The unions knew about suspected child abuse
There are a number of critical factors in the submissions, and other events, that give rise to an inescapable conclusion that certain union officials of the QSSU and AWU who wanted the material shredded to “avert possible industrial unrest” were very aware at the time that it contained evidence of suspected child abuse.
For my part (representing the QPOA) I was totally unaware at the time that evidence of suspected child abuse was in the material. It was never mentioned to me by Mr Coyne or any other JOYC/QPOA members. The Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) never raised that prospect or suspicion in our joint discussions when seeking access to the documents.
In Cabinet submission of 12 February 1990 at page 6 it states the following in respect of the plans to destroy Heiner Inquiry documents at that early stage.
Crime in the Community Report
Motives for the shredding
Mr Coyne was a middle-ranking public servant. Why would you move him? You find documents where the minister, Ms Warner, said, ‘We knew about the problems before we got into government.’ The question is: what were the problems? Were the problems about abuse of kids at the centre? If they were, and if the government were fair dinkum about the rule of law and looking after kids, Mr Coyne and anybody else who was engaged in abusing kids should have been put before police. That is what should have happened. There is no doubt that certain unions, including the AWU and the state service union, wanted Mr Coyne out of the place, and they were both well connected to the ALP at that point in time.
Mr O’Neill stated he believed Mr Coyne held information on some staff members indicating physical abuse, including an AWU workplace representative or union delegate.
Mr O’Neill also made this important observation:
I have no doubt that the youth worker staff were keen to tell Mr Heiner of the pack rape, which occurred at the Portals as only the professional staff were on this particular outing and it was seen as a stuff-up … I believe that if there was any push by the unions at the JOYC to shred the Heiner documents that the most likely source was the AWU
STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
Crime in the community
Submission by Mrs Beryce Nelson
CHAIR—In the report in the Courier-Mail on 21 May this year, which I read from before, there is a comment from the anti-child abuse campaigner Ms Hetty Johnston, who became very well known over how the Anglican church, particularly under a former Governor-General, had dealt with questions of child abuse. Of course, Mr Beattie took that up in a great way. Ms Johnston is saying that the fact that Ms Warner knew about it means that it was entrenched in the department. What worries me is that, while people like Ms Johnston and the Premier were prepared to really get upset and take action with regard to forcing the Governor-General from office, the Premier’s Treasurer today was then part of the cabinet that destroyed all the evidence about what was happening to children in a government-run detention centre. Do you think they think that, because those children might have got into trouble with the law, they are somehow lesser children and they do not matter?
Mrs Nelson—I do not think there is a perception of the value of children in the current culture that runs Queensland. If there were, we would not have the repetition of these events from the early nineties through to now. I do not think they are alone in that. I think that is an issue across the country. But it is very strongly evident here. That is why I said it is part of that old entrenched AWU power structure that runs the state. If you look at some of the activities of some of those people, you see that there is no respect for the rights of women and children. There has been very bad behaviour towards children in particular. There is a lot of window dressing and there is a lot of talk, but again it comes back to adults. I have a particular view about bringing people down. What was the point of bringing down a Governor-General? It did not make the life of one child safer. It was again an attack on an adult. It was all a scapegoating type solution rather than looking at how we address the issue of law as it relates to children in the country.
CHAIR—And the destruction of the documents was to protect the adult members of the AWU who were employed in that detention centre.
Mrs Nelson—Who were part of that illegal activity. CHAIR—And therefore part of the power structure. Mrs Nelson—They had to be protected at all costs. The children were of less relevance, of less value. That is the consistent theme right through. You will find that a few public servants will be scapegoated out, just like unionists and public servants were scapegoated out in the nineties.
Coyne Breaks Silence
by Chris Griffith Published 4 September 1994 in The Sunday Mail
Because of the agreement, Coyne has left the public running to Lindeberg, himself a victim of the affair having been sacked on the basis of, among other things, a complaint by Ms Warner which described his representation of Coyne as "inappropriate and over-confrontationalist".
