Ian Temby

Aussie Wog ratbag now playing race card

Eddie Obeid is now crying racism against the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Disgraced former Labor minister Eddie Obeid has accused the corruption watchdog of racism for implying his family are “wog Lebanese”, who took the spoils of joint business ventures “from the one bloody plate”.

In a heated morning in the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday, Mr Obeid said he was not involved in the business dealings of his nine children and 31 grandchildren.

“I’m not involved in their daily lives,” he said.

The ICAC is investigating whether Mr Obeid , 70, used his political influence to lobby colleagues about cafes at Circular Quay, water licences in rural NSW and consulting business Direct Health Solutions.  Read more »

Aussie union ratbag blows $5 million, but is really sorry

Aussie union ratbag and former Labor president, Michael Williamson, who cried that he was innocent of all charges and it was nothing more than a scurrilous partisan smear campaign finally plead guilty to nicking more than $5 million from his union. But it appears to have blown the lot.

He reckons he is sorry too…not sorry enough to pay back the money that he looted.

I think the only he is sorry about is getting caught.

After pleading guilty last month to defrauding his 50,000-member union, Williamson is awaiting sentence in March for what is likely to be an extended jail stint.

The hunt, in the meantime, is for $5 million that he admits to owing the HSU, his main creditor, in an agreed settlement released a day after his conviction.    Read more »

The ratbag show continues in Australia

Day after day dodgy ALP ratbags are being rinsed before the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Yesterday it was Joe Tripodi’s turn.

These revelations are going to cripple the ALP for a generation.

Former Labor minister Joe Tripodi knew his political ally Eddie Obeid had a secret interest in cafes at Circular Quay when he bypassed a tender and renewed leases for the lucrative businesses.

Lynne Ashpole, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr Tripodi, gave evidence at the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Thursday that Mr Tripodi told her in 2006 that Mr Obeid had an interest in the waterfront cafes.

The explosive testimony contradicts Mr Tripodi’s previous claims he was unaware of Mr Obeid’s stake in the cafes when he renewed the leases in 2009 for up to 10 years. Mr Tripodi is expected to give evidence on Friday.

“During your discussions of this issue, Mr Tripodi mentioned to you that Mr Eddie Obeid owned one or two leases down at Circular Quay?” junior counsel assisting the commission, Ben Katekar, asked.

Another dodgy ratbag from NSW

It seems if you want to be involved in Aussie politics you have to be a corrupt ratbag…at least to be a member of the ALP.

And other politicians and the media don’t hold back in calling things how they are either. Shame our media have sold out long ago to crooks and ratbags.

Barely a fortnight ago, former senior state public servant Steve Dunn was given a frank character assessment in the State Parliament.

The occasion was a debate on a bill to abolish the controversial Game Council of NSW following a damaging review of the taxpayer-funded body by Mr Dunn in his capacity as a private consultant.

As the Shooters and Fishers Party MP Robert Brown eviscerated Mr Dunn and wondered how he could have reached his conclusions, fellow Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak, enraged by the Dunn report, interjected: ”Because he’s corrupt, that’s why!”

Also to face the inquiry: Former public servant Mark Duffy. Photo: Adam Hollingworth

Little did they know Mr Dunn would be named on Monday as a witness in the latest Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into former Labor minister Eddie Obeid.

Dodgy ALP Ratbag cops one in the chook again

Eddie Obeid is the ratbag that just keeps on giving.

He is back before the Independent Commission against Corruption with three more investigations.

Former Labor parliamentarian Eddie Obeid and two former departmental chiefs will be adversely named during the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s three-pronged inquiry which began today.

In his opening address, counsel assisting, Ian Temby, QC, outlined the details of the corruption watchdog’s trio of fresh inquiries into Mr Obeid’s dealings.

Mr Temby said the inquiries spanned three departments – Treasury, the Department of Water and Energy, and NSW Maritime – four separate ministers, and a period of more than a decade.

Mr Temby, formerly the inaugural head of the ICAC, said the hearings involved “lobbying of an unusual kind” by an MP, in circumstances where his family’s interests were involved.

More charges for dodgy union boss

The Health Services Union scandal continues to truck along with more charges for Michael Williamson, and two more senior union officials are likely to be charged.

But, why aren’t the members questioning where their funds have gone?

Former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson has been hit with a raft of extra charges including money laundering and dealing in the proceeds of crime, which attract a potential 15-year jail term.

Mr Williamson, who appeared in Waverley Local Court on Wednesday morning, was also charged with 27 counts of cheat and defraud.

The new charges are believed to relate to allegations of fraud relating to Canme, a company registered to Mr Williamson’s wife Julieanne. Canme charged the union hundreds of thousands of dollars for archiving work that an internal inquiry by barrister Ian Temby QC and accountant Ian Robertson suggested was never done.

Mr Williamson, who was accompanied by his brother Darren and his solicitor Vivian Evans, was in court only briefly.

Outside court Detective Superintendent Colin Dyson, head of the Cyber and Fraud Squad, said that Mr Williamson had been charged with 27 cheat and defraud offences totalling around $600,000 of union funds. Each charge attracts a maximum penalty of 10 years.

Of that amount, $400,000 was allegedly laundered by Mr Williamson who was aware that the funds were proceeds of crime, Superintendent Dyson said.

The detective, who is heading Strike Force Carnarvon, said that two senior union officials may be charged over this matter.

He also said that one other person is facing charges relating to Mr Williamson’s alleged attempts to hinder the police investigation.

Dodgy Union Scum Arrested and Charged

Dodgy union boss, Michael Williamson from the Health Services Union has been arrested and charged with 20 offences including “recruiting five other people to commit criminal acts by hindering a police investigation.”

