Mid-afternoon on Saturday and our story "When Aunty turned a blind eye" is currently number 4 on The Australian's most read stories list.
I think it's an important story - so could I please ask for your help to pass it on to people you know via Twitter, email, Facebook or your own website.
Here is a link to the story in The Australian
Andrew Bolt has done a much better job than me in summarising my story with links to the full article on The Australian's website.
Here is a link to Andrew Bolt's report.
With thanks to Andrew whose blog is here - this is the Andrew Bolt Blog summary:
The AWU scandal - one story the ABC didn’t rush to report
Michael Smith on the ABC, which happily published material damaging to the national interest:
“WHEN important and difficult stories break, you will hear about them on your ABC. We will not succumb to pressure to suppress or ignore legitimate stories to protect those in power.”
- Kate Torney, ABC director of news, on the Indonesian phone-tapping story.
THIS year, the ABC has studiously ignored every major development in the Victoria Police major fraud squad investigation into the Australian Workers Union scandal. Even the proceedings of Victoria’s courts on the matter - the bread and butter of local journalism - have eluded the national broadcaster’s local reporters.
Jonathan Holmes spoke at length on the ABC’s Media Watch about legitimate reporting of the story back in August last year. The Australian’s Hedley Thomas had just broken the news that one of Julia Gillard’s former law firm partners claimed that Gillard had lost her job at Slater & Gordon as a direct result of legal advice she gave to help establish a slush fund for her then boyfriend and client, AWU state secretary Bruce Wilson. There were numerous revelations in leaked documents, including a transcript of her exit interview from the firm, and the subsequent disclosure by the firm’s then head partner, Peter Gordon, that it was a very serious matter involving an alleged fraud.
Jon Faine, of 774 ABC Melbourne, said: “The conspiracy theorists are having a ball, the blogosphere’s running amok, it’s all completely out of control ... why is it on the front page of the paper?”
To his great credit, Holmes said of the Faine view: “Well, I think that’s nonsense."…
There was a flurry of reporting in November last year from the ABC. It carried all of Gillard’s press conferences and a lengthy interview with Wilson and, separately, his union colleague Ralph Blewitt. Then nothing.
Since the parliament rose last year, it’s as if the AWU scandal had ceased to be for the ABC. Yet substantial developments have taken place…
In January, Thomas reported that Victoria police had travelled to Queensland and taken a lengthy statement from a former para-legal executive at Slater & Gordon, Olivia Palmer (nee Brosnahan). That interview marked a turning point in the police investigation, with a significant increase in the number of detectives assigned to the matter as a result of her evidence.
The ABC reported nothing.
Read on. Smith goes on to detail other developments the ABC did not cover and how ABC executives explained that failure.
For instance, here’s part of one ABC letter to a viewer:
Reporting that the prime minister of the nation is under police investigation is an enormously significant call to make. It cannot be made on supposition, on rumour, or on hearsay…
According to The Australian they’ve been collecting files but you would expect any police investigation to gather up this sort of primary documentation. That does not mean Ms Gillard is under investigation. For all we know, the investigation could be into Ralph Blewitt, or Bruce Wilson or Slater & Gordon or any number of other individuals and entities.
The ABC is aware of these statements but we do not at this stage believe it warrants the attention of our news coverage.
To the extent that it may touch tangentially on a former role of the Prime Minister, we know The Australian newspaper maintains an abiding interest in events 17 years ago at the law firm Slater & Gordon, but the ABC is unaware of any allegation in the public domain which goes to the Prime Minister’s integrity.