Craig Thomson (politician)
|Member of the Australian Parliament
24 November 2007 – 7 September 2013
|Preceded by||Ken Ticehurst|
|Succeeded by||Karen McNamara|
|Born||Craig Robert Thomson
31 July 1964
Wellington, New Zealand
|Political party||Independent (2012–2013)|
Zoe Arnold (m. 2011)
|Alma mater||University of New South Wales|
Craig Robert Thomson (born 31 July 1964) is a New Zealand-born Australian trade unionist and politician who was elected to the House of Representatives as member for the Division of Dobell, New South Wales, for the Australian Labor Party at the 2007 federal election. In April 2012 he announced his intention to sit on the crossbench as an independent member of parliament. Thomson lost his seat at the 2013 federal election.
Early life and education
Thomson was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and raised in Bathurst, New South Wales. He was educated at the University of New South Wales, where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He later completed a law degree at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Thomson started his career representing hospital and ambulance workers in New South Wales as an industrial officer for the Health and Research Employee Association (HREA). He became head of the HREA Industrial Department. He was subsequently elected to the position of Assistant Secretary.
In 2002, Thomson was elected as the National Secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU), a trade union with which the HREA had merged. During his term at the union it was rebranded as a united federal union and the state branches adopted similar names and logos.
Use of credit cards
In December 2008, auditors engaged by the Health Services Union alleged improper use of Thomson's union-issued corporate credit card. Thomson denied all allegations of wrongdoing, stated that an independent audit had not identified any inappropriate use of the card, noted that other people would have been able to incur charges on the account, and said the accusations had been fabricated by rivals within the HSU.
Fair Work Australia, the federal workplace relations tribunal, conducted a three-year investigation into improprieties in the use of union funds which they tabled in the Senate on 7 May 2012. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are continuing investigations, but Thomson said he was not one of the five people of interest. On 15 October 2012 Fair Work Australia launched civil proceedings against Thomson related to his use of HSU funds. Thomson stated that he would contest these charges.
On 24 October 2012 members of the NSW Police conducted a search of Thomson's residence and electorate office on the Central Coast. Eight officers loaded vehicles with computers and five large boxes of evidence. Thomson said the search was "routine" and "They took a couple of documents, I volunteered a couple of documents." Thomson was arrested at his Central Coast electorate office on 31 January 2013. He is facing 173 fraud and theft charges relating to his time at the Health Services Union. NSW Police carried out the arrest warrant on the request of the Victoria Police. Thomson was granted bail and is required to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court in early February. Thomson denied the allegations, and said that he would be "vigorously defending these charges."
In December 2011, The Sydney Morning Herald alleged that Thomson had plagiarised internet sources, including Wikipedia, when tabling a report to parliament after an overseas trip. The report in question was unsigned and undated in its cover letter.
Until August 2011, Thomson was the Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics as well as a member of the Privileges Committee and the Petitions Committee. As chair of the economics committee Thomson oversaw inquiries into bank competition and a second report into productivity in Australia.
As Member for Dobell, he was investigated by Fair Work Australia for nearly four years over allegations that he used his Health Services Union credit card for improper purposes. In April 2012 Thomson asked to be suspended from the Labor Party after a discussion with the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and announced his intention to sit on the crossbench as an independent member of parliament. He recontested his seat at the 2013 election, but lost to the Liberals' Karen McNamara.
Thomson has been married three times, first when employed as an industrial officer at HREA, then to Christa, and then, on 21 January 2011, to Zoe Arnold, a radio newsreader and media advisor. The couple have two daughters, Matilda, born in July 2009, and, Adelaide, born in September 2011.
- "Member for Dobell, New South Wales". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Senators and Members, by Date of Birth". The 42nd Parliament. Parliamentary Library. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010[dead link].
- "Commonwealth of Australia Legislative Election 24 November 2007". Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Embattled Thomson suspended from Labor Party". Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 29 April 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012 (updated)
- Metherell, Mark (9 April 2009). "'Country boy from Bathurst' a rising star in Canberra". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Jacobsen, Geesche (4 February 2001). "Ambulance Officers On Strike Alert". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Mr Craig Thomson MP Dobell". ABC News. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Craig Thomson union credit card rort paid for brothels". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Lane, Sabra. "Fair Work report finds Thomson misused union funds". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "I am not a person of interest: Thomson". AAP. 4 October 2012.
- "Michael Williamson arrested and charged over hindering HSU probe". News.com.au. 4 September 2012.
- Cullen, Simon (15 October 2012). "Fair Work begins court action against Thomson". ABC News. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Higgins, Ean; Vasek, Lanai (24 October 2012). "Craig Thomson 'defiant' as police raid home". The Australian. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- McClymont, Kate (24 October 2012). "Police raid Craig Thomson's home". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24October 2012.
- Farnsworth, Sarah (22 May 2013). "Carig Thomson faces 19 new charges". ABC News. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Craig Thomson arrested". ABC. 31 January 2013.
- http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-31/craig-thomson-arrested/4493722 Police arrest MP Craig Thomson on 150 fraud charges 31 January 2013.
- "Craig Thomson 'cut and pasted' report". news.com.au. 14 December 2011.
- "Labor MP excels at the cut and paste of world travel". Sydney Morning Herald. 15 December 2011.
- "Labor wins marginal Dobell". ABC News. 24 November 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Dobell MP Craig Thomson concedes defeat as Liberals look set to win Dobell and Robertson". Central Coast Advocate.
- Barnes, Denice "Bells ring out for MP and his bride" Central Coast Express Advocate, 26 January 2011
- Farr, Malcolm "Crean, Turnbull to miss Olley memorial after Abbott demands Thomson debate". news.com.au, 24 August 2011
- Barnes, Denice "Matilda waltzes into life of clearly besotted MP Craig Thomson". Central Coast Express Advocate, 5 August 2009
- Philips, Jesse; Silmalias, Linda (21 August 2011) "Thomson's pregnant wife: My week was 'hideous'", The Sunday Telegraph
- PDF (7396 KB)
- Timeline of HSU credit card affair.
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member for Dobell