabling of submissions.

The hearing will commence at 1130am, Thursday 13 November.

Proceedings will be webcast as per normal.

http://www.commcast.com.au/turc

29 October 2014

Media Release

Commission outlines timetable for submissions

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has announced its timetable for submissions in response to its 2014 inquiries.

Written submissions by Counsel Assisting the Commission will be published online on Friday, 31 October 2014. Parties who have been granted authorisation to appear before the Commission will then have two weeks to lodge submissions in reply. Those submissions must be lodged by Friday, 14 November and will also be published online.

Anyone affected by those submissions will then have until Friday, 21 November to respond.  

Under Practice Direction 5, Counsel Assisting may also make submissions in reply. Those responses will be published on the Commission’s website on or by Tuesday, 25 November.

Parties seeking leave to make oral submissions must do so by Friday, 21 November. If leave for oral submissions is granted, the Commissioner has set aside three days for hearings on 26, 27 and 28 November.

During 2014, the Commission has conducted 57 public hearings involving more than 200 witnesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.  The Commission has also held 14 private hearings.  

The Commission has been hearing evidence in relation to the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU);  Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia (CEPU); Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU); Health Services Union (HSU); Maritime Union of Australia (MUA); National Union of Workers (NUW); Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA); and the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU).

The Commissioner will deliver his interim report to the Governor-General on Monday 15 December, 2014.

 

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

A public hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5 of 55 Market Street, Sydney on Tuesday 28 October 2014.

The witness list is:

Tuesday 28 October (12.00pm – 4.00pm)

  • Maria Butera
  • Brian Parker

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Proceedings will be broadcast through the usual link:http://new.livestream.com/accounts/9098097/events/3267275/player?width=560&height=315&autoPlay=true&mute=false

 

The Commission will sit in Sydney on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 October.

The witness list, in alphabetical order is:

Thursday 23 October (8.30am – 4.00pm)

  • David Atkin
  • Maria Butera

Friday 24 October (10.00am-4.00pm)

  • Leah Charlson
  • Tom Roberts
  • Brian Parker

The Commission has decided not to receive the evidence of Mr George Alex on 23 October. The summons issued on 18 September will be stood over to a date to be fixed.  There will continue to be ongoing investigations into matters on which the evidence of Mr Alex is relevant.

Hearing:  Friday, 17 October 2014 between 10.00am and 4.00pm.  The witness list* is:

Jim Byrnes

* Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Hearings will resume on Wednesday 22 October to Friday 24 October 2014.

Hearing update

The Commission will conduct public hearings from 21 October to 23 October 2014.

Witness list still to be announced. 3 Previous witnesses announced are below:

Next hearing day is the 23rd of October in Sydney. 3 witnesses listed.

David Atkin

Maria Butera

George Alex

 

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

Hearing – Sydney – Friday 3 October, between 8.30am and 4.00pm.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

  • David Atkin
  • Maria Butera
  • Darren Greenfield
  • Brian Parker
  • Lisa Zanatta.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Witnesses for past hearings of the Royal Commission are listed below.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

Thursday 2 October, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

  • Dr Jeremy Cumpston
  • David Holmes
  • Rita Mallia
  • Keryn McWhinney

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Witnesses for past hearings of the Royal Commission are listed below.

 

The Commission has adjourned its hearing into the MUA. The Commission is not sitting this Tuesday or Wednesday. Hearings into the CFMEU will resume on Thursday 2 Oct and Friday 3 Oct.

