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The no man’s land that is the Thomson saga

Welcome to the no man’s land that is the Craig Thomson saga. This story has already taken up way too much space in the nation’s political consciousness, but the government’s razor-thin majority in minority government means it’s not set to abate any time soon.

This is what we know as a result of the Fair Work Australia investigation that’s finally been completed — three years and 1100 pages later, it’s not much:

  • Fair Work Australia found 181 contraventions of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 and the Health Services Union rules. Of those 181, 105 relate to civil penalty provisions within the act.
  • Fair Work Australia did not recommend whether those involved should be charged and has left that up to the Department of Public Prosecutions to decide.
  • The report names three former union officials and one other person. While it’s assumed Thomson is one of them, this has not been verified.

Thomson himself doesn’t know who is named, and said yesterday he found out the investigation had been referred to the DPP on Twitter.

The information vacuum sparks fevered speculation. Remember when Thomson’s doctor made the mistake of listing “abdominal pains” on his medical certificate when taking leave from parliament? That ended in the Nationals leader Warren Truss speculating that Craig was … ahem, constipated.

So brace yourself for the avalanche of speculation set to hit in the coming days. Last night Jackson called for a judicial inquiry into the FWA probe. This morning ACTU president Ged Kearney announced the union would meet tomorrow to consider suspending the HSU from its ranks. And of course, the Coalition is demanding transparency with the full release of the report.

So here’s a memo to the DPP: please, on behalf of the Australian public, or at least any members of the public still foolish enough to pay attention: make this a fast investigation and release your findings ASAP. The nation’s boredom threshold depends upon it.

10
  • 1
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I swear that maniacal dictators mass murdering their citizens in recent times have received less media coverage than this Thomson soap opera.

    I agree: please, DPP, end it now, the public can only take so much.

  • 2
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    We already know that Kathy Jackson’s former husband, Michael Williams and one other official have been named.

    Thomson has not to date.

    Anyone would think the poor devil had murdered his granny the way the media are carrying on turning it all into a stupid game of politics.

    I don’t remember the outrage by Abbott over the corrupt behaviour of the newly righteous Peter Reith.

    There will be no criminal charges laid, we already know that.

    IN SA a factory killed three workers due to negligence and paid small fines.

    Get over it.

  • 3
    eric
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Yep what about Liberal Senator Fisher who WAS charged with theft?

    BTW its the Murdoch gutter press thats squealing the most about Thompson hoping to get their lovechild phoney Tony into the Lodge!

  • 4
    Whistleblower
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Shepherd Marilyn

    Thomson did not murder his granny, he allegedly stole members funds for his own own personal use, and because Gillard is dependent on his vote, Labor and its political apparatchiks will use any trick in the book to avoid Thomson Having to address criminal charges which could cost him his seat and the government its majority.

    We all know that Gillard would sleep with the devil to stay in power, and protecting a corrupt union official is small beer compared to her “prostitution” to Brown and the Greens, and her treachery to Rudd and Wilke.

    Until the DPP ( probably not a labour stooge) examines the evidence we have no indication as to whether criminal charges will be laid or not.

  • 5
    Brett Wright
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Given the statement issued by the DPP this afternoon, one is left wondering what Fair Work Australia spend three years investigating - it certainly did not include deciding what best to do with its 1100-page report when it was finished.

  • 6
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    The real question is why fairwork could investigate anything that may or may not have happened before fair work even existed.

  • 7
    Gerry Hatrick, OAP
    Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    he allegedly stole members funds for his own own personal use

    Who is alleging that? Someone who rang their mate at the NSW DPP perhaps?

    And for the rest of your “sentences”, I trust you left your bias at the door when you started typing?

  • 8
    David Hand
    Posted Thursday, 5 April 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    He allegedly stole members’ funds for his own personal use” is exactly what this investigation is about.

    But as with most issues like this, it’s not the original act that is the issue, it’s the cover up. No man’s land? Boredom? The way that FWA has handled it carries all the hallmarks of a corrupt fix and the stench of the Thompson saga will hover round the Gillard government right up to the next election. It will probably cost seats. That’s not boring, trivial, and is rightly high in the nation’s political consciousness.

  • 9
    geomac
    Posted Thursday, 5 April 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    FWA concerns are to do with industrial laws and the workplace and is not a police organisation such as the FDA or state police . As with the deaths of installation workers its the perception the coalition and murdoch press are about , not facts . Four deaths were convenient to arouse emotion about a policy but the fatalities were never a concern only a vehicle . Why else would the culpability of the contractors responsible never mentioned by those crying crocodile tears . Mention industrial manslaughter and you will hear howls of protest from the very same ones claiming sympathy for dead workers .
    Release the findings as long as it doesn,t prejudice anyones possible chance of a fair trial if that evenuates , facts not opinions . Reveal why Abetz faced no criminal charges for the email fraud and Reith for the phone fraud . Its apparently not sufficient that no charges were laid when the act is known to have been perpetrated as we need to know why by reading the investigating report . Lets also reopen the AWB inquiry but this time have terms of reference that include rather than exclude the ministers who were responsible for the portfolios that were concerned with policing bribes etc . No second jeopardy type action there as the ex ministers were never in the frame .
    Lets face it , the whole thing would be a page four piece if not for a minority government and an amoral opposition . Justice and the rule of law ? No integrity , no ethics and no morals by those shouting the loudest only base opportunism .

  • 10
    David Hand
    Posted Friday, 6 April 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    You’re whistling in the dark, GEO.

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