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Gillard's ASIC chief Greg Medcraft clears CFMEU boss after TURC recommended prosecution

This is getting habit forming.

While we're talking about Labor's tolerance for corruption, can anyone explain what changed in the evidence against Kimberley Kitching so as to clear her of the conduct found proven by the TURC and Fair Work Commission?


Here's The Australian today.


Heydon denied again: ASIC clears union boss

    The corporate regulator has cleared the construction union’s Queensland secretary Michael Ravbar after a 32-month investig­ation into governance of a redund­ancy fund, making 14 ­referrals from the trade union royal commission that have been discontinued or not upheld.

    The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union said yesterday the decision by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to not take action against Mr Ravbar showed the investigation had been a waste of taxpayers’ funds.

    In his December 2014 interim report, royal commissioner Dyson Heydon found Mr Ravbar should be referred to ASIC for it to consider whether he be charged and prosecuted for breaches of the Corporations Act.

    The alleged contraventions related to financial hardship payments made from a redundancy fund to workers engaged in unlawful industrial action at the Queensland Children’s Hospital project in 2012.

    In a letter to Mr Ravbar, ASIC investigator Graham Denver-Fedder said the regulator had concluded its investigation and “decided it will not take any enforcement action”. “ASIC has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to establish to a court that there has been a breach of the law,’’ he wrote.

    Dave Noonan, the union’s nationa­l construction division secretary, said the decision showed the regulator had spent almost three years and an “unknown amount of wasted money based on a clearly bizarre referral by Dyson Heydon”.

    “The important thing here is that workers were paid hardship payments by a fund which has provision to pay hardship payments,’’ Mr Noonan said. “They were paid money that was their own money. It was advance­d …

    “They spent almost three years on that. At the same time you have got the Commonwealth Bank accused of laundering money for drug syndicates and potentially terrorists, and three years of rampant wage theft going on through corporate Australia.

    “There has been any amount of corporate misconduct going on, and we see the corporate regulator focusing its attention on trade unions.”

    The union said the ASIC decis­ion brought to 14 the number of referrals from the royal commission that had not been upheld or had been discontinued.

    Legal proceedings are contin­u­ing against high-profile CFMEU officials John Setka and Shaun Reardon, and the union’s former national president Dave Hanna. Former CFMEU organiser Fihi Kivalu, who took about $70,000 in bribes and pleaded guilty last year to blackmail, received­ a suspended sentence of almost three years.

    Acting on commission recommendations, the government yesterday introduced a bill that allows the Federal Court to cancel a union’s registration on a range of grounds, including corrupt conduct by officials and repeated breaches of industrial and other laws by the union or its members.