Against the backdrop of escalating fraud claims and
potential criminal action, Kathy Jackson is refusing to attend court for
psychological reasons. Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks reports.
ON TUESDAY, I wrote an article on Kathy Jackson’s continuing
attempts to delay multimillion dollar Federal Court proceedings against
her by once again failing to show up for court to contest the claims.
She failed to front Federal Court yet again because she is apparently
receiving psychological treatment in hospital according to her latest
lawyer Philip Beazley.
We must not make light of mental illness as it is all too real for
genuine sufferers, however it must be said that Jackson’s assertion
seems extremely convenient under the circumstances. It is also a course
of action many people knowledgeable with this long-running affair have
previously predicted with significant cynicism.
Mr Beazley claimed that Jackson was not in a fit condition to provide him with legal direction — yet the affidavit he produced seemed to implicitly contradict that claim.
Beazley, for instance, seemed to have secured enough legal direction
to produce an affidavit that sensationally described alleged death
threats and, indeed, a suicide attempt.
I am not a psychologist, but Jackson’s extravagant attention seeking during the Thomson case and her outrageous media appearances at the Trade Union Royal Commission did not seem to indicate a person on the verge of total mental collapse. Of course, I could be wrong.
Also in the affidavit were claims to put before the court of breaches
of process — claims that one might assume Beazley had been provided
with directions to pursue.
Who was providing Beazley with these directions if not Kathy Jackson?
Justice Richard Tracey has suppressed much of the affidavit from publication.
It would be interesting to see what has been suppressed as it may
contain even more legal directions from a client who is supposedly too
ill to provide directions.
If Jackson is indeed mentally ill, I sincerely apologise for
suggesting otherwise and I hope she recovers quickly — certainly before
her case resumes in court again. After all, this matter has dragged out
for more than 18 months and now we see yet another breach of court
orders in what, on the face of it, appears to be nothing more than a
desperate attempt to delay the inevitable.
If she is, as most suspect, claiming a mental health condition for
self-preservation, then this is doing a monumental disservice to those
who suffer from mental health issues — one made even more shocking by
the fact that she has made her career working in the health industry.
Jackson’s claim is supported, of course, by a doctor’s report and certificate.
This documentation was dated 20 September — some two weeks before a
large number of people, many being paid by the quarter hour, wasted
their time and money travelling to court, some from interstate.
The doctors’ report, which has been suppressed, is apparently vague
about Jackson’s condition, largely just stating she was an inpatient and
would be in no condition to appear before the court.
Acting for the HSU National Office, Mark Irving
rightly complained that for Jackson to have held onto a doctor’s
certificate for two weeks prior to dumping it on the court at the
“… quite extraordinary and unacceptable behaviour.”
Sources claim the only specific part of the doctor’s statement was when Jackson was expected to be well again — 15th January 2015, giving Jackson's lawyer a reason to attempt to delay proceedings until February 2015.
Just how does one put such a precise a time frame on a mental health condition? After all, it's not like the flu.
This remarkably precise prediction from a doctor so vague about
Jackson’s clinical condition has resulted in the Court calling for a
signed affidavit from him.
So, what is the significance of the 15th of January?
When the doctor’s report was written, no dubious extension to
the Trade Union Royal Commission had been announced by Attorney-General
George Brandis. Back then, it was thought the Royal Commission was to
have been completed by the end of 2014 — two weeks prior to 15 January
Considering there are further sections of HSU acting national
secretary Chris Brown’s witness statement that are still being
suppressed and about which Jackson has sought to avoid cross-examination, having a doctor claiming illness until the Commission was complete would seem convenient.
There is also the matter of the $600,000 worth of improper credit card spending that
has been made public since she last appeared before the Commission.
This could have possibly seen Jackson subpoenaed to reappear once again —
if it wasn’t for a handy doctor’s report.
Justice Tracey referred to Jackson’s breaches of court orders as inexcusable, stating:
"I am conscious of the many inexcusable failures to comply with
the court's orders. It's a matter that I have taken very seriously."
Justice Tracey has expressed the need to see a sworn affidavit from
Jackson’s doctor, rather than just a statement, before the matter is due
in court once again on 5 November. This could see Jackson’s doctor
facing questions about his diagnosis on the witness stand.
