I don't want to be a part of Australia's media when it's capable of this - and incapable of reporting the more important truth
Craig Thomson and his unique handwriting

Julia Gillard's claim that she paid for her renovations does not stack up.

Extract from Julia Gillard Record of Interview with Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw

11 September, 1995

PG: Yeah, I see. Sorry. Julia, you own property in Victoria?

JG: Yes, I do.

PG: And whereabouts is that?

JG: 36 St Phillip Street, Abbotsford.

PG: And when did you acquire that?

JG: In May 1991 and it settled in July 1991.

PG: 1991, yeah. How did you fund that?

JG: I funded that; Slater & Gordon extended to me a loan of $40,000, which I used for the deposit, and the rest of it I borrowed through the same branch of the Commonwealth Bank as Slater & Gordon banks at the William Street branch.

PG: By way of mortgage.

JG: Yes, by way of mortgage.

PG: And you still have that mortgage?

JG: I still have that mortgage.

PG: And it's being paid off.

JG: And it's being paid off.


These are the details of that property purchase and the mortgage registered with Victoria's Land Titles Office



Julia Gillard  36 St. Phillips St. Abbotsford     


Julia Gillard commenced earning a full-time wage when she began working for Slater & Gordon as a first year lawyer in 1988. In 1990 she was made a salaried partner with Slater & Gordon but a salaried partner has no rights to draw upon the capital account of the firm.

This analysis is drawn from:


1.     The Age Classified advertisement dated 2 March 1991

2.     Certificate of Title   Vol. 2004 Fol. 400711

3.     Transfer of Land dated 17 April 1991

4.     Caveat dated 17 April 1991

5.     Mortgage dated 17 June 1991

6.     Certificate of Title   Vol.  08287  Fol.  139

Based on the above documents 36 St. Phillips St.  Abbotsford was advertised for auction on the 16 March 1991 as :

“Ideally loc close to Studley Park this DF period home o’looking private rear garden offers generous living space. Compr  2 dbl bedrooms ,formal lge  OFP, dining /living area mod kit with meals area sep lndry, tiled bathroom. Feats OFP’s gas htg, aircond. Ceiling roses and ROW plus solar HW system. A comfortable home in a peaceful setting . Prior offers invited . Auction Sat 16 March 2 pm “

On the 11 April 1991 Julia Gillard purchased 36 St. Phillips St. Abbotsford for the sum of $ 152,000.00 and became the registered owner on the 1 July 1991. 

On the 17 June 1991 the CBA loaned Julia Gillard the sum of $ 118,000.00 secured by way of a mortgage. The bank charged the borrower an interest rate of 14.5% and monthly instalments were $1446.00

On the 11 May 1998 Julia Gillard transferred a half share in the property to Carol Anne Pyke  and she discharged the mortgage with the CBA. Both Julia Gillard and Carol Anne Pyke as the tenants in common secured mortgages with the Westpac Banking Corporation.


On the 11 May 1998 Julia Gillard purchased a property at 9 Medford st. Altona and obtained a loan from the Westpac Banking Corporation secured by way of a mortgage on the property in Altona.

On the 26 March 2007 Julia Gillard transferred her interest in 36 St. Phillips St. Abbotsford to Carol Anne Pyke who became the sole proprietor of the property.




PG: Have any renovations taken place to that property?

JG: Yep. I've, I moved there in July 1991. When I first moved there I shared it with two other people. It's a two-bedroom place, I shared it with a couple. And when I first purchased it, interest rates were quite high and my salary was lower than it is now, and I didn't really do anything of substance to the property for 12, 18 months, something like that. I then started to get various bits of work done, go relatively slowly and as I could afford to get them done bit by bit. I remember commenting to Geoff at one point that I renovated so slowly other people would call it maintenance because not much was happening.

Then substantial renovations got done on the property last year, which included the kitchen being entirely redone and the bathroom and laundry being entirely redone and internal plastering and painting being done, and yes, so I got all that work done in September, October, Novemberish last year.

