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March 2015

Police say CommBank bribery charges arise from exec granting a "lucrative IT contract without putting it to tender"

This sentence tells you what the Commonwealth Bank bribery scandal is all about:

Police will allege in court that the managers granted the IT company a "lucrative contract without putting it to public tender".

It's usually worth a very close look to find out why any large-scale contract is let without being put to a competitive process.   In this case, the bank and police allege bribery was at the heart of the decision.

The Trade Union Royal Commission still has 9 months to look carefully at the Dawesville Channel contract awarded by the Carmen Lawrence Cabinet to Thiess.    Thus far, there's been no compelling reason for the decision not to put the contract to tender - and we know corrupt payments were made from Thiess to Bruce Wilson.   Put simply, it smells very bad - just like the CommBank IT scandal.

Here's Fairfax's report today: 

Former Commonwealth Bank IT executive charged with bribery

A former IT executive at the Commonwealth Bank has been arrested and charged with bribery offences following an investigation involving police officers from NSW and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The 61-year-old US national living in Sydney, who police allege has now left his job at the bank, was arrested at a home in Surry Hills on Tuesday and charged with two counts of bribery following an investigation into more than $US1.5 million ($1.96 million) in corrupt payments allegedly being made to two of the bank's former staff.

Detectives will allege in court that two former employees of the bank were involved in a corrupt relationship with a now publicly-listed technology provider based in the US.

The bank contacted NSW Police earlier this year after its internal investigations allegedly revealed suspicious payments had been deposited into the bank accounts of two of the bank's senior IT staff.


Police will allege in court that the managers granted the IT company a "lucrative contract without putting it to public tender".

The managers allegedly received payments in return for awarding the company the contract, police say.

Detectives set up Strike Force Drawl to investigate the alleged corruption, and so far have frozen more than $US1.5 million in suspected corrupt payments.

Police said the 61-year-old arrested on Tuesday was refused police bail and is due to appear in Central Local Court on Wednesday.

Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, the commander of the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, said detectives would like to speak to the second former IT manager, who was overseas.

Strike Force Drawl detectives have asked officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist with their investigation.

Police said the investigation was ongoing.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth Bank confirmed that one of the organisation's former executives was due to face court on Wednesday.

The saga of Rudd's disastrous home insulation scheme drags on and on and on

You may have noticed ads like this in the press of late.

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It's hard to believe, but the saga and wasted money drag on and on and on.

Imagine being one of these companies ruined by the Rudd government, ignored by the Gillard government, and now being put through more and more hoops by the Abbott Government. 
For old time's sake - here's Peter Garret speaking with me on the day he announced the closure of the scheme in February 2010.

 And here's Kevin "Come Over Here Guys" Rudd with his pretend pad, pretend pencil and pretend care-factor.   Kevin was playing to the cameras - watch him pass the pad to a minder on the way out.


It's offensive when Tony does it

This is a St Patrick's Day video from the Prime Minister of Australia.   The Prime Minister implies that Irish people got so pissed on St Patrick's Day that they can't work for days after.   The Australian PM's whole speech seems to be mainly about how the Irish are big drinkers.

But no one got upset,  because that PM was Julia Gillard.


Thanks to Stu of NT for the video.

Brandis on bloggers.

Here's what happens when governments go limp and fail to directly target the people they are after.

You see it at the airport with body-searches for 80 year old rose-cheeked widows.  You see the other side of it when hate-preachers like Hizb ut-Tahrir's Ismail al-Wahwah are allowed to call for the blood of Jews.

Our freedoms and privileges were developed by people like us.   Civilised Westerners who'd been through the dark ages and the Enlightenment.   They work very well for us, but they're easily exploited by the enemies of freedom.   We need to hammer people who call for Jihad.   Go hard on the terrorists - and try to avoid pointless internal discussions like this - as The Australian reports today:

No protection for bloggers from metadata laws rules George Brandis

“Media organisations are not the target of this law,” he said, emphasising efforts to stop “criminals, terrorists and pedophiles”.

Asked how he defined a journalist, Senator Brandis said: “I wouldn’t consider bloggers as journalists.”

“There are various statutory definitions of journalism in commonwealth law already by the way, but a journalist is for the purposes of this law, a person engaged in the profession of journalism,” he said.

“There is an interesting argument of course as to what at the margins a journalist is. Ultimately that is an issue resolvable by courts, just as the question of what a member of another profession may be who is within and without the definition is ultimately resolvable by courts.”

