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October 2014

For everyone who served, did the rightie and is still paying the price.

I received this note from reader K overnight who said:.

I received this email today from one of T’s Vet mates.  Thought I would like to share with you.  Thinking of Ralph at this time also as I watch this.  PTSD is a bitch!




This Canadian guy makes a major point without being angry, political or complaining in his song touching on PTSD.

Recorded in Canada, but could be almost any Western, civilised country.


After last week's non-story in The Daily Telegraph (reporting someone once might have had an unactioned thought bubble about planting weapons on civilians killed in an authorised and proper Australian action in SVN) Ralph Blewitt sent me this link to some home movies shot by Geoff Cantrill featuring A Company, 2nd Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment, SVN 67-68. 

Duty First.

A coy 2rar



The late Wendy Brown on the Nullabor as a little girl in the 1950s

Roger Brown dropped me a note this afternoon with these lovely photos of a beautiful girl in a byegone era.

Roger's filled me in on Wendy's early life - no school, no neighbours, no parks and playgrounds, just the family's huge farm on the Nullabor where everyone was expected to pitch in and do their bit.



Wendy's wonderful turn of phrase and beautiful artworks don't seem to have been diminished by her lack of early schooling.   She really was the embodiment of that indomitable Australian pioneer spirit - self-sufficient, self-taught, no-nonsense and her word was her bond.

We need more role models like Wendy.   If we had more people like her influencing the national character we'd have much less tolerance for the jellyfish, wimps and carpet-baggers who fill our political leadership ranks.

Rest in Peace Wendy, God love ya!

Royal Commission CFMEU hearing continues - NSW State Secretary Brian "Sparkles" Parker in the witness box

Sparkles oath

Brian Parker was sworn properly.

Mr Stoljar asked him a series of questions about phone calls and conversations with Ms Zanatta, Mr Atkin and others.

Mr Parker admits to participating in phone calls, particularly where there are call-records of those calls being made or received.   However he does not admit to the content of those conversations, he is consistently giving the "I can't recall" answer.


';k;lk;'lpmp p

Mr Parker's answers to the last few questions I've heard makes one thing crystal clear - he is studiously adopting the "Can't Remember a Flamin' Thing" approach.

I don't think he's particularly convincing - however it must be frustrating for Counsel Assisting whose job is to get to the truth and expose falsehoods.

It would appear that the i-message facility on Ms Zanatta's computer also stores text messages.   Mr Parker may well be looking at a similar evidentiary fate as befell Ms Butera.

Ms Stoljar put to Mr Parker that this evidence given by him to the Commission on 23 October was false.


Mr Parker confirmed the truth of that evidence.

Mr Stoljar pointed out that Mr Parker had given 3 different versions of his recollection of the phone calls - I can't recall, I deny that happened and something else that will have to wait for the transcript.

Mr Parker gets himself in strife when he deviates from the CRAFT script.

Mr Parker denies that he said to Ms Zanatta, "Everything is safe, in my hands."

He denies he had the confidential CBUS information.

He confirms that he had a phone conversation with Ms Zanatta.

He denies that the phone conversation was about the confidential member information.

Mr Parker was shown a note prepared by Ms Zanatta shortly after speaking with Mr Parker.

Ms Butera said, "Did BP call you back?

Ms Zanatta said, "No, I'll call him now.

The phone records show Mr Parker had a telephone conversation at 11.54 with Ms Zanatta.

At 11.59 Ms Zanatta i-messaged Ms Butera and said, "Everything is still safe, in his hands only".

Mr Parker responded with, "I wouldn't have a clue".

Mr Parker denied that he has given false evidence on this matter.    He denies knowledge of having given false evidence.   But he's starting to remember some things and not others, it doesn't help his credibility.

At 2.55PM Mr Stoljar completed his examination.

Ms Heath is now cross-examining Ms Parker.