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)

On Monday, 29 September the Commission will sit in Sydney to hear a new matter in relation to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

The witness list in alphabetical order for the MUA hearing is:

  1. Guido Bressani
  2. Christopher Cain
  3. Padraig Crumlin
  4. Fabio Di Giorgi
  5. Simon Earle
  6. David Lansbury
  7. Martin Meijers
  8. Joris De Meulenaere

Proceedings will  be webcast between 10am – 4pm.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

Monday, 22 September – Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 5 of 55 Market Street, from Monday, 22 September- Wednesday, 24 September 2014 between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list* (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Jose Barrios
  • Peter Close
  • Roland Cummins
  • Conan Doyle
  • Andrew Ferguson
  • Brian Fitzpatrick
  • Nicholas Fodor
  • Jennifer Glass
  • Michael Huddy
  • Patrick Kenniff
  • Ben Loakes
  • Rita Mallia
  • Donald McDonald
  • Gregory McLaren
  • Peter Mylan
  • Eoin O’Neill
  • Radhika Raju
  • Michael Ravbar
  • Tom Roberts
  • Peter Thomas
  • William Wallace

* Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Witnesses for past hearings of the Royal Commission are listed below.

Health Services Union

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 11, 222 Exhibition St Melbourne, on Friday 19 September.
The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Diana Asmar
  • Lee Atkinson
  • Mark Donohue
  • David Eden
  • Leonie Flynn
  • Barbara (Denise) Gregor
  • Nick Katsis
  • Kimberley Kitching
  • Alexander Leszczynski
  • Robert McCubbin
  • Stephen Miller
  • Patrick O’Brien
  • Darryn Rowe
  • Sasha Trajcevski-Uzunov.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 11, 222 Exhibition Street Melbourne on Wednesday, 17 September and Thursday 18 September between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Sakib Begic
  • Michael Bonnici
  • Ante Buhin
  • Zaljiko Buhin
  • Leigh Chiavaroli
  • Timothy Constable
  • Maurice Hill
  • John Patrick Little
  • Anton Sucic
  • Andrew Zaf

Witness list
Monday, 15 September
A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 11, 222 Exhibition St Melbourne, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.
The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

Joseph Agostino
Stephen Chenoweth
Frank Leo
Cesar Melhem
Earl Setches

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

11 September 2014

Media Release

Commission to sit throughout September 

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will sit until the end of September as it continues its public hearings.

The hearings are scheduled from Thursday, 11 September to Tuesday, 30 September 2014 in Sydney and Melbourne and will examine matters relating to the:

Union Date Location
National Union of Workers (NUW) Thursday 11 September Sydney
Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) Monday 15 September Melbourne
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) Tuesday 16 – Thursday 18 September Melbourne
Health Services Union (HSU) Friday 19 September Melbourne
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) Monday 22 September – Thursday 25 September Sydney
Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Monday 29 September Sydney

A witness lists for the NUW matter is available online and other lists will be released once finalisedhttp://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Witnesses/Pages/default.aspx

Please note that witness lists are subject to change.

“The Commission has been conducting public hearings since May and has until 31 December to submit its final report to government,” said CEO of the Office of the Royal Commission, Ms Jane Fitzgerald.

“More than 120 witnesses have so far given evidence at hearings in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The Commissioner has indicated that public hearings will conclude at the end of the month,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

Australian Workers Union

9 September to 10 September 2014

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney, on Tuesday, 9 September to Wednesday, 10 September between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

Tuesday, 9 September

  • Leigh Ainsworth
  • John Cain
  • Paul Darrouzet
  • Nick Jukes
  • Robyn McLeod
  • The Hon Justice Bernard Murphy
  • Robert F Smith
  • Joseph Trio

Wednesday, 10 September

  • The Hon Julia Gillard

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Background reading on the Julia Gillard – AWU Fraud (click here) which will be heard by the Royal Commission next week.

The below video is CFMEU official John Perkovic threatening Fair Work Inspector Seamus Flynn. The video was played at the RC on the 2-9-14.  