We have a long-standing convention in our system of democracy that journalists can protect their sources - and that convention is enshrined in law with "journalists privilege" which has much the same status as client professional privilege regarding communications with lawyers.  


Journalist privilege relating to identity of informant

    (1)     If a journalist, in the course of the journalist's work, has promised an informant not to disclose the informant's identity, neither the journalist nor his or her employer is compellable to give evidence that would disclose the identity of the informant or enable that identity to be ascertained. 

    (2)     The court may, on the application of a party, order that subsection (1) is not to apply if it is satisfied that, having regard to the issues to be determined in the proceeding, the public interest in the disclosure of the identity of the informant outweighs— 

        (a)     any likely adverse effect of the disclosure on the informant or any other person; and 

        (b)     the public interest in the communication of facts and opinion to the public by the news media and, accordingly also, in the ability of the news media to access sources of facts.

    (3)     An order under subsection (2) may be made subject to such terms and conditions (if any) as the court thinks fit.


There is a simple and well understood definition of "journalist" in the Evidence Act.



    (1)     In this Division— 

"informant" means a person who gives information to a journalist in the normal course of the journalist's work in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium

"journalist" means a person engaged in the profession or occupation of journalism in connection with the publication of information, comment, opinion or analysis in a news medium

"news medium" means a medium for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observations on news. 

    (2)     For the purpose of the definition of journalist, in determining if a person is engaged in the profession or occupation of journalism regard must be had to the following factors— 

        (a)     whether a significant proportion of the person's professional activity involves— 

              (i)     the practice of collecting and preparing information having the character of news or current affairs; or 

              (ii)     commenting or providing opinion on or analysis of news or current affairs— 

for dissemination in a news medium

        (b)     whether information, having the character of news or current affairs, collected and prepared by the person is regularly published in a news medium

        (c)     whether the person's comments or opinion on or analysis of news or current affairs is regularly published in a news medium


I am at odds with Senator Brandis.   The law is the law and I operate in the belief that my informants are protected against authorities who come snooping.   We're not doing anything illegal in exposing corruption and the like. But according to the Attorney General, it's not what a journalist does, it's the medium in which he or she does it that counts.  There is no threat to society from the activities of decent, Western civilised people.   But there is a threat from Islamism.   Stop buggerizing around with definitions of who is and who isn't a journalist George and aim your MetaData legislation at the Islamists.

Some welcome and encouraging common-sense (or CDF) from the CDF

It's a terrible shame that Air Chief Marshal Binskin's common sense, empathy and diligence is not shared by his inept Surgeon General Ms Walker.

The Chief of the Defence Force correctly points out that PTSD arises from an event or series of events and can clearly result from military service.  That puts him in direct conflict with Ms Walker.   He does not mention Ms Walker in this response to the News Limited articles over the weekend.   He gives a very different medical description of PTSD.   His diligence in assembling authoritative data is clear in his note.   By contrast Ms Walker was shambolic, ill-informed and embarrassing to the ADF.  Perhaps the clearest insight into her future came in the oft-quoted precursor to "spending more time with the family", a few days ago Ms Walker received the "full confidence" kiss on the cheek from her superiors.

It is difficult to see how she  can remain in her role.

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The Herald Sun article ‘It’s not about being in the military’, published on 15 March 2015, highlights one of the many challenges we face in addressing mental health care for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members – too often the data is distorted or misrepresented.

Contrary to the Herald Sun report, the ‘top brass’, me included, are very serious about confronting the ADF’s mental health issues head on and we are acutely aware of the number of serving members who have died by suicide.

Defence records show 106 ADF members are suspected to, or are confirmed to have, died by suicide since 01 January 2000. Of this number, 45 Defence members had previously deployed and 17 of these had one or more deployments to the Middle East Area of Operations. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is responsible for providing healthcare for ADF members once they discharge as well as collecting and recording data, including the number of former ADF members who have died by suicide.

DVA is also conducting research in association with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that will provide more accurate data on the number of suicides in the former ADF population and the prevalence of suicide compared to the general community since 1990.

Collectively, the ADF’s senior leadership is engaged in efforts to fully understand all the elements and factors that impact on our people, their mental health and their families. Over the past six years, Defence has spent more than $140 million on mental health programs and added 91 new positions to our mental health workforce. We have also conducted extensive research into mental health issues, including PTSD.

The research data clearly illustrates that exposure to traumatic events causes PTSD. In many cases a person will experience a traumatic event or events on deployment or during their military service. For others, the traumatic event may be the result of an external factor such as a car accident or assault. Regardless of what causes someone to develop PTSD or any other mental health condition, and the ADF is committed to providing the best possible care to those members.