"My biggest diappointment is the treatment of Kevin Lindeberg who's been left without a job for four years because of his own union's callous treatment," Coyne said.
" After his departure, no other union official was prepared to represent me adequately. There were occasions they wouldn't take phone calls from me, and they had meetings on my situation that they wouldn't allow me to attend.
"The union must look at some financial compensation for the hardship caused by his sacking. "
QUEENSLAND PROFESSIONAL OFFICERS ASSOCIATION/ STATE PUBLIC SERVICES FEDERATION, QUEENSLAND BRANCH, UNION OF EMPLOYEES
The QPOA, a major Queensland public sector trade union, played a crucial role in the shredding and its cover-up. The QPOA assisted in the obstruction of justice, and in concert with the Goss Government, made Messrs Kevin Lindeberg and Peter Coyne, victims of the shredding with the eventual loss of their careers.
The role of the various union office holders cannot be ignored in the shredding of the Heiner documents. The then QPOA President Mr William (Bill) Yarrow, a public servant drawing remuneration from the public purse while on secondment with the union, was highly active in the shredding aftermath affecting Messrs Coyne and Lindeberg.
This case illustrates the potential and real danger to the public interest and exposure of systemic corruption in public administration, when a public sector union becomes too close to a Government and allows prima facie illegal acts against its members, paid officials, the public purse and the rule of law by that Government to go unchecked and even assisted.
The consequences of Mr Lindeberg's dismissal are still known inside the State Public Services Federation [Queensland Branch] (SPSFQ), and the shredding as well. (The SPSFQ became the amalgamated body of QPOA and QSSU in January 1993)
This case shows that public sector unions are effectively part of "the system" which places whistleblowers in considerable or potential jeopardy should they report wrong- doing to them, or when the wrong-doing is of a particular nature as to engender self-interest over principles.
This section shows how the QPOA inflicted injustice on Messrs Coyne and Lindeberg, (both union members) in concert with the Goss Government, after the shredding.
The Shredding Aftermath and Continuing Injustice:
13.1 The key dates involving Mr Lindeberg and the shredding itself are set out in the chronology of events under "The Shredding."
13.2 After Mr Coyne was seconded to so-called "special duties" from JOYC he was interviewed sometime in March/April 1990 for the position of Manager of that facility. The chairman of the independent professional selection panel was Mr Trevor Carlyon, then Deputy Director-General of the Queensland Corrective Services Commission (QCSC). That panel recommended Mr Coyne for the position but Ms Matchett refused, and kept the recommendation from Mr Coyne. (This important point should be further clarified from Messrs Coyne and Carlyon.)
13.3 On Wednesday morning 30 May 1990, without warning, Mr Don Martindale, QPOA General Secretary, in the presence of Ms Roslyn Kinder, QPOA Asst General Secretary, sacked Mr Lindeberg. Four (4) reasons were given, including Minister Warner's complaint against him. All the charges were demonstrably contrived. Mr Lindeberg challenged "the Coyne Case" charge, in particular, from the outset. (Note Exhibit 81)
13.4 On Thursday 31 May 1990, QPOA staff, excluding Ms Kinder, conducted the first strike in the union's history over the dismissal. Staff picketed the office with placards, with Mr Coyne joining along with other public servants in support.
13.5 On 1 June 1990 Ms Matchett wrote to the QPOA in response to previous union letters stating that "the Coyne Case" was now closed.
13.6 On 5 June 1990 Mr Lindeberg was "conditionally reinstated" following a QPOA Council Meeting and exposure on the previous evening as a whistleblower on "The 7.30 Report." Mr Lindeberg had to undergo private arbitration by a mutually agreed arbitrator between Messrs Lindeberg and Martindale. In the meantime QPOA President William (Bill) Yarrow was to oversee Mr Lindeberg's work, and was required "to act independently and with integrity" during the dismissal/reinstatement process.
