Bill Shorten cleared? Really? Here's a TURC report the ABC prepared last time Counsel Assisting made submissions.
Why did the TURC summarise Counsel Assisting's AWU submissions in a media statement, rather than releasing the whole document?

TURC - Shorten not cleared. No recommendation that he be cleared. TURC has partially released submissions, not findings, nor recommendations.

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Counsel Assisting releases submissions on AWU

6 November 2015

The Royal Commission has released counsel assisting’s submissions on the AWU case studies in accordance with the timing outlined in the Practice Direction 16.

The submissions have been circulated to affected parties tonight through the Electronic Court Book and publicly released to the media. The documents will be published on the Commission’s website on Monday morning after 10am.

The submissions cover the following case studies:

    1. Cleanevent, including Douglas Site Services
      2. Thiess John Holland 
        3. Paid education leave, namely ACI and Chiquita Mushrooms
        4. Unibuilt
        5. Winslow and miscellaneous membership issues
        6. Downer EDI 


In very brief overview, counsel assisting have submitted that the Commissioner should find that a number of officials of the AWU and the AWU itself may have engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the falsification of invoices and the taking of commissions.

It is further submitted that a number of persons employed by major employers and employers themselves may have engaged in similar criminal conduct, by receiving and paying bogus invoices and paying commissions (see e.g. Chapter 3 – Thiess John Holland, paragraph 213; Chapter 5 – ACI, paragraph 118; Chapter 6 – Chiquita Mushrooms paragraph 85; Chapter 8 – Winslow Constructors, paragraph 44). 

Counsel assisting have submitted further that a number of officials of the AWU may have engaged in conduct in conflict of interest by causing the union to enter into lucrative side deals that were not disclosed to the members. 

There is no submission that Mr Bill Shorten may have engaged in any criminal or unlawful conduct.

Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter which summarises many of the main points. There are 10 Chapters in total.

Since these are submissions, they do not contain any recommendations. Any recommendations will be made by the Commissioner in his Report. That will only occur after the Commissioner has received submissions from all parties and considered all competing points of view.

Any affected parties who wish to make written submission in response will have until 4pm on 20 November 2015 to do so. Counsel assisting can make submissions in reply by 1 December.


The Commission made this further release today.

Statement on release of AWU submissions

7 November 2015

The Commission is aware of concerns expressed regarding the timing of the release of counsel assisting's submissions into the AWU.

On 23 October 2015 at the conclusion of the public hearings into the AWU, the Commissioner made directions for a timetable for submissions, which included that these submissions be filed on or by 6 November.

Practice Direction 16 setting out this timetable was distributed to all affected persons and also published on the Commission's website the same day. A copy of that Direction is available here

The submissions are lengthy and Commission staff worked under great pressure to meet the deadline set by the Commissioner on 23 October.

The Commission is operating under an extremely tight timetable to complete its work. Timetables are set to give affected persons time to plan for and complete their responses. It is important that the Commission meet its obligations just as it expects affected persons to meet theirs.

The submissions were completed in the early evening of 6 November and immediately released to all affected persons through the Electronic Court Book shortly before being publicly released to the media at 8.07pm. There was no disrespect intended to any affected person by this process.

The Commission's public website is operated through an external agency who will publish the submissions on the website on Monday.