Organised crime division raids Kathy Jackson's Wombara mansion

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(Art by John Graham / @johngrahamart)

When the organised crime division of the AFP raided Kathy Jackson's home yesterday, her partner, Michael Lawler – the Tony Abbott appointed vice president of the Fair Work Commission – was apparently at home. Awkward! Peter Wicks reports.

Yesterday a joint task force from Victoria Police, and the organised crime division of the Federal Police raided properties in picturesque Wombara, on the NSW South Coast.

These properties were the residence of disgraced self-professed whistleblower Kathy Jackson and her partner Michael Lawler, as well as a property owned by David Rofe QC, where Jackson and Lawler had been living. The houses are neighbouring as Lawler had purchased the house for Rofe having gained control of his estate after he was diagnosed with dementia, despite not being a member of Rofe’s family. The neighboring Rofe property came in handy when, shortly after its purchase, a mystery fire damaged the Jackson/Lawler property, and they moved into the Rofe house.

Despite the public interest around the case, this time around neither Kate McClymont or Ray Hadley were there for the spectacle of the raid.

Police seized material from both premises — some of it was reportedly in a shipping container. Computer equipment and boxes of documents are believed to be amongst the items taken as evidence.

Unfortunately, I have not yet been unable to confirm if any of the documents appeared to by flood damaged, or if the infamous missing exercise book was discovered. Rumours that police had also discovered the ashes of Michael Smith’s reputation in the fireplace after it went up in smoke are believed to be unfounded.

It is also unclear as to whether evidence of another allegedly frequent visitor, best known as “Charlie” was found on either property.

I’m sure we will hear more about what was discovered at a later point.

The police were most fortunate to have caught up with Michael Lawler in person during the raid; they must have been blessed to catch him on a sick day — after all, he’s only had about eight months worth of sickies so far. I hope they took a photo so they could send it the Fair Work Commission to remind them what their vice president looks like.

This incident further highlights the need for Malcolm Turnbull to finally cut both his Party and the public loose of Michael Lawler.

Turnbull had no trouble stabbing Abbott in his back, so surely he won’t have an issue snipping the umbilical cord between Abbott appointed Lawler and the public purse. Currently, that cord is costing taxpayers $435,000 per year — a hefty salary for someone who has unlimited sick leave and seems to rarely show up for work, perhaps making him Australia’s highest paid welfare recipient.

In fact, while he was at home watching cops go through his stuff, we mere taxpayers were paying him approximately $1,200 for his day off. It adds up.

Michael Lawler is certainly the highest ranking member of the judiciary I can recall to have their home raided by cops from organised crime division as part of a criminal investigation; perhaps he is the only one?

How is anyone expected to have faith in any case presided over by judge who’s home and contents are being ransacked by Federal and Victorian Police?

When you consider that, then how is anyone supposed to retain faith in the Fair Work Commission?

The Government under Tony Abbott’s control had opportunities to rid themselves of this anchor that was sure to one day pull them under but, alas, with the support of Abbott and Abetz in particular, the anchor remained. Both Abbott and Abetz even went so far as to put out false statements that it was the job of Fair Work Commission to sack Lawler, not the Parliament.

These claims were refuted and slammed by many, including the Fair Work Commission president himself, as well as the Australian Bar Association in a press release that bore the title.

"Only Parliament can remove members of the Fair Work Commission"

The public are supposed to have faith in our legal system; if we don’t, then how can we expect to have law and order? Having the country's second highest-ranking industrial judge raided by the organized crime squad is not what I’d call a big confidence booster.

If Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t do something about this leech of taxpayer funds as a matter of urgency, then he should be considered a Malcolm Turnbull appointee just as much as an he is an Abbott appointee.

He’s your problem now, Malcolm.

Peter Wicks is an ALP member and former NSW State Labor candidate. You can follow Peter on Twitter @madwixxy. Read more about the Jacksonville saga HERE. Donate to Peter's Jacksonville book writing fund HERE.

The original of the John Graham feature art reproduced in this piece may be purchased from the IA store HERE.

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