13.7 Only days after Mr Lindeberg's conditional reinstatement, Mr Alan Hogan, Brisbane presenter of "The 7.30 Report" (currently a Producer with "60 Minutes" in Sydney) contacted Mr Lindeberg as the QPOA's media/publicity officer. Mr Hogan was interested in doing a story on the shredding and Mr Coyne's treatment. Mr Lindeberg informed him that his handling of the case had recently been used as a reason to dismiss him on 30 May 1990. Mr Lindeberg said that the story should be told but that Mr Hogan should approach Mr Martindale given the extraordinary situation of sacking an organiser for looking after a union member on the complaint of a Minister over the case.
13.8 Days after being reinstated Mr Lindeberg applied for the vacated position of QPOA Assistant General Secretary. He was shortlisted and interviewed for the position by Messrs Martindale and Yarrow and three other people. He was unsuccessful with Ms Jeni Eastwood being appointed. On 2 July 1990 QPOA President Yarrow informed QPOA Council delegates of Ms Eastwood's selection, and faithfully informed delegates that "all the candidates were of high quality."
13.9 After being contacted by Mr Hogan, Mr Martindale approached Mr Lindeberg to draw up a strategy for the QPOA Executive on whether the union should pursue "the Coyne Case" on ABC-TV, and how else the case should be handled. Mr Martindale, had, only days before, dismissed Mr Lindeberg over his handling of the case.
13.10 Mr Lindeberg drafted a brief memorandum recommending the union should pursue the issue on "The 7.30 Report". The Executive, according to Messrs Yarrow and Martindale afterwards at a meeting with Mr Lindeberg, required more detail. Mr Lindeberg informed them that a prima facie breach of the Queensland Criminal Code had occurred, and the matter was very serious. Both agreed the issue was serious.
The QPOA Executive and Mr Martindale put on Notice over "The Shredding":
13.11 On 12 June 1990 Mr Lindeberg drafted a detailed submission to the QPOA Executive on the shredding. QPOA Industrial Officer Mr Brian Tierney had been allocated DFSAIA matters by Mr Martindale and Ms Kinder and Mr Lindeberg other departments. Mr Lindeberg remains unsure whether his memorandum dated 12/6/90 ever got to a full Executive meeting as the union did not go public, which, given the case, its ramifications and Mr Martindale's past readiness for media exposure was extraordinary.
Mr Lindeberg's recommendations were:-
The matter should be pursued with vigor either in the media, with the PSMC, and if needs be, with *the Premier. (in view of (B) careful consideration should be given to this owing to its ramifications.)
A. Public Servants must have an opportunity to defend on specific charges before any action is taken against them. (Coyne was seconded out of JOYC). The PSME Act demands it and "natural justice" does as well.
B. Documents were destroyed whilst legal action was pending on them. A potential breach of the criminal code has occurred.
A. did Anne Warner properly inform Cabinet thereby making Cabinet collectively responsible or
B. was Cabinet incorrectly informed by the Minister or
C. did the Chief Executive incorrectly inform her Minister.
C. Chief Executives have a responsibility under the PSME Act to ensure staff are treated "equally, justly and fairly" Section 12(3)(9). Coyne was not treated in such a manner.
D. Anne Warner, claimed at a meeting of JOYC staff after Coyne was seconded, that she was the person who ordered it.
Such an action breaches Government policy showing political interference in the running of a Department which is the province of the Chief Executive."
(See Exhibit 79) (See 3.3.(3) Criminal Justice Commission)
The Private Arbitration Charade:
13.12 On 2 July 1990 Mr Martindale made an offer to drop the charges certain conditions. Mr Lindeberg rejected the offer as the conditions indicated guilt on his part which he would not accept, and the conditions were "anti-union in nature." Neither Mr Martindale nor Mr Lindeberg could agree upon a mutually acceptable arbitrator.
13.13 Mr Yarrow attempted to recommend an arbitrator who was acceptable to him and Mr Martindale but Mr Lindeberg refused continually because he was a known employer advocate. On 2 July 1990 the QPOA Council gave Mr Yarrow the power to select an arbitrator but once again he was required "to act with independence and integrity."
