Turnbull "Corrupt deals in construction industry threaten economy" - what are you going to do about this one?

We first published this article just over a year ago on 

Ralph's actions and the invoices didn't deceive Thiess.

The way police have charged Ralph, they have to prove that Thiess only paid out "by fraud".

“By” is a word importing causation.

What Blewitt did was dishonest and involved a falsehood but that had no influence on causing Theiss to make the payments.

Put another way the dishonesty was not engaged in with the intention of deceiving(or defrauding) Theiss.

It was engaged in to deceive third parties and Theiss was a willing partner in this.

I can see this matter being run against Blewitt and lost, and that fact used as an excuse to leave Wilson et al alone completely?

Theiss, Jukes, Trio, Albrecht, Ludwig and Gillard have a lot at stake here. 

If Blewitt wins by showing Theiss’ involvement a lot of money and reputations are going down the shitter.

Wilson will be essential in showing this so he should get his day in court no matter what.

The Prosecution will try to get a conviction based on what Ralph has already said.

That will avoid them calling anyone.

It will have to be Ralph that pulls them in and then tries to show they are “hostile” so they can be cross examined.

It’s a parody of justice without the humour. Farcical is too mild a description.

Every touch leaves its trace.

Five minutes is all you'll need to understand why fraud charges against Ralph Blewitt were never going to succeed.

This is the classic trade union secret commission/bribery/corruption case.  And it's gone unpunished for more than 25 years.

Well Prime Minister?  What are you going to do about it?

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We've had quite a few comments on Ralph Blewitt's arrest and the 31 fraud charges he'll answer in court next Wednesday -"Perhaps its softly softly to get the ball rolling", "Maybe that's just Ralph's share of it????" and the like. 

If only that were so.

The charges against Ralph are much more than just getting the ball rolling, or taking it softly softly at the start - they're fundamental to the way the crimes in the AWU Scandal are dealt with.  And these charges against Ralph have broader implications for union corruption in general.

The charges excuse Thiess from involvement in any wrong-doing and position the company and its employees as victims, unwitting, unknowing and innocent.  Further they isolate wrong doing to a single individual and protect the union's national leadership and legal advisors.

We've just had a a $60M Royal Commission, a protracted and bitter campaign to bring back the construction industry watch dog, a double dissolution election and the creation of an ongoing multi-agency/multi-police force trade union task force.

On 9 April 2016 Prime Minister Turnbull said, "Union corruption threatens the nation's future prosperity. The threat from union power in the construction industry is flowing across the whole economy."  

He was speaking of improper inflation of construction costs and sweetheart agreements through which monies are siphoned from construction contracts to unions or union officials.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 4.17.32 amThere is ample evidence that is precisely what Thiess and Ludwig's AWU agreed when Thiess was awarded the Dawesville Channel $60M construction contract and the Melbourne Water maintenance outsourcing.

Paul Darrouzet was the HR/Industrial Relations manager for Thiess during the time of the Dawesville Channel and Melbourne Water contracts.

In February 1993 the Kennett Government called for tenders from contractors to outsource Melbourne Water's maintenance work.  One key requirement of tenderers was a demonstrated ability to engage in workplace reform and enterprise bargaining.

Thiess won the contract and was so proud of its "special arrangement" with the AWU that it produced a glossy full page write up about it in the company's 1992/93 Annual Report.

Here's a readable extract:

Continue reading "Turnbull "Corrupt deals in construction industry threaten economy" - what are you going to do about this one?" »

The dropped charges against Ralph Blewitt make the news today

The Australian's today published a matter-of-fact report about WA authorities withdrawing the charges against Ralph Blewitt.

Maybe I'm too close to this saga but I have to ask - WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

We had a royal commission, a Victoria Police task force, a national AFP/state police task force, a double-dissolution federal election, several pieces of new legislation, new federal bodies to keep unions on the straight and narrow - and yet the withdrawal of the only charges laid in the grand-daddy of contemporary union-related bribery/extortion/secret commission schemes hardly raises an eyebrow??????????

Where's a fully-informed Turnbull, Cash, Laundy, Porter or other political leader to express  the community's outrage - and to promise something will be done about it?

The idea that Ralph Blewitt tricked construction giant Thiess into paying for thin-air (disguised as training) was always laughable.

The truth is that Thiess executives along with Wilson, Gillard, Ludwig, Blewitt and others were involved in secret commission payments.

Turnbull's Liberal Party dedicates a whole section of its platform to the issue of union corruption - https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan/union-accountability 

According to the Turnbull government, corruption and other union thuggery "adds 30% to the costs of schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure".


