Hillary Clinton ends press conference when asked about UC video evidence
2nd WA Corporate Affairs boss - Gillard letter not authentic - Ministerial "coercion" in incorporation

More on the apparently forged Gillard letter from WA Corporate Affairs

I think we now have a much better understanding of Julia Gillard's involvement in the fraudulent application to incorporate the AWU Workplace Reform Association.  We can also surmise why she didn't open a file at Slater and Gordon in the first instance.

There was nothing to identify either GILLARD or her firm in the work she did for Wilson - up until the point the WA Office of Corporate Affairs knocked back the Application to Incorporate the AWU WRA Inc.

She did the initial leg work for Bruce, she wrote out the Rules/Objects, worded the advertisement and in particular filled out the application paperwork with the precise name "Australian Workers' Union - Workplace Reform Association" and the Section of the Act under which it sought incorporation 4(1)(e) (for political purposes).

The rest was left to Ralph Blewitt who was to be the front man and fall guy.  The association was to appear as if it was his baby, his address, his name - nothing to link Julia Gillard nor Slater and Gordon to the application at all.

Except that Gillard hadn't done her homework. It's not hard to see how she came unstuck.

The Act sets out the eligibility for incorporation.   Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 4.33.46 am

Gillard selected 4(1)(e) Political Purposes and perhaps glanced at Section 3 regarding trade union exclusions.  As you'll see in the transcript of her evidence to the Trade Union Royal Commission, Gillard apparently did not get a copy of the 1902 Act with its strange, arcane definition of what a trade union is.   She apparently proceeded on the basis of a contemporary understanding of trade unions.  

She knew from Wilson what the entity was being established for - to receive money from Thiess flowing from the Dawesville Channel contract.   She knew the cover story Wilson was giving it - that it was a workplace reform association.

About a year earlier Gillard watched the AMWU's Max Ogden get his Workplace Reform Association Inc set up and incorporated in Victoria.  An AWU Workplace Reform Association for Bruce's purposes sounded ideal.   She'd also had personal experience in Victoria of incorporating the Socialist Forum.

But the Acts for incorporating associations in WA and Victoria had at least one major differences.  WA's Trade Unions Act from 1902 was still in force and that Act's very broad definition of any combination of people regulating relations in employment was the only definition of trade union that counted.  What Gillard had described in the Objects was smack bang in the middle of the 1902 definition.

The trade union exclusion was strictly enforced by the WA Office of Corporate Affairs staff at the time.

Without that error we would not be having this discussion - and Gillard might never have been Prime Minister.

The chronology as best as I can establish it goes like this.

From around April 1991 Gillard gave Wilson private legal advice to assist him to unseat his predecessor as WA State Secretary.

Gillard and Wilson were working towards the same goal - installing the Wilson team to lead the WA Branch.

On 2 May 1991 Wilson became branch secretary and he set about installing his team and removing those loyal to his predecessor.  At that time Wilson set up a payroll deduction election fund and the WA Branch accountant immediately commenced deductions from the salary of every member of the Wilson team (with one exception).  Russell Frearson (the AWU WA finance guy) confirms that here. The one member who wouldn't join the fund was Peter Trebilco who described his reasons and his exceptional recall of precisely when the fund was set up (immediately Wilson took over) here.

On 20 August 1991 Ms Gillard wrote this detailed 4 page letter giving legal advice to Wilson on installing his choice of person to fill a vacancy.  She shows a detailed understanding of the AWU's arcane procedures in the letter.   In her departure interview she spoke in detail about her understanding of union elections and the operation of payroll deduction election funds.

In the process of giving Wilson legal advice for the takeover and later for filling positions with his chosen candidates it's likely Gillard and Wilson discussed the team's payroll deduction election fund.   But whether they did or not, the fact remains - from May 1991 the Bruce Wilson WA Team members (minus one) were contributing money by payroll deduction into an election fund.  

There was therefore a pre-existing association of people just as Gillard described in her 1995 departure interview and to the TURC - Bruce Wilson's WA team members who would stand together for election and who would contribute by payroll deduction to the election fund.  That unincorporated association or combination of people existed with payroll and tax records of their names and financial contributions.  The problem for Ms Gillard arises because that is not the association she set out to incorporate.

On 25 November 1991 Carmen Lawrence's cabinet decided to withdraw a public tender process and directly award Thiess the $60M Dawesville Channel contract.  Wilson had lobbied for that to happen. Hugh Morgan then CEO of Western Mining states Lawrence said she did Wilson's bidding because he'd threatened her with losing her job if she didn't.  Wilson had the numbers in the state's Labor Party to do just that.

