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The AWU Scandal - a quick synopsis

Everything I'll say here is backed up by various documents on the blog, conversations I've had with parties or other information that I believe to be true and able to be confirmed to the civil standard of proof in a court of law.

Bruce Wilson known to be a lawbreaker and to have breached court orders, 1980s.

Bill Ludwig and Bruce Wilson, joint ticket to head up the AWU, late 1980s.

Bruce Wilson hooks up with Julia Gillard, late 1991.

AWU and construction companies on the Board of the WA Govt Building and Construction Industry Training Fund 1991.

Conversations between Bruce Wilson and his brother in law Joe Trio, head of Thiess WA, regarding big grant available from BCITF, late 1991.

Bruce Wilson tries to incorporate an association re workplace reform early 1992.   Corporate affairs commissioner knocks him back (onversations with various people to back this up)

The Boulder conference takes place - Gillard present, discussion re-assuring AWU membership about transfer of insurance funds to Bruce's control.

Wilson and Blewitt fly to Melbourne early 1992, meet with Gillard.   Leave the forms there to register the Association with the "name" line not filled out.   Some further discussion between the lawyer girlfriend and the corporate affairs commissioner in WA.    Some correspondence.   Gillard gets the green light, fills out the "acceptable" name in her own handwriting, sends off the forms.   NO file opened at Slater and Gordon, no bill sent.

Immediately Wilson finds out (can only be from the girlfriend) that the green light is in, he starts filling out invoices, even before the corporate affairs commissioner has formally sent out the certificate.   Off go the invoices, in comes the money.

An MOU (formal) is agreed between The AWU and Thiess, talks about workplace reform and workplace reform advisers on site.

Thiess treats the creditor as the AWU in its internal financial systems.   Cheques go to the private post office box Wilson and Blewitt set up.

Ludwig puts Wilson into the Victorian AWU boss position.   Wilson moves to Victoria.   Wilson signs contract to buy house at Kerr Street Fitzroy (early 1993).

Power of Attorney later produced to put the purchase in the name of Blewitt.   POA used to apply for mortgage in Blewitt's name.   Mortgage approved. POA yet to surface publicly, Blewitt has now waived any privilege in it or the file, should be good when it's produced.

Gillard and Wilson are an item for the period 1991 - August, 1995.

The 1993 and 1994 Annual Reports for the BCITF report to the responsible Minister in glowing terms about the success of the MOU between Thiess and The AWU and the workplace-reform taking place at the Dawesville Cutting project.   It is crap.   No work at all took place.   The money went through Thiess's books to the sham association and then to cash cheques or the house.   Isn't anyone in government worried about that?   A whitewash review doesn't mention the scam.

Wilson involved in scammery in Victoria.   Melbourne Water similar deal to the Dawesville Cutting deal with Thiess in WA.   Several other scams result in money going into another account, AWU Members Welfare Association No 1.

Houses get renos etc.   Lots of cash comes out.   September 1993 a $50,000 cash withdrawal from AWU WRA - other withdrawals at that time suggest plane ticket purchases!

First few months 1995 - change of office holders in the AWU Victoria.   AWU Members Welfare Association rumbled, AWU-WRA still undiscovered.  Acccounts frozen, no one getting paid.  AWU-WRA still being operated.   New Account for Wilson/Blewitt opened, Construction Industry Fund.   Money from AWU-WRA goes into that account, Thiess told to send cheques to Construction Industry Fund and they do.

Wilson advised he will be charged internally and referred to police August 1995.   Goes away with his lawyer girlfriend, gets advice (conversation wtih Wilson).

17 August, 1995 - Wilson, Bob Smith (new secretary) Jim Collins, John Cain Jr and Slater and Gordon lawyer (?) attend the Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne.   Cheques made out to several building and construction companies returning funds.   Wilson leaves the union with a redundancy.   Seeks a "no further investigation" clause on his departure.   Accounts reopened.

11 September, Julia Gillard formally interviewed by partners Geoff Shaw and Peter Gordon.  The file on the AWU-WRA has been discovered and is produced in the interview.   Julia Gillard given her marching orders.   She is very defensive about what she did, said it was all proper.   Nowhere in the released elements of the interview does she say she was terribly distressed, she was taken in by a conman, she was deceived - she doesn't come close to that.   She sounds like a full informed participant.

Neither Gillard nor the partners at Slater and Gordon advise the union of the AWU-WRA, nor of the house at Kerr Street.

Late 1995 proceedings start in Australian Industrial Relations Court re Wilson's scams.   Order given for recovery of redundancy money.   Never enforced.

Say May 1996, Commonwealth Bank sends details of "AWU" accounts to Ian Cambridge, AWU-WRA discovered.  Approach made to WA Fraud squad.

Investigations commence, ultimately police say "on our current instructions" Thiess is the party that's been defrauded.   AWU National President through lawyer agrees.

Thiess, through Joe Trio the brother in law say we don't feel defrauded, no complaint.

No action for civil orders for recovery of money.

BCITF annual reports stand as truthful report of the acquittal of the taxpayer money.

Gillard becomes endorsed candidate for Lalor, notwithstanding 6 month unexplained period in CV.

Wilson runs a nightclub in Perth for 10 years till the money runs out.

Ludwig goes from strength to strength.

Kernohan gets bashed.

Blokes in the media lose their jobs when they talk about the issue.

Gillard enlists media to hose down the story when it gets bothersome.

No one saw anything OK, just move along. 

Gillard was young and naive but got to be Prime Minister.

Wilson was a criminal mastermind who conned a future PM and he is now flipping burgers.

Go figure.