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October 2014

Royal Commission asked to find that Julia Eileen GILLARD was the beneficiary of funds from Wilson

Here is the final paragraph of the comprehensive chapter in Counsel Assisting's submissions regarding the AWU Workplace Reform Association:

Lastly, for the reasons set out above the Commission should find that Ms Gillard was
the beneficiary or recipient of certain funds from Mr Wilson, consistent with the
evidence of Mr James and Mr Hem. It is not possible to identify after all this time the
precise source of the funds, since Mr Wilson seems to have drawn cash from the
accounts operated in Victoria as well as from the Association’s account. The skimpy
nature of the available evidence does not make it possible to infer on the balance of
probabilities that Ms Gillard was aware that she had received the $5,000 which Mr Hem
put into her bank account on Mr Wilson’s instructions. But she was aware of facts, had
she turned her mind to them, which would have indicated that the source of the wads of
bank notes cannot have been the low union salary of Mr Wilson of about $50,000 – a
man who was supporting his family in Perth, his own household in Melbourne, and his
relationship with Ms Gillard in Melbourne, and who was not shown to have had any income from property exceeding the cost of mortgage repayments – but must have been
some fund he did not own but did control. That is, she must have been aware of facts,
which had she turned her mind to them, would have revealed that Mr Wilson was
making payments to her in breach of some fiduciary duty.

In plain English, Wayne Hem, Ralph Blewitt and Athol James were right.

Royal Commission publishes Counsel Assisting's final submissions

Counsel Assisting Submissions, 31 October 2014

Part 1 Overview

Part 2 The legal landscape: officers’ duties and the use of union resources

Part 3 Generic funds created by union officials

Part 4 Fighting funds and: the funding of union elections

Part 5 Income Protection RedundancyFunds

Part 6 Superannuation Funds

Part 7 Training  Funds

Part 8 Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU)

Part 9 HSU

Part 10 HSU NSW

Part 11 HSU Victoria No.1 Branch


Part 12 HSU Victoria No.3 Branch

Part 13 HSU National Office

Part 14 TWU

Part 15 AWU

Part 16 CEPU

Part 17 MUA

Part 18 SDA

Part 19 Areas for reform

Additional documents received into evidence by the Royal Commission today

Additional documents put into evidence on 31 October 2014







CHIAVAROLI (Pentridge Village)  /  ZAF


Boral MFI-3:

  1. Message from John Setka (in relation to Royal Commission hearings in Melbourne in July 2014) [PDF 111KB]
  2. Defendant’s outline of submissions dated 13 December 2013 [PDF 687KB]
  3. Defendant’s draft dated 13 December 2013 [PDF 631KB]
  4. Transcript of proceedings dated 30 January 2014 before Derham AsJ [PDF 6.1MB]
  5. Boral Resources (Vic) Pty Ltd v CFMEU [2014] VSC 528 [PDF 927KB]
  6. Transcript of proceedings dated 23 October 2014 before Forest J [PDF 512KB]
  7. Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union v Grocon Constructors (Victoria) Pty Ltd & Ors; Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v Boral Resources (Vic) Pty Ltd & Ors [2014] VSCA 261 [PDF 6.61MB]


HSU Supplementary Tender Bundle:



"He is a gutless pr*ck, what did we expect?" Maria Butera and Lisa Zanatta discuss David Atkin & Dave Noonan

Here is a link to the Exhibits put to Ms Butera in her examination at the Royal Commission on 28 October 2014.

The Exhibits include this Cellebrite UFED report, you can read about Cellebrite's capabilities here.

Cellebrite ufed

Bp info

Some of Ms Zanatta and Ms Butera's other exchanges are included, their opinion of the "gutless prick" will raise eyebrows at the CBUS boardroom.

Gutless prick

Let's leave the last musical word to Muso of WA.


Prime Minister Abbott's announcement regarding trade union corruption and crime

This from the PM's website today.

