Bob Kernohan has seen 4 police investigations into the offences disclosed in The AWU Scandal - including his bashing.
In 1995 Victoria Police wrote off Ian Cambridge's complaint, after receiving advice from senior AWU figures that all money in AWU accounts was put to official AWU purposes.
In 1996 WA Police wrote off the WA AWU officials Tim Daly and Peter Trebilco's complaint after Thiess's refusal to complain or bear witness against any current or former AWU members.
Victoria Police are currently well advanced in a properly resourced investigation that Bob has great faith in. So do I.
But it's only by comparing that current approach with the way it could still have been that we can see how far we've come.
Bob Kernohan attended on Victoria Police in 2001 with reams of comprehensive evidence - the same evidence that is being taken so seriously today.
On 1 May, 2001, Bob's formal complaint about what he then referred to as the "Wilson/Blewitt frauds" was forwarded to the Victoria Police Major Fraud Group for assessment.
It took one year and 3 months, until 8 August, 2002 when Detective Inspector STEELE of the Major Fraud Group wrote to Bob with the bad news.
The evidence was there if it was looked for, witnesses were ten years younger than now and Ms Gillard didn't have much of a parliamentary position to bring to bear in frustrating reporting.
It really is a pretty simple matter. Fraud investigations are complex and time-consuming. They take commitment from the top and lots of investigators, lots of time and lots of money. Ultimately the decision over what investigations get resourced is a decision that will involve the Force command using well understood crime-screening and prioritisation protocols. But police are human too and are influenced by their own style, philosophies and life experience.
Bob's timing in 2001 couldn't have been worse. Christine Nixon took up the position as Chief Commissioner in April, 2001, just weeks before his complaint went to the Major Fraud Squad for assessment. Bob tells me that his complaint languished for want of investigators to properly assess it. And the resourcing decisions come from the top.
It was a shameful period in law enforcement in Victoria. Next time you worry about things taking a long time now - just reassure yourself that the investigations are progressing. Properly.
Bob, congratulations on your determination to see your members get justice.
One thing you'd have to say about Australia over the last decade or so is that we're not light on for social workers and sundry do-gooders. We've got heaps of them. We don't need police to do those jobs, we need police to be police.
In Victoria, that's what the community now has. Police who police.
Only the investigators and prosecutors who have all the evidence in front of them can say who might face charges over The AWU Scandal. I don't think there's anyone at all who could tell you with certainty how long the investigation will take to finish.
But you can have 100% confidence in this - there will be a result. The criminal offences are being properly investigated. Every witness with something to say will have their chance. And those with a debt to their society will be brought to book.
Bob Kernohan, you were right not to give up mate. Every touch leaves its trace.