Julia Gillard’s cleavage and Grace Collier, the “human booby trap”
Collier had earlier tweeted that she was hopeful of “lift[ing] the mood a little at 9.30 when I come on” following what she described as being a “depressing discussion about happiness!” between host Green and a national treasure, cartoonist Michael Leunig.
Earlier this year Collier gave evidence by affidavit in the Federal Court matter of Director of the Fair Work Building Inspectorate v Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union  FCA 82 (14 February 2013) before Justice Shane Marshall. In that matter, which concerned a blockade at one of my favourite places in Melbourne, the Werribee sewage treatment works, a Ms Wendy Grace Collier (she appears to have dropped the Wendy) provided evidence in her capacity as an IR consultant for Tedra Australia Pty Ltd, the head contractor of the works.
Ms Collier’s evidence was referred to by Marshall J in the following passage in his judgement of 14 February 2013:
Concerns with the evidence of Ms Collier
Ms Collier said that in a conversation which occurred between “Monday, 4 February and Thursday [sic], 6 February”, she discussed with Mr Mavromatis where the figure of four men came from. She said that Mr Mavromatis said words to the effect that he wanted the four Filipino workers sacked or removed from the site. She said she could not recall exactly during which conversation Mr Mavromatis said those words. Mr Mavromatis denies ever making such a demand to Ms Collier.
Before making the above claim, Ms Collier had been careful to relate the content of actual discussions in their sequence. The above assertion must be treated cautiously. Ms Collier had no discussion with Mr Mavromatis concerning the site until Tuesday, 5 February 2013, so the reference to 4 February 2013 may be dismissed.
Ms Collier recorded the discussions with Mr Mavromatis and “Nick” at the site office on 5 February 2013. She placed a “device” near her handbag. The applicant arranged to have the recording transcribed. The transcription is inadequate. Much of the conversation is attributed to people who did not utter the words attributed to them and multiple hand-written corrections have been made. It would be unsafe to rely on this material to be satisfied as to any particular fact, other than that the meeting occurred.
The same considerations apply to the taping of a conversation with Mr Mavromatis at about 11.30 am on 5 February 2013 at the front of the site. In that conversation Ms Collier said that she asked Mr Mavromatis “what would it take for the picket to go away” and that he replied with words to the effect that “Tedra had to hire local labour” and that “Tedra needed to hire four men”.
The conversation between Mr Mavromatis and Ms Collier at about 6.45 am on Wednesday, 6 February 2013 was also recorded by Ms Collier. She achieved this by secreting a device in her bra. The transcript of that recording is riddled with crossings out, hand-written additions and various changes. It is of no probative value.
Quite properly, the applicant, as a model litigant, did not attempt to tender into evidence any transcript (intelligible or otherwise) of Ms Collier’s recording on her computer of the telephone conversation she initiated with Mr Mavromatis at about 12.30 pm on 6 February 2013. Ms Collier’s conduct in that respect raises a serious concern as to whether she has breached the provisions of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth). In the absence of any detail as to the precise circumstances of that recording, the Court is unable, at present, to say any more about that matter. Indeed, it would be inappropriate to do so.
It is unnecessary for current purposes to deal with any other concerns with Ms Collier’s evidence.
Notwithstanding the Court’s assessment of her evidence, three weeks later Ms Collier noted her experience in a Diary entry in The Spectator:
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