On January 20-24 1992 the AWU national conference was held in Sydney.  Wilson states that he, Bill Ludwig, Nick Jukes and the CEO of Thiess Martin Albrecht met to discuss the Dawesville Channel contract and money that would flow from Thiess into a separate legal entity from the AWU controlled by Wilson.  Ludwig gave his nod of approval.  Wilson states they reached agreement on the amount and method of payment and the use of a separate legal entity.

Wilson states that over the next several weeks he sought advice about setting up the separate entity for the purpose of receiving those funds.  He states he received advice from Gillard about setting up an incorporated association for the purpose.

6 March 1992  - the ad in the West Australian newspaper for AWU WRA Inc appeared.  There had been no prior application to incorporate the entity.  This is the only ad and only application they made and the purpose is "encouraging and promoting workplace reform", just like Max Ogden's successful Workplace Reform Association Inc in Victoria.

6a0177444b0c2e970d017c34366e99970b

16 March, 1992 - letter signed by Joe Trio on behalf of Nick Jukes to AWU WRA re $300K in monthly payments over 3 year term of Dawesville Channel project - this is consistent with Wilson's statement about asking Gillard's advice for an association set up to receive precisely this money.  Importantly, it's also what happened, that's what the Association was used for.   It was never used as a payroll deduction election fund.

 

23 April 1992 - Application to incorporate lodged with Corporate Affairs Commission - fee of $75 payable on lodgement.  By this time the stated purpose in the ad "promoting workplace reform" has changed a bit to "changes to work to achieve safe workplaces".   This first and only application went in with Gillard's writing proving her connection forever.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 5.22.16 am

27 April 1992 - Thiess draws cheque paying AWU WRA $25,272

4 May 1992 - Commonwealth Bank paperwork to set up accounts for the AWU WRA Inc signed by Blewitt and Wilson

5 May 1992 - $25,272 cheque from Thiess deposited into cash management account

At this point both Thiess and Wilson et al are absolutely committed to the AWU WRA Inc.  The Thiess executives have covered their secret commission payments with the flimsy letter to the association (probably not written by Jukes) but more importantly they have authorised $25K getting paid to Wilson's sham with absolutely no work done for it and a backdated invoice to boot.   There are compelling reasons now to follow through with the incorporation because of the difficulty in explaining the letter, the bank account, the invoice, the purchase order and the cheques made out to the boys and delivered to their secret Post Office Box.

Within a few days of receiving the Application to Incorporate and on reading the Objects, the WA Office of Corporate Affairs formed the view that the entity fell within the 1902 definition of trade union and was therefore ineligible for incorporation.

Had the Commissioner or his staff needed it, there was readily available legal advice in house to run an expert eye over the paperwork.

Some time prior to 13 May 1992, Corporate Affairs wrote to Ralph Blewitt to say that the Association could not be incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act because it was a trade union.   This extract from late 1991 internal legal advice to the Commissioner on another incorporated association sets out the basis for an objection on trade union related grounds.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 2.32.15 am

Blewitt recalls speaking to Wilson about the letter informing them that the Commissioner had declined to incorporate the Association.   Blewitt says Wilson was very concerned and appeared worried about the knock-back.

The Act sets out the process of reviewing the decision of the Commissioner.  There is only one place to go and that is to the Minister responsible. Note that the Commissioner declined to incorporate.  He did not seek further or better particulars, he did not seek clarification.  He pointed out that the entity was a trade union and therefore ineligible for incorporation under this Act.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 5.33.48 am

Peter Gordon used precisely those words that it might have "been a trade union and therefore ineligible for incorporation" under the Act.  The Commissioner did not make an inquiry, he declined to incorporate because the entity was ineligible.

Wilson says he forwarded the letter to Gillard.  It's what happened next that exposed Gillard to trouble she had not anticipated.

Gillard has always been cagey about the nature of her response to the decision by the Commissioner not to incorporate the entity.

In her departure interview Gillard agrees with Peter Gordon that she wrote back arguing the case for incorporation.  Neither she nor Gordon describe the process of appealing the Commissioner's decision.

The legislation says only the Minister can review the knock-back.   The man in charge of the file, Ralph MInief told me the instruction to incorporate the entity came from the Minister.  And perhaps most tellingly the first cheque written out of the fraudulently obtained bank account for the AWU WRA Inc was to WA Corporate Affairs in the amount of $22.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 5.44.55 am

At the time there were two entries in the Schedule of Fees that attracted a $22 payment - one was for the extra costs involved in assessing an "any other purpose" request for incorporation under Sect 4(1)(f) of the Act, not relevant to our 4(1)(e) association.

