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October 2015

Need your help

It's a bare bones operation here - but even with our smell of the oily rag cost structure we can't go on  without your financial help.

Thank you.

Michael Smith - National Australia Bank

BSB: 084855 

Acct No: 537650476

Two scenarios for the TURC on Ralph Blewitt's Power of Attorney - which one do you prefer?

Here's Steve J

Stoljar had some information that Wilson attended an ACTU meeting that day!
Presumably it was at a time that would have allowed Wilson to drop Blewitt off at the airport or it could have been expected that he would have challenged Wilsons' story immediately.

Wilsons' story is important because it provides the only explanation for how Gillard witnessed the POA properly on February 4th.
She does not recall the how, what or when, of how it happened. "No speaka de English".
Best to say nothing when you are on shaky ground!
They had until February 13th to organise the POA.
Does she prepare it and send it over to Blewitt in Perth for signature and witnessing? No!
Does she tell him to get a local Solicitor to prepare it and send it to Melbourne? No!
Does she think that this can be done very quickly using the DX available to Solicitors? Apparently never crossed her mind.
Instead she decides that is what they need to do at a Thai Restaurant the previous night.
Spends the night with Wilson and he drops her into the Office early the next morning(wonder what the makeup looked like that morning) so she can whip up the Document quickly while he goes around to Blewitts hotel to pick him up and take him back to JEG.
While Blewitt races upstairs to get it signed, all proper like, Wilson waits in the car downstairs from the CBD office of S&G.
Stoljar should have asked whether he kept the engine running.
Wilson then drives Blewitt out to Tullamarine to catch his flight to Perth.
All makes perfect sense for people who are clearly interested in observing all the legal niceties and have demonstrated that in all their dealings.
And they all lived happily ever after.....


And here's the standard clause from the contract of sale at auction of 85 Kerr Stret Fitzroy and exhibited by tie TURC here.

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Amnesty International's report on Australia's Operation Sovereign Borders should be read by every potential boat person

Amnesty's language and apparent belief that a country shouldn't enforce its sovereignty and control its border are way over the top.   On one level this is an exercise in hyperbole, exaggeration and over reliance on one side of the story.

But put all that to one side if you can and think of the message that's actually being delivered.   I think Amnesty is  doing us all a big favour. Every potential boat person should read this report.   We are fair dinkum about controlling our borders.   It is a hard-nosed business with no compromise.   If you get your self into a boat and lob unannounced at our borders you will likely have a very tough time of it getting back to where you came from.

But you won't be getting into Australia.

Here's a link to the Amnesty International report released overnight in London.


Australia: Damning evidence of officials' involvement in transnational crime uncovered

28 October 2015, 12:55 UTC

New evidence gathered by Amnesty International suggests that Australia’s maritime border control operations now resemble a lawless venture with evidence of criminal activity, pay-offs to boat crews and abusive treatment of women, men and children seeking asylum.

Through interviews with asylum-seekers, a boat crew and Indonesian police, a new report – By hook or by crook – exposes evidence that, in May 2015, Australian officials working as part of Operation Sovereign Borders paid six crew who had been taking 65 people seeking asylum to New Zealand USD 32,000 and told them to take the people to Indonesia instead. The Australians also provided maps showing the crew where to land in Indonesia.

Witness testimonies backed by video footage reveal how the intervention by Australian officials endangered the lives of the people seeking asylum by transferring them to different boats that did not have enough fuel, and how the incident fits into a wider pattern of abusive so-called “turnbacks” or “pushbacks” of boats.

The report also raises questions about whether Australian officials paid money to the crew of another boat turned back in July.

“Australia has, for months, denied that it paid for people smuggling, but our report provides detailed evidence pointing to a very different set of events,” said Anna Shea, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International.

“All of the available evidence points to Australian officials having committed a transnational crime by, in effect, directing a people-smuggling operation, paying a boat crew and then instructing them on exactly what to do and where to land in Indonesia. People-smuggling is a crime usually associated with private individuals, not governments – but here we have strong evidence that Australian officials are not just involved, but directing operations.

“In the two incidents documented by Amnesty International, Border Force and Navy officials also put the lives of dozens of people at risk by forcing them onto poorly equipped vessels. When it comes to its treatment of those seeking asylum, Australia is becoming a lawless state.”


There's more at the Amnestty website here.

Trade Union Corruption hearing into Victoria branch of the CFMEU starts 10AM today


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29 October (Sydney)

  • Tom Boglis
  • Gary Cheetham
  • Andrew Zaf

10AM and here's the assembled crowd awaiting Punch and Judy.