She points out that in an i-message exchange Ms Zanatta and Mr Parker refer to each other as "comrade".   He says that he called her comrade because she called him comrade.   Ms Heath asked if it was an unusual mode of address  - Mr Parker said it wasn't.   Likewise he said it wasn't unusual for someone from CBUS to sign off on a message with "Yours in Unity".   He agrees that he did not query those words.   He does not accept Ms Heath's proposition that the "Yours in Unity" suggests that Ms Zanatta and Mr Parker were engaged in some joint activity.


Ms Heath, not unreasonably, suggested to Mr Parker that Ms Zanatta's mode of address, "Comrade" and "Yours in Unity" gave rise to the view that each of them felt that their organisations, CBUS and the CFMEU were engaged in some activity where their interests coincided.   Mr Parker disagreed.

At 3.03 Ms Heath completed her cross examination.   No one else wanted a go.   He has been excused.

Mr Stoljar asked the Commissioner to excuse Ms Butera as well, the Commissioner pointed out that the last time the Commission excused her it caused considerable additional expense in recalling her, she has not been excused from attendance on the current summons.

At 3.05PM the Commission rose and was adjourned to a date to be fixed.





Royal Commission CFMEU hearing at midday - first witness Maria Butera

Royal commission

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

A public hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5 of 55 Market Street, Sydney on Tuesday 28 October 2014.

The witness list is:

Tuesday 28 October (12.00pm – 4.00pm)

  • Maria Butera
  • Brian Parker

28 oct


At 12 noon the Commission commenced its hearing.

Mr Agius made an Application to the Commissioner for reasons for his order of 23 October 2014 that a certain statement not be received into evidence. The Commissioner is now delivering the reasons.


I believe that the Commissioner has directed that his reasons for the order (which he is currently delivering to the internet) not be published.

The Commissioner has now revoked the confidentiality order on his reasons which will now be published in due course.

Maria Butera has been called and sworn. 

Maria butera has been sworn

Mr Stoljar took Ms Butera through this element of the transcript of her appearance last week, seeking her confirmation that her evidence to the Commission was complete and truthful.

952 953 954 Nothing else

Ms Butera was asked specifically about the content of her telephone call of 2.40PM on Friday, 26 July 2013.


Ms Butera now says she has no recollection of that call.

Ms Butera was asked if the following evidence was truthful evidence.

Truthful evidence


Ms Butera was referred to evidence given to the Royal Commission by former CFMEU official Brian Fitzpatrick on 15 July, 2014.

Fitzpatrick evidence Fitzpatrick lisa

Ms Butera states that she had no conversations or communications of any kind with Ms Zanatta in relation to the unlawful leak of confidential CBUS member information to the Sydney office of the CFMEU.

The Commissioner spoke to Ms Butera to make sure she understood that Mr Stoljar was asking about any communications, text, email, phone, message at all.   Ms Butera confirmed that she understood the nature of the question.

No way mate

Mr Stoljar put to Ms Butera that she was actively involved in conversations with both Mr Parker and Ms Zanatta in order to coordinate the delivery of the unlawfully leaked confidential member information to Mr Parker.   Ms Butera states that she had no such conversations or communications of any kind.

Mr Stoljar put quite specifically to Ms Butera that she had conversations with Ms Zanatta both to arrange the delivery to Mr Parker and to confirm that delivery had been effected.   Ms Butera denied the allegation.

Put it to her

Mr Stoljar gave Ms Butera a document to read - I suspect a gotcha moment.   Ms Butera is now reading the document.

Painful to watch

Mr Stoljar, "I suggest to you that the evidence you have given today has been false and that you knew it to be false."

Ms Butera, "I don't remember any of this."

Mr Stoljar took Ms Butera to this record of her previous evidence:

Opportunity to tell truth

Mr Stoljar, "I want to give you every chance to tell the Commission truthfully and fully everything that happened, do you want to take up that opportunity?"

Ms Butera, "You've heard my evidence."

