On 13 May 2014 a letter from Julia Gillard enclosing a letter that purported to come from the WA Office of State Corporate Affairs was tendered to the Trade Union Royal Commission by the lawyer acting for Bruce Wilson.
Christine Hanscombe QC was cross examining Ralph Blewitt at the time and this transcript records the introduction of the Gillard letters into evidence.
The letter from Ms Gillard to Ralph Blewitt:
Which enclosed this letter, purportedly from Ray Neal to Ms Gillard.
Bruce Wilson is the sole source for these letters. He gave evidence to the TURC about the circumstances through which he "discovered" them.
Jeremy Stoljar SC apparently did not conduct any enquiries to prove the provenance of the letters. He most certainly did not contact the purported author of the WA Office of State Corporate Affairs letter, Mr Ray Neal.
As a result of information I have received recently, I forwarded a copy of the letter purporting to have come from Mr Neal to Ray Neal at his Perth home via email.
This morning I had a Skype conversation with Mr Neal and I asked for his permission to record and publish that conversation.
Mr Neal told me that the WA Office of State Corporate Affairs held one rubber stamp of his signature at the time.
He told me that the rubber stamp was used to apply his signature to certificates of incorporation. I forwarded to Mr Neal a copy of his signature stamp applied to the Certificate of Incorporation for the purposes of comparison with the signature on the letter.
Mr Neal told me that he did not sign the signature on the letter (top above). In our first unrecorded conversation yesterday, Mr Neal suggested that the signature on the letter may have been applied by another office of the Office of Corporate Affairs. Today Mr Neal confirmed that the signature on the letter does not appear to have been made using the approved rubber stamp copy (on the 2nd image above, taken from the AWU WRA Inc certificate of incorporation). A layman's optical comparison confirms Mr Neal's expert opinion. That effectively excludes the possibility that the letter was made or authorised by the Office of State Corporate Affairs.
This extract from the WA State Gazette shows the formatting of his name for signature purposes.
To summarise the points that suggest the letter is a forgery:
- It includes no Office of State Corporate Affairs reference
- It is not formatted using any WA Office of State Corporate Affairs template
- It does not include the Officer's name and contact telephone number typed in at the top of the letter, contrary to then WA guidelines
- "In order to avoid any unnecessary costs and delays in this matter" (to the AWU WRA Inc) is not a consideration likely to come from the Office of State Corporate Affairs
- The Act defines a Commissioner authorised to incorporate associations - but there is no Commission for whom he or she works.
- Each of Ray Neal and Ralph Minief (the two WA Corporate Affairs executives responsible for this file) state unequivocally that they never did, never would and at law did not have any authority to incorporate an association subject to it making a rule change 30 days after incorporation.
Ray Neal in the interview above confirms that he did not write the letter. He did not draft the letter. He did not sign the letter. The approved signature stamp held at the WA Office of State Corporate Affairs was not used to apply his signature. He states that his office would never and did never offer to incorporate an association subject to a subsequent rule change.
So if Ray Neal did not create the document addressed to Julia Gillard who did?