Pm today


31 October 2014

Prime Minister

Premier of Victoria


Joint Police Taskforce into Industrial Criminality and Corruption; Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sex Abuse; Budget 2014; Victorian state election; trade; Nova Peris; Direct Action; East West Link.



It’s good to be here with Premier Denis Napthine, it’s good to be here in Melbourne, for this important announcement which very much impacts on the long term future of the Victorian and the national economy.

As many of you would know, the Heydon Royal Commission into union corruption has been investigating allegations – widespread allegations – of slush funds, of rorts, of illegalities in the union movement. And the Heydon Royal Commission has had its terms of reference expanded and its life extended because of the letter that the Commissioner wrote recently to the Government where he said, and I quote, "The inquiry has thus far revealed evidence of criminal conduct which includes widespread instances of physical and verbal violence, cartel conduct, secondary boycotts, contempt of court and the encouragement of others to commit these contempts." The Commissioner went on, "some officials appear to regard their unions as having immunity not only from the norms and sanctions of the Australian legal system but also from any social or community standards shared by other Australians."

I should also refer you to evidence by the Assistant Commissioner of the Victorian Police, Stephen Fontana, to the Royal Commission and I quote, "Victoria Police intelligence indicates that criminal activity is undertaken by trade union officials directly and by organised crime figures or groups on behalf of trade union officials." This is very important evidence from a senior Victorian policeman, sworn evidence before the Royal Commission. Victoria Police intelligence indicates that criminal activity is undertaken by trade union officials directly and by organised crime figures or groups on behalf of trade union officials.

There could hardly be a graver claim against sections of the union movement. It's very important under these circumstances that this kind of criminal activity be fully investigated and tackled by the people who are best-placed to deal with this and obviously that's the police.

So, today, the Premier and I can announce a Joint Police Taskforce, an AFP-Victoria Police taskforce, that will look into evidence of criminality by union officials and their associates, prompted by the evidence to the Royal Commission.

And I conclude on this note before asking the Premier to add to these remarks – this is a Joint Police Taskforce which should have bipartisan support. I refer to the words of the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, earlier this year, which was prompted by allegations of corruption in the construction industry. Bill Shorten said “the Abbott Government must form a high-powered joint police task force to immediately investigate allegations of corruption reported in the building and construction industry.”

So, that's exactly what we've done. The Premier and I have established a Joint Police Taskforce to deal firmly, decisively and swiftly with widespread corruption, violence and organised crime connections inside the construction industry. I think this is very important, not just for that industry, but for the state of Victoria and for our nation. The rule of law must operate everywhere. It particularly must operate on building sites which for too long have been places of violence and lawlessness and I'm pleased to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Premier on this important issue.


Thank you, Prime Minister, and I welcome the Prime Minister's involvement and commitment to this joint AFP-Victoria Police taskforce. Let me make it absolutely clear, there is no place, no place in Victoria or across Australia for union corruption and criminal activities. There is no place for union corruption and criminal activities in our building and construction industry. These illegal activities add cost to infrastructure projects; add cost to private building construction and they hurt all Victorian and Australian families.

Therefore, I welcome the involvement of the Prime Minister to announce with me today a joint AFP-Victoria Police taskforce to examine industrial criminality and corruption. The role of this joint taskforce will be to uncover any criminal, corrupt, thuggish behaviour of unions and their officials and other associated persons. The Taskforce will investigate evidence provided to the Royal Commission that points to criminal activities associated with matters within the Royal Commission's terms of reference.

The Taskforce will have all the powers that are currently available to relevant state police forces and the AFP. Like all police investigations, it will go where the evidence leads it. It will apply those powers equally wherever it finds wrongdoing, regardless of whether it's against unions, employers, debt collectors, mediators or anybody associated with criminal activity. This Taskforce will act without fear or favour.

The Royal Commission has clearly identified undeniable evidence of corruption involving union officials and various companies with whom they've done deals. It is absolutely imperative that no time is wasted, that action is taken, and I welcome the strong action being taken here today jointly with the Prime Minister and myself, bringing together a strong and powerful Taskforce of the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police to investigate and investigate thoroughly these serious allegations of corruption and criminal behaviour in our construction and building sites across Victoria and across Australia.


