The Australian newspaper today publishes this report by the very well connected Christian Kerr
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.
The royal commission replaces an election commitment for a judicial inquiry into the Australian Workers Union.
Government sources said it would be inappropriate to proceed in this direction, given current court action involving the one-time boyfriend of former prime minister Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson, and the operation of the AWU Workplace Reform Association in the early 1990s.
The Australian understands the commission will have wide-ranging powers.
Sources indicated it could cause severe embarrassment for a range of senior Labor figures.
Particularly if amorous ogling by large tattooed armed robbers in the showers causes discomfort.
This week Senator Eric Abetz told the Senate:
And yesterday Bob Kernohan gave me his thoughts as he returned home to country Victoria from Melbourne. Bob caught up with a lot of old mates from the Trades Hall - he says there's a real sense of fear among some of them!
This statement from Bob KERNOHAN to the Australian Federal Police was made 12 years ago.