Lizzie Wilson, one of Australia's most outstanding journalists talks to Natalie Joyce

Lizzie Wilson and Natalie Joyce are great Australian women.

I was privileged to work with Lizzie for a short time at 4BC which is where I first met Nat.

Natalie spoke with Lizzie for a story you can find in the Australian Women's Weekly - for the full interview you'll need to buy the magazine.  Knowing Lizzie and Nat it'll be worth every cent.

EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Joyce breaks her silence


In an exclusive interview for The Australian’s Women’s Weekly, the former Second Lady, Natalie Joyce, breaks her silence on the worst two years of her life, the moment she confronted her husband Barnaby Joyce's mistress and how the love and support of the greater rural community saved her.


Much has been written, discussed and debated on the Barnaby Joyce affair. The extramarital relationship with his press secretary, Vikki Campion, culminated in his resignation as Deputy Prime Minister and resulted in the birth of their baby boy, Sebastian.

The couple's much-maligned interview with Seven's Sunday Night program earlier this month brought media attention surrounding the story to fever pitch. However, despite intense interest from many quarters, Natalie has remained silent - until now.

Although by no means taken lightly, Natalie Joyce's decision to finally speak up came easily. Along with a strong desire to set the record straight, she had four compelling reasons - her daughters Bridgette, 21, Julia, 20, Caroline, 18, and Odette, 15.

Natalie, Barnaby and their daughters Bridgette, Odette, Caroline and Julia in 2015.

In an unpaid and candid interview, Natalie opens up about happier times with one of the country's most polarising characters - a man she now believes is on the brink of an inevitable breakdown. She shares memories of growing up in the bush she still calls home, of teaching the importance of being kind, and with grace and conviction shares her feelings on Vikki Campion, a woman she says destroyed her family and stole her life.

Much has been made of the $150,000 price tag on Barnaby and Vikki's Channel Seven exclusive, and Vikki's role in negotiating the deal. Describing the TV interview as "an absolute disgrace" Natalie says it didn't come as a great shock to her that Vikki was the driving force behind it. 

"I wasn't surprised she sold their 'exclusive' story, and certainly not surprised the $150,000 went to her child, but it begs the question, if Barney agreed to be a part of it, how could he allow his four girls to be overlooked? In saying that, I wouldn't want a cent of that money. It was all we could do to watch it without throwing a brick at the TV!"


For Natalie, however, this was never about money; it was simply about being heard. "I'm normally a very private person but I knew I had to find my voice. They thought I would lie down, but this time I couldn't," she says.

Natalie breaks her silence in The Australian Women's Weeklythis month.

"I'm doing this so the girls feel empowered, and know their mum stood up and defended our fine name."

As for those who may suggest her motivation was fuelled by revenge, Natalie says that couldn't be further from the truth.

In reality it was her desire to be part of The Weekly's special rural issue that cemented proud country girl Natalie's decision to share her very personal story with friend and journalist Lizzie Wilson.

Natalie with The Weekly's crew. From left to right: Bianca Lane, Natalie Joyce, Lizzie Wilson, Yolanda Lukowski and Paul Suesse.

It was a decision made well before word of Barnaby and Vikki's television tell-all had surfaced.

"I'm very proud to be honoured in this issue of The Weekly - a tribute to rural women across our land," tells Natalie. "I'm humbled to be amongst such an extraordinary group of inspiring women."

And in so bravely and eloquently finding her voice, it's now Natalie's turn to inspire women across Australia.

Read the full exclusive interview and photos, only in this month's Australian Women's Weekly.

George Brandis's replacement Senator Amanda Stoker off to a solid start today

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A new Coalition senator will call for major industrial relations reform on Wednesday, arguing minimum wages and penalty rates are driving down employment for the most needy.

Queensland Liberal-National Amanda Stoker will give her maiden speech to the Senate and call on the conservative side of politics to make the case for changes to industrial relations laws, including for cashed up unions to be stripped of their tax-free status.