Mr Stoljar, "I want to suggest to you that this is the truth, in July Mr McWhinney released information to Mr Fitzpatrick of the CFMEU, there wasn't enough detail to suit the CFMEU's purposes.   On 18 July Mr Parker rang Mr Atkin and asked for detailed contact information.  Ms Zanatta set about obtaining that information.  On 25 July you had a conversation with Ms Zanatta about that information.   Contrary to your evidence you organised the delivery of that information with Ms Zanatta.   You organised that with Ms Zanatta, didn't you?"

Ms Butera, "No I didn't."

Mr Stoljar has produced a document that contains a record of the contents of Ms Zanatta's laptop, including i-messages between Ms Zanatta and Ms Butera.   The contents of that document include this message from Ms Zanatta to Ms Butera, "I've made arrangements with Brian Parker's PA to drop off the information to Brian.  He's expecting a call from you when you can."

Ms Butera is not taking up the opportunity to change her evidence.

At 2.43 on 26 July Ms Butera sent an i-message to Ms Zanatta, "Done.   He understands completely and is committed to using the information very carefully.[or similar words to that effect]"



The Commissioner is now laying out directly to Ms Butera the truthful effect of the i-messages recorded on Ms Zanatta's laptop.   He said, "I really think you should try and do yourself some justice, you have to consider your position as a witness to a body that is entitled to administer an oath to you.   The time for protecting other people has ended."

Mr Stoljar, "Are you trying to protect other people?"

Ms Butera, "No."


Ms Butera contends that the package of information could have been to do with sponsorship or the "workplace data-base".

Mr Stoljar put to Ms Butera that she was involved in a remarkable situation, a situation where she had been scheming with Ms Zanatta to unlawfully deliver confidential information to Mr Parker of the CFMEU in Sydney.   He stated that Ms Butera's claim that she can't remember what happened is fanciful.

The Commissioner re-read the message from Ms Zanatta, "I have made arrangements to drop off the information to Brian Parker's PA."

Ms Butera, "I can't be sure."

The Commissioner, "You're trifling with Mr Stoljar, aren't you?"

Ms Butera just can't remember.

The Commissioner is very clearly setting out the precise nature of Ms Butera's false evidence, the extent of it, the extent of her knowledge of its falseness and the difference between not remembering and denying that something happened.   Ms Butera is yet to wake up to just how bad her position is.

On Monday 29 July, 2013 Ms Butera and Ms Zanatta had an i-message exchange, Mr Stoljar, "The reason that you contacted Ms Zanatta at 11.46 and 40 seconds to say 'Everything OK?' was that you wanted to know whether she had delivered the secret material to Mr Parker, that's true isn't it?"

Ms Butera, "I just wanted to make sure that she was OK."

Both the Commissioner and Mr Stoljar are doing their best to supress their incredulity.

Ms Zanatta replied to Ms Butera's i-message, "Yes all done, delivered".

Ms Butera is continuing with her earlier evidence that she had absolutely no idea that Ms Zanatta was in Sydney, that she had confidential member information or that she was delivering the confidential information to Mr Parker.

Mr Stoljar asked Ms Butera about the following message sent to her from Ms Zanatta, "Did BP call you back? MB".   Ms Butera would not admit that it related to a query about Brian Parker.

The Commissioner intervened - "You are not doing yourself justice Ms Butera.   You are an intelligent woman.   Who do you think BP is?   British Petroleum?"

Mr Stoljar pointed out that Ms Zanatta confirmed that Brian Parker did call.   Ms Zanatta responded with a message to Ms Butera, "Everything is safe in his hands only."

Ms Butera will not admit that the message relates to the confidential information.

Mr Stoljar asked Ms Butera what her explanation was to explain away that exchange.   Ms Butera said, "I don't have one".

Ms Butera states that she can't be sure what Ms Zanatta meant.


Ms Butera, "I didn't think he got the information from us, I thought it came from somewhere else".

