The AWU Scandal - letter to Wilson - everyone seemed to know Wilson was the purchaser
The AWU Scandal - why did an industrial lawyer draft the power of attorney

The AWU Scandal - Julia Gillard's interview about the Kerr Street Fitzroy purchase

Like you I am in shock as I continue to look at these documents.  

Just to refresh your memory, here's what Julia Gillard said in her departure interview with senior Slater and Gordon partners, after Wilson's AWU Members' Welfare Association Melbourne frauds had been discovered.

Keep in mind Miss Gillard said nothing to authorities or the union about the AWU-WRA or any lingering suspicions she might have had about the way that Kerr Street had been purchased during that interview.

PG: When did you first hear of an interest in acquiring a property for Wilson to live in?

JG: I think (was) either very late 1992 or early 1993 Bruce talked to me about it. The flat he had in Carlton he let go over the Christmas period between 92 and 93 when he returned to Western Australia. I can't remember if before letting the flat go he said something to me about it or whether it wasn't until he returned the following year that he said something about it. But my understanding was what was said to me at that stage was that Ralph had an interest in investing in a property, that he had some excess money and that was what he was going to do, make a property investment, and that Bruce had talked to him about making that investment in Victoria rather than Western Australia because it would suit everybody's purposes -- Ralph would have the investment
that he wanted, and the negative gearing consequent upon that that he wanted, and Bruce would have somewhere to live that he wanted to live rather than in the ordinary landlord/tenant situation. Ralph would have the benefit of knowing that he had a tenant that, you know, wasn't going to do anything disastrous to the property, so it suited everybody's purpose.

PG: That all made sense to you?

JG: It, it made sense. I didn't have any particular reason to question it in great detail, or at all. It made, it made sense to me in the sense that Ralph, I'd heard Ralph talk in the past about owning a flat or some flats. I, he's a, Ralph's a boastful person if you had to think of an adjective to describe him; he was very full of stories about what he's done and how good he is, and in the course of these stories about how good he is and what he's done, he had sort of held forth about what he had and how he had such a nice house, how his wife was involved in a hairdressing business or owned a hairdressing business, how he'd owned these flats, etcetera. He moved from Victoria to Western Australia. He's a Victorian person originally. So, it all made, you know, relatively sort of
sensible sense that there was this man who had some money, it's not like Victoria's the never-never to him, he used to live here.

(One page redacted)

PG: And so on the day of the auction (a line redacted) and I think you attended too?

JG: Yes,  I did.

PG: Who did the bidding?

JG: Oh, Bruce did the bidding.

PG: And that was successful?

JG: That's right.

(Half page redacted)

PG: In your discussions with Blewitt and Wilson, when you were going around the traps looking at properties, do you recall whether there was a particular range, price range that they were interested in, that Blewitt was interested in?

JG: My recollection is he was looking around the $200,000 mark, a bit above in that range.

PG: Mmm Hmm. Did you ever make enquiries as to the source of those funds from his point
of view?

JG: No, I just, from the discussions I had an understanding that he was going to put a deposit
on and that he was interested in then having a negative-gearing arrangement for the rest so that he would get a tax break, so he was, I mean like one ordinarily does, he was going to have a deposit and a mortgage.

PG: You assumed he had the money.

JG: Oh, I assumed he had the money for the deposit, and

PG: and

JG: and to meet the mortgage repayments when they fell due.

PG: and, um

JG: I didn't have any specific knowledge of how much deposit he was intending to put on but just that he had the money to complete the transaction

PG: Or how much funds he had?

JG: Or how much funds he had but just that he had the money to complete the transaction.

PG: It's fair to say that your view was that if anything like all this fellow said is to be believed he's got a hairdressing business, he's got flats and he's a man of means who can fund a $200,000 purchase if he wants to

JG: Yes.

PG: Is that?

JG: Yeah, I hadn't . . .

PG: If you thought about it . . .

JG: To the extent that I thought about it, I hadn't made careful enquiry about his financial circumstances, he's a middle-aged man, he's on his second marriage. From what he says it's apparent his first marriage ended in circumstances where he didn't have much by way of ongoing relationship with the children and I understood that to be in the maintenance sense as well as the access sense.

He had worked here for the Timber Workers Union. He'd sort of chugged that in, cashed that up and usually union officials are worth a fair bit when they leave one union and go to another. He'd gone to Western Australia. His wife worked. So, you know, they weren't Mr and Mrs Onassis but they were relatively well positioned.

 

 

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