(Click anywhere on the above video to watch)

Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia (CEPU)

5 September 2014

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street Sydney on Friday, 5 September between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Christopher Anderson
  • Andrew Ermer
  • Troy Gray
  • Philip Green
  • Dean Mighell

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Witness list

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union – CFMEU

1 September – 4 September 2014 (Sydney)

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 5 of 55 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000 on Monday 1 to Thursday 4 September 2014 between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

 Matthew Barr

 John Dirk Bastemeyer

 Zoran Bogunovic

 Ian Geoffrey Bourner

Gregg Charles Churchman

 Peter Andrew Close

 Brent David Dowton

 Seamus Flynn

 John Alan Hanna

Paul Thomas McCormack

 Leanne Karen McLean

 Nicolas Navarrete

 Jared O’Connor

 Adam Pascoe

Michael Kenneth Robinson

 Andrew James Sutherland

 Robert Swift

 Veronica Tadros

Kylie Wray

 Jason Zoller

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Statement re Ms Julia Gillard

28 August 2014

Parties, including those acting for Ms Gillard have been advised of a hearing date in early September. The Commission will issue further details of its hearings in due course, including a full witness list as per usual practice.

No further comment will be made.

Health Services Union

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney from Monday 25 August – Friday 29 August, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

Witness List

25 August 2014—29 August 2014 (Sydney)

  • John Agostinelli
  • Diana Asmar
  • Toby Borgeest
  • Christopher Paul Brown
  • Brian Cook
  • Iaan Dick
  • Reuben Dixon
  • Leonie Flynn
  • Barry Gibson
  • Jayne Govan
  • Barbara (Denise) Gregor
  • Gerard Hayes
  • Jane Holt
  • Robert (Bob) Hull
  • Katherine (Kathy) Jackson
  • Jeffrey Jackson
  • Kimberley Kitching
  • Pik ki (Peggy) Lee
  • Robert McCubbin
  • Robert Morrey
  • Peter Mylan
  • Patrick O’Brien
  • Heather Wellington
  • Katharine (Kate) Wilkinson

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

Witness list

Monday, 18 August – Friday, 22 August 2014

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney from Monday 18 August – Friday 22 August, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

  • Chris Enright
  • Chris Ketter
  • Rosa Perry
  • Alan Swetman

Transport Workers Union (TWU)

  • John Berger
  • Peter Biagini
  • Michael Burns
  • Scott Connolly
  • Jo-Ann Davidson
  • John B Halloran
  • Baden Kirgan
  • Wayne Mader
  • Michael Mijatov
  • Daniel Mookhey
  • Tom Pacey
  • Anthony Sheldon
  • Arthur Wood
  • Michael Wong

Please note, this list may be subject to change. 

13 August 2014

Commission announces three weeks of hearings

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will conduct hearings in Sydney over a three week period from Monday 18 August to Friday 5 September 2014.

The hearing block will examine matters associated with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Health Services Union (HSU) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

Hearing Dates

Union/Association

18 August – 22 August Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)
Transport Workers Union (TWU)
25 August – 29 August Health Services Union (HSU)
1 September – 5 September Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)

Please note, this alert is subject to change and the hearings schedule will be updated as required. Witness lists are published on the Commission’s website once they are finalised.

The Sydney hearings will take place in the Commission’s hearing room on Level 5, 55 Market St Sydney between 10.00am and 4.00pm daily. A webcast of proceedings will be available to the public through the Commission’s website.

Further hearings will be announced once finalised.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 7 of the Brisbane Magistrates Court, 363 George Street, from Monday 4 August to Thursday 7 August 2014 between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Ian Busch
  • John Crittal
  • Medy Hassan
  • Michael Ravbar
  • Jason Stein
  • John Shenfield
  • Albert Smith
  • Chris Stanley.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

The Commission commenced hearings into the CFMEU on 7 July 2014. Transcripts of proceedings are available online at www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au.

Senior Counsel Assisting the Commissioner, Mr Jeremy Stoljar SC, will outline details of the Brisbane hearing during an opening address on Monday, 7 August.

A webcast of proceedings will be available to the public through the Commission’s website.

28 July 2014

Commission to resume hearing into HSU

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will resume its hearing into the Health Services Union (HSU) on Wednesday, 30 July 2014.

Proceedings are scheduled to take place in the Commission’s hearing room on Level 5, 55 Market St, Sydney between 10.00am and 4.00pm. A witness list is now available online at: http://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Witnesses

The only witness listed so far is : Kathy Jackson

The Commission began its hearing into the HSU on 16 June 2014. Transcripts are available online at http://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Transcripts

A webcast of proceedings will be available to the public through the Commission’s website.

