For those who intend to watch a former Prime Minister try to defend the indefensible in the Royal Commission into Unions today here’s a brief précis of what Julia Gillard and her union thug boyfriend, Bruce Wilson were up to.
Julia Gillard was sacked as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon for good reason. She had lied to the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner (using the bona fides of her law firm) to incorporate the fraudulent “AWU Workplace Reform Association” to enable extorted funds to be paid from construction companies who understandably thought they were paying the AWU.
The funds never reached the AWU, which incredibly at the time was a major client of Gillard’s law firm. Another 12 fraudulent bank accounts were set up using the AWU Workplace Reform Association bank account as the principal account.
Approximately $1.3 million was paid into these false accounts in Melbourne and Perth during the early 90s. Sums of up to $50,000 were regularly withdrawn in cash.
The money was laundered by purchasing houses in Melbourne and Perth, and by paying cash for renovations. The houses were then resold at a profit.
Julia Gillard’s Abbottsford house and Wilson’s Fitzroy property were being renovated at the same time when suddenly the cash payments to the renovators stopped and they complained to the AWU… the entity they thought was paying them.
Of course the AWU wanted to know what the hell was going on and Gillard raced into Slater & Gordon offices with receipts, but her receipts didn’t prove anything except that the renovators had previously been paid.
Gillard was caught red handed and she and equity partner Bernard Murphy (who as Prime Minister Gillard later promoted to the Federal Court Bench) had to leave hurriedly.
Justice Bernard Murphy lied to the Commission when he said yesterday that he didn’t know of the scam until three years after he and Gillard had departed Slater & Gordon.
Police investigations have been frustrated with Joe Trio, who was boss of Thiess Constructions and Wilson’s brother-in-law, Bill Shorten and Bill Ludwig of the AWU all refusing to co-operate.
This incredible story has more twists and turns than Rome’s catacombs and it will take all the guile and skill of Counsel Assisting the Commissioner, Jeremy Stoljar, to break Gillard’s claim of, “I did nothing wrong”.
She may never be charged but the truth will eventually prevail and, after she leaves the witness box today, the many people she has hurt along the way will sleep a little better tonight.
Gillard was not young and naive at the age of 32 and this union scam she financially benefited from could never have occurred without her criminal complicity.
Stoljar had not done his homework, Galbally should have stayed in bed and Gillard lied through her teeth… but she had her ducks in order. Wilson is still clearly under her spell and other witnesses had changed their evidence overnight to suit Gillard’s account of events.
Slater & Gordon don’t sack staff for no reason and for Gillard to say she didn’t know what the fraudulent association and bank accounts were for indicates she is either extremely dumb or a very good liar.
Wilson has so far been successful in claiming privilege over Slater & Gordon files but the question must be asked, if he and Gillard have nothing to hide, why then has privilege been claimed?
Jeremy Stoljar avoided going for Julia’s exposed jugular and he may have good reasons for doing so because Vicpol has had 12 detectives shadowing Wilson and Gillard for the past for 18 months and may not wish to telegraph their punches.
An awful lot was missing from Stoljar’s examination today and I for one was expecting critical questions that never came. But history shows that lawyers never like interrogating lawyers, perhaps they imagine themselves in the same dock one day.
It’s just as well 12 fraud squad detectives won’t feel the same way.