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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 515


Mrs McNAMARA (Dobell) (11:55): Madam Speaker, I raise a matter of privilege about whether the then member for Dobell, Mr Craig Thomson, deliberately misled the House in a statement he made to the House on 21 May 2012. Madam Speaker, you will be aware that during the previous parliament this matter was referred to the Standing Committee of Privileges and Members Interests on 22 May 2012. That inquiry lapsed with the dissolution of the parliament. I seek to present some additional information on this matter and request that you allow a motion to be moved to refer this matter again to the Standing Committee of Privileges and Members Interests to recommence their inquiry in light of this new information.

On 21 May, Mr Thomson said in an extensive statement to the House that Mr Marco Bolano threatened to:

… seek to ruin any political career that I sought and would set me up with a bunch of hookers.

Mr Thomson described how his drivers licence, credit cards and telephone records had been rigged or manipulated to set him up. Mr Thomson was found guilty at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 18 February 2014 of six charges of using credit cards to pay for sex as well as other charges, including theft and using union funds for his personal use after he had left the Health Services Union and taken up his role as a Labor MP.

I provide as further information a transcript of Mr Thomson's speech to the parliament on 21 May 2012 and the then Manager of Opposition Business's speech and motion first raising the matter of privilege on 22 May 2012. I also provide a number of media reports on the outcome of the trial of 18 February, showing that Mr Thomson did not dispute the facts of the case, only the authority he held as a secretary of the Health Services Union to expend members' fund in this way. In addition to the matters raised by the then Manager of Opposition Business on 22 May 2012, when the issue was first raised, this information, I believe, establishes a prima facie case that Mr Thomson deliberately misled the House in his statement of 21 May 2012.