Do we have any questions?


Prime Minister, why was Victoria chosen first and how long will it take for the other states to also have a taskforce?


It wasn't a question of choosing Victoria first. Victoria most swiftly agreed with the Commonwealth to set up a Joint Police Taskforce. But we are in negotiations with all the states, negotiations are well advanced with two of them and I hope to be making further announcements within days, certainly within weeks, about further joint police task forces in the other states.


Is this an attempt to wedge Daniel Andrews in the lead up to the state election and expose Labor links to the union movement?


The Premier may wish to add to this, but I believe that this joint taskforce should have bipartisan support because Bill Shorten called for exactly this some months ago. I don't think any decent person wants to see union corruption and criminality continuing. I don't think any decent person wants to see unions contaminated by organised crime. There is very credible evidence which has been before the Royal Commission, which has been in local newspapers, which has been made public by the Victoria Police. There's very credible evidence of contamination of the union movement, particularly the CFMEU, by organised crime, and I think everyone should want us to get to the bottom of this and to put the people responsible for it behind bars.


Why do you need a taskforce on this given the Royal Commission has the power to [inaudible]?


If you go back and look at the letter which the Royal Commissioner wrote to the Government some weeks back, he said that while Royal Commissions do have extensive powers, in many respects the police have much wider powers when it comes to investigating and tackling criminal behaviour. The police also have much more ability to protect witnesses because the intimidation of witnesses has been a very significant issue as the Royal Commissioner made clear in his letters to the Government. That's been a very significant issue – intimidation of witnesses – and the police are best placed to protect witnesses who might otherwise be exposed to very serious danger.


But the Assistant Commissioner did tell the Royal Commission that witnesses were intimidated and scared to give evidence. What does this taskforce change? How effective can it really be if witnesses don't feel comfortable?


Part of the work of this Taskforce will be ensuring that witnesses are protected because if we are going to get to the bottom of serious crime, if we are going to get to the bottom of what sometimes looks like a conspiracy between the CFMEU and organised crime, we have to be able to protect witnesses. Some very heavy individuals, particularly in this state of Victoria, are mixed up with the CFMEU and that's why it's important to have all the resources of the law deployed against them and in favour of decent, ordinary people who are trying to go about their lives lawfully.


Is it worse in Victoria than it is in other states?


Look, Melbourne has always been a CFMEU bastion. Some of you might remember that when I was workplace relations minister a decade or so back I established the Cole Royal Commission into the construction industry. The Cole Royal Commission led to the establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission which did have strong cooperation with the police to try to ensure that this illegal conduct was stamped out.

Now unfortunately, one of the actions of the former Labor government in Canberra when Bill Shorten was the industrial relations minister was to effectively neuter the Australian Building and Construction Commission and that's why it's important that we restore the rule of law on our building sites. Construction is a $50 billion a year-plus industry. It employs tens and tens of thousands of people. It should be a safe and efficient industry, a fair industry, where people are able to go about their business without this kind of intimidation and thuggery and that's what this Royal Commission, that's what this Taskforce is designed to guarantee.


What sort of resources will the Taskforce have?


The Taskforce will be funded by the Commonwealth out of the Royal Commission budget. I'm only giving you ballpark staffing but about 30 police will be involved in this Taskforce. The majority of them will be Australian Federal Police, but it will be funded from the Royal Commission's budget and we believe that the $50-odd million that we've allocated to the Royal Commission will cover this Taskforce and any other taskforce that will be established.


Can I ask how advanced discussions are with other states in terms of similar taskforces?


My understanding is that they are quite advanced and that certainly within weeks, if not within days, there will be further taskforces established.


Do you think there's enough evidence of wrongdoing to deregister the CFMEU?


