Former AWU WA Branch accountant Russell Frearson was responsible for the Wilson team payroll deduction election fund
Russell Frearson was the financial accountant for the WA Branch of the AWU during Bruce Wilson's time at the helm.
He was responsible for the payroll system and for the administration of the payroll deduction election fund.
He was not contacted by the Royal Commission and did not give evidence to it. That's a pity, because he might have saved the Commission some embarrassment.
Frearson tells us:
- There was a payroll deduction election fund for the Wilson team
- There was only one fund and everyone (except Peter Trebilco) contributed to it
- The system did not generate any disputes or complaints
- The payroll system generated accurate and comprehensive financial management accounts as was required for audit purposes
- When the Wilson team fractured every person who had contributed to the fund had their contributions repaid in full
- There were no complaints from any person about the accuracy of the records that supported the refunds
- He was never contacted by anyone to set up a payroll deduction facility into an incorporated association
- He never heard Bruce Wilson say that he wanted to set up an incorporated association as a payroll deduction election fund
The Royal Commission believed Ms Gillard's evidence because it didn't hear from the people who could tell it the truth - people like Russell Frearson. And why didn't it hear from him? Because the Commission didn't ask.