Frequently Unanswered Questions of the "Australian Government"
Australian Customs an illegal entity - 2 governments, the de jure original authentic government that represented the people, and an Australian Government that is a corporation.
Originally found at http://www.thecrowhouse.com/fuq.html which has some other interesting topics.
Reporter: Richard Carleton
Peter Tomson - victim.
It was an appalling abuse of power; an honest man — a battler — ruined by vindictive bureaucrats. They went after him, and didn't let up until his business was wrecked and he was bankrupt. And the truly galling thing is … it was all for nothing. Not only that, it had happened before. This was an exact replica of a story reported by Richard Carleton 10 years ago; a case where eventually the Customs Service was forced to admit it was wrong, and quite rightly paid $28 million compensation to the company it destroyed. This time around though there's been no admission, no pay-out … no justice at all.
No transcript available for this story ever appeared on the 60 minutes website - curious.
60 minutes email says to phone number of people who do their website.
Transcripts are only available from the website - they can be contacted on (02) 9383 6000
By Neil Mercer
April 19 2003
Peter Tomson is a patient man, which is just as well.
Sixteen years after his business - and life - were turned upside down by an Australian Customs Service investigation, a federal parliamentary committee is about to examine the reasons why.
It is a case that could be highly embarrassing - and costly - to Customs, and parallels are already being drawn with the Midford Paramount shirts scandal of the early 1990s.
In that matter a parliamentary committee found customs "was at best incompetent, or at worst conspiratorial and deceitful" in investigating the company. Damages totalling $27 million were paid to Midford and others.
Now the House of Representatives Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs is looking at the Tomson case.
Mr Tomson was a classic migrant success story, arriving in Sydney from Laos with his family in 1980 and building up a business importing cheap clothing from South-East Asia.
Before long, he had six shops in Australia, one in Taiwan and two in Bangkok and a yearly turnover of about $1 million.
Then, in 1987-88, Customs started seizing his goods, alleging he was evading duty by undervaluing the clothing he was bringing in.
It was not until 1992 that he was charged with evading duty and smuggling. The court case began in 1993 and ended in 1995, when a magistrate dismissed the charges. It was cold comfort for Mr Tomson.
With Customs blocking his imports, his business fell apart, he lost the family home and was forced to remove his children from a private school.
When the Herald first raised his case, in early 2001, he said: "I tell 100 people, they say it is unbelievable; nobody believes it.
"If you tell the story in Thailand everyone believes you; things happen that way there, but not in Australia."
The parliamentary committee, to be chaired by the Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop, is expected to start hearings in June and is likely to examine complaints Mr Tomson raised with the Commonwealth Ombudsman in 2000.
They included allegations that Customs officers failed to investigate in an objective manner, swore false information to obtain a search warrant and ignored evidence that suggested Mr Tomson was innocent.
His adviser, Ian Rodda, a customs and trade consultant, said: "Peter Tomson's business was destroyed by what was done to him. He was an honest, hardworking and well respected businessman when the ACS decided to seize all his trading stock throughout late 1987 and 1988."
Mr Tomson, speaking from his home in Green Valley, in Sydney's south-west, said: "I am very happy because I've been waiting for 16 years for the truth to come out.
"It will be good to tell my side of the story."
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/18/1050172755524.html
The Proof and Official Hansard transcripts of Senate committee hearings, some House of Representatives committee hearings and some joint committee hearings are available on the Internet. Some House of Representatives committees and some joint committees make available only Official Hansard transcripts.
The Internet address is: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard
To search the parliamentary database, go to: http://search.aph.gov.au
Bob Hawke wrote: 19-8-95