Counsel Assisting releases submissions on AWU

6 November 2015

The Royal Commission has released counsel assisting’s submissions on the AWU case studies in accordance with the timing outlined in the Practice Direction 16.

The submissions have been circulated to affected parties tonight through the Electronic Court Book and publicly released to the media. The documents will be published on the Commission’s website on Monday morning after 10am.

The submissions cover the following case studies:

    1. Cleanevent, including Douglas Site Services
    2. Thiess John Holland
      3. Paid education leave, namely ACI and Chiquita Mushrooms
      4. Unibuilt
      5. Winslow and miscellaneous membership issues
      6. Downer EDI


    In very brief overview, counsel assisting have submitted that the Commissioner should find that a number of officials of the AWU and the AWU itself may have engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the falsification of invoices and the taking of commissions.

    It is further submitted that a number of persons employed by major employers and employers themselves may have engaged in similar criminal conduct, by receiving and paying bogus invoices and paying commissions (see e.g. Chapter 3 – Thiess John Holland, paragraph 213; Chapter 5 – ACI, paragraph 118; Chapter 6 – Chiquita Mushrooms paragraph 85; Chapter 8 – Winslow Constructors, paragraph 44).

    Counsel assisting have submitted further that a number of officials of the AWU may have engaged in conduct in conflict of interest by causing the union to enter into lucrative side deals that were not disclosed to the members.

    There is no submission that Mr Bill Shorten may have engaged in any criminal or unlawful conduct.

    Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter which summarises many of the main points. There are 10 Chapters in total.

    Since these are submissions, they do not contain any recommendations. Any recommendations will be made by the Commissioner in his Report. That will only occur after the Commissioner has received submissions from all parties and considered all competing points of view.

    Any affected parties who wish to make written submission in response will have until 4pm on 20 November 2015 to do so. Counsel assisting can make submissions in reply by 1 December.