These four tales about Liberal politicians from Western Australia say it all about the division which John Howard is just itching to clean up with some federal intervention.
The latest addition to its senior ranks to feature on the police wanted list is one Andrew Isshac Levy who police believe to be Ahmad Ali Rida, a 27 year old conman with an extensive police record in the eastern States.
Mr Levy is presently the Treasurer of the Swan Division of the Western Australian Liberal Party with responsibility for managing the financial affairs of the Division.
He has attended a number of functions with senior Ministers of the federal government and was photographed in the company of the Prime Minister during the federal election.
Mr Levy is alleged to have escaped from Sydney’s Silverwater jail by driving out of the prison in a prison officer’s car. He established a bogus legal practice in Perth passing himself off as a legal practitioner. He disappeared last week and has subsequently been arrested on the run in Darwin.
Levy has subsequently pleaded guilty in the Darwin Magistrate’s court to impersonating a Naval Officer and to four charges of fraud amounting to $50,000.
Levy is wanted in Perth in connection with the disappearance of very substantial sums of money owned by clients. Many of his clients are of Middle-East origin. It is not known how many if any of these clients are former refugees.
There is no word from the Western Australian Liberal Party as to whether it has even bothered to check its Swan Division financial records although one member claims to be personally $3000 worse off for knowing Levy.
Levy was introduced into the Liberal Party by close supporters of Mr Don Randall, the former member of Swan who now represents the voters of Canning. Randall and Senator Ian Campbell both maintain very close links with the Swan Liberal Party Division and claim to control the Executive of which Mr Levy remains a senior member.
The President of Swan Division, a Mr Timmermanis, is a particularly close ally of Randall’s. Timmermanis’s wife, a lawyer, was elected to the Liberal Party’s Constitution and Drafting Committee and its Appeals and Disciplinary Committee with the active backing of Randall and Campbell.
Prior to Mr Levy been elected to the sensitive position of Treasurer, not even cursory steps were taken by Timmermanis or any other members of the party to inquirer into Levy’s background or suitability for the position.
Mr Randall has stacked out Branches in a number of Divisions including Swan. Some members signed up by Mr Randall have claimed not to know what Branches they have been allocated to.
There has been a practice within the party in certain Divisions of stacking out branches using corporate donations to sign up members on mass.
In the Western Australian Liberal Party these practices are both acceptable and deemed legal.
The dopey Senator Lightfoot’s proud batchelorhood
The following story about our good friend Senator Lightfoot has come across our desk and we thought we should share it with you.
Some years ago a wag in a column in the “West Australian” newspaper invited a poll for the most eligible bachelor in Perth. The four nominees were a prominent metropolitan city councillor, Rocketracer, Constable Care and the indubitable, the Hon Ross Lightfoot, then a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council.
Following the publication of this distinguished and eminent list, a close confidant of Mr Lightfoot’s, sought to extend their sympathy that he had been spoofed by the media who were clearly having a joke at his experience.
Mr Lightfoot would not hear of this as a parody. He was as he put it, a well regarded, well dressed and thoroughly eligible bachelor around town and it was not unexpected that his name would appear on a list of eligible bachelors. The Honourable member was not dismayed by the fact that the city counsellor is a well known and open homosexual, Rocketracer was a gelding racehorse that had won the Perth Cup with the help of a dose of elephant juice and Constable Care is a cut out cardboard cop.
It was not reported who won the contest.
NCB’s travel rorting
You can’t mention colourful WA Liberals without including the most colourful of all, one Noel Crichton-Browne. Just in case you’ve forgotten about NCB, this yarn ran in the Fin Review in July 1998.
Crichton-Browne escapes jail term
By Damon Kitney and AAP
Former Liberal Party powerbroker Noel Crichton-Browne yesterday escaped a jail sentence but was fined $8,000 after pleading guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to two charges of rorting his parliamentary travel entitlements.
The 54-year-old former senator, who was expelled from the WA Liberal Party in late 1995 after making lewd comments to a female journalist, was given a $4,000 fine for each charge flowing from two 1996 trips to resorts at Broome and Norfolk Island.
Crichton-Browne admitted to defrauding the Commonwealth by claiming the $4,500 worth of travel in his wife’s name despite travelling to the resorts with another woman, Ms Lisa Anne Campbell.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a $13,200 fine, however the magistrate, Mr Michael Somes, rejected calls by the public prosecutor, Mr Grant Lalor, for a jail sentence to be imposed.
He accepted submissions by Crichton-Browne’s defence counsel that the former senator was under great stress after his expulsion from the WA Liberal Party and the breakdown of his marriage. But he said the imposition of a penalty was essential to serve as a deterrent to other potential travel rorters.
