Thursday, October 09, 2014

Lisa Zanatta – Perjury Queen of the Trade Union Royal Commission

Lisa Zanatta admitted to premeditated perjury in the witness box at the Trade Union Royal Commission in what could be regarded as the Commission’s best day so far. Ms Zanatta said she lied under oath to protect her boss David Atkin who is CEO of the $23 Billion industry super fund Cbus and Brian Parker NSW State Secretary of the CFMEU.

Ms Zanatta’s admission to perjury was a real game changer as far as the Royal Commission is concerned and will not only destroy Zanatta’s career but also likely the careers of the many people who have colluded with her.

It was announced today that the Royal Commission has been extended by 12 Months and Zanatta’s admissions in the witness box on Friday (3/10/14) alone would justify the extension.

Who is Lisa Zanatta?

Her job title is Senior Adviser – Member Relationships at Cbus and she is also a former employee of the CFMEU and current member. She is a former candidate for the Victorian government in 2006 (Click here to read more). She also ran for Labor Party pre-selection with the support of the CFMEU in 2009 against Lynne Kosky who was then Victorian Transport Minister. (Click here to read more)


The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union CFMEU managed to obtain personal data which included contact details for the customers of Cbus (Construction and Building Unions Superannuation) who worked for the company Lis-Con. The CFMEU wanted the data to use in an industrial battle with Lis-Con. It has been alleged that the CFMEU wanted to contact the employees and make trouble for Lis-Con.

As the facts show Cbus employee Lisa Zanatta who lives in Melbourne had the data printed out and couriered to her house on a Friday. The following Monday she flew to Sydney and hand delivered the data to the CFMEU Lidcombe office at the request of Brian Parker who wanted the data. She flew to Sydney to try and make sure they did not get caught as email is traceable and normal mail might have ended up in the wrong hands.

Lisa Zanatta was questioned about the trip while giving evidence and she said she went to Sydney for a meeting at Cbus’s Sydney office in the City. She gave a false story of how she could not find the office and how her mobile phone was dead and she called the office from a pay phone and the meeting was cancelled and she went back to Melbourne.

What brought Zanatta unstuck was GPS tracking of her taxi and Google Maps. The Royal Commission produced the data for the taxi trip she took as she paid for it by credit card so they could find which taxi she took. From there they asked the taxi company for the data which showed she did not go to the City at all but went to the CFMEU Lidcombe office. Ms Zanatta had no option but to admit committing perjury.....

The last two lines of the transcript are the most damaging for Lisa Zanatta because she admitted to premeditated perjury and no one can defend that. Ms Zanatta clearly continued to perjure herself about other issues but her credibility is gone and so is her career.

Possible Criminal Charges

Lisa Zanatta should be charged and found guilty of perjury given her admission at the Royal Commission that she deliberately gave false evidence. There are possible other criminal charges as well given the data she took to Sydney was in effect stolen data. The fact that she flew the data up to Sydney instead of email or mail itself says that she knew what she was doing was corrupt.

Others who would want to be very worried include Cbus CEO David Atkin and NSW CFMEU Secretary Brian Parker. Mr Parker also gave evidence on Friday before Ms Zanatta and denied knowing how the data ended up in Sydney, instead Mr Parker and the CFMEU blamed whistleblower Brian Fitzpatrick. (Click here to read more)

Then there are CFMEU National Secretary Dave Noonan and NSW President Rita Mallia who are also both Directors of Cbus. They both have plenty to answer for as well and have a fiduciary duty as Directors

For some reason Lisa Zanatta and her perjury has not received a great deal of media attention which is maybe because it was on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend. But I suspect it will receive plenty of attention when she is charged with perjury which is almost guaranteed.


W.A.: Opera Carmen loses out to tobacco deal

I LOATHE smoking but this seems extreme.  A slight reworking of the text would surely be better.  It is a wonderful opera

The State opera company has dumped a planned performance of Carmen because it features smoking, putting it at odds with a new sponsorship deal with Healthway.

The 140-year-old opera by French composer Georges Bizet will be banished from the stage under a $400,000 two-year partnership between West Australian Opera and the State Government health promotion agency starting in March. The love story about a fiery Spanish beauty and her rival suitors has been dropped from the opera company's performance schedule and will be replaced with a different opera for the 2015 season.

West Australian Opera general manager Carolyn Chard said the company had voluntarily made the change to accommodate Healthway's policies, describing it as "not difficult".

She said Carmen, which is set in Spain with the first act opening in the Seville town square outside a cigarette factory, portrayed smoking in the setting, action, direction and the libretto, or text.

"We care about the health and wellbeing of our staff, stage performers and all the opera lovers throughout WA, which means promoting health messages and not portraying any activities that could be seen to promote unhealthy behaviour," Ms Chard said.

The two-year partnership is one of Healthway's biggest arts sponsorships and the opera company's 2015 and 2016 seasons will promote the safe drinking message Alcohol. Think Again. It will support the annual City of Perth's Opera in the Park and the opera's winter season.

Regional school tours will also promote the Smarter Than Smoking message.

