Some further discussion ensued around the table about funding for training projects that would be available on the Dawesville Channel project. I raised that the funding for such training should be kept totally separate from the funds of the AWU. There was some discussion about how that might be done, and someone suggested creating a separate legal entity that could run the training and to which the funding could be provided. If that could be done, we discussed that there could be no confusion that the funds for the training would be completely separate from AWU funds.
It was my strong position that there was no way that I would be raising these funds and allowing the national office to make any claim on them. The separate legal entity would be the vehicle that would propel the concept of the NCB, and funds received by the entity could be used to support the NCB concept through supporting candidates in the election and paying for various associated expenses.
A general concept of a separate legal entity was further discussed, and there was support for this idea. I recall that when the meeting finished LUDWIG said words to the effect ''That sounds alright to me, I'm happy with that. I'll leave the rest to you blokes to sort it out." I considered that LUDWIG and ALBRECHT had given their 'blessing' to the arrangement. I believed that this constituted the basis of an agreement between the THIESS representatives and myself.
It was agreed that whatever arrangement was finalised in terms of funding to the entity, it would be effective from the nominated start date of the DCP to the nominated completion date of the project. Then there was general chit-chat and LUDWIG and I left together as we were staying at the same hotel.
He talks about an entity whose purpose was to receive funds from Thiess. It needed a cover story about its purpose that sounded better than the real story. So the cover story Wilson et al came up with was that it was a workplace reform and safety entity set up to achieve great things. Total BS, pages of objects written down to convince the Commissioner the thing was legit and should be incorporated. But for Wilson the cover story was inestimably better than the truth, which according to Wilson would sound something like “This association is formed for the purpose of creating a separate legal entity with the AWU’s name in it for the purpose of receiving money from Thiess after Thiess was awarded the Dawesville Channel project”.
Now compare Gillard’s position. She says that she got instructions to set up a payroll deduction fund to meet the expenses Bruce Wilson and his mates would legitimately have in election campaigns. But rather than write down what Gillard says was the truth, the election fund thing, she writes down reams of unlikely workplace reform this, safety training that, etc etc etc. That’s where Gillard’s version of the truth comes unstuck. If it was as innocent and conventional as she told Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw, why didn’t she tell the corporate affairs commissioner the same thing? But if she’d done that, the election fund purpose would be on the public record and it would be a brave Thiess executive who’d authorise invoices to transfer shareholders money to fund Bruce Wilson’s elections.
Wilson said he wanted an entity to get the money from Thiess, that’s what he said it was set up for – and that is precisely what the entity did. Wilson’s statement is not benign from Gillard’ perspective, who is stuck with her story that she was told to set up a payroll deduction fund that just ended up achieving its purposes through convoluted processes. Wilson’s statement contemplates some legal planning involving the processes Thiess required to pay out money. The entity that Wilson says he wanted to create must have had the legal ability to "receive the funds" - that is it had to raise invoices in its own right and negotiate the money paid in its name through a bank account. Bruce Wilson Consulting wouldn't cut it for Thiess's auditors - likewise a hand-written invoice in a book from a newsagent with a bank account associated with it. For Thiess managers to pay out $300,000 and stay on the right side of their auditors, Thiess would require invoices raised by some legal entity (if not the AWU itself). In Wilson's own words, that was the reason for the creation of the AWU WRA Incorporated. In that context, the necessity for the AWU's name in the title becomes a little clearer.