ROGUE UNION’S TRAIL OF DEATH – Sunday January 1 2012

– Murdered, maimed and missing – the list of Painters and Dockers rogues and victims reads more like a crime novel than a Cabinet submission.
Marked confidential, Submission 5731, released today by the National Archives, shows Cabinet was briefed on a roll call of rogues involved with the notorious waterside trade union.
It was linked to 15 murders and 23 acts of violence where death may have resulted.
They included Alfred “The Ferret” Nelson, whose body was never found but who was believed murdered.
His car was recovered from the Yarra River in 1971.
There was Patrick Chamings, shot dead in 1970 after a brawl behind Collingwood’s Vine Hotel, and Allan Johnston, who died after a fight at the Yarra Hotel.
Desmond Bernard Costello was shot dead, his body dumped near a freeway, and Rene Loftus was fatally struck by a car traced back to the Painters and Dockers.
Former state secretary of the union, Patrick Shannon, was shot dead at the Druids Hotel by Kevin James Taylor and Garry Harding, with union rival Billy “The Texan” Longley convicted over the hit.
Taylor was a busy man. He was later convicted of murdering Harding; stabbing him to death inside Pentridge, where they were serving sentences for murdering Shannon.
In October 1982, Cabinet papers also reveal that senior ministers called in the Australian Federal Police over claims a Victorian undertaker was telling his staff to leave when he sealed coffins in preparing to send them overseas.
Evidence taken in a confidential session by the Costigan Royal Commission revealed “the undertaker had on the premises blank death certificates”.
It was suspected the undertaker was being used to “dispose of bodies in a secret fashion”.
Former PM Bob Hawke was sickened by activities he says were “not only illegal but absolutely contrary to the principles of trade unionism”.
Other details in the cabinet submission show that Lawrence Chamings, brother of Patrick, was shot dead in 1973 at the Moonee Valley Hotel, Fitzroy, with an 11-year-old boy killed by accident at the same time.
The victims weren’t all blokes. June Thompson, a close associate of the Painters and Dockers, was shot in Melbourne in 1977. A Sydney native, her body was dumped at Webb Dock.
In 1979, walking to join the ship the “Lysaght Endeavour”, they shot Charles Reeves too.
Even being in custody was little protection; Raymond Chuck Bennett was shot dead in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court foyer.
The cabinet submission said the Costigan report had found the union had developed a code of violence and lawlessness.
Cabinet was told the Costigan report had found the government’s Australian National Line crews and facilities and Webb Dock were being used to import narcotics and firearms.
Ultimately, the affair led to the National Crimes Commission’s establishment -Samantha Maiden

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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