Healthway chairwoman Rosanna Capolingua said despite smoking becoming less common, it remained the single most preventable cause of chronic disease and early death.

"The portrayal of smoking on stage, in film and on TV normalises smoking and presents it as being attractive, which could dissuade smokers from quitting and encourage young people to take it up," she said.

"In addition, new trends such as smoking electronic cigarettes may re-establish smoking behaviour in our community where the majority of people are non-smokers."

She said Healthway now banned electronic cigarettes as part of its minimum health policy requirements, which meant they could not be smoked at any event Healthway sponsored.


Judicial corruption?

No.  Of course not!

If you’re planning on robbing a jewellery store and pistol whipping the owner, it’s best that your father is a Sydney QC and a friend of the presiding judge or you may well face a jail sentence.

Felim Agius, aged 20 and son of John Agius, counsel for the CFMEU in the current Royal Commission into unions, was allowed to walk free last week after his mother, a former DPP officer, told the court how her son had suffered years of bullying at Sydney’s St Aloysius College and did not deserve the appropriate 4-year jail term.

Hmmm, that’s strange because when my son complained of being bullied at Scots College I drove to Sydney and brought him home, and as far as I know he never felt the urge to rob jewellery stores.

Felim Agius was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond by Judge Greg Woods who appears to be a serial softie when faced with the errant behaviour of silks’ sons.

John Bussitil, the son of barrister Joe Bussitil, was clocked travelling at 149km per hour in a 60km zone but the kindly judge Woods, when faced with the accused’s Barrister dad, dismissed the charge and awarded him costs.

No wonder the cops are not keen to prefer charges when piles of paper work gets them nowhere in an incestuous judiciary crammed with incompetent judges who believe penalties have no role in our legal system, especially when the accused is the son of your “learned friend”.

How do you get to be a judge? It’s simple really. First you have to have failed at your role as a solicitor after leaving uni. All judges were previously solicitors and law firms rarely sack solicitors unless it’s to do with, a’hem, outright fraud of over $1 million, because dismissal will mean the solicitor will never work again and the law firm will suffer a bad name.

    So, if you prove useless or a small-time crook, your law firm will place you on the magistrates list just to get rid of you.

Attorneys General, State and Federal, will accept nominations from, “qualified persons” for the magistracy and voila! The appropriate Attorney General will simply sign off on the nominations.

So if you're a proven failure as a solicitor and want an appointment to the bench so you can sit in judgment on those with sufficient money to pay your former colleagues $4,000 a day, then it's best you remember to be nice to the very same people who recommended you.

Riots in Western Sydney following last night’s ARL final resulted in not a single arrest. Could that be because of a “cultural” difference out West or was it just not worth the paper work when judges like Greg Woods are still presiding?


Don't Save the Charity Commission

Just a few months ago, the Centre published a paper explaining why the ACNC is not the right regulatory model for the not-for-profit sector and should be abolished, but perhaps it is time for a refresher.

In 2012, the Gillard government created the ACNC as a regulator for Australia's charities, modelled after similar commissions in the UK and New Zealand. From the beginning, the ACNC was a solution in search of a problem. Australians' trust in the charity sector was high by international standards, charitable donations and volunteering rates remained similarly high, and what little fraud existed was well-covered by existing laws.

The biggest problem facing the sector was an excess of red tape, but a brand new federal regulator with a multi-million-dollar annual budget and unprecedented powers over small churches and charities was not the most obvious solution to that problem.

In his letter, Dr Leigh lauds the ACNC for having 'improved transparency of charities, critical to maintaining public confidence.'

But public confidence in the not-for-profit sector was already high before the ACNC came into operation and shows no sign of declining. Charities score higher in trust surveys than the ABC, the Reserve Bank, and even federal parliament.

As for transparency, that too has been trending upwards for reasons having nothing to do with the charity commission. The rise of online giving has created a more competitive giving market; and because donors want to know where their charitable dollar is going, charities have begun to provide that information voluntarily.

It is true that the ACNC has not added to charities' red tape burden much. It has instituted an 'Annual Information Statement,' which can be burdensome for small charities with little staff power, and some of the questions on the AIS involve information that charities do not already have to provide for other government reporting requirements.

The real problem is the ACNC's fundamental structure. Like the UK charities commission, the ACNC was designed to serve the sector as both policeman and advisor. The advisory side of its mission is important because many charities are run by amateurs, part-timers, and volunteers who want help navigating the paperwork involved in registering and incorporating a not-for-profit organisation.

But as the British precedent has demonstrated, a charities commission that is half regulatory and half advisory will end up prioritising one side of its mission at the expense of the other. In the UK, it is the regulatory side that has predominated and the advisory side that has been short-changed.

Minister Kevin Andrews wants to replace the ACNC with a national Centre of Excellence, one that will respect the independence of civil society and better serve the charity sector's needs. By giving all of its focus to advising the sector and cutting red tape, without the distraction of an additional regulatory mandate, this national body stands a much better chance of success than the flawed experiment of the ACNC ever did.


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