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At 10.05PM the Commission commenced the hearing.

Ms McNaughton is delivering an opening address to explain today's proceedings.   Today will see the conclusion of a CFMEU Victoria case study heard last year involving Andrew Zaf.   New information has come to the attention of the Commission that may bring some doubt to the veracity of certain evidence given by Mr Zaf last year.

The first witness is the man who has brought the allegations against Mr Zaf to the Commission's attention, Mr Gary Cheetham.

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Mr Cheetham was shown two statements he has recently made to the Victoria Police, he agrees they are true and correct and they've been tendered and received into evidence.

Ms Mcnaughton is delivering every possible warning sign to this bloke, "and you were truthful in that email were you?   You told the truth in that report did you? " etc etc

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Something NQR here.

Stand by for a slo-mo train crash.

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At about 11AM Ms McNaughton completed her examination.

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Mr Agius for the CFMEU is cross examining.  He completed his cross examination at about 11.05 after a few questions on the asbestos dumping.

Mr Oakes (Counsel for Mr Zaf I think) has asked for a few minutes to prepare.

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As a few readers have pointed out, our coverage of the Zaf hearing last year elicited some interesting comments, in particular the last two on the thread.

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While Counsel for another party reviews some documents Ms McNaughton is re-examining Mr Cheetham.

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Ms McNaughton continues to telegraph some potential knock-out punches.   She's taking mr Cheetham through some invoices he's delivered to the Royal Commission "did you have any role in gathering those invoices?   Are you sure?""

This cross-examination/re-examination business is hard to follow - Mr Agius is now back on his feet

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Mr Agius had a series of questions about 6 mobile phones said to have been used by John Setka or another CFMEU official at various stages.

We learn that those phones (with whatever texts,photos, call details etc remaining on them) were given to  Fairfax journalist, Nick McKenzie.

Mr Oates for Mr Zaf is now cross examining.

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Mr Oates is a very effective advocate and cross examiner.

He has quite a bit of the Boris Johnson/Colombo presence about him - but his questioning has been devastatingly effective.

"Would you be prepared today to sit at a desk with a computer here at the Commission and allow the Commission staff access to your email account for you to repeat the search you described as having failed to turn up the Nicky Manatanos (phonetic) email?"   Many other barristers apparently taking mental notes.

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Magnificent magic moment at about 12.18 - Mr Cheetham had his head down reading a document and apparently zoning off into space.   A couple of minutes passed with the hearing room in dead silence, most eyes looking at Mr Cheetham, finally the Commissioner said, "Mr Cheetham are you preparing your answer, are you reading a document for that answer?"

Cheetham, "No, oh sorry, no I was just reading, (I thought it was a bit quiet)".

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Mr Cheetham has been quizzed about an incident involving a number of "bikies' and some sort of dispute which is described in written material before the Commission (and not yet published by it). After Counsel for Mr Zaf pointed out to Mr Cheetham that he had told the police in a statement that he was in fear of his life at the time - this morning he has told the Commission that he was not at all fearful.

The Commissioner intervened, "Mr Cheetham, these men were weilding baseball bats in a menacing fashion weren't they?"

Cheetham, "Not all of them, some of them had tyre levers".

The Commissioner has pointed out the penalties of perjury to Mr Cheetham.

Mr Oates is now into Mr Cheetham about his evidence in relation to Mr Zaf allegedly stabbing himself.   

His police statement also includes an allegation that Mr Zaf loosened his own wheel nuts.



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Mr Cheetham brings to mind a copper I knew whose surname was Basham (imagine them married with a child called Robin Cheetham-Basham).   Sorry about that.

Counsel for Mr Zaf has never been seen in the same room as Boris Johnson Mayor of London.

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Mr Cheetham is somewhat philosophical this afternoon.

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I hope the TURC has turned its mind to its final session and that it brings something with a little gravitas and importance before the Commissioner for that last hearing.  

Last year the Commissioner told us that in 2015  he would expose and deal with  'grave threats to the power and authority of the Australian state'.  I don't think Mr Cheetham is one.

At 2.25PM Counsel for Zaf zipped.

Meanwhile as Counsel for Mr Cheetham rose to re-examine, the peanut gallery is completely, utterly and understandably empty.   Only the stalwarts of the bar table were present to hear this year's instalment in the existential struggle that is Zaf 'n' Cheetham.

