Administrator Appointed for Aussie Junk

SpellingAndGrammar 7 July 2009 41

I see that Aussie Junk has appointed a Queensland receiver to manage its affairs (Canberra Times, p3, Receivers appointed to oversee recyclers) – looks like the tax department hadn’t been fixed up at all – surprise, surprise.

I note that a creditor’s meeting is also being held in Queensland tomorrow (6 July). I bet that’s really helpful for the staff in the ACT who have been underpaid. I wonder if the benevolent managers at Aussie Junk will be looking after the welfare of their employees and ensuring that their interests are represented? Oh, sorry, I forgot who I was talking about there for a moment – ha, ha, ha.

I hope that Stanhope’s people are getting some good legal advice at the moment. I guess we will all wait with bored anticipation to see what happens in the Federal Magistrates Court at the end of this month. I hope they plead innocence…

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
41 Responses to Administrator Appointed for Aussie Junk
sepi sepi 8:28 pm 10 Jul 09

I am too lazy to trawl thru hansard myself – I like the excerpts though.

I am fascinated to see what the govt is going to do a bout this whole fiasco. Perhaps in this instance the greens will add a bit of interest – recycling is right up their alley.

monomania monomania 5:50 pm 10 Jul 09

I don’t mind an occasional reference to sources that most people don’t bother to read, perhaps with some editing. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded what a duplicitous wally jon hopeless is.

realitycheck realitycheck 4:03 pm 10 Jul 09

Yes I will pull that as well!

SpellingAndGrammar SpellingAndGrammar 3:57 pm 10 Jul 09


realitycheck realitycheck 3:44 pm 10 Jul 09

The frustration of this has been building for over 12 months and to have them still make out that nothing is wrong makes me boil.The way the whole episode was handled by Aussie Junk, ACT Nowaste, Theiss and the TWU was disgusting and I really hope we get a chance to present all the facts in court so the public will get to see what really happened in regards to workplace conditions and environmental concerns.But I’m certain this will not occur as I’m sure a deal will be reached as the other interested parties will not want this exposed.

Having said this I will as suggested by impartial observers above try to pull my head.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 3:00 pm 10 Jul 09

You appear to be new to this citing sources thing.
If you’re not generating new material, provide sources or link to them, so people can work out for themselves if you’re legit, making stuff up, or just a crackpot.

Hansard is actually one continuous document from each Year of each Assembly, broken up into invidudual volumes for each sitting Day of that Sitting Week.
Hence the apparently strange page numbering.
Ie: Debates, Weekly Hansard of the Seventh Assembly, Week 7, June 16 2009, [is this document here].
Page 2316 of the Hansard of that Assembly (ie: the big numbers at the bottom of every page are the official ones) is Page 57 of that specific document, which is just an extract.

And as Chewy14 is saying, your illusion of apparent objectivity was blown at around about post three.
If you’re just posting a holw bunch of references for the sake of dragging Aussie Junk through a humiliation conga for any future Googlers, you’d be better off just posting links to the articles and seeing if they get through moderation.
But if you’re not actually adding anything to a forum-thread, you’re just cluttering up someone else’s database.

johnboy johnboy 2:59 pm 10 Jul 09

Perhaps realitycheck it’s time to calm down?

chewy14 chewy14 2:29 pm 10 Jul 09

you come across as completely objective on this issue.
how do you stay so unbiased in what is clearly such a personal issue?

realitycheck realitycheck 2:28 pm 10 Jul 09

Sorry Skidbladnir – the quotes are from 16 June 2009 page 7 and 18 June 2009 page 13.

realitycheck realitycheck 2:23 pm 10 Jul 09

Excuse me Aussie Junk but have you been declaring all the income from the Ebay sales Dillon-AJ.
If you have lost the records then that’s ok as I have sales records from the site for the last 2 years.Even print outs from when it began and pickup was stated from Aussie Junk Tweed Heads.Pick-ups are now stated from Banora Point.Isn’t that where Dennis Lives?
I hope your not going to blame Neil for everything and make out the sales are all his.
I see you listed one of your Aussie Junk trucks for $5000 item #180373261330 , must be short of money.
Nice of you to cover up the Aussie Junk decals, not trying to hide anything are you?

Actually when I spoke to your company administrator she stated that Aussie Junk no longer sell on E-bay as far as she is aware and no records of Ebay sales have been declared.Funny That!

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 2:20 pm 10 Jul 09

Erm, if you’re going to quote Hansard, its good form to provide Sitting Period, Date & Page citations.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 2:08 pm 10 Jul 09

Is this “exclusive Sovereign Islands” like, a bunch of canals dug by big excavators and bulldozers?

