Bruce Wilson

Political backhanders from the unions

The Royal Commission into union corruption rumbles onwards and Julia Gillard is under the hammer with allegations of backhanders and dodgy union funding.

This was all hushed up by Gillard when she was Prime Minister, including the bullying of journalists who were investigating this story.

Now the truth is coming out…this promises to be spectacular.

A BUILDER who renovated Julia Gillard’s Melbourne home says she told him that her then boyfriend, former union official Bruce Wilson, was paying for the work.

Athol James also said during sworn evidence to a royal commission today that he saw Mr Wilson hand to Ms Gillard “wads of notes” that amounted to a “large amount of cash” on at least two occasions, and she said she would pay him by cheque as Mr Wilson brought the cash.

The evidence to the royal commission into union corruption from Mr James directly contradicts the former Labor prime minister’s claims over the years that she paid for the renovations in the early 1990s herself.

The commission is investigating corruption allegations including the claim that money to pay for Ms Gillard’s home renovations was given to her by her then boyfriend, Australian Workers Union official Bruce Wilson, and that he took it from a union slush fund he had set up with the assistance of legal advice from Ms Gillard.  Read more »

Busting union ratbags

The Abbott government in Australia has announced a royal commission to look into ratbag unions.

Given the parlous state of union accounts and law breaking here it is certainly something John Key should be looking at doing.

THE Abbott government will establish a royal commission into union malfeasance in the new year.

Terms of reference are under development but The Australian understands the inquiry will focus on slush funds and examine union financial management and financial control.

It is expected to be approved at one of the first cabinet meetings of next year.  Read more »

More sleaze for Gillard

Julia Gillard is suffering the proverbial death by a thousand cuts as her previous life as a union fixers is getting unpacked:

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard knew about a $150,000 Slater and Gordon mortgage for a property used by union fraudster Bruce Wilson more than two years before the date she admitted to knowing about it in an interview with the firm’s management, a former senior partner claims.

In the latest revelation in the Australian Workers Union scandal, Nick Styant-Browne also revealed there was “deep disquiet” among S&G’s top-tier management about some of Ms Gillard’s conduct as a lawyer acting for the AWU.

And pressure on the Prime Minister over her role in the 17-year-old union scandal is expected to intensify today when former AWU official Ralph Blewitt will meet Victorian fraud squad detectives to provide extensive information about the fraud, involving up to $1 million in misappropriated funds.

Mr Styant-Browne, speaking from his US home, told the ABC’s 7.30 program that he was speaking out to challenge a “stunningly incomplete account” by Slater and Gordon of Ms Gillard’s departure from the law firm in late 1995.

The lawyer released new documents, including previously unseen portions of the transcripts from Ms Gillard’s “exit” interview which he suggested challenged comments made by the PM to her former firm.

His claims revolve around a $150,000 mortgage provided by the law firm for the purchase of a Melbourne property in 1993. The Fitzroy property was purchased in the name of Ralph Blewitt, who subsequently signed a Power of Attorney to Mr Wilson. The document was witnessed by Ms Gillard, who was in a romantic relationship with the union fraudster from 1991 to 1995.

According to Mr Styant-Browne, Ms Gillard “claimed in the interview in 1995 that the first she heard about the Slater and Gordon loan for the acquisition of the Kerr Street property was in about August of (1995)”.

But he said documents showed there was “no doubt that Ms Gillard knew about the mortgage from Slater and Gordon in March of 1993 (and) was specifically involved in taking steps to facilitate that mortgage”.

“That is a matter of documents, it’s not a matter of assertion and hearsay,” he said.

Dodgy Unions slowly dragging down Gillard

The AWU scandal is slowly but surely dragging down Julia Gillard. The Australian Financial Review summarises:

Julia Gillard had reason to be feeling good when federal Parliament rose last week. The polls were continuing to improve for the Prime Minister and the ALP. The release of the Asian Century white paper finally gave a structure to the government’s agenda for the next election. Ms Gillard held the ascendancy in Parliament over Tony Abbott, who was facing his own pressures and demons.

But all was not well. Not only was the government in conflict with its cross benches about the budget, but the controversy over Gillard’s role in a 17-year-old union corruption scandal had been revived.

After a marathon press conference on August 23, the Prime Minister declared done and dealt with the saga of her role as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon in the establishment of a fund in 1992 by her then boyfriend, Australian Workers Union official Bruce Wilson, which Gillard believed to be for the purpose of his re-election but was subsequently alleged to have been used to corruptly siphon off $400,000.

She would deal with any questions journalists had about the matter at that press conference, she declared on the day, but after that the matter would be closed.

Unfortunately for Gillard, new material has emerged, the opposition has got it all, and there is a deep concern within the government that she remains both vulnerable to a renewed focus on the issue and dangerously resistant to discussing it with her colleagues.


Lying is naughty Julia

Julia Gillard has earned the nickname “Juliar” in Australia and with each passing day it sticks because of fresh allegations and evidence confirming the impression that Australia’s Prime Minister is an accomplished liar:

A TRADE union association from which hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen by a former boyfriend of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was only registered after Ms Gillard vouched for its legitimacy to authorities in Western Australia.

Ms Gillard – then a salaried partner with the law firm Slater & Gordon – wrote to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission in mid-1992 confirming that the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association was a legitimate organisation under WA law.

In August the Herald reported that Ms Gillard may have breached West Australian corporations law by her involvement in setting up an association for her then-boyfriend Bruce Wilson, a senior AWU official, because the application documents, lodged by then state secretary, Ralph Blewitt, for the association stated its purpose was the ”development of changes to work to achieve safe workplaces”.

During an investigation into her work by Slater & Gordon in 1995, Ms Gillard described the association as a ”slush fund” that would be used to bankroll union election campaigns.

The newly confirmed correspondence contradicts claims by Ms Gillard that she did no more than provide limited professional advice about establishing the association at the centre of the corruption scandal involving Wilson.

Another dodgy unionist

Australia seems infected with corrupt and dodgy unionists doing corrupt and dodgy things. I must only a matter of time before we start uncovering similar behaviours here.

RALPH BLEWITT, the former union official who wants to give evidence about the alleged rorting involving Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend, fled Indonesia in 2009 to avoid arrest after allegedly selling Australian expatriates land he did not own.

One couple, Deborah and Paul Storck, told the Herald from Lombok yesterday that Mr Blewitt still owed them $190,000 for land they thought they had purchased on Gili Gede, Lombok.

”He’s not a credible fellow,” Mrs Storck said. ”Be wary of anything he says. He still owes us a lot of money. Who does he think he is to bring up stuff from 17 years ago?”

Mrs Stork spoke out after reading that Mr Blewitt, formerly a branch head for the Australian Workers Union, was seeking immunity from prosecution in return for breaking his silence on the affair from 17 years ago that is embroiling Ms Gillard again.

As a partner at Slater & Gordon in the early 1990s, Ms Gillard did legal work for the Australian Workers Union branch run by her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson.

He and Mr Blewitt were accused by the union of siphoning off hundreds of thousands of dollars destined for the union and placing it into accounts set up by Ms Gillard.