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October 2012

Random Posting from the past - Gillard's bulltish - The AWU Scandal - Piece by piece the protection of lies is dissolving

We've been told so many times, by so many people, with so much evidence.

The message is this - Julia Gillard is lying, today, about the AWU-WRA.

Mark Baker has this story today in The Age and other Fairfax newspapers.

Gillard's account of union slush fund rejected

October 29,  2012

Mark Baker

A KEY former union accountant has undermined Julia Gillard's depiction of a  slush fund she helped set up in 1992 as being a legitimate association needed to  help finance union election campaigns.

Ms Gillard - then a salaried partner at law firm Slater & Gordon - gave  extensive legal support to the establishment in Perth of the Australian Workers  Union Workplace Reform Association from which more than $400,000 was stolen by  her then boyfriend.

She told a media conference in August that she understood the association's  purpose was to gather money from payroll deductions and other fund-raising  events ''where it would be transparent to people that the money was going to  support their re-election campaign''.

After it was revealed in 1995 that the association had been corrupted by Ms  Gillard's boyfriend and senior AWU official Bruce Wilson, she told senior  partners at Slater & Gordon: ''Every union has what it refers to as an  election fund, a slush fund … so that they can finance their next election campaign.'' 

But the man who was the West Australian branch accountant of the AWU at the  time says the union already had an election fund and there was no precedent to  establish such a formal legal entity as the Workplace Reform Association for  such a purpose.

Russell Frearson said the association was operated in complete secrecy by Mr  Wilson and his crony, AWU state secretary Ralph Blewitt, with a separate bank  account and post box address.

Mr Frearson said neither he, other branch officials nor the AWU's auditors  knew anything about the association until its operations were exposed in 1995.  ''They kept it very close to their chests. No one knew what was going on,'' he  told The Age.

Read more:


The Auditors didn't know, the rest of the union didn't know, the authorities didn't know, and only a perhaps one or maybe two people in Thiess really knew.

The union had some good people who started to smell a rat, but they were hosed down by Julia Gillard and Bernard Murphy with the rather formidable defamation action they brought in defence of Ralph Blewitt.

This note from Detective Sergeant McAlpine might help to put things in perspective too.



Judge Murphy & PM Gillard - Managing Partner Peter Gordon's initial draft statement - sent to Nick Styant-Browne in the week of 14 August this year and released to The Australian newspaper

I think this statement is a very important contribution to the nation's complete understanding of what happened at Slater and Gordon during Ms Gillard and Mr Murphy's time there.

Keep in mind that the Gillard Government has appointed Bernard Murphy as a Judge of the Federal Court.

Please have a read, acquaint yourself with this statement and I'll have a fair bit more to say about it in the next day or so.

Read also this post

Judge Murphy's appointment as a Judge is rightly being called into question.   That is even more important in the context of the new information that's come to light in the last week or so about his actions in aggressively bringing defamation proceedings against AWU members who sought to have Ralph Blewitt and the WA branch leadership audited.

The tawdry nature of Justice Murphy's use of "media management" rather than straight answers to questions about his personal past will dog the court.   It has to be dealt with and the appropriate forum is the Parliament if Judge Murphy does not act first.

Draft statement of peter gordon  


This statement concerns matters raised in the media in recent weeks concerning the departure from Slater & Gordon in 1995 of Julia Gillard.  


It is no secret and it has never been, that the firm’s senior partner in 1995, Bernard Murphy,  fell out with the rest of the Slater& Gordon partnership over the Cheryl Harris-Ian Smith case and subsequently the AWU/ Bruce Wilson matters.  That falling out was irreparable and we ultimately went our separate ways and but for a few professional interactions, have not interacted since.  


Likewise, it is no secret that Julia Gillard worked in the industrial department of Slater & Gordon in 1990 through 1995 where she was accountable to Mr Murphy.  She was also within Mr Murphy’s‘camp’ of close associates and friends at  the firm at the time.  Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard acted for the Victorian state branch of the AWU from 1991/1992 until 1995 and also for two of its officials Mr Bruce Wilson and Mr Ralph Blewitt.  That has also been well known since the early 1990s.  


