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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Good morning, it's Wednesday, 22 August, I'm Michael

Rowland. And I'm Karina

Carvalho. The top story - a

Reserve Bank memo obtained by

the ABC's '7:30' program shows

at least one of its senior

officials knew about bribery

allegations before they became

public. 8 former executives of

2 companies owned by the bank

are facing allegations they

paid multimillion dollar bribes

to win bank note contracts

overseas. The Reserve Bank has

released a statement saying an

audit found no illegal

practices but did recommend

further investigation. Also

making news this morning -

former Federal Labor MP Craig

Thomson says he's been

vindicated by a review of Fair Work Australia's investigation into his former union. The

independent review of the

Health Services Union investigation has found several flaws in the way it was

conducted. Mr Thomson says

allegations he misused union

money have been completely

discredited but the Opposition

insists they don't prove his

innocence. No, Craig Thomson

has not been vindicated. If

anything the report suggests

that Craig Thomson is a lucky

man because if Fair Work

Australia had been properly

resourced and properly

qualified to under take the

investigation they would have

undoubtedly uncovered a lot

more, would have got on to the

situation a lot earlier and, of course, things would have been

a lot further down the track

than they are today. Eric

Abetz. Craig Thomson joins us

now from our Parliament House

studio in Canberra. Craig Thomson, good morning to

you. G'day, Michael, how are

you? I'm very well. You're the

only person that believes you're vindicated from that

report. Both Eric Abetz and

Bill Shorten aren't prepared to

go there? Well, Eric Abetz has

egg all over his face in

relation to this whole matter

and is really clutching and is really clutching at

straws, isn't he? We've had the

NSW police twice now say that

there are no issues in relation

for me to answer. The

Commonwealth DPP have said

exactly the same thing. I have

consistently said I've done no

wrong doing, I outlined to

Parliament the issues that

there were in relation to this

flawed report. KPMG have now

done their analysis and have

concluded that the report is

discredited, not on a number of

issues but on over 31 different

areas and it's not just about

resourcing, it's about what documents they looked at, which evidence they looked at, which

people they should have been interviewing, all the things

that I raised and it completely

discredits that report. And

because of all of those flaws

which are pretty serious in and

of themselves, do you agree

with Eric Abetz you are the

luckiest man in Canberra this

morning? Not at all. In fact I

think anyone objectively

looking at this and what me and

my family have had to go

through over 3 to 4 years and

when you've seen the concluded

reports that have said that I

have no case to answer whatsoever that the

incompetence of Fair Work

Australia can be seen as anything but un lucky in

relation to me. They should

have dealt with this matter

within 6 months. It took the

NSW police some 3 weeks to

reach conclusions that there

were no issues there

whatsoever. It's been an

appalling lack of ability that

Fair Work have shown in terms

of this whole investigation. Just remind me,

where does it say you have no

case to answer? Where has that

conclusion been made? The NSW

police put out a statement last

year quite clearly saying that

there were no issues of fraud

in relation to the issues

raised by Fair Work Australia

and the National Office - But

Fair Work Australia says

ultimately these claims will be tested in the Federal Court. These matters will be subjected

to the much closer scrutiny of

a courtroom? Well, in relation

to any criminal issues the NSW

police have said there are none

and so there will be no issues

relating to court in terms of

that. In terms of the Fair Work

report certainly Fair Work have

the option of going to the

Federal Court to look at civil

penalties but, Michael, quite

seriously, does anyone think

that they are going to be able

to mount any sort of case based

on that report saying there are

issues that need to be

prosecuted when their own

internal investigation has

shown that the report is

completely discredited? Now

- I'll just pick you up there.