13.14 Because no agreement could be reached, Mr Yarrow, a union President, selected an "employer advocate" Mr Joe Patti whom Mr Lindeberg continually rejected but was found acceptable to Mr Martindale. The QPOA industrial staff objected to his appointment but Mr Yarrow rejected their concerns. Mr Yarrow rejected Mr Lindeberg's offer to appoint someone neither party wanted.
13.15 Mr Martindale associated with Mr Patti when Mr Martindale worked approximately one year as an industrial officer with an employer body: The Queensland Confederation of Industry (QCI).
13.15 Mr Lindeberg entered into the arbitration process with the provisos that fairness and equity applied as was stipulated by the QPOA Council Meeting of 5 June 1990.
13.16 On 12 July 1990 Mr Martindale finally put the charges in writing after Mr Lindeberg agreed to undergo the process with the selected arbitrator. Mr Lindeberg had requested the specific charges in writing in early June in accordance with his rights. The charges increased from four (4) to seven (7) including his employment history which was not mentioned on 30 May 1990. Mr Lindeberg maintained that all the charges were contrived. (Note Point 13.8)
13.17 The specific charge relating to the shredding stated:-
"Some time ago I made you aware of a complaint I received from Hon A Warner and the fact that she believed your attitude to negotiations with respect to the "Coyne Case" was inappropriate and over- confrontationalist. She claimed that your method of operation showed a lack of understanding for how such negotiations should be conducted. When I raised the issue with you the day that I received the complaint you totally denied the allegation indicating that there was no real problem. I do not believe that to be the case."
(Note Exhibit 81)
13.18 On 12 July 1990 Mr Lindeberg, a QPOA member himself, wrote to Mr Yarrow QPOA President, enclosing a copy of the charges, (including Point 13.17) calling on him to consider the ramifications of them on the union. Mr Yarrow told Mr Lindeberg that he "saw no problems with them."
13.19 Unbeknown to Mr Lindeberg and other industrial staff, Mr Yarrow had arranged to meet with Mr Coyne in the city on the other side of the Brisbane River in a restaurant to negotiate on his behalf with the Department over his concerns since the shredding and his secondment. Mr Yarrow insisted that Mr Coyne meet him away from the union office and that he (Mr Coyne) not attend the negotiations. One such meeting occurred on 19 July 1990, seven days after stating that he saw "no problems" with the charges, and five days before Mr Lindeberg had to defend himself before Mr Patti on 24 July 1990. (Note Exhibit 80)
13.20 On 24 July 1990 the Patti hearings occurred. Mr Lindeberg gave evidence on oath and was represented by industrial Barrister-at-law Mr Jim Murdoch. Mr Lindeberg produced evidence to refute each charge. Mr Martindale produced new allegations without notice, and revealed a document which indicated that he'd secretly gone through Mr Lindeberg's personal files in an endeavour to undermine Mr Lindeberg's defence on a particular charge.
13.21 On 1 August 1990 Ms Matchett wrote to Mr Yarrow outlining the agreement reached over Mr Coyne's future. The Department agrees to pay his legal fees, and find a suitable position for him. He must also put in writing the specific issues he will not pursue with or through:
(i) Ms Matchett;
(ii) the Minister;
(iii) the QPOA;
(iv) his solicitor;
(v) the Public Sector Management Commission [PSMC];
(vi) the Director-General of the Premier's Department; and
(vii) the media.
(See Exhibit 80)
13.22 On 2 August 1990 Mr Patti handed down his report. He could not sustain the charges, inserted "colour" words and made assumptions which deferred to authority throughout his report, and upheld the dismissal on "an alleged irretrievable breakdown in the working relationship." Industrial staff were shocked. (Note Exhibits 81 & 82)
13.23 Messrs Martindale and Yarrow were in Adelaide and gave instructions over the phone to Ms Eastwood, newly employed by days, how to handle the matter. Mr Lindeberg was given half an hour to read the report, then pack his belongings and leave the union immediately. He refused, and would not accept his dismissal until the QPOA Council voted on the Report.
