Another bad apple … who would have thought?

010596-130530-stephen-brennanI am surprised this story about former trade union state secretary, Stephen Brennan, being charged on multiple fraudulent offences has not received much publicity.  I am not sure Fairfax even carried the story.  But it is a biggie. Here are the main points:

  • Stephen Brennan was state secretary of the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Union in South Australia for sixteen years, having achieved the position at the age of 24!
  • He was appointed by the SA Labor government to the very well-paid position of Employee Ombudsman in 2006.
  • He stood aside from the position – on full pay – in May 2013 after allegations were aired that he had misused union funds.  The national secretary of the union, Michele O’Neil blew the whistle.
  • At the time, he declared: “these allegations are false.” (Haven’t we heard this before?)
  • In March 2014, he was charged with 35 counts of falsifying accounts and 32 accounts of dishonestly dealing with documents.  The overall sum of money is quoted at $180,000.
  • He remains on leave with pay.  His position is a statutory one and he can only be removed by Parliament.
  • Buggered if I can figure out what a state-based Employee Ombudsman really does or why it is needed.  There are state bureaucrats who can deal with workplace complaints as well as the Fair Work Ombudsman which has very broad coverage.
  • On the other hand, it is a useful position to park a factionally aligned ex-union mate in a well-paid taxpayer funded position.


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22 Responses to Another bad apple … who would have thought?

  1. Ant

    I am so sick of this.

    Cut the chase: Labor and the union movement are full of self serving, morality challenged, thieving bastards, who are strangers to the things that most true conservatives are: Hard working, concientious, morally sound and more interested in minding their own business than sticking their noses in areas where they have no business.

  2. jupes

    Labor and the union movement are full of self serving, morality challenged, thieving bastards …

    How did and inept, failed, corrupt lawyer become prime minister of this country?

    Let’s hope the Royal Commission finds out.

  3. Badjack

    “Who would have thought” ? For starters the 82% of the population who are not unionists would have had a fair idea. The 18% who ARE unionists would have known for sure.

  4. Mon

    Was watching the Drum during the week, Judith you handle the Ms Labor beautifully, they all need to be taught a few manners. Mouthing off about people without authority to be making a report about Education. My, they are about to see themselves all ducking and weaving when the Royal Commission hits.

  5. A Lurker

    I have used this analogy before, but I will use it again here for emphasis.

    The Royal Commission into the unions will be akin to lifting and removing a large sheet of rusty old corrugated iron that has been sitting out under an old Stringybark in the back paddock for several decades. When revealed, God knows what malignant creatures will be found lurking underneath.

    As for the Unions – I am beginning to suspect that the “self serving, morality challenged, thieving bastards” of the Union hierarchy are the norm; and not the exception, and if you are a lesser-official and possess character traits of being “hard working, conscientious, and morally sound” then you will go nowhere fast, and in fact be trampled underfoot by the horde of self-serving piggies racing to get their turn at the trough.

  6. Max


    Across the Country there would be 1000’s of little old ladies who’ve been in union Accounts Payable and Payroll departments.

    For years they would have sat on low wages, keeping their mouths shut while processing payments for all sorts of non-union related expenses incurred by their bullying bosses.

    I’m sure they would have many many stories to tell.

  7. .

    The damage control module is no longer working on Shorten’s RAAF VIP transport.

  8. Leigh Lowe

    At the time, he declared: “these allegations are false.” (Haven’t we heard this before?)

    Actually, the correct expression is, “I have done nuffink wrong”

  9. Max

    I used to run the Admin of 1000’s of Amex cards for one of Australias largest companies.

    All Merchant Category codes in the Adult industry are blocked as the default setting by Amex (and by Visa and Mastercard). the Unions would have to ask them to un-block the Adult industry on the cards

  10. James of the Glen

    Shhhh, it’s a secret in SA, there’s a state election on Saturday, don’t you know.

    Best tell The Advertiser. They’ll need an item for later next week.

  11. Mike of Marion

    The Advertiser ran it – it is a Murdoch paper !!!!! Mind you, the ABC mentioned it a couple of times at the end of the bulletins.

  12. handjive

    A ” state-based Employee Ombudsman” is an important position required for value-adding to the budgetary requirements going forward.
    Apparently workers benefit as well.

  13. sabrina

    Sad reading, and infuriating. Labeling them as apple does injustice to apples, these are leeches on the society.
    I sincerely hope full force of the law is applied, and swiftly. How people can vote the party that protects these characters is beyond comprehension. Enough said.

  14. craig

    Ant, I’m offended, is that the best you can come up with? I feel your anti Labor/union stance is simply lacking robustness of language. You know you can do better, now let’s hear it!

  15. Up The Workers!

    South Australia doesn’t have a whole lot going for it.

    It’s the place where brave souls actually DRINK “Southwark Beer” (rather than de-sludging their sewers with it);

    It’s the former home of Dodgy Dong Dungstone of the A.L.P.;

    It’s the home of that well-known sandgroper entertainment venue, the Snowtown bank vault;

    It’s the home of the comical “University of Adelaide” which made an academic “expert” on dinosaur coprolites, Flim Flannery, a “Professor” (and he has been talking nothing but crap ever since);

    and it is the place where “Professor” Juliar Gillard chooses to roost until her room is ready at Her Majesty’s ‘pleasure house’ with all the bars on the windows.

    LABOR! (sic) – It’s Mensa for Dumb People!

  16. Kev

    It’s the home of that well-known sandgroper entertainment venue, the Snowtown bank vault;

    Don’t involve us West Aussies in this. South Australians are Croweaters.

  17. Baldrick

    I’d be interested to hear Dolly Shortens view of these revelations.

    Will he continue to close ranks and order, “North rampart, stand fast. South rampart, … at 100 yards. Volley fire. Present.”

  18. Ant

    How about this Craig?

    The ‘Snowtown Experience’ for the lot of them would be a waste of good barrels.

  19. calli

    Actually, the correct expression is, “I have done nuffink wrong”

    And, the clincher…”I was young and naive”.

    Works every time.

  20. Fred Lenin

    The unions and the law trade ,barrels full of rotten apples.if 80 per cent of the apples are rotten,throw the whole lot away and get barrels of fresh apples!

  21. Gutho

    90% of Union Officials give the other 10% a bad name

  22. Chris

    No press of this here in SA I listen to radio (when driving) skip from commercial to ALPBC purchase the paper, net the only source of this. The media blanking of this is why SA is stuffed, mark my words the pamphlet in Elder will scare enough bogans to gain that seat, there is a small mosque in that electorate and that will influence at least 1-2% of uninformed bogans even reasonable mates were questioning why we should trust a Habib, when explained they went ok thats wrong but if it worked on them it is going to work on many more than understand the truth.

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