Shock jocks and Kathy 'I fought the law' Jackson

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Former Health Services Union Secretary Kathy Jackson leaves court, September 2016 (Screenshot via YouTube)

Peter Wicks reports on the latest developments of the "Jacksonville" matter. 

WE ALL KNOW THEM. People who seem to be able to put off the inevitable for what seems an eternity and those who, like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption“crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side”.

Recently, there have been two high-profile cases along these lines with which IA readers will be quite familiar.

One involves the former union official who started out smelling like roses and ended up smelling like what is often shovelled on them. The other, the son of a radio star that scandal has yet to kill, but video one day might.

Sources reveal that an email from the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad was received by witnesses in the upcoming trial of former secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) and Coalition pin-up girl, Kathy Jackson.

The email was to explain that, on 3 December 2017, Jackson’s defence informed the court that her legal aid application had been rejected – yet again – and that they will once again appeal the decision via an independent review of the legal aid application.

According to the email:

This process has complicated the process and the scheduled 19 February 2019 court trial start has been cancelled.


The office of Public Prosecutions has now informed ... that the 29 April 2019 is another possible start date for the trial. This will depend on whether a judge is available to hear the trial starting on this date.

Depending on the outcome of the independent review, there may be a directions hearing on 19 January, to help the court determine whether Jackson’s matter will be heard as one trial or two — such is the volume of charges.

The desperation on Jackson’s part to obtain a legal aid defence team is ironic coming from someone who appears to have Champagne taste in everything, from her choice of houses and facial treatments, right down to her choice of mental health facilities. However, when it comes to Jackson's legal defence, she’s going the cleanskin chardonnay option over Champagne.

A lot has happened since what has become known as the "Jacksonville" matter commenced. We’ve seen five Australian prime ministers and it will likely be at least six by the time the case ends.

In HSU-connected matters, Jackson’s media target, former MP Craig Thomson, lives a seemingly normal life, having moved on from the saga. Thomson served several years in the public spotlight but not a day in prison, despite a determined effort from Jackson, the Coalition and many in the media.

In NSW, Jackson’s principal target, Michael Williamson, will likely have served his time in prison and will likely be watching Jackson’s Chardonnay legal team defend the indefensible with a glass of Champagne in his hand and a smirk on his face.

Those who won’t be smirking will be Jackson’s cheerleaders — politicians, journalists, commentators and shock-jocks. One of these shock jocks, Michael Smith, now turned blogger, even lived with Jackson and her controversial partner — the renowned phone call recorder and Tony Abbott-appointed former Fair Work Commission Vice President, Michael Lawler. Jackson, Lawler and Smith were often known to share a bottle of the non-cleanskin variety, sometimes with unforeseen consequences when it went to their head in more ways than one.

One of Jackson’s other shock-jock cheerleaders who won’t be cheering is Ray Hadley, who has been sorting out some issues of his own with his son. Hadley became known for his bullying behaviour when, like many bullying bosses who are often overcome by anger, he forgot mobile phones have the ability to record conversations without the need for Lawler-style contortions.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton – a man known for his compassion to those suffering from mental health issues depending on their geographical location – praised Ray Hadley and his son Daniel for shining a light on the mental health issues within the police force.

During an interview, Dutton told Hadley:

"I think it's a credit to you and the Hadley family that you're able to turn this very unfortunate circumstance, that's had the appropriate outcome, into what will be good for broader society."

Daniel Hadley, who – much like his father – has faced several allegations of bullying behaviour, had drug charges against him dismissed on 13 December on mental health grounds.

Outside Parramatta Court, Dan and Dad faced the media, where Ray Hadley said of his son:

“We had no idea he was battling mentally with these issues… ”

Ain’t hindsight a wonderful thing?

Daniel Hadley, it would appear, was a coked-up cop with a badge, a gun and an allegedly notorious attitude problem that dated back to his days in the police academy. While cocaine is widely known as a party drug and not a drug usually associated with post-traumatic stress, we can only hope Daniel Hadley is getting the help he requires.

In fact, there's a place on the NSW south coast that comes highly recommended.

If you are suffering from issues involving mental health or drug-related issues help is available through organisations Beyond Blue and Lifeline.

Peter Wicks is a Federal Labor Party staffer. You can follow Peter on Twitter @madwixxy.

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