13.24 On 7 August 1990 Mr Lindeberg produced two pamphlets:
(i) "The Story Behind The Sacking of Senior Organiser Kevin Lindeberg"; and
and distributed them to QPOA Councillors for the Council meeting that evening. Mr Lindeberg also distributed the documents to floors in Family Services Building, and was later told by a Departmental industrial officer, the Office of the Director-General requested copies soon afterwards. (See Exhibits 81 & 82)
13.25 On 7 August 1990 unsuccessful efforts were made by Mr Lindeberg's supporters to delay the dismissal until the Patti Report was read together with Mr Lindeberg's documents. The adoption of the Report was put and accepted 38-28 with proxy votes making the difference. Mr Lindeberg left the meeting and his union employment. Mr Martindale did not attend the meeting but took holidays on Fraser Island. 13.26 It was later discovered that Mr Yarrow actively canvassed proxy votes to uphold the Patti findings, and when challenged he found no conflict of interest despite being required to act "independently and with integrity" during the dismissal/reinstatement process.
13.27 In November 1990 Mr Lindeberg obtained temporary employment as a Research Officer in the Department of Housing and Local Government offered by Mr Arthur Muhl, Director of Commercial Development. Mr Muhl later received a phone call from a staff member in the office of the Deputy Premier and Minister for Housing and Local Government Mr Tom Burns MLA asking questions about Mr Lindeberg's appointment.
13.28 In mid-November 1990 Mr Martindale resigned from the QPOA and took up the position of Assistant General Secretary of the Queensland Trades and Labour Council (TLC) with TLC General Secretary Mr Tom Barton. Ms Eastwood took over as acting QPOA General Secretary.
13.29 On 4 December 1990 Mr Lindeberg attended the QPOA Council as an elected delegate. QPOA President Yarrow unsuccessfully attempted to expel him. Mr Lindeberg tabled documents relating to his dismissal, and Council decide to debate the dismissal at its February 1991 Council Meeting.
13.30 On 14 December 1990 Mr Lindeberg lodged his complaint with the CJC. CJC Complaints Officer Mr Peter Jones accepted prepared documents, including matters on the shredding. The QPOA was unaware of Mr Lindeberg's action, as was Mr Coyne.
13.31 After August 1990, Ms Matchett extended Mr Coyne's secondment on "special duties" for another 6 months. Mr Coyne performed no work. Ms Matchett did not inform him about his successful to JOYC Manager. The Department refused to honour its agreement concerning his future employment.(See 13.21)
13.32 In mid-December 1990 Mr Coyne's tolerance broke over his treatment, and he phoned Mr Yarrow demanding action from the union. Ms Eastwood assigned QPOA Industrial Officer Mr Tierney to the case. Through his treatment and isolation Mr Coyne believed his public service career was limited which turned his mind to purchasing a delicatessen. The Department in early 1991 allowed Mr Coyne, while a public servant on paid special leave, to work in the delicatessen to see whether he liked it.
13.33 On 10 January 1991 QPOA Industrial Officers Terry Hamilton and Brian Tierney met with the Department and threatened to take "the Coyne Case" to the CJC unless:
(i) the Department showed Mr Coyne documents relating to his application for the JOYC position; or
13.34 On 15 January 1991 Mr Tierney visited Mr Lindeberg in the Department and partly informed him about the meeting. Mr Tierney was aware of Mr Lindeberg's activities on the union Council. He said that the QPOA threatened to take the DFSAIA over "the Coyne Case" to the CJC. Mr Lindeberg wrote to the CJC about the meeting.
13.35 QPOA February 1991 Council meeting did not debate Mr Lindeberg's dismissal and resolved to hold a Special Meeting on 26 February 1991.
The Fraudulent Payment:
13.36 In mid-February 1991 Mr Tierney visited Mr Lindeberg again and told him that a "fraudulent" payment was made to Mr Coyne to enable him to purchase his delicatessen. He told Mr Lindeberg that the Department and Union (Minister Warner, Ms Matchett, and Ms Eastwood) were central to the negotiations which he (Tierney) also attended. He told Mr Lindeberg that apparently Mr Coyne needed an extra $30,000 to purchase his delicatessen and "...We just kept calculating until we nearly reached $30,000, and stopped." Mr Coyne was not allowed to attend the meeting. Mr Tierney asked Mr Lindeberg not to blow the whistle on the payment at the QPOA Special Meeting. Mr Lindeberg requested a copy of a letter sent by Ms Eastwood to Ms Matchett confirming the payment of $27,190.00.