The charges were laid against Crichton-Browne after a Federal Liberal backbencher, Mr Eoin Cameron, wrote to the Australian Federal Police asking them to investigate alleged travel irregularities by Crichton-Browne when he was a senator.
The allegations were also raised in Federal Parliament in June 1996 by another WA Liberal, Senator Sue Knowles.
The foul-mouthed Eoin Cameron
This revealing collage of events is the work of a number of contributors, some of whom appear to have a major axe to grind.
Crikey has to concede that Senators Lightfoot and Knowles have both raised the bar as the worst members of parliament on Crikey’s list of nominees, however Senator Knowles close friend, Eoin Cameron, previously the federal member for Stirling deserves a mention in this context.
Cameron employed his son, Ryan Cameron, his son in law, Andrew Gaspar and a good mate Warren Gillespie all in his electorate office. In less than one twelve month period this lot was given $46,000 of tax payers’ funded overtime by their generous boss. For an insignificant back bencher who promptly lost his seat, who knows what he was doing that required his staff to rack up the second highest overtime bill of any member in the federal parliament.
Just to keep it all in the family, Cameron flew his wife over to Canberra from Perth in business class with chauffeur driven cars at both ends, twelve times a year at the further annual cost to tax-payers of $25,000.
Cameron’s ex colleague Don Randall, then the member for Swan used to regale anybody who would listen to him, about Cameron’s contribution in the parliament. Randall, who crikey readers will know was the fellow who in a courageous act of integrity, refused an alcohol breath test and had his license cancelled during the last election campaign but kept it from his voters. At an earlier election Randall had filled in the part of his Liberal Party nomination form which required the declaration of police convictions, as nil when in fact he had a police record.
However, according to Randall, he burst into Cameron’s parliament house office in the middle of question time and found Cameron, his wife and his staff all in Cameron’s office with the blinds pulled down, sitting in the dark watching replays of the Simpsons while drinking plonk from a cardboard flagon. Do you ever wonder if you are getting your money’s worth from your elected representatives! We know they are getting value for your taxes.
Cameron is the only known candidate to have put on weight door knocking during a campaign. The proprietor of the premises next to Cameron’s electorate office never met him in the six years he represented the electorate, although Cameron’s wife came into his shop at election time at the end of Cameron’s second term and asked the proprietor would he hand out how to vote cards for Cameron.
But there is more to Cameron, much more. Cameron like Randall has a propensity for colourful language like so many other people in the community. While flying with Senator Knowles on her tax-payer funded charter aircraft from Perth to Exmouth for a Liberal Party conference, together with Liberal Party members, contrary in both instances to the clear guidelines, Cameron showed his form.
During the flight, Cameron turned to the President of the Liberal Party State Women’s Section, who was one of Knowles passengers, and said: “We all know you Margie, you like young men with big c-ks.” This very proper Seven Day Adventist lady happened to have been very happily married for many years to a man some years younger than her.
Much to the surprise of the lady, Senator Knowles fell about the aircraft laughing at this line which devastated the woman who promptly complained as soon as she got off the plane.
Cameron flew up to Exmouth at tax-payers’ expense to compere a Party function following the Liberal conference and spent much of the night telling dirty jokes and swearing, which listeners to 6PR and the ABC in Perth would never have heard during his radio days.
If Cameron is remembered for anything during his time in parliament, it will be for having his office raided by the Australian Federal Police. The cause of the raid which is set out in the warrant below makes fascinating reading.