The other was for Lodgement of Request that the Minister Review a Decision of the Commissioner.

For reasons unknown to us, Ms Gillard has gone to great lengths never to mention the review of the Minister.   Neither Gillard nor Gordon mention it in the departure interview, Gillard does not mention it in her statements to the TURC and as you'll see when you read this extract from the transcript of her oral evidence to the TURC Gillard is cagey when asked direct questions by Stoljar SC.  She talks about the Office of Corporate Affairs making an inquiry etc - but she is not telling the whole story, in fact her evidence appears to be downright misleading.

                    Q. Did the Office of the

        29       Commissioner for Corporate Affairs then contact you?

        30       A.   Once again, my view about this is informed by

        31       documents.  If I hadn't seen the documents I'm not sure I

        32       would have recalled these matters, but it is evident on the

        33       documents that some inquiry was made, I presume of

        34       Mr Blewitt, about the nature of the Association and whether

        35       or not it was a trade union and that was then referred to

        36       me.

        37

        38       Q.   Do you recollect how it came to be referred to you?

        39       A.   No, I don't.

 

 

                     Q You wrote to the Office of State Corporate Affairs in

        42       WA on 13 May 1992.  That letter has not been located but

        43       that would appear to be the case from the correspondence

        44       which is on page 23.

        45       A.   Yes.

        46

        47       Q.   Do you have any recollection of the content of your letter of 13 May 1992?

         2       A.   I don't have a recollection, Mr Stoljar.  What

         3       I gleaned from these documents, having them in front of me

         4       now and obviously having them in front of me during the

         5       course of this Royal Commission, is that there must have

         6       been an inquiry about whether or not the Association was a

         7       trade union and I responded to that.

         8

         9       Q.   You wrote arguing the case for incorporation; is that

        10       right?

        11       A.   If I'd received an inquiry about whether or not this

        12       was a trade union, I would have responded it was not a

        13       trade union.  I presume the inquiry from the Office of

        14       State Corporate Affairs was, "Was this a trade union?",

        15       because that would have implications as to whether it

        16       should be incorporated as an association or its corporate

        17       personality would be governed by state industrial relations

        18       law.

        19

        20       Q.   My question was that you wrote to the Commissioner for

        21       Corporate Affairs arguing the case for incorporation.  Is

        22       that correct or --

        23       A.   I would have done what solicitors do, which is I would

        24       have referred to my client's instructions and would have

        25       explained my understanding of the law, and my understanding

        26       of the law and my client's instructions were that this was

        27       not a trade union. 

                    Q.   I'll come back to this letter in a moment, but if

        30       I take you back to the record of interview at page 137 --

        31       A.   Sorry, in the same document, though, aren't they?

        32

        33       Q.   Yes, tab 3.

        34       A.   Tab 3.  Yes.

        35

        36       Q.   Mr Gordon says:

        37

        38            Slater & Gordon ...

        39

        40       This is page 137, in the middle of the page, the paragraph

        41       beginning, "And last Monday".  The third line.

        42

        43            ... had submitted those rules to the

        44            relevant Western Australian government

        45            authority ...

        46

        47       Indeed, that passage suggests that Slater & Gordon submitted the rules to the relevant Western Australian

         2       government authority.  Does that remind you that Slater &

         3       Gordon had some role in lodging this --

         4       A.   No, Slater & Gordon did not submit the rules to the

         5       incorporation body.  Mr Gordon's misphrased that question.

         6

         7       Q.   Mr Gordon goes on.

         8

         9            ... there'd been a letter back from the

        10            authority suggesting that it might be a

        11            trade union and therefore ineligible for

        12            incorporation under that legislation ...

        13

        14       And then says.

        15

        16            ... we had prepared a response submitted on

        17            Wilson's instructions to that authority

        18            suggesting that in fact it wasn't a trade

        19            union and arguing the case for its

        20            incorporation.

        21

        22       And then you say:

        23

        24            I wouldn't want to be held to the dates ...

        25

        26       Et cetera.  That accurately summarised, didn't it, what

        27       occurred?  A response was submitted on Wilson's

        28       instructions suggesting it wasn't a trade union and arguing

        29       the case for its incorporation.

        30       A.   I think we're in agreement, aren't we, Mr Stoljar,

        31       that I did what a solicitor does; I put my client's

        32       instructions and put my view of the law.

        33

 

                  Q Do you recollect what the explanation was that you had

         6       provided in relation to the purposes of the Association?