He's strong on videos, lots of high-falootin' statements - but when the grand-daddy of union corruption schemes has been staring our leaders in the face for years, they run and hide like frightened children.

Here's Brad Norrington's story today:


AWU slush fund case against Ralph Blewitt dropped

Former AWU official Ralph Blewitt. Picture: Colin Murty
Former AWU official Ralph Blewitt. Picture: Colin Murty
  • The Australian

Fraud charges against confessed union “bagman” Ralph Blewitt have been dropped, signalling the possible end of an Australian Workers Union slush fund saga that has dogged Julia Gillard and former boyfriend Bruce Wilson for more than two decades.

Prosecutors said 31 fraud charges against Mr Blewitt that were due to be heard in Perth Magistrates Court would be discontinued because there was little prospect of conviction.

Mr Blewitt was Mr Wilson’s union sidekick in the mid-1990s when he led AWU branches in Western Australia and Victoria, and was involved in an alleged AWU slush fund that received hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by construction companies.

A scandal over how the money was spent led to Mr Wilson’s ­abrupt exit from the union. He was recommended in the 2015 royal commission into union corruption to face criminal prosecution.

The scandal also simmered in the background throughout Ms Gillard’s political career, including when she was Labor prime minister, because as a young solicitor with Melbourne-based law firm Slater & Gordon she had used her legal expertise to help set up the AWU Workplace Association for Mr Wilson in the 1990s when they were a couple.

While Ms Gillard was later found to have committed no wrongdoing legally, and was not recommended for prosecution by royal commissioner Dyson Heydon, she was criticised for her conduct as a solicitor.

It was also accepted by the royal commission that some slush fund money was used by Mr Wilson to help pay for renovations on her house. Ms Gillard’s involvement in helping to set up the fund, and other issues, contributed to her exit from Slater & Gordon before she entered parliament.

Mr Blewitt was angry yesterday about the outcome of the prosecution, saying he believed the case had collapsed because “political strings were pulled ­behind the scenes”.

Mr Blewitt said he was most disappointed because he had wanted the prosecution to proceed so he could call Mr Wilson, Ms Gillard and a former Slater & Gordon solicitor Brendan Murphy, now a Federal Court judge, to give evidence. He wanted all ­details of the case aired in court.

He was also disappointed the original prosecution was to have gone ahead in a Victorian court before being shifted to Perth where the slush fund was set up.

Although Mr Blewitt has ­repeatedly admitted his involvement, he had pleaded not guilty to all 31 fraud charges because he said he was “purely and simply a bagman”.

He said yesterday he should have been more appropriately charged with “receiving secret commissions, which would have got up”.

But he said he would have pleaded not guilty to any such charges as well because he was a “stooge” in the scandal.

Mr Blewitt has been on bail since he was charged with fraud in March last year. He said he had spent $13,000 of his own funds travelling from his home in ­Malaysia to court hearings in Perth that he could not afford as a pensioner.

With the Blewitt prosecution case shut down, legal observers have doubts that a prosecution against Mr Wilson will proceed as recommended by the royal commission.

The only likely court action that could proceed at this stage is a private civil case that blogger and former radio broadcaster Michael Smith is seeking to bring against Ms Gillard in a Melbourne court. The future of that proposed case is unclear.

Deweaponised road warrior in need of new computer!

Last night we had a death in the family of this website (I would have said website with an apostrophe s but for reasons that will become obvious my communicative abilities are somewhat compromised).


That is the now deceased 4 year old (about 105 inhuman years) machine that has brought us all millions of words, videos and pictures.

i am sorry that she is upside down - I have purchased an iPad today so as to have some ability to post stuff, but using it involves pecking with two fingers, each like a chook.

Manipulating photos is currently beyond us - as is sustaining the patience with this little device for more than a few frustrating moments!

to do what we need to do I will have to replace “old glory” the dead MacBook.

will you help?

you can use the PayPal icon to the right, or th NAB details below

thank you

Michael Smith

National Australia Bank

bsb 084855

ac 537650476


Tortuous travel today ahead of a decisive few months in court


On the move today so posts will be light.

On Friday the self-confessed bagman for Wilson/Gillard/Ludwig's secret commission schemes appears in Perth's District Court for the first time.

Ralph Blewitt is facing trumped up charges that allege he alone deceived corporate construction giant Thiess into believing it received training services from the secret sham entity Gillard set up.

Even though the invoices were backdated 4 months when the scheme started.

Even though the invoices continued for 8 months after construction on Thiess's building site finished.

