Final Report to be delivered by year's end

18 December 2015

Royal Commissioner, the Hon J.D. Heydon AC QC will deliver his final report to the Governor-General on or by 31 December 2015.

The report, which is likely to extend over several volumes, will conclude the Commission's national inquiry into trade union governance and corruption which began on 13 March 2014.

The timing of the tabling of the report in Parliament and its public release will be a matter for Government.

The Commission considered 75 distinct case studies under the Terms of Reference and received evidence from 525 witnesses in public and private hearings on 189 individual hearing days in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. 

Many other matters were considered by the Commission's investigators which did not culminate in public hearings. In conducting its investigations, the Commission issued more than 2000 'Notices to Produce Documents' and generated a database of over 852,000 individual documents comprising millions of pages.

As of 30 November 2015, expenditure for the Office of the Royal Commission (ORC), the police taskforces of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, the Attorney General's Department's financial assistance to witnesses and Commonwealth legal representation was under budget at $45.905m.

The Office of the Royal Commission was initially funded as a nine month operation but was extended in October 2014 to run for 21 months, with no change in its capital and operating funding of approximately $57m. 

Referrals

The Interim Report, delivered to the Governor-General in December 2014, referred 26 people to 11 agencies:

  • Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
  • NSW Director of Public Prosecutions
  • SA Director of Public Prosecutions
  • QLD Director of Public Prosecutions
  • VIC Director of Public Prosecutions
  • WA Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission
  • Fair Work Building Inspectorate
  • Fair Work Commission
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Australian Information Commissioner

Law Reform

The Commission issued discussion papers on policy and law reform to help inform its inquiry:

  • Four discussion papers were released in 2014 seeking comment on the funding of trade union elections, the protections available to whistleblowers, the duties of union officials and relevant entities
  • The Discussion paper on Options for Law Reform released in May 2015 received 20 submissions, including from Victoria Police, Master Builders Association and the ACCC.

Mr Heydon extended his gratitude to the barristers, lawyers and Commission staff for their hard work and professionalism throughout the inquiry.