"I reckon you'll go to the slammer" Bob Smith to Bruce Wilson after explaining transactions at the AWU Finance Committee meeting
On 14 July, 1995, Wilson attempted to transfer $160,000 from the AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 account to a secret account that he and Blewitt controlled. The cheque was stopped when Bob Smith froze all AWU accounts in Victoria.
The AWU national Finance Committee met on Wednesday, 2 August 1995. In that meeting Wilson admitted that he had mixed AWU money and "private funds" in the same bank account. His fate within the AWU was sealed.
There's Wilson's admission - the AWU Members Welfare Association account had private funds in it - and he had taken those large cheques made out to the AWU and banked them into this account. Then wrote out a cheque to transfer that money to another account only he and Blewitt knew about.
Bob Smith, the incoming branch secretary in Victoria, didn't mince his words. "I reckon you'll go to the slammer."
Bob Smith had advised nearly a fortnight earlier, after the 2 August Finance Committee meeting that Wilson should be charged internally and the matter referred to police.
In that fortnight, Wilson, Ralph Blewitt, Jim Collins, Bill Telikostiglou, Marie Murray and Mark Barnes (all signatories on various accounts that the AWU's name in them and which were adversely named by Ian Cambridge as being used to improperly handle AWU money) negotiated redundancy payments and each left the union in identical circumstances.
All members of Wilson's group. All members of the National Construction Branch.
Who gave them legal advice? Who acted for them? Until what date?
Cambridge swears the Wilson group was represented by Slater and Gordon. But Wilson and his people were in a serious dispute with the AWU itself, represented by Maurice Blackburn.
Slater and Gordon tell us that as soon as it became aware of "new information" about a union official, it immediately ceased to act for the official and for the AWU.
Should be an interesting time in the Magistrates Court when that warrant comes back.