Former federal MP Craig Thomson has been ordered to pay $458,000 for breaching the Fair Work Act.
The judgment was handed down in the Federal Court this morning and relates to Thomson’s improper use of union funds between 2003 and 2009.
Justice Christopher Jessup ordered Thomson to pay the Health Services Union $231,234 compensation, plus $146,937 in interest.
In addition, Thomson will also be required to pay a $80,000 fine to Fair Work.
Thomson spent tens of thousands of dollars on payments of hotels and the use of credit card for personal functions. He also spent the money on travel for him and his wife.
The money was also spent for his campaign to get elected as the federal member for Dobell, the court heard.
Justice Jessup said Thomson had improperly used the money and his position to gain personal advantage, to the detriment of the union.
Previously, the court has heard that Thomson had no capacity to pay any fines.
The Health Services Union said it was pleased with the judgement.
Fair Work Commission general manager Bernadette O’Neill said the decision sent a message about improper use of funds.
“I am particularly pleased that this decision recognises the impact of Mr Thomson’s actions on the union’s membership by the awarding of compensation to the HSU,” she said in a statement.
“Today’s decision sends a clear message to all officers of registered organisations that a failure to meet their obligations under the Fair Work Registered Organisations Act 2009 is a serious issue and will be treated accordingly.”
Thomson was the National Secretary of the HSU from August 2002 to December 2007.
In December last year Thomson escaped a jail term after being found guilty of 13 charges of theft against the HSU but was fined $25,000.
He was acquitted of 51 charges, which were the majority of offences against him.
– More to come