Submissions sought on new Issues Paper

23 July 2014

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption today released a fourth issues paper to assist with its current inquiry.

Under the Terms of Reference, the Commission is investigating a range of matters connected to the governance, financial management and operation of trade unions and associated relevant entities.

Relevant entities can comprise many different types of bodies, from simple bank accounts to organisations with their own structures and staff. This issues paper seeks information from the community and organisations on entities and their conduct, for example: 

  • Why and for what purposes are relevant entities formed? What are their legitimate uses?
  • What internal controls do trade unions have in place regarding relevant entities?
  • What governance and disclosure provisions apply to trade unions and union officials regarding relevant entities? Are these provisions adequate?

The Royal Commission has now released four issues papers for public comment. Each covers a significant topic and will inform the Royal Commission’s inquiry process.

“Submissions on the first three papers, covering the duties of trade union officials, whistleblower protections and the funding of trade union elections have formally closed, although late submissions are still being accepted,” said CEO of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald.

The Royal Commission is seeking to gain a better understanding of the various forms of relevant entities and their relationships to trade unions and union officials.

“All interested parties are invited to comment on the latest issues paper,” she said.

The consultation strategy and public submission process aims to ensure the Royal Commission has access to the full range of views on issues relating to its inquiry.

The issues paper on relevant entities will be sent to a range of organisations and individuals with an interest in the current inquiry and is available online at www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au.

Submissions should be made by Wednesday, 20 August 2014, preferably electronically, to submissions@turc.gov.au or, in writing, to GPO Box 2477, Sydney NSW 2001.

**********************************

Hearing Sydney 15 July 2014 – CFMEU

A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market St, Sydney next Tuesday, 15 July 2014 between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Brian Fitzpatrick
  • Eoin O’Neill
  • Radhika Raju
  • Peter Thomas.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) for Wednesday, 9 July 2014 is:

  • Paul Dalton
  • Peter Head
  • Mike Kane
  • Richard Lane
  • Linda Maney
  • Neil Phillips
  • Iain Weinzierl.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) for Tuesday, 8 July 2014 is:

  • Leigh Chiavaroli
  • Peter Chiavaroli
  • Albert Mastramico
  • Andrew Zaf.

Witness list for Monday 7th July 2014

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 1, 223 William St, Melbourne from Monday, 7 July to Wednesday, 9 July, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) for Monday, 7 July is:

  • Maria Butera
  • Patricia Harper
  • Anthony Wallis
  • Lisa Zanatta.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

4 July 2014

Hearing into CFMEU to open in Melbourne

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will begin public hearings into the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in Melbourne next week.

The Commission will examine matters relating to the CFMEU, which is an employee association listed in the Terms of Reference.  In particular, this hearing will focus on the Construction and General Division of the CFMEU in Victoria and NSW.

The hearing is scheduled to take place from Monday, 7 July to Wednesday, 9 July on Level 1, William Cooper Justice Centre (WCJC), corner of William and Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne.

The Chief Executive of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, said the Commission had so far conducted hearings into four of the five unions listed in its Terms of Reference.

“Public hearings into trade union governance and corruption began on May 12,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“Over a nine week period the Royal Commission will have conducted hearings into the Australian Workers’ Union, the Health Services Union, the Transport Workers Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

“That includes 15 sitting days in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne involving more than 30 witnesses,” she said.

3 July 2014

Submissions on Issues Papers close July 11

Public submissions on three issues papers relating to trade union governance and corruption will close on Friday, 11 July 2014.

Under its Terms of Reference, the Royal Commission is investigating a range of matters connected to the governance, financial management and operation of trade unions and associated relevant entities.

Submissions are currently being sought on three significant topics relating to the Royal Commission’s inquiry. They are:

(i)                  Whistleblowers: what processes exist for whistleblowers wishing to report problems, and how these operate in practice; how effective and accessible these processes are; and the adequacy of current protections for trade union whistleblowers

(ii)                The duties of trade union officials and governance arrangements for trade unions and their officials: to what extent are they adequate and effective?