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At about 2.30PM Mfr Cheetham was excused

Mr Boglis will not be required to give evidence, his statement has been tendered and received.

A further witness Mr Hamish McDonald will not be required, his witness statement was also tendered and received.

Mr Zaf has been sworn.

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Ms McNaughton opens with the tried and tested "Did you tell the truth last year when you gave evidence to this Commission?"

Mr Zaf said that he did.   But almost immediately the "yes" has had to be qualified with a 'but not really".

He agrees he issued false invoices and that issuing false invoices is "wrong".

He does not admit to dumping asbestos.

Mr Cheetham remains reclined in the rear of the room where his posture is infectious.

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This bloke is very Walter Mitty.   He's out there on the edge with the outlaw bikie gangs, the pistols, the waking up on a Stanley knife, et cetera.    Ms McNaughton I think has managed that very well, she's simply put to him those matters on which he may have a case to answer and given him the opportunity to deny the allegations against him.

Mr Agius is a bit excited at the chance to chew the Zaf-fat in defence of his noble clients John Setka and the CFMEU.   His papers are bristling with pink post-it notes, many of them seem a little fluro too.

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Mr Agius has distilled the thrust of Mr Zaf's strategy.  It's Zaf with a whiff of Whitten - he's there to 'stick it up the union'.

Mr Agius, "That's what you're doing, isn't it?   That's what your plan is, to stick it up the union, isn't it?"

In answer Mr Zaf said something about a bloke and a rifle taking pot shots at cars, then calling Nick McKenzie who would direct the next shot for the day (apparently).   Does that sound weird or what?

Mr Agius moved to what turns out to be the even weirder topic of the 6 mobile phones in a shopping bag.

Apparently Tony Spaglia, who does a bit of finance for Mr Zaf, he's a rogue and a half, but that's another story.  Now what happened is that Spaglia and Setka each had the same model of mobile phone and you wouldn't read about it, one day Spags picked up Sets phone or vice versa.   

Anyway, next thing you know, Sets won't give Spags his phone back unless Spags gives Sets his phone back first.  So a couple of years go by and one day Spags tells Zaffie that he's got Setka's old phone.

WEEEELLLLL!!! Says Zaffie.  This sounds like a job for Super Nick, the investigative journalist.  

But Zaffie couldn't be conventional and just give the phones to Mr McKenzie on account of insufficient mystery if he did it that way.

What happened next was, right, the phones were in a bag in the gas meter box (the Zaf/McKenzie dead-drop location).   Nick McKenzie had to attend on the dead-drop location (when clear of Kaos or Mr Evil operatives) and pick up the phones to then rendezvous with a MOPF (insider talk, member of police force for civilians - not you Zaffie).

God help me, this bloke is nuts.

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Just after 1530 hours (roger) Operative Agius disengaged from Agent Zaf.

The next bloke up has the arms folded in Geoffrey Robertson pose and Special Agent Zaf is rising to the challenge - he's got a story for Geoffrey Junior that's even better than 6 mystery lucky dip old Nokia phones in the Coles plastic bag inside the gas meter box out the front.

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Agent Zaf spoke of fabricating material for Stocklands for Bernie, but then there were all these Hells Angels and this kid filming it all and the other bloke with the rifle taking shots at the car and everything.

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Hang on, we're not onto the BullDozer driver Paul who gave you guys Peter's name and yes, we did discuss a couple of things but he couldn't say much, he showed us the disgusting photos that were sent (by the way I am just typing exactly what this poor bugger says).

Will someone pull the plug please?   Next thing Zaffie will want his own Four Corners show with extra video diary.

Meanwhile back in the world poor Commissioner Heydon has to work out what to say about the evidence disclosed in this expanding weirdness.

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This one night Agent Zaf was under sedation and he drove home and then in the driveway when he was getting out of the car there was this big flash and he was king hit by Dr Evil's henchmen or something.   But he got better.

Young Geoffrey with the folded arms has one little point he wants to clear up.

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"Now Spags, Mr Spaglia, he had a nickname didn't he?"

Operative Zaf resonded, "Yes The Devil.   That's the name I gave him, The Devil old Spags."

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Imagine how bad it's gonna look for Double Oh Zaf when news gets out that he came unstuck a bit with a mystery assailant armed with a Stanley Knife.   What would M say?

Zac can't see how he might have told such a story - the old story about the bikies running over him on purpose - well says Zaf, maybe he might have rung up that bird from the Herald Sun Ms Crawford with that one if he was "pissed as a parrot".

Just before 4PM Secret Agent Man was excused.

