Commissioner Riordan is milling around in the hearing room with the various lawyers and others in attendance.
10AM - Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar SC and team are in in place.
At 10.03AM the Commission's hearing commence with a few minor changes to the lawyers representing various parties.
The first witness today is Joanne Crowder, Bernie Riordan's former PA - she is appearing for cross-examination. She's been asked about the circumstances in which a "pink slip" was used within the ETU's financial systems and processes.
Mr Crowder agreed that Mr Riordan may have transitioned from a paper diary to an electronic diary from September 2010.
At 1010AM Ms Crowder was excused.
Commissioner Bernie Riordan has been called.
Bernard Martin Riordan has been sworn, he has produced a document entitled "matters to be clarified prior to Commissioner Riordan adopting his statement" or similar.
Prior to being examined, Mr Riordan gave clarifying statements revising the contents of his own witness statement covering the following matters:
- He now recalls moving from a paper diary to an electronic diary in late 2010 - he says that as the secretary of the Electrical Trades Union he was the subject of mirth because he used a paper and not electronic diary
- He now has telephone records that show his conversations with Mr Dastyari during the time the "loan" was discussed with the Labor Party.
- He has no recollection of ever using a 'pink slip' for the purposes of confirming a payment to the Labor Party.
- He ahs referred to a private "interview" between himself and Mr Stoljar some weeks ago.
Mr Riordan has made good use of the time during the past week of other witness hearings.
Mr Riordan has described the 'OFFICERS' FUND" within the union and its sources of income.
Mr Stoljar asked Mr Riordan to produce the telephone records he referred to - his counsel did so.
Phone records in respect of 10 January 2011 and 20 December 2010 were tendered and received into evidence with an order regarding the confidentiality of personal phone numbers.
Mr Riordan said that prior to finalising his witness statement he had been on a European holiday with his wife and had travelled for 35 hours prior to getting home. He then had to work. He said he had some difficulty meeting deadlines as a result. He said the contents of his statement may not be as concise as he would normally have hoped.
AT 10.36AM THE "MATTERS TO BE CLARIFIED" WERE COMPLETED AND MR STOLJAR COMMENCED HIS EXAMINATION PROPER, starting with the process of Mr Riordan adopting his now "clarified" witness statement.
AT 10.42 legal discussions continue about whether or not certain elements of Mr Riordan's witness statement will be included or excised prior to his adopting it.
AT 10.44 Mr Riordan stated that his witness statement as varied was true and correct.
Mr Stoljar has shown Mr Riordan a letter produced by the ALP dated 25 November 2010 - Mr Riordan has no recollection of receiving it. Sam Dastyari's signature is on the 4th page of the letter, Mr Riordan has some vague recollection about something at the time. Dastyari asked ETU for $1.5M.
Riordan stated that he had no recollection of a letter prior to the meeting of 20 December 2010. Dastyari's letter has been tendered into evidence.
As at 20 December 2010 Mr Riordan states he was not aware of any proposal for the Labor Party to borrow from the TWU.
At a meeting at Riordan's office in the morning of 20 December 2010 attended by Dastyari, Minns and Riordan (at which no one took notes), Dastyari stated that "we need $500,000 because the CFMEU has pulled out".
Riordan states that the unions making loans to the ALP were Unions NSW, the TWU and the National Union of Workers.
Mr Riordan states that he was concerned about the interest rate, repayment schedule and security for the loan. He stated that the "public funding" payable to the ALP would form the "security" for the loan.
Riordan agrees with Stoljer that he "didn't know" how much money the ALP would get in "public funding" after the election.
Mr Riordan agreed that he didn't know exactly how much the ALP would borrow from the TWU, Unions NSW and the NUW. He said the "inference" was that it would be $500k.
Mr Riordan was extensively questioned about why there was no reference to the "public funding" payment potentially due to the ALP after the election and the ETU's call on that money in repayment of its loan. He states he did not ask for it to be included in the loan agreement and it was not included in the agreement.
Apparently the entire discussions regarding the loan took place at the meeting with Minns, Dastyari and Riordan on 20 December 2010.
Mr Riordan states that Mr Minns and Mr Dastyari were "apologetic" in asking for the loan. He says they spoke about the public humiliation Mr Riordan had suffered when the Premier had asked for his resignation as head of the ALP - he states Minns/Dastyari spoke about "how difficult" it would be for Riordan to organise the loan given him "humiliation". Mr Riordan states he told them there were "internal policies" he had to follow, that he didn't have the authority to enter into loans.
Riordan states that Minns/Dastyari "made a comment" that the urgency had "to do with" the new political donation laws.
Mr Riordan states he concluded the meeting with Minns/Dastyari on 20 December by saying, "I'll put it to the Executive tonight and I'll let you know how I go".
Riordan agreed that the "point" of taking Executive Meeting minutes was so that Council could read and endorse the Executive's decisions. He agreed with the proposition.
AT 11.30AM THE COMMISSION ADJOURNED UNTIL 1145
At 11.45 THE COMMISSION RECOMMENCED
Mr Riordan is "recollecting" the President of the ETU approving the loan at a council meeting.
Mr Riordan was taken to his statement in which he states that he advised the Executive that the monies advanced to the ALP "would be secured against monies payable to the NSW ALP".
He states that he explained to the Executive that the ALP would be owed public money after the election. He's not sure now whether he said it would be secured.
Mr Riordan says he "believed" he had authority to proceed with the loan.
Mr Riordan was shown an email he sent to Mr Butler in which he stated "the loan to the ALP was made very urgently to overcome a problem with the new political donation laws".
Mr Riordan said, "There's a difference in the verbiage you would use in an email to a colleague compared to the verbiage you would use to a Royal Commission."
Commissioner Riordan just fired up quite a bit - Mr Stoljar put the entirely uncontroversial proposition that the decisions of the Executive had to be be endorsed by the Council, Mr Riordan said no just the minutes - Stoljar came back with "No, it's the underlying decisions", Riordan, "Well I suppose you could paint it that way".
Mr Stoljar put to Mr Riordan that he had acted alone without the authority of the Executive. Riordan said, "that's not even close to being a sensible proposition."
Mr Riordan did not state in the email of August 2012 addressed to Steve Butler that he had acted with the authority of the Executive of the ETU.
Dean Mighell is seated in the rear of the hearing room.
Mr Stoljar is now putting allegations to Mr Riordan - "isn't it the case that you didn't think you needed the approval of the Executive, you simply told them what was going on?'
Riordan, "If that was the case, why did I tell Dastyari I needed to get back to him with the approval of the Executive?"
Stoljar, "You might have told the Executive what was going on, but you did not put the loan to the Executive for approval."
Riordan disagrees, notwithstanding the absence of any mention of the matter in the minutes.
Riordan can't quite explain the nature of the entity known as the NSW ALP. Stellar helps him out, "it's an unincorporated association."
Stoljar, "Well who would you sue if the ALP couldn't make the payments?"
At the heart of the Stoljar/Riordan contest today is Stoljar's approach to this case, a classic equity lawyer schooled in the minutiae of commercial transactions. Stoljar (correctly) sees the ETU and ALP as separate legal entities whose fiduciaries owe each certain responsibilities. Riordan doesn't see the distinction so finely.
Stoljar is now taking Riordan through the detailed rules of the NSW Branch of the ALP, including the status of trustees who can sue on behalf of the Party. This will be a clear theme of the TURC this year as it explores the minutiae of the connections between the ALP and its union owners.
Mr Riordan didn't ask Dastyari or Minns whether they had the authority of the members of the ALP, an unincorporated association, to enter into the loan agreement.
At 1PM the Commission adjourned.