Despite our best efforts, we acknowledge we do not always get it right and I accept there are a number of former ADF personnel who feel that their treatment was not up to the standard they expect. Their honest, open feedback is important to help us better understand mental health issues so that we can continue to improve the services we provide to those who seek help.

Mental health conditions such as PTSD can be successfully treated. Early identification, diagnosis and intervention by trained mental health professionals provide the best outcome for those dealing with mental illness. There are numerous of examples of people who have been treated for PTSD, successfully recovered and ultimately returned to normal duties. Sharing their stories too will go a long way to helping break down the stigma associated with PTSD and show others that it is okay to ask for help.



3 comments in a row from some of our elder states-people.   I hope the CDF has the wisdom to listen.

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Air Chief Marshal
Chief of the Defence Force

A divisional detective would finish the TWU forgery investigation within a week. It's taken the FWC 8 months to start its inquiries.

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In July last year we reported on apparently false statutory declarations made by Wayne Forno and other officials of the Transport Workers Union.   Those declarations grossly inflated the TWU's membership numbers.  In turn, the inflated membership numbers delivered Tony Sheldon and his cronies unearned power and influence within the Labor Party.

Here are some of the early reports:

On 25 July 2014 we wrote to the GM of the Fair Work Commission to find out whether the FWC was inquiring into the matters we'd laid out - it wasn't.

On 4 August 2014 we wrote to the Australian Federal Police, the enforcement agency for breaches of the Commonwealth's Statutory Declarations Act:

On 24 October 2014 the AFP wrote back and stated the Fair Work Commission was the appropriate  body to inquire into the TWU irregularities.

It's now 8 months since the Fair Work Commission was made aware of the prima facie falsely sworn declarations and the apparently fraudulent claims regarding membership numbers within the TWU.   Our initial report contained evidence that would lend itself to a prosecution brief.  But there's been no prosecution.  There's been no investigation.  And until just over one week ago, the Fair Work Commission hadn't even started preliminary inquiries into the matter.

8 months after it received our report, this announcement appeared within a section of the FWC website  hidden several clicks away from public view.

Current inquiries & investigations

Current inquiries

  • Transport Workers' Union of Australia—inquiry commenced 5 March 2015 (pursuant to s.330 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009)

The FWC process provides firstly for an inquiry into a reported breach of the law.

After the completion of an inquiry, the next step is to establish a investigation.

At the completion of the investigation, the matter may be referred to the Commonwealth prosecution agency for further action.

FWC - protecting union mates since Craig Thomson.

New York, USA - from next year NY state schools will close for Muslim holy days as well as Christmas and Easter

What the?

In Australia (and I presume the US was much the same) we used to have extra holidays at Catholic schools for Holy Days of Obligtion, that is holy days where Catholics were expected to go to church.   We dropped them in the 1970s to give us fewer days away from school and a more secular approach to days off.   Well that trend away from religion in schools is turning one way - towards Mecca.

New York State has folded to Islam and will join Saudi Arabia and the other Sharia centres where schools are closed for Muslim holy days.

NYC schools will start observing Muslim holidays next year

NEW YORK -- The nation's largest public school system will observe the two most important Muslim holidays starting next fall, a policy change hailed Wednesday by Islamic leaders in New York City.

Under the new policy, the city's 1.1 million-pupil public school system will close on Sept. 24 for Eid al-Adha, which is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. The holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, will be observed during summer school in 2016.

"Hundreds of thousands of Muslim families will no longer have to choose between honoring the most sacred days on their calendar or attending school," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in his announcement.

Muslim leaders welcomed the announcement.

"After years of advocating by New York City's Muslim community, Muslim public school students will finally and thankfully no longer be penalized for observing their religious holidays," said Zead Ramadan, a board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Linda Sarsour, a Muslim community advocate and public school parent who joined de Blasio for the announcement at a school in Brooklyn, said, "This is what New York City is all about -- recognition, inclusion and respect."

Estimates of the number of Muslims living in New York City vary from 600,000 to 1 million.

Community leaders have long urged adding the two Muslim holidays to the school calendar, and the City Council passed a resolution supporting the change in 2009.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposed making the change but de Blasio and the other major candidates who campaigned to succeed Bloomberg in 2013 all said they would implement it.

The new calendar will keep the total number of school days unchanged at 182: the state-mandated 180 plus two more in case there are snow days.

New York City public schools have long closed for major Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as well as the Christian holidays of Christmas and Good Friday.

Other public school systems that have moved recently to observe Muslim holidays include those in Waterbury, Connecticut and Frederick County, Maryland.