PG: OK. Did you contract all of those works to the one subcontractor or builder or did you manage them yourself?

JG: No, I, I, I suppose I should do it piece by piece. I originally got glasswork and paving work done; that was because the way in which the glasswork and the paving were done at that time was causing water to go into the foundations. I contracted with a glassworker/ woodworker person called Athol James, who I found in the local newspaper, and contracted with a paving place that I got from the local newspaper after getting, I got three quotes and then picked the lowest one of them, so that got done first.

I then, I then got the floors done and I got Athol back to do that, so the front of the house, the old part was the original baltic pine floorboards. The back part was chipboard and I wanted to get the floorboards matched with old baltic pine so I could get it all sanded down and polished. I'm sure this detail is really exciting you. And Athol came and did that, got old pine and matched it all up and you know all of that sort of stuff, which was a substantial job. And then I got some bloke in I think that he recommended to do the sanding, so that was what happened next.

Then what happened after that was I got the kitchen done, I purchased Ikea cupboards and stuff, purchased the actual appliances from a Radio Rentals place in Clifton Hill, and purchased a granite bench top from a local place near me called the Marble Centre, that's also in Abbotsford, and then I had installers who were recommended by Ikea put it all in. His name was Taugney the Swedish Builder, and he took a substantial amount of time to do all of that though I was the envy of Leonie, I recall at that stage, for having a Swedish builder.


This is the White Pages entry for Radio Rentals taken from the 1994 edition of the White Pages held at the State Library of Victoria.   There was no Radio Rentals in Clifton Hill.

White pages 1994_001

END WHITE PAGES - Record of Interview resumes



That left me with the kitchen functional but the, the kitchen had like cork in it, all of that had basically been ripped to shreds when they had taken the old cupboards out and put the new cupboards in so it needed tiling, it needed tiling on the splashbacks, you know around the sink and around the stove, it needed plastering work, kitchen ceiling, that sort of thing, and I had had a long-held plan to fix the bathroom and laundry. Both were a sort of 70s renovation which amongst other things was red and yellow in colour and I therefore wanted to get it replaced.

I went away to, for a holiday, in late August early September last year and I had been talking for a long time about getting this bathroom and laundry work done.

And, Bruce whilst I was away decided that I should just get it done so he commenced with a group of friends demolishing the bathroom.


And, Bruce whilst I was away decided that I should just get it done so he commenced with a group of friends demolishing the bathroom.

In the normal course of human relationships if Bruce, "whilst I was away" just decided that I should get my house renovated and commenced with a group of friends to demolish the bathroom - then Bruce has taken on a moral obligation to make sure that the work is paid for.

He had the means to pay and Ms Gillard demonstrably did not.

It beggars credulity to suggest that Bruce might have demolished the bathroom and commenced the substantial renovations to the house without being able to pay for the contractors engaged on the substantial work.  He didn't "decide" to do it after checking that Ms Gillard had the means to pay and had put money aside for that purpose.  He just did it.   According to Ms Gillard she did not engage the contractors - either Wilson or as you see in the next extract Jim Collins did.   She did not have the money to pay - he did have access to substantial funds and had demonstrated a propensity to use that money for his own purposes.

END COMMENTARY - Record of Interview resumes



By the time I came back the bathroom had been demolished so I had no option but to get the rest of the renovations done and a series of tradespeople who Jim Collins predominantly organised, Jim Collins being an organiser at the AWU, who he recommended through his local football club, a series of tradespeople came in and did the renovation which predominantly consisted of the bathroom, completing the kitchen, tiling on the kitchen floor, plastering work, replacement of ceilings and the like.

PG: To the extent that in respect of the bathroom it was required to purchase product tiles or grout or whatever, how was that paid?

JG: I went and picked tiles both for the bathroom and the kitchen from various tile shops and paid for them.

PG: Right.

JG: When they were delivered.

PG: Yep. In terms of the tradesmen who did the work in those areas, who were they?