Ms Butera was shown a letter from the CBUS lawyers Holding Redlich referring to the telephone calls made by CFMEU officials using the confidential information that Ms Zanatta had dropped off.   He stated that the legal action and evidence of the phone calls to LisCon employees was the reason she was constantly exchanging messages with Ms Zanatta and expressing worry about whether the information was "safe in Mr Parker's hands.

Mr Stoljar took Ms Butera to this evidence given by her on 7 July 2014.

Dishonest mthe

Mr Stoljar gave her every chance.   Ms Butera still maintains that she was telling the truth then.   He stated that she gave premeditated, false evidence, pre-planned lies to the Commission on 7 July, on 23 October and today.   Ms Butera says that her evidence has been truthful.

Pattern false

Ms Butera says the following is truthful evidence.


The Commissioner took Ms Butera to this evidence given on 7 July 2014.


Ms Butera invented some story about speaking to Mr Parker "after the event".

Mr Stoljar, "You have told the Commission that the request he made to the CEO was being actioned, that's your evidence isn't it?"

Mr Stoljar took Ms Butera to this evidence of 23 October 2014.


Mr Stoljar referred Ms Butera to this evidence.

Reiterate girl

Ms Butera reiterated the manifestly false claim.   She is compounding her troubles terribly.

Mr Stoljar referred Ms Butera to the CBUS Manual - we have referred to it previously here.

The CBUS Manual setting out the obligations of Responsible Persons (like Ms Butera) is here.

Ms Butera states that she understands her obligations under the Responsible Person provisions to act ethically and honestly. 

Mr Stoljar asked Ms Butera to write down the PIN code for her mobile phone, presumably for the recovery of messages.

At 1.40 Mr Stoljar completed his examination.

Somehow Mr Morrison resisted the temptation to cross examine Ms Butera.

Ms Heath is now cross examining Ms Butera on behalf of her client LisCon.

Ms Heath quizzed Ms Butera about whether or not she routinely deletes i-messages from her phone, whether she backs up her phone to any other device and similar questions.   Ms Butera states that she does, and in answer to Ms Heath's question she stated that she had "probably" deleted the i-messages between herself and Ms Zanatta.

Ms Heath asked who was Dave A "Mr Atkins the CEO" and Dave N "Probably Dave Noonan".

Ms Heath, "Do you have a work colleague who has the initials MR?   Could it be Michael Ravbar?"

Ms Butera, "Possibly".

The Commissioner intervened - "Can you do better than possibly?

Ms Buter, "It's probable."

At 1.50 Ms Heath completed her cross examination.   Mr Agius declined the opportunity to ask questions of Ms Butera.

Mr Stoljar has one further matter to put to Ms Butera, it relates to the timing of Mr Andrew Clark's appointment to CBUS.   Ms Butera states that it was definitely 2013 that Andrew Clark joined CBUS.



Ms Butera has just given evidence that there were "suspicions" about Ms Zanatta's movements and requisitions of information by August/September 2014.   She doesn't know whether anything was done about the suspicions or whether they were investigated.   She really doesn't know when to shut up.

At 1.58PM Ms Butera was allowed to leave the witness box - but she has not been excused from attendance at the Commission for the day.

Not excused










Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption publishes submissions

Royal commission

Media Release

28 October 2014

Commission releases policy submissions

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has published responses to a range of issues papers relating to the governance, financial management and operation of trade unions and associated relevant entities.

The Commission sought comment from community and professional organisations, interested individuals and academics on four key issues that fall under its Terms of Reference.

The Commission received 24 submissions from registered organisations, including the Australian Industry Group, Master Builders Australia and Slater and Gordon on behalf of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

Other submissions came from the NSW Government, Seyfarth Shaw on behalf of the State of Victoria and the Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

All policy submissions made in response to the issues papers have been publicly released and are available on the Commission’s website at

The CEO of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, said the community and stakeholder consultation process complemented the Commission’s public hearings.