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Then a very funny moment in TURC history happened.

The Commissioner started to deliver the very detailed timetable for lodgement of submissions, submissions in response etc.He speaks softly and all the barristers were scribbling to get the details down lest they screw up and miss a deadline.

Boris Johnson for Zaf was no exception.

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In comes a very excited Andrew Denis Denuto Zaf fresh from centre stage wanting to have a chat with the team.

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"Can I help you mate, glass of water?"

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"Just shut the flop up will ya.'"



Meanwhile on planet Zaf life goes on - a new manila envelope with a new mission  - should he choose to accept it.

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ACTU memorabilia collectors - a Bruce Wilson & Bill Kelty meeting record could be worth something.

On 13 July 2014 his enigmatic little exchange took place between Jeremy Stoljar andt Bruce Wilson.

They're talking about the morning of 4 February 1993.    Wilson says he drove Ms Gillard to work then went to pick up Ralph Blewitt.   Between dropping Ms Gillard off and returning with Ralph, the Power of Attorney was prepared and was ready to be signed, sealed and delivered in front of Ms Gillard (or so the approved narrative goes).

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Anyone have any insight or access to ACTU records that might show who was at ACTU gatherings in Melbourne that day?

Magnificent Lateline last night on the ABC - open calls for an end to Islamism and a Muslim Reformation

So good to see these things being spoken about - bravo (spoiled only a little because it's taken so long) to Lateline for putting this unlikely pair on last night.

 TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue is a collaboration between that famous atheist Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, a one-time radical with Hizb ut-Tahrir who went on to found the anti-extremist think tank Quilliam Foundation. Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz joined me earlier from Los Angeles and Washington.

About 10 days ago I wrote a piece on British PM David Cameron's latest effort to throw money and motherhoods at Islamist terror with this commentary from me:

I wish I had a quid for every time I've heard someone in authority say they're going to "counter extremist ideology".

Prime Minister Cameron has the spiel down pat, "We need to systematically confront and challenge extremism and the ideologies that underpin it, exposing the lies and the destructive consequences it leaves in its wake. We have to stop it at the start – stop this seed of hatred even being planted in people’s minds and cut off the oxygen it needs to grow."

That's good PM - so why don't you do it?   It's actually easier to confront the ideology and its lies than it is to say you are "committed to systematically confronting and challenging extremism etc."

I would say something like, "Islamism is the major cause of terrorism.  Islam is the problem and Islam must find the solution.   Like the Christian churches after the Dark Ages, Islam needs modernisation and Enlightenment - and that can only be driven from within Islam.   A genuine movement towards an Islamic Enlightenment will have my government's complete support.   But the change must come from within.

"Mohammed lived in the 7th century.   His way of life was perfect then, but it's not now.   The people of Islam cannot live in the modern era while adopting the customs and practices of 7th century".

"Change won't come easily but with goodwill it will come.   And my government will legislate to outlaw many of Islam's extreme teachings to make sure that the change we need to see is delivered."

Why did Bruce Wilson refer the WA Corporate Affairs Department to Ms Gillard if she thought she was incorporating an election fund?

Why would Bruce Wilson tell the WA Corporate Affairs Department to deal directly with Julia Gillard on its objections to incorporating the AWU WRA Inc?

Wilson wanted a separate legal entity from the AWU to receive money from the Dawesville Channel project.

Gillard says she didn't know that.   She thought she was just setting up a payroll deduction election fund.  If she's telling the truth about that, then she'd have been just as likely to tell the WA Corporate Affairs Department the Association was truly a slush fund to pay for Bruce's election expenses.   Thiess would have been thrilled.

So why on earth would Wilson put the corporate affairs department in direct contact with Ms Gillard?    He was deceiving her wasn't he?   She says she didn't know what he was really up to?   How could he take that sort of risk??????????

(taken from his statement sworn at the TURC).

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Mr Stoljar followed up on that evidence when Mr Wilson was in the witness box.

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We know Ms Gillard was in Perth/Kalgoorlie at the time.   We know she wrote the 13 May 1992 letter vouching for the association and urging its incorporation.

And we know that she wrote to Ralph Blewitt inciting him to write on "association letterhead" to the Corporate Affairs department - at a time when no such incorporated or unincorporated association existed.

The documents and travel favour Wilson's account.   The observable  behaviours favour Wilson's account.   Nothing support's Gillard's account that she had no idea about the real purpose of the AWU WRA Incorporated.