JG: I don't, I don't recall their names. I have some of their receipts at home. There was a tiler, an electrician, a plasterer who had with him a general roustabout person and a plumber and they all knew each other and had worked together before, but it wasn't like one of them was the builder who was organising everybody else. So they came in and did it and I paid each of them. I've had occasion over the course of the weekend to look through my personal records in relation to this matter and I do have a series of receipts from various of them about bits of the work that was done.


Ms Gillard does not know their names because as she tells her boss she did not engage the tradesmen.   Wilson or Jim Collins engaged them.   It is natural that in those circumstances the contractors would look to Wilson or Collins for payment.   Ms Gillard could have all the receipts in the world with her name on them - it is the source of the funds that is relevant, not the fact of those funds ending up with a happy contractor.   As you will see, Ms Gillard is lying about her source of funds.

END COMMENTARY - Record of Interview resumes



PG: Right, and I take it the inquiry over the weekend may have extended to this work as well, the Athol James work, the glasswork, the paving, the floors and the sanding.

JG: Yes, I've got, I recall, I recall particularly dealing with Athol because he came back more than once and sort of lived at my place for a substantial period of time whilst he did the floors, I don't specifically recall whether I've got a receipt from him, I think I do. I've certainly got his number and stuff in my address book from having used him.

PG: OK. Julia, it would be helpful to us if we could have copies of those.

JG: Yes.

PG: Do you have a problem with supplying them to us?

JG: No, no problem at all.

PG: Good. So that, is it fair to say as a general summary of that work that all of the work was paid for by you?

JG: I believe all of the work was paid for by me. I was getting receipts, I was paying it. I at that stage borrowed an additional $20,000 from the bank to pay for the renovations. I had occasion to ask Geoff if I could be pre-paid, which he did. I don't recall the amount. But that was recouped out of my pay for the first six months of this year. And, between that pre-payment and the borrowing of the $20,000 from the bank, I paid for that work.

PG: Right.

JG: I should say that, when I say the 20,000 from the bank: that was the bathroom, the work that was organised subsequent to the demolition of the bathroom. Athol James, the tiler, sorry Athol James, the paver, Taugney the Swedish builder I had paid over time as work was done.

END EXTRACT - Prime Minister Gillard Press Conference, 26 November 2012



JOURNALIST: In August you said that the money for the renovations on your house you paid for, you're quite clear on that. In the statement from 1995 you seem to leave some doubt or area of possibility that perhaps there might have been some other supply that went in towards the renovation on your house, that was closer obviously to the time, the 1995 statement. Can you explain why you are so emphatic and certain that you paid for everything now?

PM: I refer you to the Slater & Gordon transcript and what I say on that transcript is that I'd spent some time on the weekend trying to look through my receipts about my renovations. Subsequent to that interview with Slater & Gordon I spent more time getting my receipts together and adding it up and thinking about it. And having done so at the time, which I did in 1995, I am confident that I paid for the renovations on my home. And I did it in the way in which people normally do it.

I did things like extend my mortgage, I renovated over time. There was the time when the bathroom was demolished and all the rest of it which I detail extensively and perhaps in colourful terms in the Slater & Gordon transcript. But I believe I paid for all of my renovations, I took steps to check in 1995. I took some steps before the Slater & Gordon discussion and I took other steps afterwards.

Can I just, and this is a bit frustrating with all of these matters, if anybody has a piece of evidence that says I knowingly received money to which I was not entitled for my renovations, please feel free to get it out. If anybody’s got it, it's only been 20 years.


END Prime Minister Press Conference extract - Commentary

"I did things like extend my mortgage".    There is no further mortgage, no second mortgage and no increase in the amount secured to the CBA by its mortgage on the Gillard property.   On the evidence the statement that Ms Gillard increased her borrowings secured by a mortgage against this or any other property is an untrue claim.

