Appendix A – The Articles in The Age of 24
HSU officials ask to front inquiry
ALP resists advertising for witnesses on Thomson
By Michelle Grattan, Political Editor
Secretary of the Health Services Union, Kathy Jackson, and
senior official Marco Bolano say they want to appear before the House of
Representatives privileges committee inquiry into whether Craig Thomson has
Mr Thomson strongly attacked both officials in his Monday
statement, accusing Ms Jackson of misusing union funds and Mr Bolano of
threatening to ruin him and set him up with "a bunch of hookers".
Ms Jackson, who provided evidence against Mr Thomson to the
Fair Work inquiry, will be writing to the committee to ask to give evidence. Mr
Bolano, who this week accused Mr Thomson of "drowning in a river of
delusion", said he wanted to respond to the MP's conspiracy theory.
Nine Network's A Current Affair executive producer Grant
Williams yesterday spent 90 minutes in Mr Thomson's Parliament House office,
when he tried to show him an interview with an escort, who has also provided a
statutory declaration. Mr Thomson declined to view the DVD and denied fresh
allegations that were put to him about at least one escort transaction that has
not been previously identified. The program so far has not put the allegations
The privileges committee is testing Mr Thomson's denials
against the Fair Work inquiry's findings that he misused nearly $500,000 of
Health Services Union money.
The committee met last night and resolved to write to
manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne asking him to specify where Mr
Thomson had allegedly deliberately misled. Labor members would not agree to a
Coalition push for the committee to advertise immediately for witnesses and
The committee agreed to ask Mr Thomson and a Liberal, Craig
Kelly, to respond to allegations they failed to comply with the requirements of
the members' interests register.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he did not think the
committee should "relitigate all the matters that were so extensively
investigated" but named people he said it would be "open" to the
committee to call. These included Mr Thomson, Terry Nassios, who did the Fair
Work inquiry, the Seven Network, accused of hovering under Mr Thomson's
bathroom window when his pregnant wife was showering, and those whom Mr Thomson
named among his loyal supporters, one of whom later denied having any contact
with him for 25 years.
In a gruelling parliamentary tactical battle, the government
tried to gag an opposition attempt to have Prime Minister Julia Gillard make a
statement on the affair. It lost two gag votes, but used up the time available
to the Coalition. Replying to questions, Ms Gillard repeated her argument that
Parliament should not be judge and jury on the matter. The opposition
beefed up its representation on the privileges committee,
putting on former attorney-general Philip Ruddock in place of John Alexander.