That's ultimately a matter for the relevant authorities. The Royal Commission will presumably come to a final position in coming months and then there are various other authorities which would need to consider it, but I'm certainly not at this point in time saying that that should happen. What I'm saying at this point in time is that we must stamp out criminal behaviour, we must crack down on the links between the CFMEU and organised crime and we need this powerful Joint Police Taskforce to make that happen.


Premier, you've long sought to highlight the links between the Labor Party and the union movement. Is this a helpful announcement for you a month out from the state election?


This is an announcement about the interests of the law. This is an announcement about stamping out corruption, stamping out illegal behaviour in our building and construction industry, and what I would call on is for bipartisan support for this Joint Police Taskforce. So, I call on Daniel Andrews to not only support this police taskforce but to instruct the CFMEU and ACTU leadership to fully cooperate with this Taskforce. Daniel Andrews should use his influence with the union movement to urge them to fully cooperate with this Taskforce, to get rid of illegal behaviour, criminality, corruption and blackmail on our building sites and in our building and construction industry.


Premier Napthine, do you think there's enough evidence to deregister the CFMEU?


We've made a submission to the Royal Commission suggesting the Royal Commission examine this matter, particularly in light of the behaviour of the CFMEU on the Myer Emporium issue and a number of other issues across building and construction sites in Victoria and we've asked the Royal Commission to examine whether they should make a recommendation with regard to deregistering of the CFMEU.


You talk about the evidence from this Royal Commission. What about the child abuse Royal Commission as well? Is there now, I suppose, the evidence for a similar taskforce in to child abuse?


I think we've had very extensive ongoing investigations into this – very, very extensive ongoing investigations into this – and I am determined to do whatever we reasonably can to ensure that those ongoing investigations succeed. One of the reasons why the Government is determined to ensure that telecommunications providers keep metadata for two years and make it available under appropriate circumstances to criminal investigators is because this is particularly important when it comes to cracking down on paedophile rings.


Premier, you said the other day that you had a robust conversation with the Prime Minister about the increase to the fuel tax. Have you had a chance to have that conversation face to face [inaudible]?


Thanks for the question. My relationship with the Prime Minister is a positive relationship and I thank the Prime Minister for his $3 billion commitment to East West Link and I value his contribution to being the infrastructure Prime Minister for Australia because we, certainly in Victoria, are driving a significant infrastructure agenda – the biggest infrastructure rebuild in Victoria's history.

So, we welcome the Prime Minister's involvement in infrastructure here in Victoria, but we do have our differences. As Premier of Victoria, I'll put Victorian families and Victorian interests first, second and third and at times I will raise those on behalf of Victorians directly with the Prime Minister as I have done this week with regard to decisions on fuel pricing.


And look, I absolutely understand that Denis’s job is to fight for the people of Victoria. I absolutely understand that and I expect no less from Coalition premiers than a robust defence of the interests of their state. Now, people are citizens of our nation as well as citizens of the states, so in the end we all come together in the national interest but on the way through there can certainly be some very vigorous discussion between the Prime Minister and even premiers of like mind. That's the way our system works.


So will we be seeing more of you during the campaign, Prime Minister?


I certainly expect to be in Victoria numerous times over the next month or so. I certainly expect to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Premier on a number of occasions between now and polling day. I think it's absolutely critical for Victoria and for Australia that the Napthine government gets returned. Apart from anything else, the only way to ensure that the vital East West Link gets built is to re-elect the Napthine government in Spring Street and to keep the Coalition Government in Canberra because Premier Napthine has signed the contracts, this is going ahead; it will involve almost 7,000 jobs. It will be an absolute boon for all of the people of Melbourne, including the people of Geelong, and yet Daniel Andrews, or Dan Andrews as he now wants to be known, wants to tear up the contracts. Labor used to say that contracts were sacrosanct. Now they say they'll tear up these contracts because they're terrified of the Greens in their marginal inner-Melbourne seats. Well, this is a sign of someone who is not ready to carry the heavy responsibilities of the premiership.


Prime Minister, does it concern you that your federal decisions may hamper Dr Napthine’s re-election chances?


