Over the next few days I’ll try to describe exactly what happened in the AWU scandal and why I think it’s important today.
You can read newspaper articles about it elsewhere. At the Police Academy we learnt that frauds
are investigated on the documents, the paperwork.
So in this blog I’m going to do my best to set out the documents that will explain what went on.
You can then form your own view about it.
I am in the debt of a former president of the AWU in Victoria, Bob Kernohan.
Bob Kernohan was a respondent in proceedings in the Australian Industrial Relations Court that followed the discovery of the AWU scandal. I’ve inspected Bob’s documents along with several lawyers now and I’m absolutely satisfied as to their authenticity.
I spoke with Bob for the first time one Friday afternoon last year. By the following morning Bob had emailed me enough scanned copies of court documents for me to know that his background on this matter was based in fact. Thanks Bob for your pursuit of the truth.
I’d also like to thank Harry Nowicki for his incredibly detailed investigations into this matter. Harry first joined Bob and me in November last year. He brings a forensic and experienced mind to the investigations. It’s Harry’s application to the WA and Victoria police that has elicited the documents that are marked Police FOI. Harry has been immensely generous and community-minded in working towards the truth.
I’ve never doubted Harry’s motivation for a moment from the first time I spoke to him last November. Harry is interested in a truthful, accurate public record on a matter of great public importance.
Bob’s motivation has been unwavering too – he wants the members of the union to get their money back. Bob’s story hasn’t changed from when he first started kicking up about the matter in the mid 1990s when Jullia Gillard was an obscure lawyer.
There’s no way that Bob is politically motivated. His story is simple – Ralph Blewitt and Bruce Wilson took off with about $540,000. If they were meant to keep that money some one should say so, otherwise why hasn’t anyone asked for it back?
And me – I had the best job I have ever known, the talkback job on radio 2UE. I’d interviewed Craig Thomson and elicited from him the admission that he was the bloke who authorised the Health Services Union paying for the brothel bills. Then lots more union people got in touch with me with stories like Craig’s, including tips about the AWU.
It broke my heart to lose that job. I was removed from my on-air position because of editorial differences over the AWU story. I wanted to broadcast it then and that desire has only grown.
So check this site out over the next few days as I add all the documents I have to set out what went on in the AWU scandal.