Julie Bishop in parliament today
Dear Premier Barnett

The AWU Scandal - The Barnett Government in Western Australia is happy it financed a love-nest in Melbourne for Julia Gillard's lover

I have agonised over this post.   I simply can't believe that I am about to post to you justification provided by a minister of the crown for the fact that Bruce Wilson's brother in law Joe Trio got money for Thiess from the BCITF, and that money went to Wilson's private slush fund.

I hate to write these words, in fact I am disgusted that I am even obliquely associated with this turn of events.

On 18 September, 2012, I wrote to Premier Colin Barnett of the West Australian Government.

I wrote because  of his promise.   That if one cent of taxpayer money was taken improperly by Bruce Wilson in The AWU Scandal, Colin Barnett promised us that he'd not rest till he got it back.

I'll set out what I'm going to post here before I turn in for the night.  

First up I'll print my letter to the Premier.   Premier Barnett referred my letter to one of his ministers, a bloke who's an ex-copper, Murray Cowper.

I have spoken to Murray Cowper's staff regularly.   The receptionist is fantastic, always kept me posted.   Minister Cowper has an advisor who goes by the name of Margaret.   That's it.   She won't give me her surname after repeated requests for it on the phone.   But Margaret told me that she had prepared this advice for the Minister knowing it would be communicated to the people who employ him and her.   I have been promised the letter in writing over several missed dates - it arrived today and it's the second thing I'll put up on this post.  

I have not been asked a single question by Minister Cowper's staff.  I have offered my information and my informants, that is people in the West who have given me insight into what went on in the BCITF.  I have offered to detail my own investigations, my receipt of various documents, the location of various files.   None of those offers was taken up.  

I could have written Murray Cowper's letter, it is a treatise on precisely what is contained in the Annual Reports - the very reports that I say are false.  Murray Cowper has not investigated this matter, he has re-stated what's on the record.

Murray - I already know what the reports say, that's why I wrote to the Premier.

The 3rd thing I'll put up on the post is an MOU between the AWU itself and Thiess nominating workplace reform as one of the outcomes and naming workplace reform advisers onsite as one of the tangible deliverables.  Nothing happened even remotely resembling what was agreed in the MOU, unless you count the love-nest purchase in Melbourne as workplace reform.  

In a later post I'll put up links to my own research on the BCITF matter.  

There seem to be lots of people who are keen to make sure Bruce Wilson and his $500,000 are never parted from each other.

Here's my letter to Premier Barnett

The AWU Scandal - my letter to the Western Australia Premier

Dear Premier,

In 1991 Thiess Contractors was awarded a contract to build the Dawesville Cutting (sic).   At the time the AWU and many construction companies were represented on the board of the Western Australian Government's statutory authority the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund.

In 1996 the Western Australian Police fraud squad received a complaint from the AWU regarding the apparent embezzlement of some hundreds of thousands of dollars from the AWU by Bruce Wilson a former union official.

The Fraud Squad determined that in the matter reported to it, the proper complainant was Thiess.   Thiess then advised police that it did not believe it had been defrauded and thus it would not furnish a complaint or statement of loss to the police.   The matter was closed with police advising that no offence had been detected.

Premier I am concerned that in its Annual Reports of FY ending 1993 and 1994 to its shareholder or responsible minister, the BCITF reported a manifestly false position regarding the acquittal or disposition of the $516,000 it collected under the "BCITF and Levy Collection Act 1990" and which it then advanced to Thiess for "workplace reform" and training.

The truth is the money that was earmarked for "workplace reform" under an MOU between Thiess and the AWU actually went to the union slush fund set up by Julia Gillard.   It went out of the slush fund in cash and to buy a house in Melbourne.  

I have attached some documents that you might find useful.

Perhaps you might let me know if you are happy for the status quo to endure - or if you intend to investigate this matter further I'd be obliged if you'd allow me to tell my readers.

Michael Smith





After a couple of lawyers who read the blog and got in touch, (thanks in particular VM) I sent a further letter to the Premier with many more links to information on the blog, prior to him referring the matter to the Minister for Margaret.

Bruce Wilson himself was on the Board of the BCITF.   Nice work if you can get it.

Now get a stiff scotch.   Here is the Minister's response.

Murray Cowper WA response

Murray Cowper WA response 2

Here is the MOU between Thiess and The AWU.  It refers in its un-numbered 3rd paragraph under the heading COMPANY AND UNION COMMITMENT to the "Workplace Advisers" assisting in the establishment of the restructuring program.

The Workplace Advisers were invoiced for by the AWU-WRA.  They just never fronted, never did any workplace reform, never did any work, never even bought another bloke a packet of durries.  That's 'cause they never existed.   The whole of the "workplace reform" ostensibly conducted by the AWU-WRA was a fiction.

Except in as much as it was paid for.   That money was real.

Note that when the AWU WRA was discovered and Wilson's and Gillard's frauds were being pieced together, the union sought a copy of the MOU between itself and Thiess - from the Building and Construction Industry Training Council.


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