Likewise, it is no secret that Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard left the firm in late 1995 in circumstances where their relationship with the equity partnership group had become fractured, and trust and confidence evaporated.  Mr Murphy’s partners had abiding and deeply felt concerns about his handling of the Cheryl Harris case.  We also had concerns about various aspects of the way in which Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard had acted with regard to Mr Wilson and the AWU.  We felt that a number of matters required explanation and  we were concerned as to whether they had acted consistently with their obligations of utmost good faith with regard to their partners.  


While we were not in a position to conduct a formal audit, we did conduct a number of interviews including a formal interview at which a number of allegations were put and responded to. 

On my recollection of events,;

1.) There was no evidence which explicitly or even indirectly controverted the explanation Ms Gillard made at the time and has made publicly since as to her dealings with Mr Wilson; namely that she had been‘naïve’ and had been ‘taken in by a conman.’

2.) Ms Gillard (as did Mr Murphy,) strongly and consistently denied that they had any knowledge of wrongdoings now alleged before July 1995, and strongly denied any participation in any alleged wrongdoing at all times;

3.) In the years which followed their departure from Slater & Gordon, both Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard continued to strongly assert their innocence and ignorance of the relevant alleged wrongdoing and maintained that the firm’s treatment of them had been in the circumstances unfair.

4.) the nature of the wrongdoings alleged required us, if we were to take an adverse view of Ms Gillard in relation to these events, to believe that she had knowingly participated in a fraud and deceived her partners about it for a year or more.  While I was not close to Ms Gillard (and believe I had never met Mr Wilson,) my association with her and my evaluation of her as a person led me to the view that this was inherently unlikely and not in her character.

Nevertheless, the partnership was extremely unhappy with both Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard, considered that proper vigilance had not been observed and that their duties of utmost good faith to their partners especially as to timely disclosure had not been met.

The partnership considered terminating Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard.  It is fair to say that Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard also developed considerable antipathy towards the other partners and made their unhappiness clear as to what they saw as our failure to understand their position and to support them.  It was clear the  relationships had broken down irretrievably.

My examination of the material available to me at that time  led me to the view that there was no sufficient basis to dismiss Ms Gillard for misconduct.  I formed, in effect, the view that she should be accorded the benefit of the doubt and her explanation accepted.  I should add the while other matters of which I was not aware in 1995 have come to my attention since then, that view remains my view.  I think she is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.  I think her explanation should be accepted.

Ms Gillard elected to resign and we accepted her resignation without discussion.

I have been told that the relevant Slater & Gordon files reveal that certain relevant  ‘new’ information was made to Mr Murphy in July 1995, and very shortly thereafter to Ms Gillard.  No evidence in any of the firm’s records exists that information as to  any matter which can incontrovertibly be described as wrongdoing was available to or known by either of them before this time.  Shortly after this time, this‘new’ information was passed on to the other partners.  There was a small delay in the transmission of this information by Mr Murphy to the rest of us which I interpreted as mediated only by the serious deterioration in our relationship and the mental strain under which he obviously labored at the time.  When the information was conveyed to the other partners, the firm immediately ceased acting for the AWU, for Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt.

The leadership of the AWU had passed at this time from Mr Wilson to a new administration which retained Maurice Blackburn.  Both Maurice Blackburn and the new administration were aware of the relevant allegations and was to our satisfaction, in a position to protect the union’s interests insofar as those interests may have been affected.

The matters were also thereafter the subject of a properly constituted industrial court inquiry and a police investigation.  After the departure of Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard, Slater & Gordon’s on-going obligations with regard to  such matters were handled pre-dominantly by the firm’s general manager Geoff Shaw.  Mr Shaw obtained independent legal advice from Philips Fox as to the firm’s obligations and also obtained the advice of senior counsel.  Slater & Gordon complied with its obligations at all times in this period.  So far as I am aware, no action emerged from the police investigation of the relevant matter concerning Mr Wilson and neither was there any outcome to litigation against Mr Wilson by the AWU.

Moreover, during all of this time, as stated, Mr Murphy and Ms Gillard continued to strongly assert their innocence and ignorance of any wrongdoing.

These events occurred seventeen to twenty years ago.  They were a most unhappy time at the firm in which some long standing friendships were shattered.  However, we believe that we complied with our legal and complex ethical obligations as best we could.  I did not speak to Ms Gillard for about seven years after these events and since then have resumed occasional contact with her mainly at bulldogs games.