13.37 When Mr Coyne collected the cheque from Mr Gary Clarke DFSAIA Director of Finance and Organisational Services, he was told that he had to sign a Crown Law Settlement Deed (no public comment etc) otherwise the money would not be paid. Under duress Mr Coyne signed. Mr Clarke informed Mr Coyne that it was a Departmental cheque to save time rather than go to Governor-in-Council. He informed Mr Coyne that the documents were shredded because the Government thought Mr Coyne was going to sue people. (Note Point 7.9)
13.38 The payment was made up of non-existent Public Service Award (State) conditions ie cash equivalent payments for time off in lieu (TOIL), for excess travelling time, and overtime above a certain classification. Mr Coyne's classification (I-12) did not attract overtime payments. If overtime were to be paid, prior approval had to be obtained. The DFSAIA NEVER PAID cash equivalent for time off in lieu etc. Public servants were required to take time off within a year of accruing the time or simply lose it. The DFSAIA had a strict enforcement of TOIL provisions because Child Care Officers notoriously built up considerable TOIL, and cash settlements would destroy the Department's budget. There was never any expectation of cash for TOIL throughout the entire Queensland Public Service. (Note Exhibit 51)
13.39 The QPOA Special Meeting debated Mr Lindeberg's dismissal but gagged further debate (40- 37) BEFORE Mr Lindeberg could speak. Proxy votes carried the vote. The meeting achieved nothing for justice and ended in turmoil.
13.40 On 1 March 1991 Mr Lindeberg circulated to all QPOA Councillors a leaflet setting certain facts associated with his dismissal, and highlighted the prima facie criminality associated with "the Coyne Case" and the shredding. (See Exhibit 83)
13.41 On 2 April 1991 Mr Lindeberg attended his last QPOA Council meeting as a delegate as his public service contract was to terminate at the end of April/early May. He informed the union's governing body that "anyone who touched "the Coyne Case" and did not act ethically would ultimately bring disrepute upon themselves."
The Cooke Commission of Inquiry & QPOA Meet:
13.42 On 13 May 1991 Commissioner Cooke QC commenced public hearings. QPOA Solicitors (Quinlan Miller & Treston), at a meeting, told Mr Lindeberg that it would be a conflict of interest in attempting to represent him and the QPOA, (and Mr Martindale) at the same time. Mr Martindale obtained separate counsel which the union paid, Mr Lindeberg did the same but was forced to pay for his, save for a limited standard contribution paid by the union of $500.00. The union expenses, according to President Yarrow, amounted to approximately $100,000. (The credit union spent approximately $92,000).
13.43 The public hearings lasted 11 days. Messrs Yarrow and Tierney, although under summons, never reached the witness box because of imposed time constraints. After the inquiry closed, the QPOA and Mr Martindale threatened Commissioner Cooke QC with a Supreme Court injunction from making any adverse findings. The Commissioner agreed not to find on:
(i) whether the dismissal was justified or not; and
(ii) whether Mr Lindeberg was a good or bad employee.