Even in November 2012 Ms Gillard is still equivocal about the circumstances of Bruce and his friends just getting workers in and getting things done without her prior approval and management.   She told the press conference, " But I believe I paid for all of my renovations".   She can believe all she wants to believe.   Bruce did the organising and she knew what he was like.

END COMMENTARY - Extract from the House of Representatives, 27 November, 2012

Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to her statement in August as to whether she received any benefit from Town Mode in 1994:

… an allegation was made that I had received clothing from a business known as Town Mode. That allegation is untrue.

Did the Prime Minister receive any other benefit from Town Mode or any related entity?


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:08): Dear me, we are down at the bottom of the barrel now, aren't we? We are down at the bottom of the barrel. These allegations are untrue. They have always been untrue. They have been known to be untrue for decades. Here is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, in line with the Leader of the Opposition's strategy, down at the bottom of the mud basket now, desperately picking through, desperately scraping at the bottom of the mud. And why is she doing that? Because we have seen the opposition, through the deputy leader, across days in parliament come in and mislead this parliament. I made clear yesterday the misleading of this parliament by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition—

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If the Prime Minister expects to say that the deputy leader has misled the parliament, she must do so by substantive motion. She did it yesterday on numerous occasions and I would ask you to ask her to desist from doing so.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: I made clear to the parliament yesterday the way in which the deputy leader misled the parliament. It is a matter for her as to whether or not she apologises to this House and to the Australian people for misleading them. Since then, of course, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has gone out to do a number of interviews where the misleading has just got worse and worse and the allegations more and more wild. But the Deputy Leader of the Opposition confessed during those interviews to being in the company of Ralph Blewitt last Friday. She has had her own Godwin Grech moment—

Honourable members interjecting

Dr Emerson: You've handcuffed yourself!

The SPEAKER: Order! The Prime Minister will resume her seat. The minister for trade may find he is handcuffed himself very soon as well.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Indi! I was going to laugh. I was going to say something that was highly inappropriate at this point in time, so I have stopped myself. Anyway, it was unwarranted. The Prime Minister has the call and will return to the question before us.

Ms GILLARD: I have dealt with the question—thank you, Speaker. I am now dealing with the lack of standards of the opposition and the company they keep.


Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:11): I ask a supplementary question. I refer the Prime Minister to her answer and to the affidavit of Ian Cambridge that states $17,000 from an account called AWU Members Welfare Association was paid to Town Mode, which is the trading name for Kew Renovators Pty Ltd, by Bruce Wilson. Can the Prime Minister rule out that these payments were for her home renovations?


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:11): Absolutely, yes. This is complete smear, completely untrue and misleading of this parliament. These are the sorts of standards the opposition has under this leader.

Ms Julie Bishop: I am seeking to table the business name extract of Town Mode, which shows that the holder of that business name is Kew Renovators Pty Ltd.

Leave not granted.

Mr Albanese: I table the article by Godwin Grech, 'Abbott PM and G-G Howard will restore the golden days', from the Sydney Morning Herald.

END HANSARD EXTRACT - Summary of withdrawals from AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 Account, taken from Affidavit of Ian Walter Cambridge


END CAMBRIDGE EXTRACT  - Commentary about Record of Interview

Ms Gillard did not volunteer when asked about her renovations the involvement of the builder Kon Spyridis.   The record of interview shows the questions and answers moved on to other matters.   It was not until the conclusion of the interview when Peter Gordon put the specific question regarding the connection between the work done on her home and money from the AWU Workplace Reform Association account.

Here is an extract from Ian Cambridge's affidavit showing the quantum of cash withdrawals from the AWU WRA Inc account during the time of Ms Gillard's renovations.

Awu wra withdrawals 945


And this cheque made out to cash from the AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 Account for the amount of $15,000 shows on the reverse of the cheque that $10,000 was made out to Kon Spyridis in a bank cheque and $5,000 in cash.   Note Wayne Hem statutory declaration that on Wilson's instructions he deposited $5,000 in cash into Ms Gillard's bank account - the account number and details of which Mr Wilson had at hand.


