Monday, 22 December 2014

Commissioner Dyson Heydon's curiously incomplete TURC report

Commissioner Dyson Heydon's curiously incomplete TURC report


Commissioner Dyson Heydon (Image via @BenSchneiders)

Trade Union Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon has given several people an early Christmas present with his Interim Report, writes Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks.

Last Friday there must have been a lot of thankful people dishing out a lot of thank you messages.

Last Friday Commissioner John Dyson Heydon handed over his Interim Report regarding the Trade Union Royal Commission.

The report was originally due later in January, but was released
earlier for reasons that may only be speculated upon. But it is fair to
say it was released on a day that shows that the government thought this
Royal Commission had been a failed exercise, why else dump it out there without the prime minister on the Friday before Christmas?

The most thankful of all would be Kathy Jackson, whose appearance and
testimony at the Royal Commission caused more headlines and front page
news stories than any other witness, what with charity shags and claims of ambush. In fact, the only witness that received more attention on the day they appeared was former Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the day she was shown at long last to be completely clean, even in the eyes of a right-wing witch hunt like this Commission.

Jackson would be thankful she has been completely ignored by the Commissioner's report. Not even the $250K she took from cancer workers and
threw in a personal bank account to go on a wild spending spree. The
account that was disguised to look legitimate in the HSU books and then,
when discovered, an attempt was made for it to be passed off as a slush

Not only did Jackson go on a wild spending spree, but she shared the
love and the loot around with accomplices, giving huge sums of money to
her ex-husband Jeff, as well as a big chunk in an envelope to her factional ally and standover man Marco Bolano — apparently so Marco could use the money to illegally fund his own union election campaign.

Still, Commissioner Heydon must have been asleep at the wheel on
those days, as it didn’t rate a mention, apart from one passing

He must have also missed the section of his counsel assisting’s report that recommended Jackson be referred to the Department Of Public Prosecutions for criminal charges.

Also thankful would be Attorney General George Brandis and Senator
Eric Abetz, for saving them the embarrassment of their Royal Commission
pointing out their star witness as the most corrupt person appearing
before the Commission if the allegations are proven true. Even based on
those allegations she has admitted to under oath during the parts the
Commissioner seems to have slept through, there has been no other
witness appear that has personally acquired such vast sums of money from
their union without the members knowledge, let alone blessing.

In fact, there must be a truckload of Coalition MP’s, including
Abbott himself, going “phew” and silently giving thanks that
Commissioner Heydon was happy to put his own reputation at risk to save
them the embarrassment of pointing out their unwavering support of an
alleged criminal.

However it is the union movement that should be thankful,
particularly the CFMEU who seem to have been the most targeted in this
whole taxpayer-funded charade.

The union movement should be overjoyed that this report cannot be
taken in any way seriously, if its 1,817 pages have blatantly missed
possibly the most corrupt official to have appeared before the
Commission. This highlights the fact the whole commission has been
nothing but a very expensive witch hunt done for political purposes.

But perhaps the most thankful of all should be the public; after all,
as the legal fraternity involved rack up hundreds of thousands of
billable hours, it is the public that are footing the bill.

You may think that’s nothing to be thankful for, but at least we now know exactly what it is we are paying for.

Any doubt that this Commission was actually about protecting member’s
interests rather than a witch hunt for political purposes has now been
shown as wishful thinking.

There is only one certainty in all of this and that is one of the
items on the Royal Commission's agenda was the protection of the
Coalition's golden girl Kathy Jackson.

Perhaps a hint for the media was the departure of the Royal
Commission’s media director Adrian Kerr immediately after the report was
released. This meant that after Commission dropped its bombshell, they
could not face media scrutiny about it.

Kerr had been visibly uncomfortable in his role on some of the
sitting days and was particularly touchy on matters involving the
Commissions integrity. In his email to the press regarding the release
of the Commissioners report, Kerr finished off by saying this

'This is my final day with the Commission. Thank you all for a
great professional year on the job. I’ll keep your contact details for
future reference.'

A strange way of announcing your departure to the country's media — or perhaps strange timing is better phrase.

A Royal Commission is considered the most powerful legal inquiry this
country has in its arsenal and is considered by many to be beyond

An inquiry of this magnitude, set up to expose corruption in the
union movement so offenders can be criminally prosecuted, that is found
to have as part of its agenda the protection of possibly the most
corrupt union official this country has ever seen, is an inquiry that
is, in itself, corrupted to its core.

We should be thankful that, at long last, that the Royal Commission has shown its true colours.

A corruption inquiry that seeks to smear the union movement and
selectively ignores allegations of corruption on a grand scale? The only
thing that could be more corrupt than that is the Government that set
it up.

You can follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy. Catch up on the full Jacksonville saga here.

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