Was a 4 page 1991 letter from Gillard to Wilson on AWU Rules brought to her attention? "No it (was) not",
A lawyer friend of mine was talking to Neil Clelland SC, Senior Counsel for Julia Gillard at the Trade Union Royal Commission.
Mr Clelland said that Julia Gillard was the most thoroughly prepared witness he had ever encountered.
Thanks to Hillbilly 33 for the tip on the following matter and plenty of others that we'll publish in the coming days/weeks.
Ms Gillard was instructed by the TURC to prepare a witness statement setting out, amongst other things, the timing and circumstances of the commencement of her relationships with Wilson. Counsel for Ralph Blewitt asked her two quite reasonable questions about whether she recalled, or had her attention brought to a 4 page August 1991 letter she wrote to Wilson as part of the process.
During her TURC appearance Ms Gillard apparently did not want to talk about the extensive written advice she gave about the AWU rules. To admit to the extent of her detailed knowledge of the rules as set out in that letter might have created difficult questions for her. So she did what she did in answer to the Athol James payments, she denied any recall of the letter and denied that it had been brought to her attention. The purpose of this post is to test whether or not those two sworn denials at the TURC approach the threshold for perjury or other proceedings against her.
I know that Ms Gillard visited our website during the last weeks of 2012 as the AWU Scandal took up a week of question time. Again she was prepared for every conceivable question.
Ms Bishop was holding up a copy of the document as she referred the Prime Minister to it, "I refer the Prime Minister....... to this letter she wrote as a partner of Slater and Gordon to Bruce Wilson in August 1991, in which she provided him with detailed advice on AWU rules on branch offices, union officials and elections".
Here is the front page of the document - remainder here.
Ms Bishop had Ms Gillard's attention.
The question and presentation of a copy of the letter by Ms Bishop are captured in this video at about 20 seconds in.
Ms Bishop and Ms Gillard were close enough to each other to allow for the letter to be passed from Bishop to Gillard, the letter would have been readable from that distance as Ms Bishop held it up,.
I published the letter that same day after question time here:
On Wednesday 28 November 2012 Ms Gillard confirmed that she or her staff in preparing for Question Time each day that week were visiting and reading my blog, here's a link to the hansard.
Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:35):...............In relation to smear and the line of opposition questioning today, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's questions have been based on Michael Smith's blog today. That is her only source, Michael Smith—
Ms GILLARD: .....................I am also pointing out to the House that the opposition's tactics today have been dictated by Michael Smith's blog. Who is Michael Smith? He is the man who was sacked for wanting to defame me, basing that defamation on an affidavit drawn up by John Pasquarelli of One Nation fame. Who is Michael Smith?
Ms GILLARD: ............I am dealing with this in the sense that the source of these allegations is Michael Smith. Who is Michael Smith? He is the man accompanying Ralph Blewitt around Australia. Who is Michael Smith? He is the man who rang the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and handed the phone over so that she could speak to Ralph Blewitt. What is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's version of these events? It is that Michael Smith rang her up and she had no idea who the phone was going to be handed over to. Who was she expecting—Humphrey B Bear? No; he can't talk. Tom Cruise? No; he's not in Australia.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ms Gillard was referred to the August 1991 letter to Wilson by Julie Bishop who held the letter up 2 or 3 arms lengths away from Ms Gillard. Ms Gillard answered a question about the letter. She and/or her staff were visiting my website regularly that week where the letter was prominently published.
GILLARD'S EVIDENCE TO THE TRADE UNION ROYAL COMMISSION ABOUT THE 1991 LETTER TO WILSON
Here is a link to Ms Gillard's 4th Statement to the TURC
Ms Gillard was asked by the Commission to prepare the statement so as to include her version of events relating to the circumstances in which her relationship professional and personal with Wilson commenced.
The transcript of Ms Gillard's examination at the TURC is here - the points we're interested in flow from Page 863
Senior Counsel Assisting Mr Stoljar SC did not ask Ms Gillard about the August 1991 letter.
But Counsel for Ralph Blewitt Bob Galbally did. He was constantly subject to objections and rulings from the Commissioner during his brief cross-examination - he was progressing towards this final question:
While a lot of his questions on the way to making that point were over-ruled, he got this in about the start of the Gillard/Wilson professional/romantic affair.
On Page 863 of the transcript these two questions about the 4 page August 1991 letter appear.
She might have got away with not recalling the writing of the letter. But given its exposition in the parliament during the week of question time that led to the Royal Commission's establishment it's hard to believe she was faithfully telling the truth when she said "No it has not" been brought to her attention.
She didn't want to talk about it, had Galbally been able to continue with his line of questioning he would have drawn out from her many more answers about her state of knowledge of the AWU Rules she helped Wilson breach in setting up the AWU WRA Inc.
Anyone care to take a swing at the perjury possibilities?