The warrant behind the raid
Whereas, I Norman Lennard Roberts an issuing officer within the meaning of section 3E of the Crimes Act 1914, am satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is (or that there will within the next 72 hours be) at the premises located at:
The Stirling electorate offices of Mr Eoin Cameron, MP situated on the first floor at 402 Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park, Western Australia. Evidential material which satisfied ALL of the following THREE conditions, namely:
FIRST CONDITION: Things which are:
Originals or copies of any one or more of the following including any of them which is stored on magnetic or electronic storage medium:
(a) documents concerning or forming part or all of facsimile transmissions from a facsimile machine attached to telephone number 08 242 5884 [Cameron’s electorate office] in Perth and sent to Parliament House in Canberra on telephone number 06 277 3108 on 27 March 19995 at or about 9.17am and 9.18am WST; to telephone number 06 277 3504 on 27 March 1995 at or about 10.26am WST; to telephone number 06 273 4120 at or about 11.55am WST; and to telephone number 06 277 3108 on 7 June 1995 at or about 11.24am WST;
(b) facsimile machine activity journals for the facsimile machine attached to telephone number 09 242 5884 covering the period 27 March 1995 to 7 June 1995 inclusive;
(c) details of the nature, type and facsimile machine header details printed by the facsimile machine attached to telephone number 09 242 5884 on out-going facsimile transmissions;
(d) telephone account statements for telephone number 09 242 5884 for the dates 27 March 1995 and 7 June 1995;
(e) undated and unsigned correspondence addressed to “Senator Noel Crichton-Browne, Senator for Western Australia” and sent on or about 2 April 1995;
(f) documents forming all or part of a facsimile transmission from the facsimile machine attached to telephone number 09 242 5884 and sent to the Western Australian Attorney General, Ms Cheryl Edwards on or about 4 April 1995, being an amended copy of the above mentioned undated and unsigned correspondence;
(g) incoming and/or outgoing correspondence register for letters and/or facsimiles;
(h) postage paid envelopes;
(i) self adhesive addressee labels;
(j) employee records for the period 27 March to 7 June inclusive;
SECOND CONDITION: things which relate to any one or more of the following:
(a) Eoin Cameron;
(b) Warren Gillespie;
(c) Andrew Gasper;
(d) Ryan Cameron;
THIRD CONDITION: Things as to which there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they will afford evidence as to the commission of the following offences against the laws of the Commonwealth:
(1) That on or about 27 March 1995, 2 April 1995, 4 April 1995 and 7 June 1995 any or all of the above mentioned persons wrote and/or sent facsimile transmissions and/or letters conveying threats or intimidation to hinder or interfere with the free exercise or performance by Senator Noel Crichton-Browne of his political right or duty in an effort to influence him to resign or withdraw from preselection or to withhold his nomination as a Senator within the Liberal Party, contrary to Section 28 of the Crimes Act 1914.
(2) That on or about 27 March 1995 and 7 June 1995 any or all of the above named persons did knowingly or recklessly use a telecommunications service supplied by a carrier to menace or harass Senator Noel Crichton-Browne in that they wrote and/or sent facsimile transmissions in an effort to influence him to resign or withdraw from preslection or to withhold his nomination as a Senator within the Liberal Party, contrary to Section 85ZE(a) of the Crimes Act 1914.
(3) That on or about 27 March 1995, 4 April 1995 and 7 June 1995 any or all of the above mentioned persons did knowingly or recklessly use a telecommunications service supplied by a carrier in such a way as would be regarded by reasonable persons as being, in all the circumstances, offensive in that they wrote and/or sent facsimile transmissions in an effort to influence Senator Crichton-Browne to resign or withdraw from preselection or to withhold his nomination as a Senator within the Liberal Party, contrary to Section 85ZE(b) of the Crimes Act 1914.
(4) That on or about 2 April 1995 any or all of the above mentioned persons did knowingly or recklessly use a postal service supplied by Australia Post to menace or harass Senator Noel Crichton-Browne in that they wrote and/or sent a letter to Senator Crichton-Browne in an effort to influence him to resign or withdraw from preselection or to withhold his nomination as a Senator within the Liberal Party, contrary to Section 85S(a) of the Crimes Act 1914.
(5) That on or about 2 April 1995 any or all of the above mentioned persons did knowingly or recklessly use a postal service supplied by Australia Post in such a way as would be regarded by reasonable persons as being, in all the circumstances, offensive in that they wrote and/or sent a letter to Senator Crichton-Browne in an effort to influence Senator Crichton-Browne to resign or withdraw from preselection or to withhold his nomination as a Senator within the Liberal Party, contrary to Section 85S(b) of the Crimes Act 1914.
No charges were laid because the police were not able to establish beyond doubt who sent the threatening material from Cameron’s electorate office. Crikey readers won’t be shocked to learn that Cameron asked that the tax-payers pick up his legal bill.
After Cameron’s inevitable defeat, Andrew Gasper, his son in law, one of those cited in the police warrant found himself employment on the staff of Senator Knowles. Cameron and Knowles are great mates and when she was trying to get Cameron elected, Knowles did her “postal mail outs” into Cameron’s electorate of the type revealed in her infamous letter to her colleagues.
Cameron was also named on a Perth radio station as confirming Knowles lies about having her life threatened and being under police protection.
The Liberal Party has got no more to thank Cameron for than have the voters who kicked him out. He lost a seat with improved demographics in a winning election. Cameron joined the Liberal Party just weeks before nominating for preselection and has not been a member of the Party since being booted off the government pay roll.
Where does the Liberal Party in Western Australia get these people from?