The lawyer and former associate for High Court Justice Ian Callinan replaced former attorney-general George Brandis in the Senate in March.

The first speech – traditionally used by new members and senators to outline their political philosophy and parliamentary priorities – comes amid significant change in the make up and party affiliation of the upper house.

Senator Stoker will argue for the Coalition's company tax and personal income tax cuts, describing lower taxes as a chance to deliver better standards of living to Australians, helping create work opportunities for the unemployed.

"It is unacceptable that youth unemployment in outback Queensland sits at 54.2 per cent but there are some in this Parliament blocking job creation," she will say.

"It's not rocket science: reduced corporate taxes lead to higher investment, investment leads to more job creation, and the tightening of the employment market drives wages up. Similarly, reduced income tax means more money in the pockets of Australians, when spent stimulating demand."

The 35-year-old will outline a series of proposals to lift productivity to boost the economy.

"Industrial relations reform is something our nation desperately needs and which the conservative side of politics should promote.

"If we want employers to give a person on the margins of the employment market a chance, even when to do so might be a leap of faith, we need to support them to do so by removing the disincentive of punitive unfair dismissal laws.

"We need to be prepared to make the difficult case to the community that says the imposition of rising minimum wages and penalty rates reduce job opportunities for those most in need.

"I understand that telling lower paid workers they will take home more today is popular, but we need to be honest enough to say frankly that each time we do, we deny a start to someone who wants a job.

"They are a burden that hits small business hard, and often leads to layoffs and cuts in hours. The unions rail against casualisation or layoffs, but it is the direct product of the policies for which they advocate."

Senator Stoker will call for competition in workplace representation, accusing the left of hypocrisy in railing against big business while supporting trade unions morphing into multi-million dollar businesses with sophisticated commercial operations.

"We must never give up on the principle that government should provide the lightest possible burden on the entrepreneurial spirit of Australians," she will say.

"We should test every piece of legislation, every regulation against the standards of necessity and efficacy, until red tape and green tape no longer hold back the projects needed for Queensland to grow and prosper. "



High Court believes the bomb outside Russell St Police HQ wasn't placed to kill police


The remarks of the sentencing judge contain no reference to the plaintiff's state of mind concerning the identity of the police constable who was killed. That is understandable, given that the offence committed was indiscriminate in its possible effect with respect to victims. Whilst it was possible that police officers could be affected, so could persons working in the court and other public buildings, or people making their way along the street. No particular person or class of person was targeted by the common enterprise and this would seem to be required by s 74AAA(1) and (6).

The High Court of Australia has apparently decided that a bomb placed outside the largest police station in Victoria wasn't placed there to kill police.

That apparently clears the way for this disgusting cop-killing-creep to be released on parole.

I won the Angela Taylor Memorial Prize at the Victoria Police Academy, just months after she was murdered by Craig Minogue and others.  The late Constable Angela Rose Taylor holds a very special place in my heart.

My squad mates and I picked up the disgusting fat creep MINOGUE from Pentridge every day for his committal for trial, strip searched his filthy body and sat in the dock with him and his gang members.  I heard the evidence against them and more importantly heard their self-satisfied smug conversations about killing police.

Let him rot in jail.

Thanks for nothing High Court. 

High Court of Australia decides that Cop killer Craig Minogue can be released on parole by Michael Smith on Scribd

This is the moment President Trump won in the negotiations with Rocket Man


As we said at the time,

"When politicians say, "What the world wishes...." you know you've won.  Trump's outnegotiated fatboy".

All the rest was window dressing. 

For students of negotiating theory, Trump's BATNA was bigger and better than Kim's, and Trump showed he wasn't afraid of it.


President Trump's letter to Kim Jong Un cancelling Singapore summit over Kim's anger and hostility

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Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

I have decided to terminate the planned Summit in Singapore on June 12th. While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world...




When politicians say, "What the world wishes...." you know you've won.  Trump's outnegotiated fatboy. 


Looks like Kim is ronery.  Rooks rike he wants to rerate to Donard.