I want to do everything I can to help my friend, Denis Napthine, but just as he’s got to act in the best interests of Victoria, I’ve got to act in the best interests of the Commonwealth and the fuel excise indexation measure was a budget measure, it’s not something new; it was announced in the Budget back in May. So, this is not a surprise to anyone. It’s something that has been out there in the public arena for many months. All that happened was that this week we decided to do by different means that which we had proposed earlier to do by other means. Because of the obstruction in the Senate, of the Labor Party and the Greens – their allies – we decided to pursue this by different means, but it’s a policy that’s been on the table now for months.


Prime Minister, why did you decide to change your mind [inaudible] Australia joined the Chinese-led bank and are you worried that this decision will influence the negotiations on the free trade agreement?


We are having ongoing discussions with the Chinese government about this. Frankly, I hope this infrastructure bank can go ahead because we need more infrastructure, we need more infrastructure funding. I think it’s absolutely appropriate that China should seek to lead this particular institution. I welcome the initiative that China has taken in respect of this institution, but it’s got to be a multilateral institution and this has been the consistent position of the Australian Government in our discussions with the Chinese government that we would like to join, but it’s got to be a multilateral institution with the kind of transparency and the kind of governance arrangements that, for argument’s sake, the World Bank has. Should we get that sort of transparency and those sorts of governance arrangements, not only will Australia be happy to join, but I imagine that Korea and Japan and the United States would also be happy to join and that would mean that we would have a maximally funded and maximally competitive infrastructure bank here in Asia.


Are you worried about repercussions from this decision though?


In the end, the free trade agreement that is being negotiated between China and Australia is good for both countries – it is good for both countries. I’m not expecting China to sign up out of good will or idealism, although I think they have both; I’m expecting China to sign the free trade agreement because it’s in their national interests that they have better access to our market and we have better access to their market because free trade is all about jobs and growth. It’s all about jobs and growth and if this agreement goes ahead as I very much hope it will, our exporters – our agricultural exporters in particular – will have better access to the massive Chinese market and Chinese consumers will have much better access to the highest quality, the cleanest and the safest products. As China grows and as their middle class expands, that’s exactly what they’ll want – they’ll want more access at the best price to the best possible products and that’s what Australia can supply.


Prime Minister, do you share Malcolm Turnbull’s concerns about reporting from the Northern Territory newspaper about Nova Peris and the way the [inaudible] were released?


I really don’t want to get into this. It’s a personal business. The Senator gave a statement in the Senate last night and I really think that it’s a matter that she has answered.


Malcolm Turnbull’s raised concerns about the reporting, though. Do you think that those concerns are valid?


I haven’t seen that and I really shouldn’t comment on statements that I haven’t seen. As a former journalist, the last thing I want to do is to start pontificating on media standards. Perhaps you people can have your own debate amongst yourselves on media standards.


Do you think Malcolm Turnbull’s pontificating on media standards?


You people can have your own debate about this one.


Prime Minister, do you welcome the Direct Action plan passing the Senate?


Of course, I do – this is a policy that we took to two elections. I’m pleased that the crossbench Senators acknowledge that we had a mandate for this. I’m disappointed that the Labor Party keeps dealing itself out of relevance by refusing to talk constructively to the Government on these issues. As you know, I’ve been able to have a constructive discussion with Mr Shorten on national security issues. But I think it’s important that we should be able to have discussions on economic security issues and on environmental security issues because they’re all important for the future of our country. And given that the Labor Party created many of the problems that we’re dealing with, it’s important that the Labor Party should engage to try to come up with suitable solutions.


[Inaudible] how determined are you on the East West Link? You know Labor’s policies. You’ve seen the polls out – they don’t look great at the moment for the Government. Can you guarantee that if Labor gets in and they rip up the contracts, Daniel Andrews talks about how he is hoping to be able to have a discussion with the federal Government about reusing those funds – how open to that will you actually be?