Even though Thiess hastily closed the vendor-code for the "AWU - Workplace Reform Association Inc" when the WA Corporate Affairs Commission initially rejected the application for incorporation.

Even though Thiess then made out cheques directly to the AWU - but redirected the cheques to Wilson's secret post office box.

Even though Thiess paid GILLARD's secret incorporated entity hundreds of thousands of Victorian taxpayer dollars under a Kennett Government outsourcing contract for Melbourne Water.

Even though Thiess appointed GILLARD's best friend Robyn McLeod and their boyfriend Bruce WILSON as directors of the board of a Thiess company.

Even though Thiess then directly employed Robyn McLeod - and even though McLEOD's hand-written initials are written on a slush fund invoice approving payment from Thiess.

Even though Thiess cheques from the Kennett contract were still paid out to the GILLARD/WILSON slush fund 5 months after Wilson and Blewitt left the AWU.

Even though former Slater and Gordon lawyer Bernard Murphy (now Judge Murphy, appointed by "Julia, you bloody beauty") made hand-written notes on formal legal files confirming Wilson's confession to secret commission crimes.

Even though now Victorian Solicitor for Public Prosecutions John Cain Jr hand-wrote a letter to the Commonwealth Bank falsely claiming the AWU did not own $160,000 and asking the bank to give the money to Wilson and another official.

Even though Cain as the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions declined to lay charges in Victoria.

Even though all of those things are facts and have happened - BLEWITT's the only person facing trial.

For now.

He will call many, many witnesses.

He has a legal team well supported with enthusiastic helpers who were close to the crimes.

Former policemen, corporate officials, senior public servants, hand-writing experts, lawyers and the best team of investigators in every conceivable discipline - you, the readers of and contributors to this website.

So a very important few months lie ahead of us.

Every touch leaves its trace.


It was a privilege to speak with this young Indonesian woman and her Catholic friend from Surabaya

Last week 27 people were killed and about 50 wounded in 5 ISIS linked terrorist bombings in the Indonesian city of Surabaya.

The bombers came from 3 families and included children as young as 9.

The attacks started last Sunday when 3 Christian Churches were hit in suicide attacks.

Yesterday I was introduced to some Indonesian people from Surabaya - including a young Catholic woman whose community had been targeted by the bombers.

I spoke with Ratna, a 20 year old university student about Catholic friend, her home and how the bombings have affected them.

The past week has been the deadliest in Indonesia since 2002.

The future of that country and the security of our region depends on more and more people thinking, speaking and acting like young Ratna.

What an inspiring young woman - proud to be seen out and about with her Catholic friend, and with the guts to stand up to hardline Islamists and tell them they are wrong.

Indonesia could do with a couple of hundred million more like her!

Indonesia bought $400M worth of attack helicopters last week - while we delivered $320M in aid

Boeing sells the Apache AH 64E for about $48M AUD.

This week Indonesia took delivery of 8 of them - not far shy of $400M in one order.

It's a bit galling to know that Australia will send Indonesia about $320M in foreign aid this year - the US gives about half that amount.

But Boeing executives are popping the champagne corks, Indonesia's TNI is thrilled, the US embassy people couldn't be happier - and poor old Australian taxpayers are left shaking their heads.

Here's Indonesia's TNI with their media statement:

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(Puspen TNI). The Army received eight units of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters made in the United States. The acceptance, marked by the handover of AH-64E Apache helicopters symbolically from the Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu to TNI Commander Marshal TNI Hadi Tjahjanto, SIP Represented Aslog Commander TNI Laksda TNI Ir. Bambang Nariyono, MM, held in Army Air Force Army Ahmad Yani, Semarang, Central Java, Wednesday (05/16/2010).

Meanwhile, the signing of the news report of the handover of eight Apache units was done by Kemhan RI Kabarahan Laksda TNI Agus Setiadji, SAP, Aslog Commander TNILaksda TNI Ir.Bambang Nariyono, MM, Aslog Kasad Major General Irwan, and Danpuspenerbad Maj. Gen. Stephanus Tri Mulyono witnessed by the Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, General Chief of TNI Mulyono and Deputy Chief of the United States Government Representative. Closing the sequence of acceptance of the eight Apache, was carried out symbolically by Minister of Defense RI, Aslog Commander of TNI and Kasad, by watering flowers to the airframe.


The US is doing pretty well out of the deal!


And it's hard to resist the comparison between the money we send to Indonesia and the money Indonesia sends to Boeing - who needless to say think Indonesia is just great!

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