US pulls out of UN Human Rights Council - just after Australia paid millions to get on it

Good on President Trump and Nikki Halley for pulling the US out of the UN Human So-Called Rights Council.




You may recall our stories about Julie Bishop sucking up to despots and forking out our millions so she could join them on the UN Human Rights Council.

Here's one of our numerous representations.

Australia's bid to join Saudi Arabia on the UN Human Rights Council. Seriously.

Islamic museum

Until July this year, Saudi Arabia chaired the UN Human Rights Council.  Yesterday Saudi Arabia was voted back on to the HRC for another year, while Russia was voted out.

Now Julie Bishop wants another reason to go to New York.

Check out the HRC website

It's chocka with reviews, investigations and sundry bullshit but light on making any difference in anyone's life except the gravy train passengers.

Here are the current members of the UN Human Rights Council - source UN website


Current Membership of the Human Rights Council, 1 January - 31 December 2016


Albania 2017
Algeria 2016
Bangladesh 2017
Belgium 2018
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 2017
Botswana 2017
Burundi 2018
China 2016
Congo 2017
Côte d’Ivoire 2018
Cuba 2016
Ecuador 2018
El Salvador 2017
Ethiopia 2018
France 2016
Georgia 2018
Germany 2018
Ghana 2017
India 2017
Indonesia 2017
Kenya 2018
Kyrgyzstan 2018
Latvia 2017
Maldives 2016
Mexico 2016
Mongolia 2018
Morocco 2016
Namibia 2016
Netherlands 2017
Nigeria 2017
Panama 2018
Paraguay 2017
Philippines 2018
Portugal 2017
Qatar 2017
Republic of Korea 2018
Russian Federation 2016
Saudi Arabia 2016
Slovenia 2018
South Africa 2016
Switzerland 2018
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2016
Togo 2018
United Arab Emirates 2018
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2016
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 2018
Viet Nam 2016

Now Julie Bishop wants in.   If she was at all fair dinkum about human rights, we'd cease to recognise the House of Saud and its corrupt terrorist regime.

And it's hard to take Julie seriously on women's issues while we tolerate mainstream Muslim teachings in our country.  

Australia’s candidacy for the United Nations Human Rights Council 2018-2020


The time has come for Australia to seek a seat on the Human Rights Council. Our inaugural candidacy reflects our commitment to the aims and purposes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the ongoing promotion and protection of human rights.

Australia was a founding member of the United Nations – we have been an advocate ever since for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter which support human rights.

For over 70 years, we have continued to advocate for these principles, remaining an international human rights leader. Australia has been a champion of the principle that all states be treated equally, no matter their size.

We stand by these principles today, especially in the context of advancing human rights in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia is seeking a seat on the Human Rights Council. Our inaugural candidacy embodies our commitment to the aims and purposes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the ongoing promotion and protection of human rights.

This commitment reflects national values which are deeply embedded in Australian society and our respect for democracy and the rule of law. It also underpins the way we have always engaged with the international community – with active, practical advocacy, sensitivity and fairness, and a willingness to speak out against human rights violations and abuses.

Australia’s campaign is built on five pillars:

  • gender equality
  • good governance
  • freedom of expression
  • the rights of indigenous peoples
  • strong national human rights institutions and capacity building

These five pillars represent areas where Australia can advance human rights in practical, sensible ways that will have far-reaching systemic effects over time. Areas where we are already leaders in promoting improvements, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.

Australia would be a strong advocate for global abolition of the death penalty, one of Australia’s core human rights objectives.

Searching DFAT's records for traces of Ms Bishop's numerous representations to North Korea

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Last Thursday The Australian newspaper published this report.

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It included this text:

Former veterans’ affairs minister Stuart Robert, who has taken up the campaign by the families of the Korean War MIAs for ­answers, said the wheels were ­already turning for Australia to join the US and get boots on the ground in the communist North to find our war dead.