“The public submission process ensured the Royal Commission had access to a range of opinion on policy reform. This will help inform the Commission during its current inquiry,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

Issues PaperNumber of Submissions
Whistleblower Protection
Duties of Union Officials
Funding of Trade Union Elections
Relevant Entities
General submissions to multiple papers


Responses to the issues papers

The responses received by the Royal Commission relating to the issues papers can be accessed using the links under the relevant headings below.  The responses are listed in order of receipt.

The documents have been provided in a PDF format. If you require these documents in a different accessible format please contact[email protected] [PDF KB].

General responses to the issues papers

Protections available to whistleblowers

Duties of union officials

Funding of trade union elections

Relevant entities

Note that the Royal Commission received formal notification from the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Western Australian Corruption and Crime Commission that they would not be making a formal submission.

Queries in regards to the public consultation and requests for an alternative version of a response can be directed to the addresses below.

Email: [email protected]
Post: Office of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
GPO Box 2477

The CFMEU official who lied to a Royal Commission, got sacked (a bit) but is still with the CFMEU

CFMEU organiser Sammy Manna was the subject of this adverse finding by the Cole Royal Commission in its final report dated February, 2003 (Page 117, TCB Concreters).

65 Manna was not called to give evidence until Friday, 28 June 2002. He thus had between
Saturday and the following Friday to consider the content of his statement. The material
contained in that statement was so personally damaging and destructive of the credit of
Joanne Messina that I determined to take her evidence, when she was cross-examined in
relation to these matters, in confidential session. Joanne Messina denied emphatically and
completely each and every allegation which was put against her of infidelity with Manna.

66 After Joanne Messina had concluded her evidence, Manna was called in confidential session and he was examined. He gave detailed evidence concerning what he said were four
meetings in which he met Joanne Messina at a coffee shop; that he went to three different
places, although at times he said it was the same place; that he and Joanne Messina kissed on
one occasion and had intercourse on three.

67 On 2 July 2002 Manna gave further evidence, in confidential session, in which he completely withdrew every one of the allegations concerning his alleged sexual relationship with Joanne Messina and acknowledged that they were entirely false. The reason that he has ascribed for concocting this story is that he wished to get back at Joanne Messina, and to cause her embarrassment and public humiliation. Manna apologised to Joanne Messina and to the Commission.

68 I then concluded that Salvatore Manna had demonstrated by his own words that he is a man of no credit, and that the whole of his evidence to the Commission must be considered against the background that he consciously, and for the purpose of seeking revenge, lied on oath to the Commission. I remain of that view.

69 I directed that the Solicitor for the Commission refer certain matters concerning Manna’s
evidence to the New South Wales Police Service for further investigation. I also directed that
the transcript of Salvatore Manna’s evidence be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions
for consideration as to whether charges should be brought in respect of perjury, false swearing or otherwise, against the provisions of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (C’wth).


The Sydney Morning Herald published this story by Brad Norington on 31 March, 2003.

Official who resigned after lying on oath is rehired for same post

A union official who lied to the Cole royal commission was back working for the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union within months of having been encouraged to leave because of his perjured evidence.

"Sammy" Manna resigned from his job as union organiser last year after he admitted to lying on oath about having a secret affair with a woman who co-owned a concrete pouring company.

Among strenuous efforts made to demonstrate its clean image compared with other state branches, the union's NSW branch stressed publicly at the time that Mr Manna would no longer work for it.

However, some months later he was quietly re-employed in the same job as an organiser in the concrete sector by the union's state secretary, Andrew Ferguson.

Mr Ferguson's decision to rehire Mr Manna is strikingly similar to his reaction in the case of another CFMEU official, Vriduar Vega, who was among front-line rioters at Parliament House in Canberra in 1996.

At the time, Mr Ferguson accepted Mr Vega's resignation. He was given a "disciplinary absence" of six months and then quietly rehired.

Mr Ferguson was unavailable for comment yesterday.

In findings last week the royal commissioner Terence Cole said Mr Manna had demonstrated by his own words that he was "a man of no credit".

