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December 2016

ALP heavyweight Dave Hanna secret commissions charges - focus now on Gillard's home

This police media statement relates to Dave Hanna and two Mirvac executives. More coming - including more on Gillard's Abbotsford house renovated by secret commission payments.


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Secret commission charges, Brisbane

The Queensland Trade Union Joint Police Taskforce has today arrested and charged three men with secret commission offences. The Joint Police Taskforce is coordinated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and comprises members from the AFP and Queensland Police Service.

In December 2015, the three men were referred to the Queensland Police Service by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption (TURC) in relation to multiple offences in contravention of Section 442B Criminal Code 1899 (Qld), being receipt or solicitation of secret commission by an agent. 

Police will allege that a 52-year-old Shailer Park man colluded with a 53-year-old man from Ephraim Island (Gold Coast) and a 41-year-old man from Seven Hills in 2012 and 2013 to organise construction work on his personal residence in Brisbane.

It is further alleged the construction was undertaken by sub-contractors being paid to work on other building projects, or completed at no charge to the Shailer Park man. Police estimate the quantum of benefit to the Shailer Park man was in excess of $400,000. 

On Friday, December 16 2016, the State of Queensland commenced civil proceedings pursuant to the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 against the Shailer Park man. It is estimated the property is worth approximately $1.6 million. 

All three men are due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 25, 2017.

You can help WA's Corruption Commission investigate the Gillard forgery - click here

My message is for everyone in the community to express their abhorrence of corrupt behaviour

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Extract from speech given by John McKechnie QC,Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission last week.

I have no intentions to depart early. I am still warming up. My message today, is for everyone in the community to express their abhorrence of corrupt behaviour, in any form they encounter, by reporting it to the Commission, or the Police, or the Public Sector Commissioner.

Make it too uncomfortable for the public officer who may be tempted to stray from their duty.

This is not a responsibility that just falls on the Commission, or other official body. Everyone who loves this State of ours, has a responsibility not to stand by, but to stand up to corrupt activity. Anyone can make a difference. Even a tiny mouse can quell the wild horses. Together, we must be united against corruption.


Mr McKechnie gets marks for keenness!

As we reported a week or so ago, he's out there looking for corruption - and he gives every impression that he wants to do something about it.

So help him out.  Bring something that worries you to his attention.

Here's the Commissioner's commissioned artwork - I hope the artist approves of some minor digital additions to his living breathing piece.

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Can't make it much clearer than this.



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You may be worried about the course of conduct disclosed in these documents.

Perhaps you've formed the view that the letter from Ray Neal is a forgery.

Alternately you might think Acting Commissioner Neal acted outside his powers in making the offer set out in his letter.

Either way, why not let the Commissioner know how you feel and leave the investigating to him.


PS - the Commission has taken some interest in us, following us on Twitter this morning.

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Merry Christmas

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Here's something lovely from Muso of WA 


Muso's put a representative list of names on the video - if your name isn't on the clip it's in my heart!


PS - this just in from Ruby and Ralph Blewitt - thanks to everyone for your support, and a big thank you to Helen from Hornsby Heights!

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ASIC investigating Slater and Gordon on forgery allegations

Slater and Gordon and some of its officers are being investigated over false documents allegations.  Yesterday ASIC served two Notices to Produce on the company.

This announcement was released a short time ago by the ASX.

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I've not been able to find a statement from ASIC.

I have found recent marketing material from Slater and Gordon which sounds a bit lame.


And I don't think we'll be seeing too much Christmas Cheer this year.


Gilllard booster & IMF chief Christine Lagarde guilty on $400M French payout to tycoon

IMF chief Lagarde found guilty over French tycoon payment


Paris (AFP) – A French court on Monday found IMF head Christine Lagarde guilty of negligence over a massive state payout to a tycoon when she was French finance minister but spared her a fine or prison sentence.

The Court of Justice of the Republic found against Lagarde over her handling of a dispute between the state and flamboyant businessman Bernard Tapie, which ended in a 404-million-euro ($422 million) award for Tapie.

In a blow to her otherwise stellar career, the court rapped Lagarde for failing to contest the massive payment.

Crucially, however, the Paris court said exempted her from any penalty.

It was not clear what impact the finding will have on her position at the International Monetary Fund, which has so far given Lagarde its full backing.


The IMF board was to meet in Washington in the wake of the court’s decision.

The 60-year-old former corporate lawyer, who was the first ever female finance minister of a Group of Eight country before becoming IMF chief in 2011, was not in court for the ruling.