He spoke yesterday to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop about having the Americans extend the deal to cover Australia’s MIA. “I simply said to her, ‘Jules, we need to be in that discussion’,” Mr Robert told The Australian. “And she said, ‘Yep, we are already there … we are on it.’ Julie was ahead of the curve on this, to her credit.”

Ms Bishop later revealed she had made “numerous representations” on the issue, but none had been acknowledged by the North Koreans. “The fact that it was raised by President Trump and it has been agreed by North Korea gives us some hope that Australia will also be able to make representations to North Korea for the ­return of our war dead,” she said.

Extract Ends

The Australian is a journal of record and its story has not been corrected by The Minister.

Last Friday I made an application under the FOI Act for the details of Ms Bishop's numerous representations.

Yesterday the "DFAT FOI Team" wrote to me to say they were searching DFAT's files for those details.  They've promised to let us know what they find - within 30 days.

I'll keep you posted, because despite Ms Bishop's assertions about her numerous representations, there's not a trace of a single one on the public record.

And, as we know, every touch leaves its trace.  

Even in North Korea.

Derrick Belan at the TURC

It's horrible to watch the prisoner Derrick Belan so effortlessly blame his niece Danielle and others for his own crimes.

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Now that he's sentenced to 4 years for fraud, let's revisit his day out at the TURC.

Packed house at the TURC for National Union of Workers Greek Tragedy

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10.30AM and the Commission is in session.

Danielle O'Brien is in the witness box for cross examination/examination by her own counsel.

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It appears that the elusive and intermittently unwell Derrick Belan is in the hearing room.

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I liked him in the hoodie better.

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Just after 10.45AM and Ms O'Brien is moved to a spontaneous, loud and wet moment of weepiness at the mention of the late Mr Belan who apparently gave her her first job at the NUW.   I'm sure she regrets taking it.

Just before 11AM Counsel's examination was completed.  Ms McNaughton is on her feet for another shot at Ms O'Brien who is now barely holding her composure and is audibly blubbering and shaking.

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Thank you to the many correspondents who have pointed out my suspect suspect identification today, I think we now have the right Mr Belan in the frame as it were.

The evidence this morning from Ms O'Brien is very difficult to listen to, at once pathetic, sad and infuriating.   This is an awfully tawdry business.

The last thing we heard about from Ms O'Brien was her red Holden car with the rego plate Bikini which found its way to Mr Belan's girlfriend somehow.   

AT 11.20AM Ms O'Brien apologised to "everyone" for what she'd done and was excused in a shower of tears.

Wayne Meaney's examination in chief by Ms McNaughton continues.

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Mr Meaney is apparently on boisterously good terms with Mr Belan, they were sitting together and chatting expansively during the morning.

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Ms McNaughton "I'd like to move to the matter of Paul Gibson.   Were you aware of any arrangement under which Mr Gibson was paid more than $8,000 per month for a period of two years?"

Mr Meaney, "No.  Well I did enquire once after a Committee of Management meeting to Mr Belan.  He told me that Mr Gibson was doing consultancy to manage the relationship between the National Union of Workers and the Labor Party.   I think it was $8,000 per month or a little bit more."

But Mr Meaney didn't make any real enquiries. "I don't think I needed to enquire further, I put my trust in Derrick, I trusted that he was doing what was needed to be done for the branch."

Mr Meaney agrees that it was a matter for the BCOM to approve any payments not just Mr Belan.   When that's all pointed out to him he said, "That's a fair point, but looking back I didn't see the need to raise it".

The amazing Meaney just said, "Looking back I can't see a better way to have done it".  Even though he doesn't know what the payments were for and he only had one brief conversation with Mr Belan about it.   He never enquired what Mr Gibson did for the money.

The Commissioner adopted his serious note-making-for-the-final-report face.

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Ms McNaughton asked Mr Meaney to tell the Commission about the timing and circumstances of Mr Belan's recent separation from the NUW.