Those funds are available for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to build East West Link and if Daniel Andrews – or Dan Andrews – is not prepared to spend the money on East West Link, as he says he is not, well, that money will not be forthcoming. Now, the only way you build East West Link is to re-elect the Napthine government and to keep the Coalition Government in Canberra. It is just a bit sad that in order to try to hold on to seats where Labor is under Green threat that the Opposition Leader has completely junked what was previously the settled principle that governments abide by signed contracts. The contract has been signed; the Link has been inked, so to speak. Daniel Andrews should honour those contracts but he said he won’t. So, there is only one conclusion to come to and that is if you want East West Link you have got to re-elect the Napthine government, you have got to keep the Coalition Government in Canberra. This is, as far as I can work out, the biggest single issue in the campaign and it is an absolutely clear distinction between the Coalition Government on the one hand and the Labor Party on the other.


If I can add to that, the East West Link concept was originally drawn up by Sir Rod Eddington appointed by the former Labor Government here in Victoria. He endorsed it as the number one road project for Melbourne and Victoria under a Labor Government. At the time Bill Shorten and Cesar Melhem made submissions to that process arguing in favour of the East West Link. So, Labor has been a champion of the East West Link until very recently when they have pulled the plug on it to support their inner city candidates under attack from the Greens.


Prime Minister, you know about mandates. Surely, as you say, if this is the number one issue, if Labor wins won’t they have a mandate to scrap it? Surely, and I don’t want to pontificate things, using your words, but surely you don’t want to go to a federal election saying to the people of Victoria – you’re Government has a plan but we’re not going to [inaudible]?


But just as state governments are entitled to have their priorities, Commonwealth governments are entitled to have different priorities. This Commonwealth Government’s priority is to build East West Link and that is what we will fund. We will fund East West Link as we have promised. As we have already started to do. We will fund East West Link. We aren’t going to fund other projects at the expense of East West Link. So, Dan Andrews can say what he wants but the money that we have put forward for East West Link is for East West Link alone. If you want East West Link to go ahead there is only one person that you can vote for and that is Premier Denis Napthine.


What will be done to ensure that the CFMEU doesn’t [inaudible]?


Well, this Taskforce is a good step forward because this Taskforce will address issues raised by the Royal Commission; issues identified by Victoria Police of criminal behaviour, links to criminal organisations and it will investigate blackmail, corruption, thuggery, bullying on our building sites in our construction industry. So, this Taskforce will be a great step forward in tackling criminal and illegal behaviour in the building construction industry and any links to the unions here in Victoria.


Thanks so much. Thank you.


Premier, have you invited the Prime Minister to your campaign launch yet?






International travel schedule permitting – yes.


Ross Eastgate OAM responds to The Daily Telegraph's report on 2RAR's SVN record

On 23 October 2014 The Townsville Bulletin (itself a News Limited publication) published this article by Ross Eastgate OAM.   Ross corrects the record on behalf of Peter White MC and every member of 2 Platoon, A Company, 2nd Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment who deployed to South Vietnam in 1967-68.

Here is some of what Ross had to say - you can read the entire article here at The Townsville Bulletin.

Shameful slur demands reply


EVERY individual carries for a lifetime the consequences of personal actions.

Perhaps none so more than those who have experienced military combat first hand, when instant decisions do not always end with intended consequences.

At 0735hrs on Monday, October 23 1967, 2 Platoon A Coy 2RAR initiated an ambush in AO Petre, Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam when 14 individuals walked into the killing zone.

The ambush was situated 2000m into a restricted area and the individuals were observed wearing packs and carrying what were later identified as sticks.

There were no Australian casualties but four Vietnamese were killed, six wounded plus three unhurt who were reported to be “hysterical”.

The following day another wounded Vietnamese was located and medically evacuated.

The incident is clearly recorded in the war diaries of both 2RAR and HQ 1ATF, and was reported to both the Deputy Chief of the General Staff and Minister for the Army in November 1967.

Despite this clear evidence last week journalist Matthew Benns claimed there was “an official cover-up that wiped any record of the incident from the official history”, “the published official histories sanitised (the incident)”; which “(was removed) from the official history”; and “had been airbrushed from the official history”.