A Possible Portent of Things to Come:
13.44 In June 1991 Commissioner Cooke QC brought down his 4th Report which included his QPOA recommendations. (See The Cooke Commissioner of Inquiry). Unique to the QPOA over all his other inquiries, the entire transcript was made public in his Report. Additional comment concerning Ms Kinder's evidence in the witness box (Transcript pp 12827- 12829) regarding access to the union's accounts by Ms Lyn de Lange QPOA Treasurer appeared his Report: The Commissioner wrote:
"The day after this evidence was given I received the following letter from Miss de Lange who had been sitting in the hearing room during Mr Kinder's evidence:
"Dear Mr Cooke, I refer to statements made by Ms R Kinder on 27 May 1991 at the hearings into the activities of the Professional Officers' Association. In reply to questions from you in relation to access of the Treasurer of the Association to the Association's books, Ms Kinder indicated, amongst other things, that the Treasurer was never denied access to the books. The following statement is provided by me in respect of that reply. When I was appointed Treasurer of the Professional Officers' Association in November 1989, I sought an appointment with Ms Kinder to discuss my responsibilities as Treasurer. At that meeting, I asked her if I could have a look at the books. She replied in the negative and gave as her reason that they were "not up to date." Continually, through the period I was Treasurer until March 1990, I made appointments to see Ms Kinder in relation to matters pertaining to my responsibilities as Treasurer and to examine the books of the Association. Always, when I arrived at the appointed time, Ms Kinder was either unavailable, at meetings with Mr Martindale or on the telephone for considerable time knowing I was waiting to see her. During that four months I was Treasurer I made at least four appointments to see her, all to no avail. After the first appointment referred to above, I was so concerned about the matter that I reported the incident to Mr Higham, the then President of the Association. I trust this will assist you in your considerations of Ms Kinder's evidence. I would be happy to sign an affidavit in respect of the above matter."
(See 4th Cooke Inquiry Report: June 1991 Vol 1 Commissioner's Report & Recommendations p259)
13.45 In Vol 79 No 2 April/May/June 1991 President Yarrow in the union magazine "The Professional Officer" he described the Inquiry as "a costly exercise which fizzled into a non-event" and "even at the conclusion of public hearings, it was still not clear precisely why the Association was under scrutiny." He informed the members that QPOA Counsel requested on several occasions, particulars on the specific matter for the inquiry to enable focus of the relevant issues. He alleged that those requests were repeatedly refused by Commissioner Cooke QC. (See Exhibit 84)
13.46 On 25 July 1991 QPOA General Secretary Ms Jeni Eastwood wrote to the then Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations Mr Neville Warburton MLA regarding Commissioner Cooke's recommendations from his QPOA investigation. Ms Eastwood stated:
"It is the Association's strong and emphatic view that, as a consequence of the Commissioner's undertaking and the very limited evidence heard by the Commissioner during the course of the Inquiry, it is inappropriate for the Commissioner to have made any recommendations and not appropriate for the Government to either give those recommendations any weight or any effect by way of legislation."
(Note Exhibit 49)
13.47 Mr Lindeberg was told later by QPOA Junior Vice President Doctor William (Bill) Bor that the letter was despatched BEFORE any Executive or QPOA Council discussion and endorsement occurred. (See 5.18)
13.48 On 7 October 1991 Mr Lindeberg wrote to QPOA President Yarrow and referred to the Cooke Inquiry transcript (20/5/91 pp12249-12255) wherein Commissioner Cooke QC informed QPOA counsel Mr Richard Perry as to the focus of the inquiry. Mr Lindeberg told Mr Yarrow that his statement to the membership was untrue.
Mr Lindeberg stated in the letter:
"As the elected President of the union you have a clear duty not to mislead the rank and file unintentionally or otherwise. Furthermore, both you and the journal's editor, General Secretary Jeni Eastwood have a duty to comply with Council's directive in respect of the Cooke Inquiry recommendation (ie to publish). As a QPOA member, I call on you, as union President, to stand by the stated facts - acknowledged by the Association's counsel Mr Perry - as to the reasons why Commissioner Cooke saw fit to investigate the QPOA and summonsed various people, including myself, to its Hearings, and to properly inform the membership. I also call on the General secretary Ms Eastwood to publish the Cooke Inquiry recommendations in "The Professional Officer." The membership has a right to know the facts, not to be either misled or kept in the dark."