(iii)              Practices relating to the funding of trade union elections and the adequacy of their regulation: to what extent are campaign and election processes transparent? Should there be a cap on expenditure?

The CEO of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, encouraged interested parties to make a submission about matters raised in the issues papers to help inform the Commission’s inquiry.

“Submissions close next Friday so there is still time to have your say,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“The public consultation process is aimed at ensuring the Royal Commission has access to a diversity of views from the community and professional organisations with an interest in the Terms of Reference.”

Submissions should be made by Friday, 11 July 2014, preferably electronically, to submissions@turc.gov.au or, in writing, to GPO Box 2477, Sydney NSW 2001. The papers are available online at www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au

30 June 2014

TWU hearings to open in Sydney

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will begin its Sydney hearings into the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) this week.

Proceedings involving TWU Super began in Perth last week when the Commission heard from witness Mr Paul Bracegirdle. A further three witnesses in that matter are expected to give evidence in Sydney on Wednesday, 2 July 2014. A transcript of the Perth proceedings is available online at http://www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Hearings.

Senior Counsel Assisting the Commissioner, Mr Jeremy Stoljar SC, will also open a matter involving the Transport Education Audit Health Compliance Organisation (TEACHO), in which six witnesses are expected to give evidence.

The hearings are scheduled to run for three days from Wednesday, 2 July to Friday, 4 July 2014 and will be held in the Commission’s hearing room on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney.

The witness list (in alphabetical order) is:

  • John Berger
  • Wayne Forno
  • Dr Daryll Hull
  • Dr Romana Hutchinson
  • Michael Kaine
  • William McMillin
  • Michael Nealer
  • Bill Potter
  • Damian Sloan.

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

The Chief Executive of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, said proceedings would once again be made available to the public via a live webcast.

 

The Royal Commission has finished the hearings in Western Australia earlier than expected and will resume hearings in Sydney next Wednesday on the 2nd of July.

19 June 2014

Royal Commission to conduct hearings in Perth

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will sit in Perth next week.

Proceedings are scheduled for three days from Monday, 23 June 2014 to Wednesday, 25 June 2014 at a hearing room provided by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission in St Georges Terrace.

The Commission will deal with:

  • matters associated with the Transport Workers’ Union, an employee association listed in the Terms of Reference (b)(v) of the Letters Patent; and will
  • continue examination of matters relating to the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) an employee association listed in the Terms of Reference (b)(i) of the Letters Patent.

Hearings involving the AWU and the Workplace Reform Association commenced on May 12, 2014 and transcripts are available online at www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Hearings.

Witness lists for the Perth hearings are also available online at www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Witnesses

The Chief Executive of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, said proceedings would once again be made available to the public via a live webcast.

“Proceedings will commence at 10.00am Perth time, which will be two hours later than normal for the eastern states,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

12 June 2014

Hearing to begin into Health Services Union

Witnesses will be called to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption’s hearing into the Health Services Union (HSU) in Sydney next week.

The hearing is scheduled to take place from Monday, 16 June 2014 to Thursday, 19 June 2014 and will deal with matters associated with the HSU.

The witness list is published online at www.tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au/Witnesses

The HSU matter will follow the hearing into the Workplace Reform Association, which began on May 12 and continued this week before Commissioner Dyson Heydon AC QC.

Transcripts of proceedings and documents relevant to hearings to date are available from the Commission’s website.

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption can be contacted at:

  • TradeUnion@ag.gov.au;
  • On the Hotline 1800221245, or write to us at:
  • Office of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
    GPO Box 2477, SYDNEY NSW 2001
  • The hearing will take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney between 10.00am and 4.00pm. A Media Room is located on Level 19.