Further he claimed the company commander the late Peter White MC suggested placing weapons on the bodies would have somehow added credibility to the ambush outcome.

Peter White died in 2005 and cannot defend himself but this slur on the reputation of an honourable man cannot go unchallenged.

Benns could have, but obviously did not, check the reports of the ambush which are readily accessible on the Australian War Memorial website.

There are no deletions, removals or cover-ups in the digitised copies of the original reports.

The incident has been accurately reported in subsequent histories.

Read more at The Townsville Bulletin.


Here is some undated background on Ross from

Ross Eastgate enjoyed Year 12 at Bundy High so much in 1966 he did it again in 1967 before heading off to the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1968.

He graduated to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals in December 1971 and served in PNG, the Middle East, Bougainville and East Timor.

Ross was awarded an OAM in 2000 for his service to veterans and their families.

An inveterate scribbler even at Bundy High, his latter career has been in journalism and he is presently a columnist, features writer and the beer editor at The Gold Coast Bulletin.

Ross helps Roger maintain the world's oldest and most authoritative website on 'Waltzing Matilda'. Using his fluency in PNG Melanesian Pidgin, he provided background to and and explanation of 'Kai Kai the Buai'.

Ross, who has been never short of a word, can be heard every ANZAC Day as one half of the ABC TV Queensland commentary team covering the Brisbane march. He also turns up on ABC Radio, e.g. on War 'Stories' (8 February 2005), with Sandy McCutcheon on 'Does The Culture Of The Military Need To Change?', and even with a photo.

He is married to Anne, they have three adult children and two dogs.

Ross eastgate

(Ross Eastgate at his daughter Kathryn's wedding - courtesy

Power, corruption, violence and hurt.

There's some controversy as to who ought be credited with these quotations.   Regardless of who first put the words together they've been ringing in my ears as I try to make sense of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption's hearings.


It's said that "power corrupts," but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. When they do act, they think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is insatiable, implacable.


The Postman (1985), p. 267 Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950)


It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.


Values of the Wise : Humanity's Highest Aspirations (2004) by Jason Merchey, p. 120


"All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted."

Frank Herbert in Chapterhouse: Dune (1985).

I am writing a Chapter about this issue.   I'd love your thoughts.





AFP responds to our report regarding Wayne FORNO and his statutory declaration of TWU membership numbers

On Monday 4 August 2014 I made this report to the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.

The key points were:

  • The AFP enforces the Statutory Declarations Act 1958
  • On 24 March 2014 Mr Wayne Forno swore an apparently false Statutory Declaration, stating the TWU NSW Branch had 43,835 members - by his admission he knew at the time it had 17,300.

This morning I received this letter from Superintendent Mark McIntyre of the AFP Crime Operations department.

Afp forno

The Fair Work Commission has no enforcement role in relation to policing the Statutory Declarations Act 1958 - it also has no role in policing murder, rape or armed robbery.   Police prosecute a range of Australians every day - normally without regard to the status their job might confer on them.   That is the duty of police.   Their role is to detect offences and bring offenders before the courts.  

Joel Silver makes some very good points in this paper submitted to the Royal Commission into Union Corruption and Governance, summed up in this quote:


While there is some merit in their separate registration and regulation, there is 
nothing so unique or complicated about trade unions as to justify investigations
into them being handled by a specialist agency, let alone to the exclusion of
ordinary law enforcement. Agencies including the Australian Federal Police and
Australian Crime Commission have experience in such investigations (of which
the General Manager Fair Work Australia was shown to be lacking), and whose impartiality is not as easily called into question. Such agencies should have responsibility for all and
any future investigations


I note that the Fair Work Commission's GM Bernadette O'Neill is yet to report any inquiry or investigation into this matter.

I'll have more to say, rest assured.  While the Gillard Government went out of its way to protect its union mates, we will hold this Government to account in undoing any actual or perceived special protections for mates of the elites.