New evidence from Slater and Gordon shreds GILLARD's claim she was incorporating an election fund for boyfriend Bruce Wilson
TURC Commissioner Heydon on Gillard's evidence:
If just allowances are made, all important parts of her evidence fall into two categories. One category is those parts which can be accepted positively. The other category is those parts which have not been demonstrated to be incorrect.
This is one of Commissioner Heydon's positive findings in relation to Gillard's evidence:
"The purpose of the Australian Workers' Union - Workplace Reform Association Inc. was perceived by Julia Gillard to be to 'formalise arrangements between a team of officials who had an intention of running together at the next election [and] enable them to fund raise to support that re-election campaign'."
"There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of her perception."
Yes there is. And it matters. Commissioner Heydon referred others for criminal prosecution for their roles in this matter. His decision to give GILLARD the benefits of some sliver of doubt should now be revisited.
New material which hasn't been made public until today puts Gillard's evidence into quite considerable doubt.
In her sworn oral evidence to the TURC, GILLARD said this of the AWU Workplace Reform Association:
Q. Mr Wilson raised it with you?
A. Mr Wilson raised with me wanting to have a fund in Western Australia that would support him and his team and their re-election in Western Australia and, you know, regularising arrangements amongst the team.
As we all know, Wilson and his team already had such a fund. What hasn't been widely known until today is that Slater and Gordon gave Wilson legal advice on establishing it.
Here's the Slater and Gordon journal for the work - note the date it was printed, 14 August, 1995 - the last day GILLARD worked at Slaters and the day on which Nick Styant Browne and Geoff Shaw interviewed her.
On 14 January 1991 Wilson/Gillard completed the "stalking" of Joe Keanan with a deal for Wilson to replace him. Here's the relevant Minutes of the AWU WA Branch:
Wilson's Members Team Election Fund file was opened at Slater and Gordon on 29 January 1991, just a fortnight after the deal for Wilson to replace Keanan was struck.
Recall that Wilson had no authority to engage lawyers on behalf of the AWU.
The client contact address for the work is given as 562 Little Bourke Street Melbourne. And who's address might that be?
Commissioner Heydon was not directed to any of this material.
It shreds Gillard's credibility.
Heydon found she was sincere in her perception that the AWU WRA's incorporation was to 'formalise arrangements between a team of officials who had an intention of running together at the next election [and] enable them to fund raise to support that re-election campaign'.
If that was so, then the incorporated entity would have taken on the assets, bank accounts, members, rules and payroll deduction cash flows from the February 1991 election fund. It was all there in the Slater and Gordon file after all.
Heydon expressed bewilderment at how Gillard was remunerated for her legal work on Wilson's behalf - ie prior to the official September 1991 appointment of Slater and Gordon as the branch's lawyers.
He didn't need to look very far to find the answers.
Much of the work was finally billed in a September 1993 reconciliation - the timing of which coincides with the Mick Baker dismissal amid his letters to the branch formally seeking details of the leadership team's reelection fund!
There is much more to come on this issue.
When Slater and Gordon ceased to act for the AWU in September 1995, the firm claims to have forwarded all the AWU related files to the AWU itself.
It did nothing of the sort.
Files like the payroll fund, the rules based work, dubious staff dismissals and perhaps most distressing of all the Fatality and Death Benefits Fund were hidden away, retained by Slater and Gordon and kept secret.
The contents of those files will cause GILLARD and others severe embarrassment and should result in criminal charges.