He said it all started when the Notices to Produce and Summonses from the Royal Commission turned up.   They had the effect of dissolving Ms O'Brien into a veil of tears and further caused Messrs Meaney and Belan to go for a walk to have a "chat".    Derrick told Mr Meaney that he'd terminated his niece Ms O'Neil who had confessed to stealing money from the union.

The next day Mr Belan asked Mr Meaney to come out to the Coffee Club at Penrith.  Derrick by that stage "wasn't well" and was not attending work.  They met at 8AM Wednesday 21 October and Mr Belan said he had been completely f*cked by his niece Ms OBrien.  Mr Belan was shaking and crying.

At abour 11.38 while Mr Meaney was describing Mr Belan's relationship problems with an ex-lover the said Belan and entourage upped and walked out of the Commission hearing room.

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Mr Meaney described Mr Belan's admission on 21 October 2015 at the Penrith Coffee Club that his position at the NUW was "untenable" and as a result of the lax financial management at the union he would have to resign forthwith.   Mr Belan wanted t negotiate a favourable departure package.  At this stage Mr Meaney didn't think it useful to conduct an audit, nor to make enquiries or even look at the books prior to entering into a Deed of Settlement or Departure dated 26 October 2015 that purported to release Mr Belan from any liability to the NUW.   Mr Meaney didn't think to inform the national head office of the NUW either.

Mr Meaney often says "at that stage there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by Mr Belan" which is rather like saying there is no evidence of any writing in the inner pages of today's unopened newspaper.   It's not difficult to check, but until that checking is done it's a conveniently truthful statement that there was no evidence to hand.  Reminds me of Peter Gordon and the employee he sacked when trust had fractured and the duty of utmost good faith had been ignored.

So no investigation, no checking the books, no audit - and a complete Deed of Release in favour of Mr Belan indemnifying him and holding him safe from any claims from the union against him.

Mr Meaney thought that was all hunkey dory.

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Meanwhile the huddles continue.

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Mr Belan does not look happy at confronting the prospect that the Deed of Release and the severance payment may be under question - it will not have escaped his attention that the payment may be clawed back.

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At 12.10 Ms McNaughton completed her examination - in its dying moments we learned that the Deed "hadn't been acted on" which I take to mean Mr Belan doesn't have the severance money.

Counsel for Mr Belan is helping Mr Meaney say nice things about Derrick.

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AT about 12.30 Counsel for Mr Belan asked her last question.

Counsel for Mr Meaney is examining his client.

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At about 12.40 Mr Meaney was excused.

With a hush in the hearing room Derrick Belan has been called.

He took an affirmation.

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First up the ritual of the Welcome to Water Jug as Mr Belan takes a few moments to moisten and settle in.

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Hydration attended to Ms McNaughton asked why Mr Belan is no longer the Secretary of the NUW.

"I resigned."


"Because my niece Danielle was engaged in fraud."

Was he involved in fraud.

"No never, not me".

He is feisty and frankly more to the aggressive end of the spectrum today.

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Belan was under control during the first few minutes of the hearing.

As Ms McNaughton produces document after document relating to holiday expenditure etc, the Belan vocal chards start to restrict and the voice, already in the Jockey/Bantam weight range slides up in pitch even further.

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From time to time Mr Belan really does look like he should be back at the institution from whence he was accompanied last week.

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If one was to adopt a cynical disposition towards today's evidence, the strategy on display could well be that Ms O'Neill did all the bad things.   IN for a penny Danny in for a pound.

At 1PM the lunch trolley trundled down the corridor.

Please be back in your places well medicated by 2PM.

Apes lunch we're back for more implausible denials.

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Mr Belan is an unusual man to say the least.   He has decided he is going to tough it out no matter what - and the "what" is becoming much clearer.  The TURC has an extensive list of credit card transactions on the card controlled by Mr  Belan and authorised for payment by his signature.

Some of the expenses apparently include a cruise.   He gave chapter and verse about how much he hates cruises and boats, how when he went on the cruise he was told it was "all taken care of", how on board one was issued an on board charge card etc etc etc.

Ms McNaughton, "So how was the bill that you'd run up on the on-board card settled?"