COMMENTARY ENDS - Record of Interview resumes


PG: We're concluding the interview . . . going to ask you, Julia, it's been put to a partner of Slater & Gordon in the last week that there exists a receipt with respect to renovation work conducted at your home which is in some way connected with funds from the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association account.

JG: Yes. I have, I have heard a rumour to the effect that someone attended at the offices of the AWU since the time that Bruce has left presenting an account which when the union enquired into it was an account for work on my property and that they refused to pay it. I heard that rumour firstly from Bernard Murphy who said to me that he had heard it from Andrew Watson. I subsequently spoke to Andrew Watson about it and said that David Feeney, who is an official of the Transport Workers' Union, or an industrial officer of the Transport Workers' Union, had raised it with Andrew with the specific intent of Andrew raising it with me and David was happy for me to talk to him about it.

I have spoken to David Feeney. I spoke to him on Friday afternoon. What I believe to have happened is this. This year I had additional work done on my place to try and do something about the outside, the outside is still not painted the right colour, and needed, needed further work done on it. Bill the Greek recommended to me a friend of his called Con, the last name I believe to (be) Spiri, Spiridis or Spiritis or a word to that effect. Con organised for me, or Con came and did the following things.

There are, there were two of the original Victorian windows on either side of the house that were not functional and the wood was rotting. I wanted them replaced by new windows. Contrary to the directions I gave him about that he replaced them with aluminium sliding windows which I was particularly unhappy about. The veranda was slate and it was coming up and the posts which held up the veranda in part were rotting so I contracted with him to replace the posts and to tile the veranda. He did tile the verandah after a fashion, but the job is uncompleted. He did put in posts but he put in, ah, what's the word, decorative posts chiselled out with patterns, rather than plain posts. Given it's a Victorian weatherboard house I was pretty unhappy about that as well. And he mortared the fence and put pickets in it which was required to complete the fence.

When I came home and saw the posts and the windows which got done in, done in one day I raised it immediately with Bill the Greek in fairly vociferous tones and said this has just totally buggered up this job. This is just hideous, you know, you need to talk to Con about it. Bill had been the link to Con. Bill said he would speak to Con about it. Con came back subsequently and did the fence and I raised it with Con. Con said he would get, he knew he had made an error with the windows. He would get the windows replaced with wood windows. He didn't think the posts were his fault because that was the sort of posts that were described to him so there was an ongoing debate about whose fault it was that the posts were the wrong posts. He basically half finished, did most of the fence though bits of it are uncompleted and then he didn't return. I periodically raised with Bill what on earth is happening with Con and these windows and these posts and the tiling's uncompleted and the fence is uncompleted. Bill would say I'll fix it, I'll fix it but it never got fixed.

Life got a little bit more crazy than it had been and I ceased to sort of pay much regard to it or think about it but there was this uncompleted work at the property or to the extent it was completed large bits of it were done wrong. I don't know what transactions Con and Bill have had about the account for that work, but I believe what has happened is Con has gone to the AWU looking for Bill or looking for payment for the account.

Obviously, it accords with what David Feeney has told me that he was sent away by the AWU and without explanation an account from Con was put in my letter box last week, so that's the first account that I've had from him. It is an account dated June directed towards me, yeah, I think that's right, directed towards me, dated June and it's got a letter on it, some of which is not decipherable but talks about finishing off the tiles. The account is for $3780. I've paid $2000 of it already and I'm making arrangements to get the $1780 together to pay the rest of it. I have suggested to David Feeney that I think the way forward in relation to this is for me to simply meet with Bob Smith at FIME and say someone came here looking for payment of an account. That's nothing that I have caused, nothing to do with me, if it is this account then I've paid it, even though it hurt me to do so given the quality of the job. If there is anything else then I will pay it.