Congratulations Channel 7's new Director of News in Sydney - Jason Morrison

Congratulations to one of Australia's great newsmen Jason Morrison on his new job as Channel 7's Director of News in Sydney.

Jason has a very young family and this is fantastic news for them all - two years after Fairfax made one of the stupidest decisions in radio history in not renewing Jason's contract at 2UE.

It's terribly bittersweet news for me.   Jason and I won't be able to continue with the podcasts we've been producing - but I know you'll join with me in congratulating Jason on being appointed to one of the biggest jobs in the news business in Australia.

PS - sorry ZEG, the artwork for our online radio show business will now be offered to the Smithsonian.


Here's Mumbrella's story on Jason's appointment.

Rob Raschke out and Chris Willis replaced by Jason Morrison in as Seven shakes up news

sevenChannel Seven’s longstanding network director of news Rob Raschke is departing after 18 years in the role while its Sydney director of news Chris Willis is also departing the broadcaster after 24 years as part of an overhaul of operations there.

The major changes come on Craig McPherson the new director of news and public affairs at Seven’s first day, with Raschke’s future having been called into question after the appointment.

Seven has already announced a replacement for Willis with former Radio 2GB/2UE broadcaster Jason Morrison to head the Sydney newsrooms.

The overhaul comes as Seven tries to regain top spot in the 6pm news battle with fierce rivals Nine, with the network trailing nationally for most of this year.

When it was announced McPherson was returning from Nine to the new role Seven told Mumbrella it would not affect Raschke’s position.

In a statement this afternoon Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner said: “After a mighty 18-year campaign, in the thick of the cut and thrust of daily news, Rob has established a body of work of which he can be very proud. He has helped identify and launch the careers of a legion of news people and leaves the Seven News teams across the nation in good shape.”

Raschke said: “For the past 18 and a half years, it’s been an honour to have worked for a proprietor like Kerry Stokes.

“In that time I’ve had the most amazing opportunities. I’ve covered three Olympic Games, travelled with peace keepers to East Timor and covered more state and federal elections than I thought possible.

“I’ve worked alongside the best of the best from reporters, producers, camera operators and editors. It’s been a fantastic ride and I’m certain there are more to come. I wish Seven News and everyone across the network the very best.”



The appointment of Morrison comes some two years after he departed Radio 2UE after stints as the station’s breakfast and drive-time presenter.

Morrison is a former news editor of the Ten Network who has also won Australian radio’s highest industry award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, The Brian White Memorial Award.

Nic Christensen 

The TURC's logic on Julia Gillard's cock and bull story doesn't pass muster

What Julia said about the instructions to form the AWU WRA Inc.

11 September, 1995 - GILLARD - Exit Interview, Slater and Gordon

I was asked by Bruce to, I was ask by Bruce to  form, I was asked by Bruce about the holding of election fund monies.

The usual mechanism is that (they) require officials who run on their ticket to enter payroll deduction schemes where money goes from their pay into a bank account.   They also have different fundraisers, dinners and raffles.   Bruce wanted to have such an account.   So I advised Bruce that we had done that in the past, we had incorporated associations.

10 September 2014 - GILLARD - Statement to Royal Commission

Prior to April, 1992 I was asked by Wilson about the holding of election fund monies.   I was aware that Slater and Gordon had incorporated associations for the holding of election fund monies.

I had no knowledge of and gave no advice regarding the association's sources of funding.

10 September 2014 - GILLARD - Oral evidence to the Royal Commission

in 1992, I received instructions from Mr Wilson about providing legal advice on the incorporation of an association.

Mr Wilson raised with me wanting to have a fund in Western Australia that would support him and his team and their re-election in Western Australia (never mind that he moved to Victoria and left his WA job just weeks later Ms Gillard).

I was asked by Mr Wilson about the holding of election moneys for the support of him and his team in Western Australia 

It's not detailed in the statement, but it was about him and the team of officials he would run with

12 June 2014 - WILSON - Statement to Royal Commission 

(referring to January 1992 dinner in Sydney with Ludwig, Jukes and Albrecht) - someone suggested a separate legal entity which could run the training and to which the funding could be provided 

it was my strong position that there was no way I would be raising these funds and allowing the national office to make any claim on them

there was support from Albrecht and Ludwig for the separate legal entity, they gave it their "blessing"

I got advice from Stephen Booth and Julia Gillard about setting up the separate legal entity.   I decided it should be an incorporated association.

At some stage in March 1992 I recall that Julia Gillard was in Perth and we had a discussion about the application for incorporation of the WRA.

