News

Thomson spent $5793 on sex: report

FEDERAL MP Craig Thomson has been accused by a Fair Work Australia report of using $452,000 in union funds for everything from escorts to running a political campaign.

Mr Thomson has stood down from the Labor Party as the examination continues into his behaviour while national secretary of the Health Services Union from 2002.

In the Fair Work Australia report, Mr Thomson is alleged to have spent $5793 on prostitutes, including $418 at a high-class Sydney brothel when he visited for the ALP National Conference.

The Tiffany's brothel, with a motto We'll love you always, charges $400 per hour - for a minimum of three hours - for the use of an escort.

Based on this rate, which is the most costly at the establishment, Mr Thomson allegedly accrued the equivalent of 14 hours worth of service.

This alleged spending was on credit cards paid for by union dues taken from health workers.

In his time as national secretary, Mr Thomson was accused of having spent $267,720 on his electoral campaign leading up to the 2007 election.

He allegedly withdrew $103,338 in cash and a further $73,849 on wining and dining.

Mr Thomson is alleged to having withdrawn a final $1425 on the same credit cards after he resigned from his post.
The Member for Dobell in New South Wales repeatedly has said expenses were used in the line of business.

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten told ABC's 7.30 program the report was "incredibly disturbing", but said "a few rotten apples" should not taint the entire union movement.

He said Mr Thomson deserved the presumption of innocence.

"We owe it to the members of this union to resolve all of the investigations and what court processes have to happen will have to happen," Mr Shorten said.

"As minister I want to see the process finished. There are deficiencies in the law; we'll rectify them."

"I've got also no doubt - and I know that the trade union movement and the Government unanimously have a view - that you've got to have appropriate penalties for individuals who are found to do the wrong thing and that the penalties will need be lifted."

Topics:  craig thomson fair work australia health services union



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