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January 2013

Busy day for reporters on the Craig Thomson case

This is from The Australian

Hotel CCTV and documents to yield clues as Craig Thomson case steps up

FAIR Work Australia's legal battle against former Labor MP Craig Thomson over alleged misuse of union funds has yielded its first CCTV evidence, with the Westin hotel chain ready to release screen shots taken from security cameras in one of its hotels.

A Federal Court registrar yesterday allowed FWA's lawyers to inspect the footage, taken from the chain's back-up system, and also granted them access to a partially redacted document provided by a company director linked to an escort agency.

FWA's legal case also expanded into the heart of the NSW Labor Party, with details emerging of a subpoena for a document related to Mr Thomson's 2007 bid for the NSW seat of Dobell and payments to the NSW ALP from the Health Services Union, which Mr Thomson then led.

FWA has alleged Mr Thomson misused union funds to kick-start his campaign for the central coast seat, spending thousands of dollars on staff, advertising and office equipment. The subpoena seeks records relating to Mr Thomson's application for preselection and records about the employment of Criselee Stevens by the ALP in Dobell between 2005 and 2007. It seeks information about two payments totalling $3500 from the ALP to the Dobell branch of the ALP in 2006.


Steve Lewis of News Limited with news about Craig Thomson

Speculation that ALP MP Craig Thomson will be charged

  • News Limited Network
  • January 31, 201312:00AM
Craig Thomson


Craig Thomson last year. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Australian

LABOR'S election campaign could suffer an early setback in the key battleground of NSW, with heightened speculation that Victorian police will shortly lay charges against suspended ALP MP Craig Thomson.

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Watching the Detectives

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.   Anna sent the note below as a blog comment.   Watching the detectives.   I can guarantee there are at least two parliamentarians who are watching the detectives this week.   ABC's 7.30 program must have a very good sense of humour.
Here's to the protectors, the investigators, the professionals who are there for you.  
Anna said:
Chris Uhlmann on ABC 7.30 Report tonight; "not sure about the glasses though (referring to story on Elvis Costello's style image), somehow they're eerily like those Julia Gillard was wearing today." Elvis Costello: Watching the Detectives 
MFE every touch leaves its trace.

The election announcement

I've listened now to quite a lot of commentary about the Prime Minister's announcement of the date of the election.

I'm surprised that everyone I've heard believes her.

It's not like she's gone to the Governor General to issue writs.

It's just another Gillard claim.   Carbon tax anyone?

I just wouldn't take her seriously.   She could just as easily change her mind.   It means nothing to her.

What's she lost if she does?   She'll have a plausible reason.   I simply don't believe her.   It might be on the date she nominated, it might not.   

An apology from the ABC over Jon Faine's interview with me

You might recall that I was interviewed by Jon Faine of ABC Local Radio, Melbourne on 23 November last year.

At least one of our readers complained to the ABC about that interview.   Here's the ABC's response.

From: [email protected]
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:25:15 +1100
Subject: RE: Email to the ABC of 25 November 2012 (ABC reference C46963-12)


Thank you for your email regarding Jon Faine’s interviews about the AWU slush fund allegations with Mark Baker, Editor-at-Large at The Age, and Michael Smith, former 2UE talkback host, on 23 November 2012.  Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding. 

In accordance with the ABC's complaint handling procedures your concerns have been reviewed by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent from ABC program areas. The role of Audience and Consumer Affairs is to investigate complaints alleging that ABC content has breached the ABC's editorial standards.  We have assessed the interviews against the ABC's editorial requirement for impartiality, specifically standard 4.1 of the ABC Code of Practice which states: "Gather and present news and information with due impartiality". 

Audience and Consumer Affairs have concluded that the interviews were not conducted in keeping with ABC impartiality requirements.    The argumentative style of the interviews by Mr Faine, combined with a pattern of strongly stated personal opinions that at times oversimplified the issues at hand, was not in keeping with the ABC’s rigorous impartiality standards for current affairs content.   

ABC Radio apologise for this lapse in standards. This matter has been brought to the attention of ABC Radio management and Jon Faine has been reminded of his obligation to gather and present news and information content with due impartiality.  A summary of this finding will be published on the ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs website at: 

Thank you for providing the ABC with an opportunity to respond to your concerns.  For your reference, the ABC Code of practice is available online at: 

Should you  be dissatisfied with this response, you may be able to pursue your concerns with the Australian Communications and Media Authority,

 The original email was signed off with the name of an ABC officer.


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