"The whole of his evidence to the commission must be considered against the background that he consciously, and for the purpose of seeking revenge, lied on oath to the commission."

Last June Mr Manna told the commission he had had sex three times in the back of his union car near a Fairfield rubbish tip with Joanne Messina, who ran a struggling concrete pouring business with her husband.

Mr Manna later recanted the evidence and faces possible charges for perjury and false swearing.


Manna is currently an organiser, he's listed on the CFMEU website here.  

On 23 August 2014 the SMH published a lengthy story by Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker titled "Dangerous Liaisons".   The article details many of George Alex's criminal associates.   It includes this paragraph:

When the erratic armed-robber and attempted murderer Adriano Manna left jail but couldn't find work, his father, construction union organiser Sammy Manna (who was one of the CFMEU officials overseeing Alex's firms) asked Alex to hire him. This arrangement was approved by union boss Brian Parker.

The CFMEU apparently does not value telling the truth.

CBUS Super was a "top 3" most complained about organisation for privacy breaches in Australia 2013-14

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is an independent statutory agency within the Attorney General's portfolio. 

The OAIC was established under the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (AIC Act), which provides for the appointment of the Australian Information Commissioner (Information Commissioner), the Privacy Commissioner (previously appointed under the Privacy Act 1988) and the Freedom of Information Commissioner (FOI Commissioner). 

On Wednesday, 22 October 2014 the Commission released its 2013-14 Annual Report - the media release is here and the Annual Report is here.

Here is an extract from Chapter Seven - Privacy Compliance.


In 2013–14, the OAIC received 4239 privacy complaints, an increase of 183.3% over the 1496 received in 2012–13. This is a significant increase over previous years and appears to arise from changes in the credit related provisions of the Privacy Act and complaints from people affected by several well publicised data breaches in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, the OAIC received 71 voluntary DBNs, a 16.4% increase on the number of DBNs received in 2012–13.

Six CIIs (previously named own motion investigations) were commenced and work was undertaken on 13 assessments (previously known as audits).

Table 7.1 OAIC privacy complaints received and closed since 2010
(From 1 November)
Total number of privacy complaints


Organisations and agencies with the largest numbers of complaints

The most complained about organisations and agencies are listed in Table 7.8.


Table 7.8 Organisations and agencies with the largest number of complaints
Number of complaints
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Veda Advantage Information Services and Solutions Ltd
Cbus Superannuation
ANZ Bank Limited
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Limited
Telstra Corporation Limited
Westpac Banking Corporation
National Australia Bank Limited
St George Bank Limited
Department of Human Services

There are very serious penalties for breaches of privacy and the Board and management of CBUS are in very serious strife.

The complaint to the Privacy Commissioner and a file of correspondence between the OAIC, CBUS and various lawyers and other parties is here.

Lawyers for the LisCon employees affected are seeking a penalty/compensation of $1,000 per affected person.   The "Gaske" leak totals 380 and the Zanatta matter is around 400 - with costs there wouldn't be much change out of $1 million.  

I'd say the OAIC and financial penalties (paid for by CBUS members) are now the least of the problems facing some CBUS executives.   Given the dubious evidence to the Royal Commission, criminal charges and penalties including gaol time may be in the offing.  

The most obvious question for me is - what was it all for?

NSW Police statement - 4 charged over murders of Mahmoud Hamzy and Joe Antoun

Brothers for life

The NSW Police statement is here.

One woman, three men from 'Brothers for Life' charged with murder - SCC Homicide Squad

Monday, 27 October 2014

A woman and three men, all of whom are associated with ‘Brothers for Life’, will today be charged with murder.

Homicide Squad detectives investigating the shooting murders of Mahmoud Hamzy on Tuesday 29 October 2013, and Joe Antoun on Monday 16 December 2013, arrested a woman early today (Monday 27 October 2014).

The woman – a 32-year-old from Dulwich Hill – was arrested at her home around 6am.