The report isn't completely

discredited. The KPMG study did

not look at the findings of the

report, it looked at the process. Absolutely. How can

you say the report's completely

discredited? Well, if you say

that they didn't look at the

right evidence, they didn't

have the right documents, they

didn't have investigative

procedures, you then can't say

but the issues we didn't look

at therefore must still be

right. I mean that's the absurdity of the Abetz

position. Because KPMG didn't

look at the conclusions, yet everything else has been

discredited, how can he or anyone say those conclusions

can still stand? I mean it just

flies in the face of any logic

whatsoever. I gave Bill Shorten about three opportunities to

come to your support in my

interview with him a short time

ago and he wouldn't do that,

it's not just the Opposition

here. You don't have the

support of your former Labor

colleagues. I don't think

that's the case at all,

Michael. I listened very

carefully to what the Minister

said. He said he didn't want to

be judge, jury and edge

execution er and he again said

you should have your day in

court. He was making the point

that it's not Government that

makes decision in relation to

this, that there are other

processes and that is right and

part of those processes we are

seeing played out at the

moment. I don't think the Minister said anything that should be surprising or inappropriate or certainly

shouldn't be misinterpreted by

the ABC in terms of being

something other than what it

was. The findings of the KPMG

report have again focused

attention on the Fair Work

Australia findings in that they

allege you misused more than $500,000 of Health Services

Union money, you still deny

that's the case? A b -

absolutely and I think some of

the other things that have come

out in the last few days, your

Simon Cullen wrote a story some

time ago, a couple of weeks ago

about the so-called whistleblower being

investigated by the police, the

'Daily Telegraph' went further

in terms of that yesterday. I

do note from the KPMG report

that the one person who refused

to cooperate and provide their computer, their telephone

records, their emails, was

bizarrely the vice-president,

the second in charge of Fair

Work Australia who also happens

to be Kathy Jackson's partner.

So that's a very strange

situation to have the second in

charge not cooperating with

their own internal

report. Again getting to the

nub of the issue, Fair Work

Australia alleges your credit

card was used to spend $6,000

or nearly $6,000 on escort services while you were

travelling away and staying in

hotels, again you firmly deny

that? Absolutely. Who did spend

that money? Michael, I have

consistently said I've done no

wrong doing right from the

start in relation to these

things. You've heard my explanation to Parliament

which, can I say, was not a

short explanation. I took time

and went through all of those

issues in great de tail and we

are now finding, as each day

goes by, that the issues that I

raised in Parliament are coming

to fruition. I talked about the

problems with this report, we

now have KPMG supporting that

position. I spoke about the

voracity of the allegations and

who was making them, we're now

seeing both those people in NSW

and fwh in Victoria being

investigated by police for

fraud. All of these things I

have consistently said from the

start and have had the single

position right from the start

of these whole proceedings.

What is incredibly, and the

Minister used the word

disappointing, I think we need

to go a little bit further than

that. What is absolutely unforgiveable is that Fair Work

Australia have taken 3.5 years,

botched a complete inquiry

which should have been out of

the way and done in a very

short period of time as the NSW

police have done, as the

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has done. And just

to be clear, those claims are

still being investigated by

Victoria police? They are and

that's the one area we need to

have come to conclusion but it

is also very clear from earlier

ABC reporting by Simon Cullen

but also by the 'Daily

Telegraph' and Simon Benson yesterday that the so-called

whistleblower herself is under

serious investigation for fraud in relation to those

matters. So you're confident of being cleared by Victoria

police as well? I've been

cleared by the NSW police, I

would see it as

incomprehensible that a different police force would reach a different conclusion

looking at exactly the same

matters. Craig Thomson, you've

made this statement, you've put

you're view at some length this

morning and we wanted to give you the opportunity to do that

but given that, why is it so

many people, so many ordinary

voters simply disbelieve

you? Well, we've had a pretty

strong campaign fueled by the

Opposition who were doing

everything they possibly could

to see this Government fall

over inside its term. So - and,

you know, Retts face it, they

have been assisted by an

inadequate and poor Fair Work

Australia investigation which

left this issue hanging for so

many years that it gave that sort of opportunity. It's

little wonder if daily the

media report that story that

people have a variety of views.

But can I say that in my own

electorate that people that I meet really have a very

different view about this issue

and quite generally I'd also

like to take the opportunity

for the thousands of well

wisher who have sent support

from all over the country to me

and thank them for that support

as well. You believe you've got

the majority of voters in your

seat supporting you? Look,

that's a matter that is only

ever tested at an election

time. What I'm saying is that

people in my electorate have

been very welcoming and understanding of the circumstances that I'm going

through. OK, Craig Thomson,