AFP responds to our report regarding Wayne FORNO and his statutory declaration of TWU membership numbers
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
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.
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.