Is the Prime Minister a person of interest in the Victoria Police investigation into The AWU Scandal
I've been asked by a number of journalists whether the Prime Minister is being investigated by police for her conduct in relation to The AWU Scandal in the mid 1990s.
On 22 January Victoria Police released this statement from a spokesperson Leone Johnson:
"Victoria Police Fraud and Extortion Squad is currently investigating a complaint regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds from a union.
"As the matter is under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
A journalist colleague wrote to Victoria Police on 23 January, 2013 and asked who was under investigation and who had made statements. This is the on the record response from Victoria Police.
Victoria Police does not confirm who may or may not be under investigation or providing statements.
Adam West | Police Media Unit | Victoria Police
I lodged a report with the Chief Commissioner of Police on 17 October, 2012 naming Julia Gillard as the person who had apparently created a false document in the Power of Attorney used in the purchase of the Kerr Street property.
I am told that my report is still being investigated. Victoria Police itself has confirmed that its investigations now encompass "the alleged misappropriation of funds", an investigation that is broader now than the original report regarding the Power of Attorney document.
You will have seen reports of Victoria Police attending on Olivia Palmer in Queensland apparently for the purpose of taking detailed statements from Ms Palmer (nee Brosnahan). Ms Palmer was involved in the conveyance and mortgage of 1/85 Kerr Street Fitzroy and observed Ms Gillard's conduct first hand. Ms Brosnahan may have had direct dealings with Bruce Wilson or Ralph Blewitt, but the documents in the conveyance file show a much greater interaction between Ms Brosnahan and Ms Gillard.
It is difficult to see how detectives could gather a complete picture of what went on in The AWU Scandal without speaking to the Prime Minister. At present Mr Blewitt's version of how the Power of Attorney came to be created is the only public statement about the document. Ms Gillard has refused to answer questions from journalists, other than to say that she witnessed thousands of signatures/documents and she always did it properly.
Ms Gillard helped to create the documents that set up the AWU-WRA. She apparently helped to create the Power of Attorney document used in the house purchase and in the mortgage for 1/85 Kerr Street Fitzroy. She continued to act for Wilson right up to the time of his investigation by the union for alleged embezzlement of funds in some Victorian accounts. She did not disclose to the union or to police the existence of the WA based AWU-WRA, an entity that she could note "rule out" as the source of funds for her own home renovations.
I think that common sense would lead any reasonable person to say that the fresh investigation by Victoria Police into The AWU Scandal would be incomplete without hearing from Ms Gillard.