Her lawyer Patrick Maisonneuve told reporters she was in Washington.

Maisonneuve welcomed the absence of a punishment but said he “would have preferred that she be simply cleared”.

Lagarde was put on trial over her 2007 decision to allow the dispute over Tapie’s sale of the Adidas sports brand to the state-owned Credit Lyonnais bank to be resolved by a private arbitration panel, and then failing to challenge the result.

The court cleared her of negligence over her decision to refer the matter to arbitration but upheld the charge over her failure to contest the award.

Lagarde told the court last week she had acted in good faith and that her sole aim had been “to defend the general interest”.

The Court of Justice of the Republic, which is staffed by judges and members of parliament, hears cases against ministers accused of wrongdoing in office.

The punishment for negligence theoretically carries a one-year prison sentence and a 15,000-euro fine.

– Strain on family –

Lagarde’s voice cracked with emotion on Friday as she said the trial had put her family — she is the mother of two sons — through a “testing” time.

Prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin had said he believed the evidence was “very weak” and was opposed to convicting Lagarde.

The payout to Tapie raised eyebrows, given his vocal support for Lagarde’s then boss, ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

It was subsequently cancelled by the courts.

Tapie sold Adidas to Credit Lyonnais for the equivalent of 315.5 million euros in 1993. The bank sold it on the following year for 701 million euros, prompting claims from Tapie that he had been cheated.

Lagarde told her trial she had trusted the advice of her subordinates in the process.

Another of her lawyers, Bernard Grelon, said her fault was “not one of negligence. It is having taken a decision which turned out badly”.

As IMF chief, Lagarde has been a key player in bailout negotiations for Greece and has also worked to reform the US- and Europe-dominated institution to reflect China’s growing global leverage.

Lagarde succeeded her disgraced compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF managing director after he resigned to fight sexual assault charges.

Another former IMF head, Rodrigo Rato of Spain, is currently standing trial on charges of misusing funds when he was head of Spanish lender Bankia.


Julie Bishop "looking forward" to co-chairing UN Green Fund with Saudi Arabia

On Friday, Julie Bishop announced Saudi Arabia and Australia will co-chair the UN's Green Climate Fund in 2017.

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Put to one side the waste of money ($200M from us last year).

Ms Bishop buries this in the last couple of lines of her statement.

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We should choose our company more wisely. 

This year the House of Saud beheaded a group of people as young as 13 years old when arrested.

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This is Mustafa Abkar at the age of 13.

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On 2 January 2016 he was amongst the 47 people killed in a Saudi mass execution.

....the executions began in the morning and did not finish until the afternoon.  

Four were punished by having alternate limbs cut off on opposite sides of the body, followed by beheading and the display of the corpse.

.......a security source who guarded a Riyadh execution site told Middle East Eye, “It was a massacre. There was blood and body parts everywhere".
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Abkar's family sent him from his home in Chad to Mecca to study the Quran.

They chose the wrong group of Jihadis as tutors.

Saudi Arabia, the principal source of Sunni terror funding took out the competition.  

Abkar was taken into custody. Fourteen year old Amin Mohammed Aqla al-Ghamidi was arrested at the same time.

Amin's father Mohammed told Al-Riyadh newspaper, "My young boy wouldn't be able to fathom let alone undertake such a huge act (as terrorism).  Older men led him into it."

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported half of those arrested were children.  

Last December Al Arabiya released a documentary "How Saudi Arabia confronted Al Qaeda".


That's 13 year old Mustafa Akbar on the right.

He was tortured before signing a confession.

On 14 October 2014 he appeared briefly before a judge who sentenced him to death.  It was his only day in court.

Middle East Eye quotes a source familiar with his case.

“He had no lawyer. No one asked about him. It’s really sad that he has been beheaded without anyone knowing anything about him."


Julie Bishop is pictured with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Saudi state-owned media Al Arabiya quotes him on the day Mustafa Abkar was beheaded.  

"The executions send a clear message against those who call for sedition and unrest to tear apart the society's unity and threaten social peace in the kingdom".

This is from the official Saudi English language statement, dated 2 January 2016.

The Saudi interior ministry on Saturday said 47 people convicted of plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks, targeting civilians and security forces, were executed.

The ministry statement said the 47 had been convicted of adopting the radical "takfiri" ideology.

The Interior Ministry statement began with verses from the Quran and state television showed footage of the aftermath of al-Qaeda attacks in the last decade that killed hundreds.

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh appeared on television soon after to describe the executions as just.

Remember Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh?

RAN Captain Mona Shindy's mate.  

