I hope the Fair Work Commission isn't misleading us
Disgraced lawyer suspended after intimate relationship with client

Report to the AFP regarding a certain statutory declaration

Original email sent to Commissioner Tony Negus today.

Dear Commissioner,

FORNO, Wayne - Branch Secretary, Transport Workers Union of Australia, NSW Branch
I write to you in relation to the AFP's responsibility to enforce the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959.
On 24 March 2014 Wayne FORNO apparently made the following Statutory Declaration at Parramatta, NSW - filed here at the Fair Work Commission.
Mr FORNO declared that his union's register of members had been maintained under Section 230 (1) (a) and Section 230 (2) of the Act.   He declared that the number of persons who were so recorded was 43,835.   Here is Section 230 of the relevant act.


Records to be kept and lodged by organisations

             (1)  An organisation must keep the following records:

                     (a)  a register of its members, showing the name and postal address of each member and showing whether the member became a member under an agreement entered into under rules made under subsection 151(1);

                     (b)  a list of the offices in the organisation and each branch of the organisation;

                     (c)  a list of the names, postal addresses and occupations of the persons holding the offices;

                     (d)  such other records as are prescribed.

Note:          This subsection is a civil penalty provision (see section 305).

             (2)  An organisation must:

                     (a)  enter in the register of its members the name and postal address of each person who becomes a member, within 28 days after the person becomes a member;

                     (b)  remove from that register the name and postal address of each person who ceases to be a member under section 171A, or under the rules of the organisation, within 28 days after the person ceases to be a member; and

                     (c)  enter in that register any change in the particulars shown on the register, within 28 days after the matters necessitating the change become known to the organisation.

Note 1:       This subsection is a civil penalty provision (see section 305).

The Fair Work Commission is a Commonwealth authority for the purposes of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and the use of a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration under that act is stipulated here.
On 22 July 2014 the Sydney Morning Herald published this report.

TWU loses Labor Party influence as membership rort is caught

July 22, 2014

A powerful right-wing union currently under investigation by the royal commission into union corruption has had its formal influence in the Labor Party slashed after it was caught grossly inflating its membership numbers.

The Transport Workers Union has been forced to write down by more than half the number of members it claims in NSW, the branch from where the union draws much of its influence and nearly half its national members.

The admission follows reports in Fairfax Media last December that revealed the TWU rorting as part of an investigative series into union slush funds.

Labor sources said the TWU was now claiming just 17,800 members in NSW; it had previously told Labor it had more than 38,000 members.

That will mean at next week’s NSW state Labor conference the TWU will have just 23 delegates, down from 43 last time. There are 429 union delegates in total. Under ALP rules, delegates at the state conferences elect key committees including the powerful party administrative committees, and the public office selection committees that play a key role in choosing candidates for Parliament. Unions control half the delegates.

A senior Labor source confirmed the TWU had been forced to fess up to the rort and as a result there would be a factional realignment within the right of the party with the conservative shop assistants union likely to benefit while the left will also pick up some delegates.

A TWU spokesman said it had ''amended'' its affiliation to NSW Labor ''in line with a clarification of party requirements''. It confirmed it would have just 23 delegates but declined to comment further on why it had inflated its membership numbers so dramatically.

The NSW ALP right has been dogged  by corruption with the royal commission looking at activities of the Health Services Union and TWU in particular.

The TWU is the power base of present and past factional powerbrokers such as ALP vice-president Tony Sheldon, Senator Stephen Conroy, former senator and party official Mark Arbib and former NSW minister and party operative John Della Bosca.

Fairfax Media’s reporting also revealed the involvement of the TWU’s national and NSW branches in a $500,000 takeover of its own Queensland branch in 2010. The elaborate campaign was partly paid for by a secretive slush fund, with staff and funds supplied by jailed HSU leader Michael Williamson and staff members from the offices of Labor MPs including federal opposition frontbencher David Feeney.

Mr Sheldon has sought to deflect attention away from the investigation into his union saying the commission has misrepresented facts around its  superannuation scheme. He has also won an apology from Employment Minister Eric Abetz for misrepresenting the union’s role in a slush fund it operates.


To summarise, on 24 March 2014 FORNO declared under the provisions of Section 230 of the Fair Work Act the number of members in the TWU of Australia NSW Branch was 43,835.   On 22 July 2014 a "TWU Spokesman" had "amended" its affiliation and the full SMH report states the actual number of members was 17,300.

Perhaps you might let us know if the AFP is investigating the matter.   I will treat this letter to you as an open communication which I propose to publish.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Smith