HMAS Sydney's Unknown Sailor - originally buried on Christmas Island
"Let's open the curtains and let the sun shine in", Julia Gillard. But not about Craig, OK?

Now, what about my little mate? Justice Rodney Madgwick seemed to have a spot of bother with police.

This is Rod Madgwick in the Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1980 when he was the Labor Party candidate for the Federal seat of Barton.

My little mate

Here's Rod Madgwick in a recent commercial for the ACTU



Rod Madgwick was mentioned quite a few times in the Federal and NSW Parliaments.



18 September 1980

 Senator PUPLICK (New South Wales):

… I raise a matter in terms of the principle that justice delayed is justice denied. In November 1979 a constituent of mine was involved in an incident which led to his being charged by the police with interfering with them in the performance of their duties when he attempted physically to interfere with policemen attempting to give a breath test to a motorist and his associates after stopping a car in a street at a very early hour in the morning. He was taken to the police station and charged. Representations were then made at the highest level—to the Police Commissioner—to have those charges dropped. The Police Commissioner rightly declined to have those charges dropped.

Then, by a set of mysterious circumstances unbeknown to the police, when the matter was supposed to have come on in court on 8 September 1980 and the police turned up at the court at Balmain they found to their surprise that somehow the matter had been stood over to 24 March 1981 and had been moved from Balmain to Central. The police and the prosecuting authorities had not been told that the case had been stood over, any more than most people knew that representations had been made to the Police Commissioner to have the charges dropped. I suspect that the reason all that occurred is that the person in question, who has been singularly protected in his business, is a gentleman by the name of Rodney Neville Madgwick, who is the Labor Party's endorsed candidate in the seat of Barton for the Federal election…



Wednesday, 24 September, 1980



Mr ARBLASTER: I address a question without notice to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. Is the Minister aware that a federal Labor Party candidate and a trade union official were both charged by the police on 3rd November of last year?

Also, is the Minister aware that the hearing of this case concerning Mr Rod Madgwick has been postponed until March of next year? Will the Minister explain the reasons for the sixteen months' delay in bringing the case before the court?

Mr WALKER: I am not aware of the details. I shall certainly get them and give them to the honourable member for Mosman and the House.



Tuesday, 14 October, 1980



Mr WALKER: On 24th September the honourable member for Mosman asked me a question without notice concerning charges laid by the Balmain police on 3rd November, 1979. I have obtained the information requested and wish to advise the House that the answers to the questions are as follows:

(1) So far as I am aware, yes.

(2) Yes.

(3) As Attorney-General and Minister of Justice I have no involvement in the prosecution of summary charges. Such matters rest solely within the discretion and the province of the Commissioner of Police. However, I have ascertained from the court records that the reason given for the adjournment was that the police wished first to proceed with another matter. I understand that the delay in finalizing that matter had been occasioned by the illness of the defendant.



Thursday, 25 September, 1980



Mr SMITH: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Police and Minister for Services. Were representations made to the Minister or to the Commissioner of Police on behalf of the Labor Party candidate for Barton, Mr Rodney Madgwick in respect of acharge of hindering the police in the course of their duties?

What was the result of those representations, and by whom were those representations made?

Mr CRABTREE: I am not aware of any representations that were made. If the honourable member for Pittwater has any information, he should give it to me.



Mr ARBLASTER: I ask the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice a question without notice. As part of the Minister's administration does he have a departmental telephone connection to his electoral ofice? Is the number 570-8236?

Is that number also the telephone number printed on the campaign literature of the Labor candidate for the federal seat of Barton, Mr Rodney Madgwick, of whom the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice denied all knowledge?

Mr WALKER: It is clear that members of the Opposition have just received the results of the latest public opinion polls on likely voting trends in the federal seat of Barton. Those polls show that the Labor Party candidate would receive 61 per cent of the vote. The Liberal Party is running scared because the Labor Party's candidate for the federal seat of Barton is one of the most brilliant barristers in Australia, an outstanding member of the bar, and a man who will make a vibrant electoral impact.

Obviously, members of the Liberal Party are willing to use all of their resources and a good deal of question time in trying to defeat one of the most outstanding candidates ever to stand for election since Dr H. V. Evatt left the High Court. I am pleased that finally they want to fight about something, even if it is the federal election campaign. I have a number of telephone lines to my electoral office at Mortdale. I am not sure whether the telephone number mentioned by the honourable member is one of them. It may well be; I shall check it. One line is paid for by my department but I do not think it is that one. Another line is paid for by the Legislature. I make a contribution in respect of extensions and other lines. If I wished to comment on telephone numbers that are being used in the federal election campaign and whether they are the numbers of members of the Liberal Party, Icould do so. Nothing improper has happened in my electorate. If constituents wish to telephone my office and arrange for a postal vote, they are entitled to do so. If they seek assistance of that kind, no doubt it will be given to them in the normal fashion.