I note that Mr Ralph Blewitt (who I also believe I have never met,) stated in last Saturday’s Australian newspaper that he alleges no wrongdoing on my part.  I hope he will extent the same courtesy to every other lawyer at Slater & Gordon who never worked in the industrial department and who, like me, knew nothing of these events until the day we ceased acting for him, Mr Wilson and the AWU.

Insofar as Mr Blewitt has any information or wishes to make allegations of wrongdoing against (now Justice) Murphy or Ms Gillard or any other member of the 1995 Slater & Gordon industrial department, I would urge him to do so and to waive the legal privilege which still impedes them from a fair opportunity to respond to the matters he has now chosen to raise.

Dear Investigators - we might just put the hounds back in their boxes for a moment

Hello intrepid torch-bearers!

Reader Peter in the previous post had it all correct, the business that produced the Abbott poster is Advision creative agency in Wagga Wagga.

It shares a joint wall with a hairdresser, please go easy on the pitch-forks with the poor barber, I don't think he or she is really as likely to be complicit here as the ad agency described in Peter's post just previous to this one.

I've taken a photo of the ad agency's business premises, exactly as Peter said, it's 4 Gurwood Street, Wagga Wagga, near Woollies and just down the road from Nemo's fish and chip shop where we got dinner on Friday night.


Your network at work - this is exactly where I found the poster, thanks to reader Peter who forwards these details.

The source of the poster is Michael Agzarian from Advision creative design agency in Wagga Wagga. Note that there is no authorised by name and address on the poster (a potential offence against the electoral act). [They forgot your saying that every touch leaves an impression].

Links to:
Whois domain details attached: Michael Agzarian, [email protected]
Advision contacts attached.

Spied in a hairdresser's shop window in Wagga

A very large poster - seen any like it elsewhere?

Abbott in wagga

It's about a yard square and on very expensive stock, would have cost a motza.

But what does Labor reckon people will think?  "Oh my God, don't vote for the sexist, he'll   uhm,   he'll be a .....I mean, he'll, ah, ....... just don't vote for him because if you do it will be really bad.   Somehow."

And just looking at it made me recall the speech in the parliament, you could see the cogs whirring in the actress's mind, as she came to the killer blow that needed to be delivered with unadulterated vituperative yet serenely masterful oomph, a few careless or unscripted backbenchers jumped into the void by anticipating and - can you believe it - yelling out the obvious, the killer punch, the punch-line, the mirror.  He needs a mirror, yes a mirror!!!   Those hooded eyes disclosed a moment of terror, just a flicker, then the comforting realisation that it can all be fixed in post-production, Laurie will make sure, that guy with the nice hair from 7 will fix it too, the ABC will do what it's told, that just leaves Bolt, who cares.   It's already being printed anyway.

McTernan can have a word to the careless, jump on my punchline will you.

The AWU's actions to get justice for its members.

You'll recall the Cambridge letter to Laurie Brereton (industrial relations minister, Keating government) calling for a Royal Commission.

You'll recall the Bob Smith letter/email read into the Victorian Parliament Hansard, "If Cambridge isn't stopped we're all history".

You'll recall Julia Gillard got a job as John Brumby's Chief of Staff.

Bernard Murphy got a job with Maurice Blackburn, which then had the AWU business.

Victoria Police wrote off the Wilson fraud enquiries, the union didn't press charges.

WA Police wrote off the reports of crime.

So the last chance for the union was the Industrial Relations Court.   What happened there?

I'll re-print the detail from the letter from McClellands to Steve Harrison.

Ludwig AIRC re wilson
Ludwig airc re wilson 2
There seems to be one literal error in the first page of McClellands' letter, on the 4th line the word Respondent should be Applicant.

It's also no surprise that Bill Ludwig would have served subpoenas on the Commonwealth Bank, it would keep Wilson honest wouldn't it?   How much did you get mate?   I've got the Commonwealth Bank statements here, don't bulltish me.

But getting judgement, getting money back.   Well that's an entirely different matter.

You know you are Australian if you understand the meaning of the following expression, but are unable to explain its derivation.

It applies to these proceedings.

It died in the........