In March 1992 Blewitt and I attended a meeting with Jukes and Joe Trio.   I informed them the legal entity was to be called the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association.   I said that Blewitt was to be the secretary and correspondence should go to him.   I said they would be dealing with us in our WRA capacities.

I can recall sitting with Gillard in my office and she told me which sections of the legislation were relevant for the incorporation of the association.   I drafted the objects myself.   Gillard made a few notations on the Application form (the name and Section 4 (1) (e) of the Act.

Blewitt lodged the Application on 23 April 2014

12 June 2014 - WILSON - Oral evidence to the Royal Commission

Q you in due course set up the separate legal entity to which you made reference in (i.e. the entity discussed at dinner with Albrecht, Ludwig and Jukes)?

A Yes.

Q That entity became, to use shorthand, the Workplace Reform Association?

A Yes.

Q you say:I may have asked someone like my accountants, or Stephen BOOTH or Julia GILLARD. Well, you did ask Ms Gillard at least; correct?

A I believe I did.

Q And did she say to you it's better to have an incorporated association, a legal entity, into which people can participate?

A I don't know if she would have said those words. In the discussion we would have canvassed a number of issues, I think. 

.....what I understood in March 1992 is that we had an agreement, the association and Thiess contractors.

(Wilson reiterated the evidence in his statement about Gillard being present at his Perth office in March, 1992, about him drafting the Objects and Gillard putting it all together in the form required by the Act.   He states that "either Gillard or I" would have advised Ralph to write the "changes to work to achieve safe workplaces' purpose.   He is shown and recognises Gillard's handwriting in various spots on the application form, stating that she wrote it out in his Perth office.

A Did you have any discussion with Ms Gillard about how the association was going to be raising funds?

A  Not at all. 

Q Did she ask?



Gillard admits that she had never set up an incorporated association for union officials election monies before the AWU WRA inc.   She certainly didn't do it after.

The only person who might have bailed her out on that claim was the senior partner in the industrial unit at Slater and Gordon at the time, now the Honourable Judge Bernard Murphy.   

On 24 September 2014 Judge Murphy told the TURC:

Q. Could you go to paragraph 3.1. You are now dealing with the Workplace Reform Association. You say: I had no involvement whatsoever in the legal work in relation to the creation of the ... Association. Did you have informal discussions with Ms Gillard about it?
A. No.

Q. Did you have any awareness that she had set up an incorporated association?
A. No.

Q. Did it come as a surprise to you in 1995 when you learnt about it?
A. Yes, it did.

And later in the day:

Q. So an election fund is made up of a group of unionists who contribute to that fund from payroll deductions and the money is used for the purposes of elections?
A. Yes.

Q. It wouldn't be possible to register one of an election fund per se as an incorporated association, would that be the position?
A. I never tried. I don't know.

Q. You're not aware of any election fund being registered as an incorporated association?
A. I never did.

Finally, His Honour was asked to read the Objects of the Association as drafted by Ms Gillard, allegedly to describe an election fund.

Q. But a reader of these objects would not be able to conclude that there was an election fund built into this association?
A. It wasn't clear to me reading them.

Former AWU WA Branch accountant Russell Frearson was responsible for the Wilson team payroll deduction election fund - set up in May, 1991 when Wilson became branch secretary - operating for one year when the AWU WRA inc was established

Russell Frearson was the financial accountant for the WA Branch of the AWU during Bruce Wilson's time at the helm.   I found him and interviewed him in Perth earlier this year.

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 from May 1991
  • 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.

I found and spoke to the AWU WA joint branch secretaries who came after Wilson and Blewitt.   They corroborated Frearson on the payroll deduction scheme - they are meticulous about refunding each contributors money when the scheme was successfully broken up after Wilson's departure.   And the Commission didn't talk to them either.   Nor to Ray Neale the former corporate affairs commissioner who Gillard decieved, nor to Ray Mineif the corporate affairs employee who handled the review of the AWU WRA Inc incorporation application.   I did - and I can tell you there's no $80M funding for this operation.

Angry much?   You bet.  There's a lot more of this history to come on this website - the idea that Gillard made the representations she made to the WA Corporate Affairs department in the interests of a payroll deduction election fund is ludicrous, I'll bring you those details soon.

The finding that Gillard just acted on instructions, was deceived and is entirely innocent is utter bullshit.   Australia is a better place than to have such a miscarriage of justice in its history books.

The Royal Commission of Enquiry into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has just over two months to correct the record.