         7       A.   As I explained earlier, I don't have a recollection

         8       from all those years ago, but having had the opportunity to

         9       look at these documents, what appears clear on the face of

        10       the documents is there was an inquiry about whether or not

        11       this was a trade union.  I responded to it.  The personnel,

        12       Mr Neal, the assistant director of the Office of State

        13       Corporate Affairs, then said that there should be an

        14       amendment to be known as new rule 3A and then the document

        15       appearing on the next page of the folder details what that

        16       rule is and it is to clarify that the Association is not

        17       doing the kinds of things one would associate with a trade

        18       union.

        19

        20       Q.   Had you crafted the new rule 3A and included it in

        21       your letter of 13 May 1992?

        22       A.   I don't think so and I don't think that's the sense of

        23       this letter.  I think the sense of this letter is that the

        24       State Corporate Affairs people are recommending that

        25       amendment.

        26

        27       Q.   The letter on the next page is a memorandum from

        28       yourself to Mr Blewitt of 21 May 1992, so some time after

        29       this letter?

        30       A.   Mmm.

        31

        32       Q.   Do you say that the Office of State Corporate Affairs

        33       included a version of what actually became rule 3A in their

        34       letter of 15 May 1992?

        35       A.   I think we're both in the unhappy position that we

        36       don't have the letter of 13 May 1992 which may answer this

        37       question for us.  My reading of the letter of 15 May is it

        38       may well be that the Office of State Corporate Affairs

        39       suggested that draft as clarification, but whichever way,

        40       the purpose of the clarification is to exclude the

        41       possibility that the Association is undertaking work

        42       normally associated with trade unions. 

                     Q.   The letter of 15 May continues:

        45

        46            In order to avoid any unnecessary costs and

        47            delays ... the Commission is prepared to incorporate the association with the

         2            existing rules annexed to Mr Blewitt's

         3            application subject to receiving a written

         4            undertaking that the association will amend

         5            its rules to include new rule 3A within

         6            30 days of being notified of incorporation.

         7

         8       A.   Yes.

         9

        10       Q.   You then sent the memo to Mr Blewitt, to which you've

        11       already made reference, and it is at page 24.

        12       A.   Mmm-hmm.

        13

        14       Q.   You drafted a letter that he would be able to send to

        15       the Office of State Corporate Affairs?

        16       A.   Yes, I did.

        17

        18       Q.   You were recommending or at least you were proposing

        19       to him to write, saying on behalf of the Association:

        20

        21            ... I undertake that the Association will

        22            amend its Rules within thirty days of being

        23            notified ... to include a new Rule 3A ...

        24

        25       And you say that that was intended to clarify how the

        26       objects of the Association would operate, or at least to

        27       clarify that it would not be operating as a trade union.

        28       You say that was your understanding of 3A?

        29       A.   Yes, that's right.

        30

        31       Q.   Rule 3A precludes the Association, in effect,

        32       regulating relations between workmen and employers;

        33       correct?

        34       A.   Mmm.

        35

        36       Q.   One of the things that an employer does is provide a

        37       safe system of work; correct?

        38       A.   Yes, they ought to.

        39

        40       Q.   How was this rule going to operate with the existing

        41       rules?

        42       A.   Consistent with what I've said, that my view, looking

        43       at these documents, is that the inquiry was about whether

        44       or not this Association would seek to do the kinds of

        45       things associated with being a trade union.  Looking at

        46       this new rule 3A, that the Association aims to seek to

        47       regulate the relations between workmen and employers, that  that's a formulation about, you know, seeking award

         2       regulation, or it may well have been in the days beyond the

         3       common approach to enterprise bargaining, but, you know,

         4       doing the kinds of things that trade unions do, either

         5       under State or Federal law, that is, that they participate

         6       in the regulatory system, the regulatory system of

         7       employment, things like serving a log of claims in order to

         8       create an award.

         9

        10       Q.   Why not just write back and say, "Well, it's not going

        11       to be a trade union because it's going to raise money for

        12       elections"?

        13       A.   Mr Stoljar, sitting here, I don't know, but can

        14       I suggest to you that one thing that may be worth looking

        15       at is whether or not this is a form of words somehow

        16       associated with the state industrial relations legislation

        17       at that time.  I think it's that clarification that was

        18       being sought.  Should this be an association or a state

        19       registered trade union?  Those words looked to me like they

        20       may have come from state regulation of some nature.  Now,

        21       I don't have a direct recollection of it, but that is what,

        22       piecing together from these documents, I think I was

        23       dealing with at the time.