After a few more minutes of prevarication we discover it was by credit card.  Ms Mcnaughton already knew that because she has all the statements etc.

Mr Belan doesn't recall any bill for a cruise or like.   It's painful to watch.

Ms McNaughton, "So you knew nothing about that?"

Belan, "No."

Ms McNaughton, "Right, so it was all Ms O'Brien was it, she did it all."

Mr Belan, "As much as it pains me to say, yes that's right".

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At 2.30PM Ms McNaughton uttered, "Are you OK?!!!!" in the sort of tone of voice one uses when confronted with someone who's about to pass out.

Mr Belan said, "Oh yeah, I'm just a bit blurry in me eyes".   That would seem to be the least of his problems.


Sadly upon  reconvening the standard of responses Ms McNaughton has been able to elicit from the world's most wantonly incompetent union secretary has not much improved.

Mr Belan's line is summarised in bullet points, "I did not and would not ever take money from the union.   I did not ever take any money from the union.   I am here today because I didn't check the work done by others closely enough.   I was not a very good manager.   Did I say I did not ever take money from the union."

When things get a bit hot he trots out, "I don't recall a lot of late, I've been very unwell."

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Mr Belan has now sharpened up a bit on the delivery of his standard line, "Danielle had full control of my finances, I trusted her to do every transaction.   Iu have not and would not ever take money from the union, nor did I ever authorise any person to do so on my behalf".

This bloke Belan reminds me of the fella on this tape;

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From reader GT

With a boss/relative/mate like Belan, how low can you go?


So it is all Danielle’s fault is it? 


I believe so, yes.


As hard as that is to say.

 …. Sounds of bus slamming head on into woman who appeared to have been pushed in front of it.

Another union boss lining himself up to survive on the mangled bodies of his workers.

Not my fault guv. They was the ones what done it. She just went unner it. All by herself.

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Mr Belan was apparently asked to leave his marital home at some point.   That point coincides with several thousand dollars in billing to the union credit card for temporary and then more permanent rental accommodation.

When quizzed about this Mr Belan became very agitated and heated.   He looked like he wanted to jump the box and thump his interrogator.

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We now move to the strained relationship between the NUW and the Labor Party.   What do you do when you have a strained relationship.   Mr Belan employed a mate Paul Gibson MLA.!OpenDocument

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Apparently the NUW was at some stage not paying affiliation dues to the Labor Party.

Rather than just letting that $270K go to waste - Mr Belan thought it would be good to give that money to Paul Gibson.   So he did.   Just like that.

Then when Ms McNaughton was quizzing Mr Belan about the discrepancies in his version of events, Mr Belan addressed Ms McNaughton quick pointedly at on point, addressing her as "Darl!"

I think it's a salutation Ms McNaughton is unused to.

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I tried to grab the mood of the room in the seconds after the Darl-bomb was dropped.

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Mr Belan just delivered a very lame joke - straight after the punchline he looked up at the audience in the style of a man who is used to having his jokes laughed at.  It was kind of sad to watch the enthusiasm and expectation drain from his face as his needy gaze was met with a mix of sympathy and disgust.

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3.30PM and another 5 minute break.

Five minutes later we're back.

Mr Belan is all over the shop after the break, even though he had the chance to confer (in front of the cameras) with his lawyer during the break.

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One of the things paid for on the union credit card was this tattoo of Derrick Belan's mum and dad, looks like a bit of his arm that's been adorned.

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We have just learned that Mr Belan cleaned out the NUW safe of $25K that "belonged to the officials and myself" according to himself Mr Belan.

Ms McNaughton, "Where is that money now?"

Belan, "In my car".

"Where was it before then?"

"In my home."



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Mr Belan tells his lawyer "I do believe that the governance of the union has let me down and I resigned on that basis".

At about 4.30 the examination was concluded and Mr Belan left the witness box.

A timeframe for submissions was disussed and agreed.

And that may well have been the last sitting day of the Royal Commission of partial enquiry into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.