It would appear, on the face of it, that Jackson is using every trick in the book to avoid accountability for her actions.
Another example is her letter to Tony Abbott in July:
Most dismissed this as just another rant to grab some positive media
spotlight by trying to say she was still attempting to clean up the
union. However there is the view that there may be a more sinister
If the HSU was deregistered it would cease to exist. What this would
mean is there would be no union to seek civil damages from Jackson for
her crimes, and no union to push for criminal investigations into her
time at the union. Jackson may be basically using this as a last-ditch
effort to pick up a 'Get out of jail, free' card.
From Abetz’s response it would seem that Jackson’s wishes would be
granted if the government can be seen to be acting on a recommendation
of the Royal Commission.
However, deregistering the union would seem to be a rather drastic
action for very little when we look into it, as most of the branches of
the HSU are running smoothly and almost completely hassle free.
There are some ongoing issues with the Number 1 Branch, which still
has some factional infighting going on, however the members are
currently being looked after far better now than they were when the
Jackson/Bolano team was running the show.
It should be remembered that Kathy Jackson was involved in two
branches: HSU East, which was shut down and put into administration
making it no longer a concern; and the Number 3 Branch, which has gone
forward in leaps and bounds since the non-factional Craig McGregor became Secretary.
Jacksons two pages of non-specific waffle ‒ that many suspect were
written by her partner, the Tony Abbott appointed fair Work Commission
VP Michael Lawler ‒ offers no evidence to support the action that the
letter seeks, nor has anything of note been exposed by the Royal
Commission aside from Jackson’s own widespread allegedly fraudulent
Personally, I can’t see Tony Abbott or Eric Abetz being willing to
stick their necks out so far as to grant this favour to save Kathy
Jackson, nor can I see the Royal Commission seeking to have further
questions raised over its integrity by recommending the HSU be deregistered.
That would be seen by many as high level corruption.
For those who may be concerned about Jackson’s mental status, there
is hope. Despite being apparently unable to provide legal instructions
to a lawyer, she has been able to summon the ability to file a claim for
It was reported in The Australian by Pia Ackerman and Brad Norington
(who has been leading the way in mainstream media coverage of the HSU
matters) that the claim is for 80% of her last salary which was when she
was Executive President of HSU East, before that branch of the union
was shut down by a Federal Court and an administrator appointed. This
could see Jackson collect approximately $230,000 yearly by way of
Jackson, it seems, has suddenly two years later decided that there is
a buck to be made in a workers comp claim. She may, perhaps, have been
spurred on by the claim made by her right hand man Marco Bolano who has
been living on the workers compo gravy train since early last year.
Just like Jackson’s new claims, Bolano’s are also related to mental health related to stress.
Bolano, you may remember, was apparently so mentally stressed, he was
able to fly back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne, do numerous
press interviews, appear at a Royal Commission, and attempt to physically intimidate members of the press and witnesses at a Royal Commission ostensibly into exactly that sort of behaviour by union officials.
For those who are suffering from stress and are seeking help rather than profit, please follow these links to contact Lifeline or perhaps Beyond Blue for support.
For those who think that Jackson should now be treated with kid gloves, consider comparing her plight with that of Craig Thomson.
When Craig Thomson made his parliamentary address, there were many who spoke publicly of their concern for his mental health. Kathy Jackson, however, was not one of those concerned, continuing to viciously attack him at every opportunity.
Thomson never once tried to use mental health as a defence and instead chose to fight the allegations — and, indeed, continues to do so, with his matter currently on appeal.
On the other hand, Kathy Jackson would rather use all manner of
excuses to avoid scrutiny than fight the allegations against her.
We have seen numerous breaches of Federal Court orders, we have seen the Royal Commission accused of an ambush as she flees the witness stand, we have seen her throw up her past sex life just to avoid cross-examination — and now make a mental health claim.
Kathy Jackson, in my view, is making a mockery of the legal system in
this country and it’s about time someone had the guts to end it.
The HSU members deserve justice.
Catch up on the Jacksonville saga here. Follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License