Got in in one Ant.

realitycheck realitycheck 2:01 pm 10 Jul 09

Recycling— Aussie Junk

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minster for Territory and Municipal Services
and is in regard to Aussie Junk and its contract with ACT NOWaste. Are you aware
that during the 2007 Mugga Lane recycling tender process, prior to the contract for the Mugga recycling site being announced, ACT NOWaste was provided with
a statutory declaration that Aussie Junk was breaking the law regarding staff
payments and environmental matters?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Bresnan. I was not aware, that I recall. I will have
to take some advice and perhaps refresh myself and certainly take advice from the
department in relation to information that may have been available to them at that
time in relation to that contract. Bear with me for half a second.
I must say that I am not equipped today to answer that question in relation to what
information was available to the department at the time that they made decisions in
relation to the letting of the contract through the tender process that was pursued at the
time. I have faith in Procurement Solutions and the tender process and I have faith in
the rigour and significant and utter faith in the integrity of our procurement processes,
of our tender processes and of those officers that we charge with responsibility for the
assessment and analysis of tenders.
This is a very important area of government. It needs to be rigorously controlled and
managed and I believe the system’s checks and balances and the arrangements we
have in place serve us well in relation to the rigour of our processes. I am prepared to
say that. I was not the minister at the time and I simply do not have that level of detail.
I am more than happy to seek it.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, if ACT NOWaste was
given this information, was due diligence potentially not followed? Will you appoint
an independent person to review the 2007 contracts for the Mugga landfill?

MR STANHOPE: I will not make that commitment here and now, Ms Bresnan, but I
am more than happy to ask for and receive advice on the issues that you raise. They
are serious issues and they will be genuinely and seriously pursued. I will be more
than happy to provide you with the outcome of that.

realitycheck realitycheck 1:56 pm 10 Jul 09

Recycling— Aussie Junk

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is for the Minister for Territory and Municipal
Services and it concerns the application recently made to wind up the company Aussie
Junk. What action is the government now going to take regarding the ACT NOWaste
contract with Aussie Junk to manage the reusable facilities at the resource
management centres and how are you going to ensure that there is no interruption in
these recycling centres?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. Certainly, as everybody is
aware, as a result of an inquiry by the Workplace Ombudsman, certain concerns have
been raised in relation to some workplace practices employed by Aussie Junk,
particularly in relation to employee entitlements. These are matters that at one level
are still being agitated. They are matters that still involve legal process. And at one
level there are aspects of this that I do not believe it appropriate for me to pursue

Aussie Junk is a provider of services to Thiess, the head contractor in relation to the
management of the reusable facility or the recycling facilities at Mitchell. TAMS does,
however, have a direct contract with Aussie Junk, including the management of the
reusable or recyclable facility at Mugga. It does need to be understood that the
contractual arrangements in relation to Aussie Junk do vary or are different as
between the two waste sites.

The investigation that was undertaken by the Workplace Ombudsman relates
specifically to the Mitchell depot and did not extend to work practices at Mugga. It is
important to understand that difference or distinction. In relation to the inquiry,
TAMS, of course, cooperated quite fully. It has made some findings and certainly
recommendations that are of significant concern in relation to those employees and
those workplace practices.

Additional action is now being pursued in relation to Aussie Junk and it will have
quite significant potential implications, of course, for recycling facilities and our
capacity to ensure that the transfer of responsibility— if any transfer, indeed, is
undertaken— is seamless and that our services are not interrupted.

Contingency discussions in relation to that are occurring, most particularly between
TAMS, waste and Thiess. It does need to be understood that there are different levels
of responsibility and different contractual arrangements. We of course have
arrangements with Thiess and we are in essentially what I might term contingency
discussions with Thiess in relation to the maintenance, perhaps in an interim or
transitional sense, to ensure that our recycling activity is maintained.

I am not sure that there is much more I can say. Of course, Ms Le Couteur, it is an
issue in relation to which we are acutely aware of the need to ensure that we maintain
the capacity to recycle at the level that we have or at an enhanced level. We are in
some discussions already to cover the difficulties which we anticipate as a result of
the findings of the Workplace Ombudsman in relation to Aussie Junk. And I will be
more than happy to keep the Assembly up to date in relation to those discussions,
those negotiations, as this particular issue develops.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In addition, will the government be
revisiting its negotiations with Revolve, who previously ran the facility at Mugga
MR STANHOPE: I am not sure that it is in the government’s anticipation at this
stage that it will open up specific negotiations with Revolve. The previous position or
attitude adopted by the government in relation to recycling or waste recovery at
Mitchell and at Mugga was to go to the market. We believe that to be appropriate in
relation to the provision of this particular service and I would not anticipate that, as a
result of the issues that we now face in relation to Aussie Junk, we would deviate in
the future in the event that we do need to retender or renegotiate— that we would do
that on a single, select basis.

The government, of course, is aware of the previous role which Revolve played. We
went through a process which involved Thiess, and ultimately Aussie Junk was
successful in a public tender process. That now, with the benefit of hindsight, has
raised some issues which perhaps were not anticipated at the time, but going forward I
would not anticipate why we would— and I cannot understand why we would— enter
into single, select negotiations with a particular potential provider.

SpellingAndGrammar SpellingAndGrammar 1:47 pm 10 Jul 09

Where’s the link to the full case ‘realitycheck’?

It’s hard to deny transcript from legal proceedings. What do you say now ‘paul1’ and ‘goldenman’? Considering your unsubstantiated assertions, and the provision on other factual material from ‘realitycheck’, can you provide similar factual material? If so, I for one, would like to see it.

realitycheck realitycheck 10:25 am 10 Jul 09

Aussie Junk then put in an application for costs against the Winters which was dismissed.The decision is below.

