A reminder about Bill Shorten's apparently false evidence to the Cole Royal Commission
George Alex to Brian Sparkles Parker - "are you with me?"

TURC CFMEU hearings commence at 10AM today - click here for link to video stream

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The first witness is Brian Parker.

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Mr Parker has given evidence that it was his decision to engage separate legal counsel from counsel for the CFMEU.   He has been confronted with substantial documentation from various lawyers that paints the opposite picture - that it was the CFMEU and its advisors that made the decision.   He states again that it was decision wholly and solely.

The Commissioner intervened to make the observation that Counsel for Mr Parker sought an extension last year on the time for submissions on his behalf.   Counsel said that "it was in no way Mr Parker's fault" that separate legal counsel was engaged - it was entirely the decision of the CFMEU.   Parker went a bit weak at the knees, stating that "I don't understand the law".

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8 volumes of evidence has just been tendered - a huge amount of detail.   The Commission has clearly been putting a lot of work!

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Ms McNaughton has spent some considerable time quizzing Mr Parker about the composition of the CFMEU Branch Committee of Management.    At one point Mr Parker started to say, "I can't recall" - he caught himself midway and swallowed the words.   

The focus of the questions appears to be Darren Greenfield - who was on the BCOM as an employer representative from 2005.   Mr Parker was quizzed as to how Mr Greenfield came to be a CFMEU organiser in 2010.

Mr Parker states that "I could have suggested Mr Greenfields' name".   The BCOM minutes of the relevant meeting show that Mal Tulloch approached Mr Greenfield to make the offer.

The "can't recall" device wasn't absent for long - we just had 3 in a row.

Mr Parker claims that he's not sure to whom the CFMEU's Code of Conduct applies.   Ms McNaughton hammers the point that he should have come to the Corruption and Governance Royal Commission well versed on the CFMEU's major policies.  He claims that there's a large volume of documents within the CFMEU.  This code of conduct relates to the receipt by CFMEU officials of gifts, benefits, building materials and the like.   Mr Parker claims that "it's not for me to consistently tell them the union's policies".

Quote of the day so far from Mr Parker, "Inadvertent is still deliberate".

Mr Parker has been shown a draft response to a journalist in which Mr Parker states, "As secretary of the CFMEU I have a professional relationship with George Alex from Active Labour" - in a later draft the following words have been added, "I do not have a social relationship with Mr Alex and I have had no role in promoting him in relation to Barangaroo".   Ms McNaughton has been reinforcing the absence of Darren Greenfield's name as a person with whom Mr Alex has a relationship.

Mr Parker may not know it, but he has just shot himself very badly in the foot.   He's delivered a very detailed diatribe in concise and exquisite detail about the very positive job he thinks the CFMEU does in pursuing the wage entitlements of workers subsequent to the winding-up and re-establishment of phoenix building companies.   He has referred to insurance, superannuation, wage, taxation and other detailed elements of the outstanding payments.   This is in stark contrast to the "I can't recall" that his taxed and inefficient brain produced on Friday.

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The difference between the passion and precision Mr Parker brings to his evidence in relation to the role of the union on-site is amazing - compared to his abject inability to remember a thing in relation to the CBUS leak.

St George is on to Mr Parker, here's his comment

St. George said:

11:10 - Parker has just spent 10 strident minutes saying that Union EBA's protect the workers in a Phoenixing environment. That is bullshit and he just gave CA the real reason by stating that if a company falls over, the union then can go to the builder saying that the builder has a statutory obligation to pay out the phoenix company workers. So the scam is (for Alex and Parker) that Alex 'wins' a contract, collects payments from the builder, doesn't then pay his workers (pockets the workers wages), moves the contract to another company, then the Union chases up the missing workers pay from the builder. So Parker has just outlined the scam and how it works.
The Commissioner is so on to him.
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AT 1145 THE COMMISSION RESUMED - with some very pointed questions for Mr Parker
Ms McNaughton asked Mr Parker,
Have you ever recevied money from George Alex?
Are you aware of any official of the CFMEU receiving money from George Alex?
To your knowledge has Darren Greenfield received money from George Alex?
And the questions went on.
Mr Parker has been handed the transcript of a telephone call from George Alex to Brian Parker.
"Why did you have George Alex's mobile number in your phone?"
"I have over a thousand numbers in my phone."
It appears that Mr Alex and Sparkles had a very cosy relationship - the Commission heard this telephone intercept, a message from George Alex to Mr Parker, luv ya!

Mr Parker's attention has been drawn to his previous evidence that he did not have a social relationship with George Alex.   He's been shown intercepted text messages - one from George Alex to Mr Parker that includes the words "ur with us forever" and concludes with "xxx".

This 14 July 2011 telephone call is very luvvy duvvy.






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George Alex, "I've just got the boys up here from Griffith".

Brian Parker has no idea who the "boys from Griffith are".