ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 5 OCTOBER, 2012
Bob Kernohan was present when Con the builder attended at the union's premises seeking payment for work at Gillard's house.
Bob Kernohan says that Con the builder was paid, not by Gillard, but by another official of the AWU then present. Con and his crew said they would not leave the building until they were paid for work commissioned by Bruce Wilson in his capacity as the secretary of the union. That was their belief according to Kernohan. They were paid that day.
Phil Gude, the Industrial Relations Minister in the Kennett Government made a speech to the parliament at the time after meeting with a senior member of the AWU. He said that Gillard paid back money. Gude told me he made that statement after meeting with a senior AWU official who showed him paperwork in a file.
Gillard when interviewed by her partners on 11 September 1995 said this amongst other things.
"Now I believe that that must be the source of the rumour about, that must be the factual construct behind what has become the rumour about, about the association or Bruce or the union or whoever paying for work on my house and I don't obviously given I've been fairly surprised by events to date in relation to this matter, I can't categorically rule out that something at my house didn't get paid for by the association or something at my house didn't get paid for by the union or whatever."
The above quote was in answer to direct questions about the union or the association paying for the work and Gillard's answer refers to that visit by Con in 1995 after Wilson left. But Gillard spoke earlier in the interview about much more extensive renovations on her house.
Then substantial renovations got done on the property last year, which included the kitchen being entirely redone and the bathroom and laundry being entirely redone and internal plastering and painting being done, and yes, so I got all that work done in September, October, Novemberish last year.
I went away to, for a holiday, in late August early September last year and I had been talking for a long time about getting this bathroom and laundry work done. And, Bruce whilst I was away decided that I should just get it done so he commenced with a group of friends demolishing the bathroom.
By the time I came back the bathroom had been demolished so I had no option but to get the rest of the renovations done and a series of tradespeople who Jim Collins predominantly organised, Jim Collins being an organiser at the AWU, who he recommended through his local football club, a series of tradespeople came in and did the renovation which predominantly consisted of the bathroom, completing the kitchen, tiling on the kitchen floor, plastering work, replacement of ceilings and the like."
This is a copy of the page in Ian Cambridge's statement describing the withdrawals from the AWU-WRA during the period in which Gillard says her boyfriend Bruce Wilson (see above where she says, "And, Bruce whilst I was away decided that I should just get it done").
About $70,000 came out of the account in the months August to December 1994.
This is the page from the Cambridge Affidavit for the account AWU Members' Welfare Association.
I think this is very important information. Town Mode was a business name wholly owned by Kew Renovators Pty Ltd. Kew Renovators Pty Ltd was a business that renovated houses. $17,000 was paid to Kew Renovators Pty Ltd through its owned business Town Mode in the month of October, 1994 at which time Ms Gillard said "and, Bruce whilst I was away decided that I should just get it done".
Ian Cambridge's affidavit also shows that he received information regarding a further account established by Wilson and Blewitt. It was called the WA Election Fund. Wilson and Blewitt were the two signatories to the account. It was opened in December of 1994 with a $40,000 deposit. Here Cambridge refers to a cheque for $1,312 made out to Montague Cabinets.
To summarise, Ms Gillard when asked whether union or association money had been used to pay for work on her own property said, "about the association or Bruce or the union or whoever paying for work on my house and I don't obviously given I've been fairly surprised by events to date in relation to this matter, I can't categorically rule out that something at my house didn't get paid for by the association or something at my house didn't get paid for by the union or whatever."
I think the bank statements, Miss Gillard's answer when questioned and her over-arching comment that "and, Bruce whilst I was away decided that I should just get it done" form reasonable grounds for some pointed questions to be asked.
Did I mention it's the AWU that keeps her in power?
Oh, and here's Bob Kernohan who remembers the day the boys came to get paid for Gillard's house. Soon, you'll hear from a men who will make a sworn statement about withdrawing money from the slush fund and handing it over directly to the builder to pay for work to Gillard's own house. And of course Phil Gude in the Victorian Parliament relied on a lot more than hearsay to underpin his statement to the Victorian Parliament. And there was the cheque in which Miss Gillard paid back money to cover her tracks, it existed and banks keep records. Every touch leaves its trace. You can run, but you will not be able to hide.