She is in the process of being charged with murder and other offences relating to the shooting of Mahmoud Hamzy (who died) and another man (who survived) at Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights, around 12.30am on Tuesday 29 October 2013. The woman will be refused bail and is expected to appear in Burwood Local Court today (Monday 27 October 2014).

Three other men – a 32-year-old, a 29-year-old and a 22-year-old – will also be charged with murder and other offences relating to the Revesby Heights shooting when they appear in Burwood Local Court on other matters later today.

The 32-year-old man and the 29-year-old man will also be charged with an additional count of murder for the roles they allegedly played in the fatal shooting of Joe Antoun at his home on Jersey Road, Strathfield, on the night of Monday 16 December 2013.

The Commander of the Homicide Squad, Detective Superintendent Willing, said today’s charges stemmed from some outstanding police work.

“The detectives working these cases have done an outstanding job,” Detective Superintendent Willing said.

“Their investigative nous and unyielding commitment has resulted in numerous people being charged with murder and other major criminal offences.

“To date, four people have been charged in relation to the murder of Mahmoud Hamzy and four have been charged in relation to the murder of Joe Antoun.

“Rest assured, more charges will be laid in the future as we intend to hunt down and bring to justice anyone who was involved in these ruthless crimes.”


Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Potential difficulties for Ms Butera, Ms Zanatta and Mr Atkin from CBUS

This is a link to the CBUS News magazine published in September, 2011 - and again we are indebted to Seeker of Truth for much of this post.

Cbus news 2011

A newly appointed superannuation co-ordinator for North Queensland, Mr Andrew Clark appears in this issue of CBUS News.

Andrew clark 2011

That article records Andrew Clark joined CBUS on 4 September, 2011.

Last Thursday, 23 October 2014 Ms Butera gave evidence to the Royal Commission about a phone conversation she had with Ms Zanatta on 26 July, 2013.

This transcript is from:

Page 961 - Mr Stoljar to Ms Butera

Q. Later on that day Ms Zanatta rang you again, on the Friday?
 A. She did.
Q. And you had a conversation of about four or five minutes?
A. True.
Q. She told you she was going to Sydney?
A. It had nothing to do with going to Sydney.
Q. What do you say that conversation was about?
A. That was one of the things I actually spoke to her about because I could not recall, and she reminded me that that phone call was in relation to a recently appointed coordinator in Far North Queensland, a gentleman by the name of Andrew Clark, who had come from the CFMEU in Queensland. We had arranged a very intense induction program for him in Melbourne. It coincided - now, I can't be absolutely sure about this, but it coincided with a meeting in Queensland and I think Andrew was on the committee of management. It might not be the committee of management, but it was some committee that was meeting at the same time.”


At pages  964 and 965 Ms Butera states that she told Ms Zanatta to talk to David Atkin about Mr Clark’s attendance because she has to rush off to a Union dinner.

Q. You said that the conversation on the Friday afternoon was in respect of or about a Mr Andrew Clark?
Q. What precisely was the issue?
A. The issue - and I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear.  I'll try and be a bit clearer. Andrew Clark was a newly appointed coordinator in Far North Queensland for Cbus. He was previously a CFMEU organiser but showed a lot of potential in terms of his understanding of the products and services of our fund. We needed somebody to actually look after that area for us and he was employed. It was not long after that that there was - and I think it's a branch committee of management but I can't be absolutely sure. It was a very important one. Andrew really wanted to attend, but it coincided with a week of intensive induction that we had organised in Melbourne for him. So there was a conflict. Did he go to the committee of management for the CFMEU or does he come to do the induction in Melbourne?  That's what Lisa spoke to me about.
Q. And what was the outcome?
 A. If you just give me one more second, this will make sense.
Q. Yes.
A. So I was actually keen to get away that night because I was - I needed to go home, freshen up, and go to a function as a Cbus representative for the reasons that I've already said. If you want me to say it again, I will.  It was the --
THE COMMISSIONER: Q, An AWU State Secretary dinner for his retirement.
A. Thank you. And he had been previously, for a number of years, a director of Cbus, so --
MR STOLJAR: Q. I was really just more concerned about what was the outcome of the conflict to which you made reference about Mr Clark?
A. My recommendation was that he come to Melbourne to take part in the induction, but I said to Lisa, "Before you actually get back to the CFMEU, talk to David.  I'm not going to have time to do it, so talk to our CEO.


