Thanks to the incomparable Seeker of Truth for writing up another episode in the criminal history of the CFMEU.
This little matter slipped under the radar last week, as did a previous
announcement in December 2017, of fraudulent misappropriations in Comet
Training Pty Ltd, an associate entity of the CFMEU NSW branch.
“Labor councillor charged with more than $220,000 fraud” - 23 February 2018
A NSW government minister has called for a Labor councillor charged with
allegedly defrauding a training organisation part owned by the CFMEU of
more than $220,000 to step aside from his public duties.
NSW Police has confirmed Hills Shire councillor Ray Harty has been charged
with dishonestly obtaining more than $220,000 by deception from Comet
Training, which is jointly owned by the NSW divisions of the Construction,
Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the Master Builders Association.
The 72-year-old former general manager of Comet Training, who received the
Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012 for services to the construction
industry, will face the charge of allegedly dishonestly obtaining
financial advantage by deception at Burwood Local Court on Thursday April
Comet Training's former financial controller, Amy Cai, has also been
charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $200,000. Police said a
56-year-old woman was charged on Thursday with dishonestly obtaining
financial advantage by deception. She was granted bail to appear at
Burwood Local Court on Thursday, March 1.
Flemington police investigated complaints by Comet which last year
reported a number of accounting irregularities. Police will allege a
number of fraudulent payments totalling $445,000 were made into two
personal bank accounts between 2011 and 2017.
The company has since gone into liquidation.
NSW Corrective Services Minister David Elliott said Mr Harty should step
down from his position on the local council.
"Like any politician, once he is charged, he should step aside until he is
given a clear verdict," Mr Elliott said.
The Federal Court of Australia found Mr Hardy rigged his election as
secretary/treasurer of the NSW Public Service Association in November
In declaring his election to the position as void, Justice Murray Wilcox
said at the time that Mr Harty was not worthy of holding office in any
"It will be for others to judge, but my own opinion is that people who
debauch the electoral process are unworthy of office in any union,"
Justice Wilcox said.
Fairfax Media contacted Mr Harty for comment but he said: "I have no
comment, contact me lawyer".
The fraud first made news on 12 December 2017 –
“……Allegations of fraud totalling almost $450,000 at an organisation
part-owned by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and
whose general manager is a Labor member of The Hills Shire council and
Medal of the Order of Australia recipient, have been referred to the NSW
Comet Training – jointly owned by the NSW division of the CFMEU and the
Master Builders Association NSW – is alleged to have been defrauded of one
amount of $223,000 and another of $220,000 over the course of more than a
The articles mention that the company is in liquidation. ASIC notice of
appointment of Liquidator for Comet Training Pty Ltd made 28 November 2017
Comet Training occupies offices at 6-8 Railway Street, Lidcombe which
premises are owned and occupied by the CFMEU. The CFMEU also owns and
occupies 10-12 Railway Street. The Union put up both addresses for sale
in March 2017. Note how much the union anticipates to gain from the sale
– more than $40million
The above link states that there will be a two year lease back arrangement
written into the Contract. Therefore the CFMEU will be staying on site
for a further two years. Comet Training would have done likewise except
that it was found that its books were crook and so it had to go.
This is what was said by the Comet Board at the time the financial
discrepancies were reported to the police in late 2017 –
"Independently from becoming aware of this issue and prior to this
information being received by the Board from its financial adviser, the
Board had already had resolved to wind up the company and cease operation
due to the premises where the Company is located being sold.
"This matter is being independently investigated, and all further action
as appropriate will be taken to ensure any damage to the organisation is
mitigated fully. The Company is able to meet all its legal obligations to
all staff and creditors".
It turns out that the Board was telling untruths as to the reason for
Comet’s liquidaton. It had nothing to do with the premises being sold but
everything to do with the discovery of discrepancies in the financial
This is what the liquidators Worrells reported on 13 December 2017 –
“The liquidation was prompted by financial irregularities reported to the
board by the company’s external financial adviser and shareholders
resolved to complete the final step in the business’s wind down of the
It was no coincidence that the liquidator was appointed on 28 November
2017 then a fortnight later Comet makes the news that the police were
The fraudulent payments totalling $445,000 were made into two personal
bank accounts between 2011 and 2017. It doesn’t say much for the auditors
of the Comet Training Trust's accounts for the period 2011 to 2016. The
audited accounts were presented to the CFMEU NSW branch. The CFMEU NSW
branch along the the Master Builders Association each hold a 50%
shareholding in Comet. The CFMEU received $74,104 from Comet Training
Trust up to 31 March 2017 – shown as receivables. It doesn’t say what the
receivables relate to. It is possible that it is for rent of premises 6-8
Railway Street, Lidcombe owned by the CFMEU NSW branch.