I am so pleased with the result of the poll in the St George electorate that I shall inform honourable members that the Labor vote there was even higher than in Barton. There is no doubt that in the near future the former Minister for Defence will be back in federal Parliament. The poll in the seat of Phillip indicates that Liberal's Mr R. J. Birney will be about 2000 votes behind the Labor candidate-Jeanette McHugh-the wife of the outstanding barrister Michael McHugh-a capable sincere woman and probably one of the most outstanding candidates the Labor Party has nominated. It is time that some capable candidates were nominated by the Opposition. I am pleased that I have had the opportunity of mentioning the results of Labor Party candidates in the polls.


Mr Speaker, perhaps I might add that it has just come to my attention that the Country Party candidate for Northern Tablelands in the State election is using the office of the federal Minister for Special Trade Representations, the Rt Hon. I. M. Sinclair, full-time for his campaigning.



Mr WALKER: I wish to make a supplementary reply to the question asked of me about the telephone number in my electorate ofice-570-8236. That telephone was arranged and paid for by Mr Rodney Madgwick, barrister at law, and the Australian Labor Party candidate: for the electorate of Barton. It is not paid for by the State Government.

Mr Punch: Tell us about New England too.

Mr SPEAKER: Order!

Mr WALKER: There is a private line to my electorate office and it is paid for by my department. It is used exclusively by senior officers of my department.

Mr Mason: Has the Minister got the Government's permission to put that special line in?

Mr SPEAKER: Order!

Mr WALKER: Further, I confirm that the Country Party candidate for the Northern Tablelands does use the office of the Rt Hon. I. M. Sinclair.



Wednesday, 12 November, 1980



Mr ARBLASTER asked the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice-

(1) What is the normal delay in the hearing of criminal cases in the Central Court of Petty Sessions?

(2) Were charges, which were laid before the Balmain Petty Sessions Court against Mr Rodney Neville Madgwick, transferred from that Court to the Central Court of Petty Sessions in August, 1979?

(3) If so, why was the case transferred?


(1) The delay in listing defended cases for hearing at Central Court of Petty Sessions varies from time to time, however, it presently stands at 26 weeks.

The delay periods earlier this year were-

January-22 weeks

February-19 weeks

March-18 weeks

April-20 weeks

May-22 weeks

June-24 weeks

July-24 weeks

August-25 weeks.

(2) In August 1979, so far as I am aware, charges against Mr Rodney Neville Madgwick were not transferred from Balmain Court of Petty Sessions to the Central Court of Petty Sessions nor were any charges pending. However, I am aware that Mr Madgwick appeared before Balmain Court of Petty Sessions on 3 November, 1979. The relevant Court papers disclose that on 26th March, 1980, the case was subsequently adjourned by consent to the Court of Petty Sessions, 302 Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

(3) As Attorney-General and Minister of Justice I have no involvement in the prosecution of summary charges. Such matters rest solely within the discretion of the Commissioner of Police.

Furthermore, the final decision as to whether proceedings will be adjourned or transferred rests with the Magistrate after considering the submissions of both the prosecution and the defence. I have no power to intervene in or influence a Magistrate's decision on such matters but I have ascertained from the Court records that the reasons for the most recent adjournment were that police wished first to proceed with another related matter and that Senior Counsel briefed to appear for the defendant was ill.



Tuesday, 24 February, 1981



Mr ARBLASTER asked the Minister for Police and Minister for Services-

(1) Were members of the Balmain Police called to premises in East Balmain on the night of 3 November, 1979, to answer a complaint about noise coming from those premises?

(2) If so, did one of the persons present, Rodney Neville Madgwick, behave offensively towards the Police and hinder them in the carrying out of their duties?

(3) What were the facts and circumstances on that occasion? Has action been taken, or are any Court proceedings current, against any person as a result of such actions?


(1) Yes.

(2) and (3) These matters are currently before the Court.

After Craig Thomson and Michael Williamson showed a new generation of Chinese Restaurant meeting attendees how it's done, Rod Madgwick produced this  "external and independent" review of union governance for the ACTU.

Judge Madgwick and his team found that, while the cases of Michael Williamson and Craig Thomson were regrettable, they were also isolated and very rare.

The only other case of union fraud the review had heard about was an allegation of defalcation involving a senior branch official and another officer of the AWU in the mid-1990s.   It must have been so minor that Judge Madgwick forgot to declare that it was he who cleaned up all the loose ends in his courtroom, or that there was a lawyer, a lady lawyer I think, and a law firm from Melbourne somewhere that was involved somehow.  

Judge Madgwick was crystal clear on one thing in the ACTU report - "We subscribe to the view that greatest disinfectant is sunlight.  Appropriate disclosure of practice and policies is likely to do more than shiploads of punitive sanctions".

Bruce Morton Wilson, you are sentenced to read this volume of appropriately disclosed practice and policies.   Don't tell the police nothin'. 

Anyway, we're all getting on a bit now.  

What was it Bondy said again?   CRAFT, that's right - Can't Remember a Flamin' Thing.