The information from David Feeney is that Bob Smith doesn't believe that I am at fault in relation to this. He has got no agenda about damaging me in relation to this or using it against me, that he will be quite happy to see the issue go away, and that he thinks that Bob will respond well to a direct discussion like that. I've left that matter on the basis that David Feeney will sound Bob out and, provided there isn't any unforeseen problem, I will meet with Bob as soon as possible for the purpose of clarifying that matter. Now I believe that that must be the source of the rumour about, that must be the factual construct behind what has become the rumour about, about the association or Bruce or the union or whoever paying for work on my house and I don't obviously given I've been fairly surprised by events to date in relation to this matter, I can't categorically rule out that something at my house didn't get paid for by the association or something at my house didn't get paid for by the union or whatever, I just, I don't feel confident saying I can categorically rule it out, but I can't see how it's happened because that really is the only bit of work that I would identify that I hadn't paid for. And it seems, just looking at the receipts and how much I borrowed and all the rest of it that I basically paid full value for everything else, so it doesn't seem to me looking at the house and working through it mentally that there is sort of thousands of dollars of free unexplained work lying around in the house.

It seems to me that I've paid, you know, relatively ordinary funds for work to get done and you know I don't see where there could be big money coming from any other source into the renovations. So I think that that's the site of the problem, it's this recent invoice with Con. I will know if there is anything else having spoken to Bob Smith.

PG: OK. Is there anything else that you think we need to know about?

JG: No, I think that's it, I can't think of anything else.

PG: OK. Thanks. The interview was continued because we needed to talk about . . .

JG: Sorry, I'm getting confused, the, Geoff when we were not on tape asked me a series of questions about things that I have had done to the house that I don't recall getting invoiced for. It occurred to me that one of those things is, and Geoff has actually seen this with his own eyes. Bill the Greek, whilst I was at work one day, built for me a low level brick fence. I didn't ask him to do that. The result was truly hideous and I think Geoff saw it when he dropped me off one night and everybody else who's passed my house has commented on it. In order to try and make it look less hideous, part of the work that Con was to do was to mortar it and put pickets on it that goes like that to try and stop it looking quite as Greek, dare one say.

I didn't, I've never, I didn't pay for the bricks, I didn't pay for the bricks. I've never had an account in relation to the fence. Now, I don't, I don't know what that means about where Bill got the bricks from, and I don't know whether that means anybody worked with him on the fence, that I haven't paid. He, you know, he pleased as punch sort of said he had built it for me. That he had built it for me. Whether that means he himself did it, given Bill's obvious difficulties with the truth I no longer know.

PG: What are Bill's obvious difficulties with the truth?

JG: He's just a big Greek bullshit artist.

PG: Julia, you told us you commenced a personal relationship with Bruce Wilson in late 1991. Can you tell us the current status of that personal relationship?

JG: Bruce is currently in Western Australia and we aren't in contact and I don't expect to be in contact with him again unless I needed to for some particular purpose related to the issues that we've discussed, and that means in, well, that obviously means that any relationship between us is at an end.

PG: OK, thanks.

GS: End of tape.


And Bruce while I was away just decided..........



..........about the association or Bruce or the union or whoever paying for work on my house and I don't obviously given I've been fairly surprised by events to date in relation to this matter, I can't categorically rule out that something at my house didn't get paid for by the association or something at my house didn't get paid for by the union or whatever, I just, I don't feel confident saying I can categorically rule it out, but I can't see how it's happened because that really is the only bit of work that I would identify that I hadn't paid for. And it seems, just looking at the receipts and how much I borrowed and all the rest of it that I basically paid full value for everything else, so it doesn't seem to me looking at the house and working through it mentally that there is sort of thousands of dollars of free unexplained work lying around in the house.

It seems to me that I've paid, you know, relatively ordinary funds for work to get done and you know I don't see where there could be big money coming from any other source into the renovations. So I think that that's the site of the problem, it's this recent invoice with Con. I will know if there is anything else having spoken to Bob Smith.


So will the police Ms Gillard, so will the police.

Every touch leaves its trace.