The Prime Minister's 23 August 2012 press conference - her answers now adopted in the Federal Parliament as true and correct
The timing and the means by which the AWU and authorities found out about the AWU Workplace Reform Association are material and important.
Slater and Gordon partners were told by one of their own, Julia Gillard, about the AWU Workplace Reform Association on 11 September, 1995 (at the latest, perhaps as early as August that year).
Ms Gillard's admissions followed the discovery, in a filing cabinet, of a previously undiclosed "file" containing paperwork about the Association. Ms Gillard was questioned about that file and its contents in a recorded interview, we've seen some parts of that interview published, other parts remain redacted.
Ms Gillard remained a partner and jointly and severally liable for Slater and Gordon's actions and neglect until May, 1996.
In her 23 August, 2012 interview (this video) Ms Gillard repeatedly states that the AWU-WRA was known of by the union in 1995 and that investigations into it were underway. That is false. Its existence remained a secret shared by Wilson, Blewitt, Gillard and her Slater and Gordon partners until April, 1996 when the AWU was advised of an AWU-WRA bank account by the Commonwealth Bank. The union was put to considerable effort and expense to discover what Gillard could and should have told them. During the time from when Slater and Gordon's partners were told by Gillard until the AWU found about the AWU-WRA the house at Kerr Street was sold and the accounts were cleaned out.
Ms Gillard said that when she realized she had been "decieved" by Wilson, she ended the relationship with him. So she was sufficiently aware to know he had deceived her, but she did not think it prudent to share that knowledge with authorities. She did not report the existence of the AWU-WRA to authorities, and she did not report it to the union.
I understand that Ms Gillard has adopted this 23 August Press Conference in the Federal Parliament as being a true and correct account of matters which can reasonably be believed to be in her knowledge, observation or understanding. This is very serious, the failure to alert authorities allowed the house to be sold and the money in the accounts to be drained. Enquiries were not commenced in 1995 as Ms Gillard untruthfully states here.
Finally, Ms Gillard stated in her Record of Interview with Slater and Gordon's Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw that she was unable to rule out the possibility that AWU-WRA, association money had been used to renovate her house. Her renovations were substantially done in August/September/October of 1994. Ms Gillard's statement in September, 1995 discloses an apprehension in her mind that malfeasance, or fraud was possibly afoot within the AWU-WRA, an entity that she has said she had no further knowledge of or involvement in after providing advice regarding its incorporation. She clearly had knowledge of its continuing existence and continued operation, and the fact that it had money in its accounts (such as to be capable of funding some of the renovations to her own home, whether it happened or not she believed it could have) and she disclosed knowledge of the potential for AWU-WRA money to be put to manifestly improper purposes including possibly her own home renovations.
(Thank you to reader Stuart who has edited this version of the Prime Minister's 23 August, 2012 press conference. I can take no responsibility for the editing, I publish this video in good faith in the belief that it's been edited fairly so as not to impart any improper context. I've looked at it and it seems to have been routinely edited. I recall that questions asked of the PM predominantly focussed on the AWU-WRA because that is the entity on which Ms Gillard worked, she apparently had no involvement in establishing the entities whose bank accounts were held at the Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne like the AWU Members Welfare Association No 1).