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Marco Bolano's family responds to the Parliament's failure to punish Thomson

Peter Wicks published this story about Thomson and his reaction to the House of Reps decision to render no real punishment for his Contempt of the Parliament.

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Here's what Thomson told Peter Wicks:

"I apologised to Parliament for pointing out that Michael Williamson, Kathy Jackson and her partner Mr Lawler, and Marco Bolano were all likely to be crooks.
 As I have discovered, Parliament doesn't want to hear the truth, instead preferring the lies and deceit of modern party politics. 
Whilst I stand by every word of my speech, I understand that Parliament having issued a formal apology to Kathy Jackson, Michael Lawler, Michael Williamson and Marco Bolano needed to keep true to their discredited version of events."


We have obtained this email sent to the Privileges Committee on behalf of the Bolano family on Wednesday.

To: Reps, Members' Interests (REPS)
Cc: Broadbent, Russell (MP); Burke, Anna (MP); Fitzgibbon, Joel (MP); [email protected]
Subject: TRIM: Inquiry into parliamentary speech by former Member for Dobell
Importance: High


To the Members of the House of Representatives Standing Committee of Privileges and Members' Interests,

Re: Inquiry whether the former Member for Dobell deliberately misled the House

I am the partner of former Health Services Union official Marco Bolano. I am writing to the Committee to formally communicate and register my deep concern and distress regarding the apparent leaking of the Report into this Inquiry. Further, I wish to convey to the Committee the enormous impact Mr Thomson's deliberate and malicious misleading statement to Parliament on 21 May 2012 has had on my family. 

Yesterday, 15th March 2016, a blogger had an article published on his own and the Independent Australia website titled: 'Federal Parliament finally passes judgement on Craig Thomson's speech'. In the article, it claimed the following is an excerpt from the report:

"The committee acknowledges and endorses the consistently held view that the privilege and contempt powers of the House should be exercised sparingly. In this case, the committee acknowledges Mr Thomson’s difficult personal situation in all the circumstances since the allegations about him first arose in the context of the HSU exit audit in 2007-8. These difficulties continued over a sustained period of pressure through various official investigations, reports and legal matters. In recommending punishment, the committee considers these difficulties to be a mitigating factor in what it now recommends. A finding of contempt by the House, and the condemnation that this would embody, in itself would be a very serious sanction. The committee considers that an appropriate penalty would be for the House to reprimand Mr Thomson for his conduct."

In addition, the blogger continues to write false and slanderous comments about Marco, particularly in relation to his ongoing serious workplace injury. I would hope in this day and age, every member of this committee may be able to turn their minds to what our lives are like now, and how every aspect of our physical and psychological well-being continues to be affected. We have a young family, and have suffered enormous pain and suffering as a result of Craig Thomson's lies. To add insult to injury, the article is accompanied by a photo of the blogger and Craig Thomson seemingly enjoying a beer and gloating about the apparent outcome of this committee's inquiry.

I would like to refer you to my submission to the Trade Union Royal Commission in September 2014:

Apart from what Craig Thomson said about Marco in Parliament, there has never been any allegation of corruption or other criminal matters in relation to Marco. He has always fully cooperated with the relevant authorities, and provided any evidence or information he has, in relation to HSU matters. And yet, here we find ourselves. The little people. We have spent our working lives advocating for others in the disability and health sectors, and I know how well respected we are with those around us because of our work. Our family, friends and colleagues, both past and present, have watched this tragedy unfold for our family. That is the word people use to describe Marco's very public destruction: tragedy.

I request three things of this committee:

  • That my communications today, the the matters I have raised, be discussed in the Committee's meeting tonight - as advised by the Committee Secretariat during a phone call earlier today.
  • That there is an investigation into whether the report was leaked, and if it is found to be so, that the matter is viewed as contempt of the Parliament.
  • That Marco Bolano and his family have the opportunity to respond to the tabled report formally via Parliament, and that this is recorded on Hansard.

The speech Craig Thomson gave in our Parliament not only severely undermined the confidence the Australian people can have in this institution and its members, it had real and totally unjustified consequences for a completely innocent man and his family. 

I implore the Committee to give serious consideration to my email, submission and requests. These parliamentary processes should not be abused and undermined.

Yours sincerely,


And here's our report from Marco Bolano's home just after Thomson was first convicted.