[14] In the present case while I consider the actions of Mr Sweaney of the TWU to have been incompetent in his efforts to represent the first respondents in the original matters up to and including 7 October 2008, I do not consider that either the first respondents or the TWU acted unreasonably in making or pursuing the original applications to that date. The original applications were made and pursued in good faith and the matters asserted by Aussie Junk in support of its jurisdictional objection were entitled to be tested in an open forum in the Commission Hearing scheduled for 7 October 2008. At the Hearing on 7 October 2008 Mr Sweaney undertook on behalf of the first respondents to withdraw the original applications with a view to lodging fresh applications for unlawful dismissal. In fact at the conclusion of the 7 October 2008 Hearing, the first respondents terminated the services of TWU and Mr Sweaney and, on Mr Sweaney’s recommendation, placed the matter in the hands of Mr Bucknell of Maurice Blackburn, telling him that Mr Sweaney had given undertakings but not saying what the undertaking were. Only on 3 November 2008 did Mr Bucknell learn from the transcript of the 7 October Hearing the nature of the undertaking Mr Sweaney had purported to give on behalf of the first respondents to withdraw the original applications by close of business on 9 October 2008. In fact on 14 October 2008, Maurice Blackburn lodged on behalf of the first respondents, applications to amend the original applications pursuant to s. 111(1)(l) of the Act (see [4] hereof). The case law as to s. 111(1)(l) is unsettled with conflicting authority in the Commission, and it appears entirely reasonable to me that Maurice Blackburn sought to progress the original applications in that manner as being in the best interests of the Winters. Following the Hearing, on 18 November 2008 the Commission, as presently constituted, dismissed the original applications, referring inter alia, to the unsettled case law. 8 From 7 October 2008, the TWU had no instructions to act for the Winters. From 7 October 2008, Maurice Blackburn did have instructions and I do not find its actions unreasonable within the meaning of s. 658(1)-(4). The Winters I find to have been hapless victims of an imbroglio which I doubt they ever understood and I do not find that their conduct was at any stage unreasonable.


[15] I dismiss the present applicant’s cost applications in these matters.

realitycheck realitycheck 10:21 am 10 Jul 09

These are the decisions of the Unfair Dismissal case.

It clearly indicates that the Unfair Dismissal case could not be heard due to the TWU failing to lodge the correct forms in time.

[16] Taking all of these matters into consideration together with all of the submissions and evidence before the Commission sought in these proceedings and having regard to the principles in Brodie-Hanns, I find that it would not be appropriate for the Commission to exercise its discretion under s.643(14) of the Act to grant the extension of time sought by the applicants in each of these three matters.

Amendment of Application

[17] Whilst the finding I have just made would be sufficient of itself to ground the dismissal of the applications in these matters, I do for abundant caution proceed to deal with the applicants’ applications for the Commission to consent to the amendment of the applications to change them from unfair to unlawful termination matters. The Commission’s discretion pursuant to s.111(l) of the Act to “allow the amendment, on any terms that it thinks appropriate, of any application or other document related to the proceedings” is very broad. However, it cannot be so broad as to permit the Commission to allow something to be done which is not permitted by the specific provisions of the Act itself. There is conflicting authority within the Commission as to whether or not s.111(l) can enable the Commission to consent to the amendment of the application pursuant to the provisions of s.643(1)(a) for unfair termination of employment to be withdrawn and replaced by an application pursuant to the provisions of s.643(1)(b) for unlawful termination of the applicant’s employment in contravention of s.659, s.660 and s.661 of the Act. I believe that Senior Deputy President O’Callaghan in Bennett v Academy Photography [2007] AIRC 212 (PR976484) has given the preferable interpretation of the Commission’s powers in regards to such an application to amend. Section 674 specifically precludes this course of action. Section 673 clearly addresses the issue of successive applications to the Commission in relation to the same termination of employment of an employee and confers on the Commission discretion to consent to such an application if the “Commission considers that it would be fair to accept the second application.” Accordingly, I find that the Commission does not have the power to allow the amendments sought by the applicants in this matter in the applications filed in the Canberra Registry of the Australian Industrial Registry on 13 November 2008.


[18] I dismiss the applicants’ application in each of these matters.



ant ant 10:18 am 10 Jul 09

Clown Killer said :

… plans to retire to the Gold Coast’s exclusive Sovereign Islands

He’d fit right in.

Is this “exclusive Sovereign Islands” like, a bunch of canals dug by big excavators and bulldozers?

One of those Exclusive Swamps.

realitycheck realitycheck 9:52 am 10 Jul 09

So, the reason you underpaid your staff was because the Winters were stealing money.
What did the other 6 staff members who have made a claim do to deserve their underpayments?
What did the other 17 former workers we have identified, ready for wave 2 of claims against Aussie Junk, do to deserve their underpayments?

realitycheck realitycheck 9:44 am 10 Jul 09

I encourage you to go to the police with your accusations.In fact I DARE YOU!!!
I welcome any opportunity to present our evidence in a court of law.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter


Search across the site