Gillard's co-ordinated activity with Slater and Gordon to concoct a false statement made to her benefit
Nothing at all. Here's a piece of Hedley Thomas's report
Gillard's office bats away FOI request
- BY:HEDLEY THOMAS
- From:The Australian
- February 05, 2013 12:00AM
JULIA Gillard's office is blocking the release under Freedom of Information laws of a raft of documents generated by key staff and other taxpayer-funded officials last year in relation to the Australian Workers Union fraud scandal.
The documents include internal briefing papers, media-management strategies and correspondence with media executives and journalists. All of the material sought is directly related to the Prime Minister's handling of the controversy that dogged her in the second half of last year.
Several of Ms Gillard's most trusted advisers, including her communications director John McTernan, chief of staff Ben Hubbard and her then senior media adviser Sean Kelly, were directly involved in monitoring and managing fallout from the AWU revelations.
The staff research and advice also helped inform two media conferences, in August and November last year, in which Ms Gillard made statements and responded to questions about her role in providing legal advice to help her then client and boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, set up a union slush fund.
Gillard, her staff and Slater and Gordon were clearly in dialogue on the weekend of 18/19 August last year. Slater and Gordon's media statement makes that point:
the firm has received permission from the Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, a former salaried partner, to set out details of her employment history with Slater & Gordon.
What was released, however, in the Slater and Gordon statement was a concocted and false statement, a lie. The lie was to the personal benefit of Gillard and to the detriment of Slater and Gordon and the truth. The concocted statement says that Gillard resigned for the purpose of pursuing a seat in the senate. Here is the statement of the firm's 1995 Managing Director, Peter Gordon describing the events of the time that Gillard left the firm.
It is no secret and it has never been, that the firm’s senior partner in 1995, Bernard Murphy, fell out with the rest of the Slater& Gordon partnership over the Cheryl Harris-Ian Smith case and subsequently the AWU/ Bruce Wilson matters. That falling out was irreparable and we ultimately went our separate ways
.......Likewise, it is no secret that Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard left the firm in late 1995 in circumstances where their relationship with the equity partnership group had become fractured, and trust and confidence evaporated. Mr Murphy’s partners had abiding and deeply felt concerns about his handling of the Cheryl Harris case. We also had concerns about various aspects of the way in which Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard had acted with regard to Mr Wilson and the AWU. We felt that a number of matters required explanation and we were concerned as to whether they had acted consistently with their obligations of utmost good faith with regard to their partners.
......The partnership considered terminating Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard. It is fair to say that Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard also developed considerable antipathy towards the other partners and made their unhappiness clear as to what they saw as our failure to understand their position and to support them. It was clear the relationships had broken down irretrievably.
....Ms Gillard elected to resign and we accepted her resignation without discussion.
The statement made by Slater and Gordon managing director Andrew Grech on 19 August last year is concocted. Taken with Gillard's public statements of good relations with the firm and the timing of Grech's statement, there ought to be a reasonable suspicion that the concocted and false statement is the result of communications between its beneficiary (Gillard) and the firm which falsely produced it.
Gillard's further actions to conceal that communication by improperly blocking Hedley's application under Australia's FOI laws speak volumes about the nature of those communications and what would be revealed if the FOI application was met.