The report, which was conducted by prominent QC Ian Temby and accountant Dennis Robertson, found that companies controlled by Mr Williamson and his family had received $5 million from the union over the past four years.

The report revealed that Canme, the company of Mr Williamson’s wife, Julie, was paid $385,000 from 2005 to 2009. That amount is likely to be double as the Herald understands Canme was being paid up to $15,000 every two months from about 2000. Mr Temby raised questions as to whether the work was actually done.

Within days of the release of the Temby report, Mr Williamson handed in his resignation.

He had been collecting a salary of just under $400,000 per year form the union, and another $150,000 in union-related board positions.

Corrupt to the top, and still denying it

Sydney Morning Herald

The Health Services Union scandal keeps on delivering in Australia. This Aussie union has rorted and ripped off its members, they are corrupt to the top, and still denying it.

I shudder to think what sort of malfeasance is going on in New Zealand with our lax supervision of union monies:

SUSPICIOUS procurement practices, nepotism and cronyism resulted in the union boss Michael Williamson, his family and friends reaping millions of dollars from the troubled Health Services Union during his 15-year reign.

The final report by Ian Temby, QC, and the accountant Dennis Robertson, which has been obtained by the Herald, paints a disturbing picture of the HSUeast branch. More than $20 million in questionable payments was paid to suppliers to the union without any form of tendering or contract.

More than $5 million went directly to companies operated by Mr Williamson and his wife, Julieanne, while $1.5 million of union funds was spent buying and renovating a warehouse, which was then used by his son Christopher, also an employee of the union.

The report found the union’s funds had been spent building a rehearsal studio for Chris Williamson’s commercial use. “This was stark favouritism,” it said.

United Edge, a company of which Michael Williamson was a third owner, received $4.7 million in the four years to September 2011. United Edge, which provided IT services without having to tender, operated rent free from the HSUeast headquarters.

Then there was the $384,625 Julieanne Williamson received for allegedly doing the union’s archiving from 2005 to 2009.

Mr Temby is particularly critical of this transaction. “Assuming that the work was actually done, and done by Mrs Williamson alone, and she worked a 37.5-hour week through out the 50-month period – collecting folders, dismantling and collating them for scanning, week after tedious week for 52 weeks of the year – then she was being paid at a rate close to $34 per hour plus GST . . . a high hourly rate for what appears to be basic clerical work.” Mr and Mrs Williamson declined to be interviewed by Mr Temby, but she wrote to Mr Temby saying: “I felt I should have been charging $200ph, as the work was downright disgustingly filthy”.

Are the Meatworkers using members fees like this?

Sydney Morning Herald

The Meatworkers Union has been hiding $4m of members money per year. Their hiding of money means that it is interesting to consider whether they are doing something like the HSU are in Australia.

FIVE companies, some associated with the Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson, received more than $17 million over a four-year period, a scathing report into the union’s procurement process has found.

Ian Temby, QC, and the accountant Dennis Robertson were hired by the union to conduct an independent investigation into allegations raised by the Sydney Morning Herald last September of cronyism and corruption within the HSU East branch.

The pair wanted their interim report to be released immediately because of the millions of dollars the union is spending each year without going to tender or obtaining price comparisons.

New Zealand needs a system where unions who are not transparent with members funds can be investigated and de-registered.

When Union bosses become the 1%

Sydney Morning Herald

There is a massive scandal unfolding in Australia as more and more murk is exposed in the Health Services Union. It is becoming apparent that union bosses are positioning themselves as fat cats in the 1% by rorting and cheating their unions of cash…not to mention paying themselves huge salaries and benefits, the very actions they usually criticise the bosses of.

We are starting to see here now too that when you start looking into union monies that there appears to be significant issues in basic reporting…and that may well lead to other issues being revealed with a microscope look at the inside of unions.

Certainly no one ever thought there was a problem in Australia until Michael Williamson got caught out…now it is looking increasingly like other unions may well be ensnared in the scandal:

WHEN the lead organiser for the Health Services Union, Monique Irvine, complained last year that she was having trouble meeting her childcare costs, the union’s boss, Michael Williamson, gave her a $22,000 pay rise.

Ms Irvine is Mr Williamson’s sister-in-law. It is instances such as this extraordinary pay rise, which was not authorised by the union’s council and boosted Ms Irvine’s salary to an estimated $140,000, that have angered union members.

Mr Williamson himself is reputed to be the best-paid unionist in the country, with his $330,000 year salary boosted by the $150,000 from his various government and union-related board positions.

The union’s national secretary, Kathy Jackson, agreed at a Melbourne news conference yesterday that her own salary of $270,000 a year was ”obscene”. She blamed Mr Williamson for setting ”vastly inflated” wage figures for executives within the HSU and said she would be happy to take a substantial pay cut.

Nepotism and corruption within the union is being investigated by Ian Temby, QC, who was appointed by the union last year to carry out inquiries in the wake of allegations of wrongdoing raised by the Herald last September.

Mr Temby’s report is unlikely to be handed down before June as he will be overseas throughout next month.

Things are so bad that the HSU secretary has called for the state government to intervene to change the way unions run their internal elections:

Ms Jackson’s request yesterday for the state government to change the way unions run their elections has angered many union officials.

”Big money union elections means that it is now almost impossible for ordinary union members to stand for election in their own union with even a remote chance of winning,” Ms Jackson said.

”Nowhere is this more clear than in HSUeast. Michael Williamson recently bragged to another official that he had several million dollars for use in union elections. I believe the rampant corruption in HSUeast is caused in part by inadequate union election laws.”

The Premier, Barry O’Farrell, said he was ”happy to pursue what options are available in NSW to give the members of that union … the relief they’re seeking, which is the chance to actually have an election”.