The Old Mates Act, Labor's Leadership Ballot and Horsley's guide to good meetings.
Tony Lang helped Julia Gillard out with the rules for the Socialist Forum in 1984.
Maybe Julia and Tony had a falling out at Slater and Gordon, because even though he's the expert, Julia neglected to seek his advice for her star client the AWU Boys when the time came for their slush fund to be inc-ed.
PETER GORDON: All right, well, let's talk about the AWU Workplace Reform Association Account. That account, as you've said, is an account which was the account belonging to an incorporated association by the same name which was incorporated by Slater & Gordon at (Bruce) Wilson's, on Wilson's instructions following your advice to him which you described earlier.
JULIA GILLARD: That's right.
PG: And that happened in or about mid-1992.
JG: That's right.
PG: And last Monday I think you gave to Paul Mulvaney a follow-up which demonstrates that Slater & Gordon had drafted model rules for, for that, had submitted those rules to the relevant Western Australian government authority, that there'd been a letter from the authority suggesting that it might be a trade union and therefore ineligible for incorporation under that legislation, and that we had prepared a response submitted on Wilson's instructions to that authority suggesting that in fact it wasn't a trade union and arguing the case for its incorporation. My recollection is that all of that happened in or about mid-1992. Is that right?
JG: I wouldn't want to be held to the dates without looking at the file, but whatever the dates the file shows are the right dates, so . . .
PG: Yes. And to the extent that work was done on that file in relation to that it was done by you?
JG: That's right.
PG: And did you get advice from anyone else in the firm in relation to any of those matters?
JG: No I didn't.
(Two pages redacted.)
PG: Did Tony Lang have anything to do with the model rules or the drafting of them?
JG: No, I obtained, I had just in my own personal precedent file a set of rules for Socialist Forum which is an incorporated association in which I'm personally involved. Tony Lang and I drew those rules some years ago. Tony more than me. And I've just kept them hanging around as something I cut and paste from for drafting purposes, and I obtained, I don't quite recall how now but I obtained the model rules under the WA act and I must have done the drafting just relying on those two sources. I don't have any recollection of sitting down with Tony or any other practitioner and talking through the draft of the rules.
PG: Do you recall whether when it was necessary to argue the case with the, with the relevant Western Australian authority, whether you consulted anyone else in the firm as to what would or would not get, become acceptable or appropriate?
JG: I once again don't recall talking to anybody else in the firm about it.
PG: Beyond that, and it seems from the file that after that letter it was successfully accepted as an incorporated association and duly was created and presumably accounts were set up. I should ask did we have anything to do with the setting up of the accounts or was that done by the officers of the incorporated association?
JG: Slater & Gordon didn't have anything, did not have anything to do with setting up bank accounts for that association. We attended to the incorporation.
PG: Can I ask you then following the last thing that we did to setting up the incorporation, which appears from the file to be the letter arguing that it ought to be not construed as a trade union, did you have anything personally to do with that incorporated association afterwards?
JG: No I did not.
PG: Right, to the best of your knowledge did anyone at Slater & Gordon?
JG: To my knowledge no one at Slater & Gordon had anything to do with it post that time.
Fancy having a guru like Tony in the firm and not even asking for his advice at the water cooler! Apparently, "the thinking behind incorporated associations" got done without Tony's help.
The thinking behind the forming of incorporated associations is that it had been our experience that if you did it in a less formal way, you just had someone, say Fred Bloggs, say, oh look, I'll just open a bank account and everybody can put the money into there, the problem developed that when the leadership team fractured, as relatively commonly happens, you got into a very difficult dispute about who was the owner of the monies in the bank account, so it was better to have an incorporated association, a legal entity, into which people could participate as members, that was the holder of the account.
I received a text tonight from an old mate who pointed out that Tony Lang, now looking the very model of a modern association law barrister (and author on the laws of meetings) is the ALP's National Returning Officer, responsible for the Shorten/Albanese leadership ballot!
Here's the SMH report:
The party's national returning officer, Melbourne barrister Mr Tony Lang, will count the broader membership vote at ALP national headquarters in Canberra on Friday and Saturday.
The parliamentary caucus members will gather in Canberra on Friday to cast their votes, which will then be sealed, uncounted, by the caucus returning officer, Chris Hayes, the Member for Fowler in Sydney.
Funny old world - where else could so many of the old and bold names just keep on popping up again like they do in Labor!
Remember Chris Hayes, former AWU official Chris Hayes? He's the bloke who counter-signed the bogus redundancy cheques!
You might be interested in refreshing your memory about Chris, I've put in a few links below.
Chris is now Labor's Federal Caucus Returning Officer. Under the new Rudd chaos theory method of leadership ballots, the duty of Caucus Returning Officer is not to count the votes. That would have to challenge every fibre in a good Labor man's being!
Well Bill and your former AWU colleague Chris, reckon you could enlighten us as to why the union never got its money back from Bruce?
You wouldn't read about it.