Islamist mother trained 3 year old boy to say "I slit the policeman's throat".

When you're 3 years old and all your adult-male-role-models chop unbelievers heads off - there's a good chance you'll want to be just like them too.    Well 3 year old Mohammed is doing just that, he's coming along beautifully with his Islamist terror instructions, thanks to a loving mum with standards.

Little Mohammed's family wants him to have a proper, conservative education without the nonsense kids learn at schools that waste time on decadent Western rubbish.   By the look of the article below, everything's going to plan.


Here's the story from the UK: 

'I slit the policeman’s throat’: Mum grooming three-year-old son to be next Jihadi John


A BLOOD-CURDLING phone conversation has emerged of a three-year-old boy being told by his mum to repeat – "I slit the policeman’s throat". 

Terror suspect Samira Yerou forced her son Mohamed to tell a member of an extremist group: “I want to go with you and kill.”

The chilling phone call was secretly filmed when Spanish immigrant Yerou was being held in Turkey after her plan to get to Syria was dashed.

In the audio, she is heard laughing and making throat-slit noises as she tells Islamic State terrorist Omar Seif: “He only wants to go with those who kill. He only wants to know about the knife and beheading.”

The evidence comes in Yerou's terror trial where the 32-year-old is being probed on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organisation.

Her husband told police how she had disappeared from her home in Barcelona in December, later believing she was heading to Syria with their son.

Moroccan-born Yerou, who packed up and emptied her bank account before leaving Spain, was stopped and arrested on the Turkish border with Syria.

The suspect, who is thought to have been radicalised in the summer of 2013, was later deported back to Spain under the terms of an international arrest warrant.

Son Mohamed has now been reunited with his dad. A police spokesman said last night the youngster was “in perfect health.”


These people are not to be laughed at, they're not a joke.    They're deadly serious.   So while you're thanking the powers that we haven't had a head-hacking attack in Australia yet, countless followers of the Islamist death cult have been given very definite instructions about beheading unbelievers.  

Behading instructions like this one given to a 3 year old boy right here in Hyde Park.

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Interview with former soldier Aaron Gray, Iraq veteran, PTSD sufferer and founder of the Veterans Suicide Register

This is 33 year old Iraq veteran, former Trooper Aaron Gray.  As you'll hear, he is quite an impressive young bloke who's creating some good from tremendous adversity.

The register he founded is not perfect, its data is not comprehensive and it relies on fact checking and information provided by families and mates.   But Aaron's given us things we didn't have at all - somewhere that cares about the names and service of loved ones, somewhere that's keeping track of the facts and figures - and more importantly, somewhere to go to hear the stories of the people we've lost.

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Aaron talks about his service in Iraq, his return to a life after the Army with PTSD, the thinking behind the Australian Veterans Suicide Register and the very personal insult he feels from Admiral Walker, the scuba-diving doctor who says there's no link between the disorder he suffers and the military.



 *Help is available via Lifeline or from RSL subbranches or groups such as Soldier On and Mates 4 Mates.


The Australian Veterans Suicide Register - established by Iraq veteran Aaron Gray

The ADF doesn't know how many service men and women have taken their own lives following war service.

What the bureaucracy couldn't or wouldn't deliver has been set up with great reverence by a former digger.  Iraq veteran  Aaron Gray, formerly a Trooper with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment operates the Australian Veterans Suicide Register - here's a link.  


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Aaron saw active service as a gunner in armoured fighting vehicles in Iraq.   Here's what he says about the site and the reasons he set it up:

  • I am an Iraq War veteran that is on a mission to register and acknowledge the unsung victims of war.
  • I want to create a register of all veteran suicides so that I can make the Australian government recognise their sacrifice as casualties of war.
  • I also want to change the way Veterans Affairs operates so that we can limit the number of veteran suicides in the furture.
  • So please share with everyone -
  • This is our email address for anyone who may need to email us [email protected]
Aaron's heart is very much in the right place.  His site is operated by a veteran for veterans. It strikes the right tone in respect for the dead and advocacy for the living   It's the sort of thing that mates do for mates.
Ian McPhedran from News Limited has written about the site today - his story contains these statistics.

Military and veteran suicides

2006 = 4

2007 = 6

2008 = 5

2009 = 6

2010 =10

2011 =7

2012 = 4

2013 = 12

2014 = 15

2015 = 5

Rest in Peace and thank you for your service.

Lest We Forget.

Thanks to Grumpy Old Man for sending me the details.
I'll repost my editorial from last Thursday.