(See Exhibit 85)
13.49 On 8 December 1991 Mr Lindeberg wrote to QPOA President Yarrow re the November 1991 edition of "The Professional Officer" which published the Cooke recommendations together with certain comments. Mr Lindeberg stated in part:
"The journal article has distortions and an outright lie in it. Its only accurate comment effectively being the recommendations themselves. The major distortion relates to Commissioner Cooke's decision not to make any findings. The fact that the union and Mr Don Martindale threatened to serve Commissioner Cooke with an injunction to stop any adverse findings received no mention whatsoever. The clear distortion being presented to the membership is that there was never anything in the investigation if he was not prepared to make a finding. In that respect Commissioner Cooke's recommendations 3 and 6 speak for themselves and seriousness with which he judged the whole affair of my sacking."
(See Exhibit 86)
13.50 On 12 December 1991 QPOA President Yarrow wrote informing Mr Lindeberg that he stood by what he said in the articles.
The QPOASF Emerges from the Cooke Inquiry Ashes:
13.51 On 13 April 1992 "Business Queensland" published a major article "ATO probes super rorts claim" in which ex-Commissioner Cooke admitted publicly that time constraints didn't allow the QPOASF to be looked at. Mr Lindeberg's dismissal was mentioned in the article.
13.52 On 13 April 1992 Mr Lindeberg wrote to newly elected QPOA President Sean Curley seeking information regarding the administration of the QPOASF and certain assurances that he was not financially disadvantaged.
13.53 At the June 1992 Council Meeting the QPOASF was debated with moves generated to have the fund audited. QPOA President Curley engaged auditors Towers Perrin to examine the QPOASF. (See 8th Report of the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation August 1993 for details).
13.54 In the week of the Barcelona Olympic Games the Goss Government announced how it was to handle Commissioner Cooke's recommendations. The major recommendation flowing out of the QPOA investigation (re amend Criminal Justice Act 1989 to include official misconduct in unions under its official misconduct provisions) was rejected by Premier Goss. He asserted the recommendation was legally flawed. Ms Eastwood's letter (Note Point 13.45) became the focus of attention. A media release by Mr Clive Bubb, of the Queensland Confederation of Industry (QCI) was used by the Premier to support the Government's position.
13.55 On 12 November 1992 Senator Cheryl Kernot (member on the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation) delivered a speech on the Towers Perrin/QPOASF findings of irregularities and unauthorised withdrawals. Senator Kernot indicated that the Senate may probe the fund. (See Senate Hansard p2890)
13.56 On 20 November 1992 Mr Des O'Neill (State Public Services Federation Queensland Executive member) lodged an official request for the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation (SSCS) to investigate the administration of the QPOASF. On 29 April 1993 the SSCS held its first public hearings into the QPOASF, producing a report in August 1993. The shredding was partly highlighted during the April 1993 hearing.
13.57 Four key superannuation documents were discovered to have mysteriously disappeared from:
(i) National Mutual Life (NML) after being delivered to and returned by the Cooke Inquiry,
(ii) from QPOASF files inside the QPOA, and
(iii) State Archives under the control of Ms Lee McGregor.
13.58. To effect the withdrawals of monies from the QPOASF, under the circumstances as they applied to Messrs Martindale, Rutherford, Daly and Ms Kinder in January 1987 without raising questions from the Fund Administrator NML, could have only occurred if those people resigned their employment as none was in ill- health or of retiring age, or dead. Evidence provided by NML to the SSCS indicated that the missing Benefit Payment Request Forms were ticked "leaving the service". (Note Point 5.4)
The Cost to the Union's Rank and File:
13.58 In August 1993 the SSCS brought down its unanimous findings and recommendations into the QPOASF. Union members had to subsequently reimburse approximately $40,000 to make up the shortfall because of the withdrawals which breached QPOASF Trust Deed, and an additional approximate $30,000 to cover auditing and other costs, additional to $100,000 already incurred at the Cooke Inquiry in 1991.
13.59 On 8 September 1993 Police Complaint File (MS93/25262) was commenced to look into QPOASF Recommendation 2 & Point 9.12 SSCS Report:
"the circumstances surrounding four missing Benefit Payment Request forms which may have had information designed to deceive the fund administrator, National Mutual Life."
(See Section 11. Queensland Police Service)