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Calls for disgraced former politician to be struck from solicitor’s roll

The former federal MP who was convicted of 12 counts of theft over a controversial scandal during his time as national secretary of the Health Services Union may have his practising certificate removed.

user iconEmma Musgrave 14 May 2018 Big Law
Parliament house, Craig Thomson
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Disgraced ex-politician Craig Thomson may be struck off after an application was launched against him by the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of NSW.

The application will argue that Mr Thomson should be charged with professional misconduct and found not to be a fit and proper person to remain on the Roll of Legal Practitioners, after failing to disclose his past convictions to the NSW Law Society when applying for a practising certificate in late 2016.


Mr Thomson held the title of national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) between 2003 and 2007. He was elected as the Labor member for Dobell in 2007, serving as MP until 2013.

In 2014, Mr Thomson was convicted of 12 counts of theft and fined $25,000 after he was found to have used union credit cards to pay for escorts and other personal expenses during his time in the HSU role.

Mr Thomson was later penalised a further $80,050 plus ordered to pay $378,180 in compensation to the HSU due to being found to have violated the Workplace Relations Act, according to Federal Court documents, dated 15 December 2015.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Thomson’s expenses included numerous brothel visits, over $3000 in personal travel, donations to charity, and “the employment of two staff ahead of the federal election who spent an estimated 15 per cent of their time on union business”.

“Further expenses on the union credit card included $54,641 relating to his election campaign, including $1,277.96 for a promotional bus, $18,733 for radio advertising and $7,253.17 for postage,” the Fairfax Media publication said.

The application to remove Mr Thomson from the roll will be heard by the Court of Appeal in July.

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