This is from the CFMEU NSW Financial Statement to 31 March 2017 –
“Loan – Comet Training Trust - $362,544”
“The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union Construction and
General Division New South Wales Divisional Branch had previously advanced
an associate, the Comet Training Trust. The funds advanced have no set
repayment date, with the timing of cash flows uncertain and dependent on the
profitability of the associate. Each balance date an assessment of the
recoverable amount is performed, with any excess over the carrying value
provided for and charged to the statement of comprehensive income, thus
ensuring that the carrying value does not exceed its recoverable amount.
For the three month period ended 31March 2017 no movement of the provision
required (year ended 31 December 2016: decreased by $8,486).”
Here is the 2017 financial report for the Master Builders Association of
NSW. The MBA does not receive funds from Comet.
Brian Parker is a Director of Comet Training Pty Ltd. Could it be the
unexpected announcement of his resignation from his role of Secretary of
the CFMEU NSW branch has something to do with Comet’s troubles?
Comet came up in evidence at the Trade Union Royal Commission –
… 429,095.00 8531 Advance - Comet Training Trust 362,544 … 4,503.56 8537
Shares-Comet Training 100 8610 Motor … 436,126.00 8531 Advance - Comet
Training Trust 362,544 …
Date: 3/11/2016 Size: 1MB
… respect of the operations of COMET, particularly in relation … Harty
further reported that COMET was still pursuing a training … to increase
the profile of COMET more generally. A number …
Date: 3/11/2016 Size: 502KB
… Advances to Associate- Comet Training Trust LESS: Provision … Advances
to Associate - Comet Training Trust The … also has an interest in the
Comet Training Trust in which …
Date: 11/08/2015 Size: 9MB
… Advances to Associate- Comet Training Trust (ii) LESS … also has an
interest in the Comet Training Trust in which … During the year the loan
to the Comet Training Trust was reviewed …
Date: 20/10/2015 Size: 9MB
… NSW Pty Ltd UPlus Pty Ltd Comet Training Committee to Defend … 194
NON-CURRENT Loan - Comet Training Trust 362,544 362 … funds to an
associate, the Comet Training Trust. The funds …
Date: 20/10/2015 Size: 7MB
… Advances to Associate- Comet Training Trust Provision … II) Advances to
Associate - Comet Training Trust 2011 … Union has an interest in the Comet
Training Trust in which …
Date: 11/08/2015 Size: 6MB
… Current Advances to Associate- Comet Training Trust (i) 362 … also has
an interest in the Comet Training Trust in which … During the year the
loan to the Comet Training Trust was reviewed …
Date: 11/08/2015 Size: 9MB
… 2013 3‐Mar 50 45 28 22 219878 COMET TRAINING … 15/04/2013
4‐Apr 61 3 31 23 COMET CARPET COMET CARPET 9,600 …
Date: 20/10/2015 Size: 6MB
… 15 Jun Direct Credit 301500 Comet Training lnv#5654 15 Jun … 15 Oct
Direct Credit 301500 Comet Training lnv#5745 15 … 15 Oct Direct Credit
301500 Comet Training lnv#5745 15 Oct …
Date: 14/08/2015 Size: 8MB
The other offender in this fraud is allegedly Amy Cai. Amy is listed as
the Training Manager at Comet.
RTO Report - Training.gov.au
Aug 19, 2015 - Organisation name: Comet Training Pty Ltd. Phone: (02) 9649
5000. Fax: (02) 9649 8500. Email: raymondharty@comet-training.
Address: Locked Bag 303. Lidcombe. NSW. 1825. Registration Enquiries.
Contact name: Ms Amy Cai. Job title: Training Manager. Organisation name:
Comet Training ...
Comet is just another dirty side business of the CFMEU controlled by crooks..
Seeker of Truth