The Royal Australian Navy sent her assistant to see him last year.

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We should not recognise Saudi Arabia, let alone take on joint responsibility for a UN wealth transfer project with it.

But that is not Julie Bishop's view.

As she says in her media statement, she's looking forward to it.

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Fairfax, before pontificating on free media you should apologise to Bob Kernohan

It's more than a little galling to see Fairfax's AFR editorialising today about the importance of a free press.

Fairfax is yet to apologise to Bob Kernohan for refusing to broadcast his interview about the AWU Scandal.  As I told The Australian at the time "This country's pretty screwed up if decent, working people can't turn to a free and open media to have their say."


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While there is rightly concern about free speech curbs in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the libel laws also let the powerful hide from proper inquiry. It is a disgrace that media organisations such as Fairfax Media have been penalised by the state for damaging the reputation of a politician now adjudged to have abused the trust placed in him. The defamation industry and the legal profession that sustains it should be ashamed of maintaining this conspiracy against the public interest. Personal reputations should be determined by the marketplace of free and open discussion.

Australia's open democracy and institutions assume a high degree of integrity and trust. That also leaves it open to rare but important instances of abuse and greed: WA Inc, the Moonlight State of Queensland in the 1970s, and now Obeid's decades of profiteering as he pulled the strings of the ruling party in our biggest state, are all reminders of the vigilance needed over high office.

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 Fairfax were the architects of this.

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Bob's interview was legalled by Bruce Burke, the country's pre-eminent defamation lawyer.

It was approved for broadcast.

Fairfax folded to Gillard.

Since then the Trade Union Royal Commission found that Gillard was not telling the truth about payments for her home renovations.  The source of those funds was Bruce Wilson. And there is much more.

I have stayed the course on the Gillard matter and now have evidence of Bill Ludwig's central role in approving the AWU WRA scheme, including the house purchase at Kerr Street Fitzroy.

That same Ludwig installed Gillard as Prime Minister.  

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 These were my thoughts at the time I first published this piece in 2013.

And the thing that will destroy any respectable legacy she might try to construct will be the slow realisation, as court cases and enquiries bring the facts to public consciousness, that Ms Gillard the Prime Minister indulged the same destructive crush for the dangerous bad boy unionist that killed off her legal career.   She compromised herself and her responsibilities to others to impress her teen idols and prove her worth.  She abused her lawyer position to deliver what Bruce wanted - as she climbed to the PM job so did the scope of her authority to hand benefits to her chosen heroes.   The character flaw was the same, it was the scale that grew.   the PM-approved authority for gifts to friends is awesome - and reconciled by the belief that any gain for a union boss is a detriment to the evil bosses and if the boss is losing that's good for the workers.

Here's an extract from the book Meltdown.

In November 2011, Gillard hosted a meeting with the secretary of the ACTU, Dave Oliver, and the heads of the major unions. It was held over lunch at Kirribilli House. Its purpose was to forge a strategic alliance between Gillard and the union movement. 

It was not about the routine industrial relations agenda. The prime minister did not invite her minister for workplace relations, Chris Evans. It was unpublicised.

"It was another Kirribilli agreement," says Martin Ferguson, referring to the notorious secret deal where Bob Hawke promised to hand over the Labor leadership to Paul Keating. "It was the deathknell for her government. She gave the unions everything they wanted." Ferguson, the minister for resources at the time, was not at the meeting. He was once the president of the ACTU.

And what did Gillard get? "It was 'lock in behind me and I will deliver for you'."

Gillard's Kirribilli agreement began a major rapprochement. Dave Oliver began the meeting with a log of demands. A discussion followed. Gillard responded by setting up a machinery for working on key items, according to participants.

It worked. The unions ultimately co-operated closely with the ALP at the 2013 election. And the unions, especially the big Right faction-affiliated unions of the Australian Workers Union and the Transport Workers Union, were her staunch defenders inside the party. 

Their leaders lobbied caucus members to vote for Gillard in leadership ballots against Rudd three months after the Kirribilli House meeting, and again this year.

Four months later, the secretary of one of the biggest unions explained it like this: "Most of the key union leaders were elected post 2007. We've experienced two prime ministers. One treated us like a pile of shit. We used to joke with each other, after Rudd had had us to a meeting at Kirribilli House or whatever, that he'd be shampooing the carpet the moment we left. We couldn't get anything through; he just refused to engage with us."

And the other prime minister? "She's very good at delivering for us."

As Chris Bowen has observed to colleagues: "The AWU was her power base, and it almost made her invincible. Almost."