Witness schedule

Monday, 16 June – Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney from Monday 16 June to Thursday 19 June, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

• John Agostinelli

• Marco Bolano

• Mark Hardacre

• Katrina Hart

• Jane Holt

• Kathy Jackson

• Craig McGregor

• Kate Wilkinson

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

 

Witness schedule

Tuesday, 10 June – Friday, 13 June

Hearings of the Royal Commission are scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney from Tuesday 10 June to Friday 13 June, between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

The witness list in alphabetical order is:

  • Ian Cambridge
  • Wayne Hem
  • Athol James
  • Nicholas Jukes
  • Robert Kernohan
  • Olivia Palmer
  • Konstantinos Spyridis

Please note, this list may be subject to change.

10th June – Hearings 4 days –  Tuesday the 10th to Friday 13th June

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will resume its public hearings in Sydney next week.

 

The hearings are scheduled to take place over four days from Tuesday, 10 June 2014 to Friday 13 June 2014 and will deal with matters associated with the Workplace Reform Association, a relevant entity for the purposes of the inquiry.

 

The first hearing into the Workplace Reform Association was held on 12 May and 13 May 2014 when Mr Ralph Blewitt appeared before Commissioner Dyson Heydon AC QC. Transcripts of proceedings and documents relevant to the hearing are available from the Commission’s website.

 

Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, said public hearings can be watched online through the Commission’s web streaming service. (Click here for further details)

15th May – Thursday’

The transcript for Tuesday only came late last night. Tuesday’s transcript has Bruce Wilson’s barrister Dr Kristine Hanscombe QC questioning Ralph Blewitt and has some interesting moments.

Monday’s transcript (12/5/14) (Click here to read) Tuesdays transcript (13/5/14) (Click here to read)

I was at the hearing but have waited for the transcript so I can quote exactly. I have had a quick read and some of the interesting parts below:

Tuesdays transcript: Page 131 Q. is Dr Hanscombe QC and A. Is Ralph Blewitt 

Q. On the topic of stamps, how do you say you came to possess a rubber stamp of Bruce Wilson’s signature?

A. Bruce Wilson gave me a stamp of his that we – we both manufactured signature stamps for each other’s signature. He held one of mine and I held one of his.

Q. Are you sure about that?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you sure there was one of yours?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Christine Campbell have access to the one of yours?

A. Mr Wilson had custody of my rubber-stamp.

Q. Does that mean the answer is no?

A. That’s right.

Page 132

Q. Mr Wilson will say that you had no entitlement to use his rubber-stamp, that it existed for Christine Campbell to affix it to correspondence such as letters of condolence for members who had died, and you were not entitled to use it on bank documents. What do you say about that?

A. I say that’s a lie.

Q. You say he authorised you to put that stamp on bank documents?

A. Yes.

Q. When?

A. When we first established the AWU Workplace Reform Association account.

Q. He said, “Here you are, Ralph, you can put this on cheques and bank documents”?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Is that right? Is there any witness?

A. I beg your pardon?

Q. Was there a witness?

A. No.

Page 166

Q. When you made this statement to the police, did you not have an actual memory of how much cash you had taken?

A. May I explain this typed statement, your Honour?

Q. Yes.

A. I didn’t write this statement. I didn’t type it. It was prepared for me. I glanced at it without – and in hindsight, it was stupidity on my part not to read it word for word. I accepted it at face value from the person who provided it to me prior to attending the Victoria Police. I didn’t turn my mind to read every line of every paragraph. If I have, through sheer stupidity, perjured myself in this matter by stating that this is a true and correct statement, then I apologise to the court. I didn’t read that particular line – in fact, I read very little of the document. I glanced through it.

Q. So you say this is not prepared by you?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Where did the information come from? Was it provided by you?

A. Some of it.

Q. And where did the rest come from?

A. Mr Harry Nowicki drafted this document for me.

14th May – Wednesday

I have published a post on yesterdays hearing. It is titled “Ralph Blewitt says confessed perjurer and disgraced former lawyer Harry Nowicki wrote his police statement”. (Click here to read the postA lot more happened at the hearing but I tried to keep it to the key points.