David Atkin, the CBUS CEO also gave evidence about his conversation with Ms Zanatta of the same day, 26 July, 2013 - the following exchange is from his evidence on 23 October, 2014:


Q. What about between getting the legal letters, knowing that something had gone wrong, and the conversation with Mr Parker on 18 July?
A. No, I don't believe I spoke to Lisa in that period about Lis-Con.

Q. Well, you say "about Lis-Con", because on the last occasion you remembered a telephone conversation you'd had with Ms Zanatta?
 A. I remember that conversation.

Q. And you remember the content of that conversation?
 A. Yes, I do.

 Q. Ms Heath asked you a bit about that today?
 A. Yes. I have a memory about that because I remember where I was situated and I remember it was a Friday evening and I remember what the conversation was about.

Q. You said you were dropping your daughter off at school?
A. Yes, Greek school.

Q. At Greek school?
 A. Yes, so it was about 4, 4.30, something like that.

Q. This was a conversation about an induction program,  you said on the last occasion?
 A. That's right.

Q. How long was the conversation?
 A. Five minutes.

Q. It was just a routine matter, was it? Who was the new coordinator, by the way?
 A. Our North Queensland coordinator.

Q. Who is that?
 A. Andrew.

Q. Andrew who?
A. The name escapes me. Apologies.

Q. Ms Zanatta rang you late in the afternoon, did she, on a Friday just to talk about that?
A. That's right.

Q. Why wouldn't she have rung Ms Noye?
A. The reason for the call was to let me know that the union was requesting Andrew attend a union event and we had already prearranged an induction program for Andrew to come  down to  Melbourne and that if I was to get a call from the union, to explain that it was not possible for us to change Andrew's plans, given that we had already put in place the  arrangements.

Q. Which union?
A. The CFMEU, remembering that he was in transition from working at the CFMEU to - well, working in the industry,  and I think being a CFMEU delegate, to working for us and so --


There's more - Page 900-901.

The problem for Ms Zanatta, Ms Butera and Mr Atkin is that Mr Clark joined on 4 September 2011 as the CBUS News magazine above shows.

There's also this from the CBUS News February 2012 issue showing Mr Clark as fully fledged and active:

Andrew clark 2012

This cached page of the CBUS Co-ordinators webpage is from 11 February 2012 - apparently after Mr Clark's induction.

Cached clark

This from the Internet Archive cached in October 2012 and this in February 2012, this from Zoominfo in February 2012 and plenty more.

Mr Atkin, the CEO of CBUS says that the phone records are accurate, he did have a conversation with Ms Zanatta on that Friday afternoon late in July 2013 - but it wasn't about LisCon, it was about a co-ordinator called Andrew and:

he was in transition from working at the CFMEU to - well, working in the industry,  and I think being a CFMEU delegate, to working for us and so....

And Ms Butera says the phone records are accurate, she did have a conversation with Ms Zanatta that day, but it wasn't about LisCon, it was about this guy:

Andrew Clark was a newly appointed coordinator in Far North Queensland for Cbus. He was previously a CFMEU organiser but showed a lot of potential in terms of his understanding of the products and services of our fund.

Someone didn't check the details - CBUS's own publications tell us Mr Clark joined CBUS on 4 September 2011.   Just on 2 years had elapsed by Friday, 26 July 2013 when Ms Zanatta organised the courier, the trip to Sydney and the other details like approvals.  

She spoke to Ms Butera and the CEO Mr Atkin that day.   Maybe some time soon they'll tell us what they really discussed.