I was at the hearing on Monday and yesterday and learnt a lot. Hopefully I will improve the reporting the next time. The hearings are adjourned to an unnamed date. 

12th May – Monday

I was at the hearing for the first witness to give evidence, that being Ralph Blewitt. He gave the evidence that we knew he would give and there were no real surprises. Blewitt pointed the finger at Wilson in a big way as expected and to a lesser extent Julia Gillard. He also mentioned that AWU President Bill Ludwig was given $50,000 of stolen funds. Although this story has already been floating around for a while it was good to see it confirmed as evidence by a witness at the RC.

The major benefit of having Blewitt in the stand giving evidence is that it sets the foundations for the Royal Commission to call further witnesses such as former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her former boyfriend Bruce Wilson.

The big story for the first day was Bruce Wilson throwing a punch at a photographer. I did not see it happen. I was in the media room when a reporter walked in at the end of lunch (about 2pm) and told everyone.

The only person who had legal representation at the Royal Commission, other than Ralph Blewitt, was Bruce Wilson. Others could of such as Julie Gillard and Bill Ludwig etc but chose not to, although they could have had lawyers in the public gallery or maybe they were watching on the Internet as the proceedings were streamed live on the net.

Bruce Wilson is represented by Dr Kristine Hanscombe QC from Melbourne (Click here to see her profile on the Vic Bar website). Dr Hanscombe also had an assistant who I assume was a lawyer or legal student. I did speak to Dr Hanscombe and she was very friendly and polite, until I said who I was and where I was from, at that point she was no longer friendly.

Bruce Wilson only works part-time so who is paying his legal fees given most QC’s charge like a wounded bull and then add the cost of flying her up from Melbourne for a couple of days (and maybe her assistant as well). And this is just the start of the Royal Commission so she will probably have to come to Sydney for a couple of months of hearings at least.

I have to wonder why he would he get a barrister from Melbourne when most of the hearings will be in Sydney. Maybe because that is where most the fraud took place although that does not really make sense either when compared to the cost of the barrister coming to Sydney regularly for the Royal Commission. And it also makes it harder for her to meet with Bruce Wilson given he lives up the Central Coast of NSW.

Will be back at the Royal Commission tomorrow at 2pm when Bruce Wilson’s barrister Dr Hanscombe QC will cross-examine Ralph Blewitt.

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5 Comments on “Trade Union Royal Commission”

  1. kurt flahavin May 18, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    I would also like to know why has Bruce Wilson has hired a lawyer from Melbourne instead of one from Sydney. I do know that Wilson lives on the Central Coast, north of Newcastle, where it makes it hard for him to even meet his lawyer on a regular basis. My opinion on Wilson’s legal fees is that it’s been paid by people involved with the labor party who still want the fraud covered up. The AWU and one or two unions could also be secretly helping Wilson by pitching in money for his legal team. Of course that someone is paying for Wilson’s legal bills. Wilson went bankrupt a couple of years ago, I know he discharged himself from bankruptcy a few years ago, but he would never afford a QC. Great to see Blewitt finger Bill Ludwig over the $50,000 payment that Wilson gave to him. That suggests to me that Ludwig knew about Wilson’s frauds long before they were exposed & stopped. Ludwig must be put on the witness stand at the Royal Commission as soon as possible. I think Ludwig may be investigated by the Victorian police as one of the “others” in the AWU fraud. Accepting a $50,000 payment from a fraud account is a secret commission. The Victorian police has laid 4 sets of charges against Wilson, Blewitt & others, and one of them is accepting a secret commission. Ludwig is in real trouble now, no doubt about it.

    • Brenda August 31, 2015 at 11:46 am #

      Omg the Unions get busted ripping off their members & now want Dyson Heydon to step down from the Royal Commission into Unions. Hope you thieves go down 👇 I’ve never been in a Union so I’m one of the lucky Aussies that don’t pay for your extravagant life styles. Get over yourselves, stop using stand over tactics to scare ppl and start doing what you’re paid to do, helping your members.

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