        24

        25       Q.   But if the concern that had been raised with you was

        26       that the Association could be confused for a trade union,

        27       isn't the simple answer, it's set up outside the union and

        28       it's going to raise funds for election purposes and operate

        29       a bank account to hold those funds?

        30       A.   Well, in the letter of 15 May what's being asked for

        31       by the corporate affairs people is the inclusion of a new

        32       rule.

        33

        34       Q.   That's your construction.  The alternative

        35       construction is that you had proposed the new rule 3A in

        36       your correspondence of 13 May?

        37       A.   And I'm not in a position to assist you with that

        38       further and I don't think you're in a position to assist me

        39       when neither of us have the letter of 13 May.

        40

        41       Q.   Did you give any advice to Mr Blewitt as to how the

        42       rule change would be effected?

        43       A.   The advice I gave to Mr Blewitt is the advice you see

        44       before you on page 24.

        45

        46       Q.   Effecting a change to the rules would require some

        47       sort of resolution, presumably a special resolution; is that right?

         2       A.   This is a pre-incorporation amendment.

         3

         4       Q.   No.  What do you mean by that?

         5       A.   Just paragraph 3 of Mr Neal's letter.

         6

         7            ... the Commission is prepared to

         8            incorporate the association with the

         9            existing rules ...

        10

        11       Q.   Quite so.

        12       A.   "... subject to receiving a written undertaking ..."

        13

        14       Q.   Mr Neal is proceeding on the assumption that there was

        15       in fact an association and that what the Commission was

        16       going to do was incorporate it; correct?

        17       A.   The letter says:

        18

        19            Thank you for your letter of 13 May 1992

        20            concerning the application by

        21            Mr R E Blewitt to incorporate the above

        22            association.

        23

        24       Q.   Quite so.

        25       A.   So --

        26

        27       Q.   In the passage to which you drew my attention, the

        28       third paragraph, the Office of State Corporate Affairs is

        29       saying:

        30

        31            ... the Commission is prepared to

        32            incorporate the association with the

        33            existing rules annexed ... subject to

        34            receiving a written undertaking that the

        35            association will amend its rules to include

        36            a new rule 3A ...

        37

        38       The point being that Mr Neal is proceeding on the basis

        39       that there was in fact an association in existence and what

        40       the Commission was going to be doing was to incorporate it

        41       under the Act; correct?

        42       A.   Mr Stoljar, my reading of those words - and neither of

        43       us is Mr Neal - my reading of those words is the Commission

        44       is prepared to incorporate the association; that is, the

        45       association for which incorporation is being sought --

        46

        47       Q.   Yes.  And there was no such - I'm sorry? 

    A.   -- with this change.

         2

         3       Q.   But there was no such association at that time, was

         4       there?

         5       A.   No, there was an application to incorporate an

         6       association and I believe it's that association for which

         7       incorporation is being sought that Mr Neal is referring to.

         8

         9       Q.   What Mr Neal was contemplating and more particularly

        10       you were describing in your memorandum to Mr Blewitt of

        11       21 May 1992, was an amendment to the rules taking place

        12       within 30 days of the Association being notified of its

        13       incorporation.

        14       A.   What's the question?

        15

        16       Q.   I think I'm really picking up your comment earlier

        17       about whether or not this was a pre-incorporation

        18       resolution and I'm agreeing with you to this extent, that

        19       your memorandum to Mr Blewitt of 21 May 1992 makes

        20       reference to a resolution that would need to be passed

        21       30 days subsequent to the incorporation of the Association;

        22       is that right?

        23       A.   Yes, that's right.  You're now referring to the last

        24       line of the third paragraph of Mr Neal's letter; is that

        25       right?

        26

        27       Q.   No, I've come to your memo of 21 May on the next page.

        28       A.   Oh, you've come to my memo.  Sorry, yes.  Oh, I see.

        29       Okay.  Sorry, I was on the wrong document.

        30

        31       Q.   You were contemplating that Mr Blewitt would write

        32       giving an undertaking that the Association would amend its

        33       rules, within 30 days of being notified of its

        34       incorporation, to include a new rule 3A?

        35       A.   Mmm.

        36

        37       Q.   My question was did you give advice to Mr Blewitt as

        38       to how the amendment would be effected?

        39       A.   I don't recall giving advice to Mr Blewitt about how

        40       the amendment would be effected, but at this point

        41       Mr Blewitt was obviously in possession of the rules.

        42

        43       Q.   You were causing, in effect, Mr Blewitt to write

        44       giving a personal undertaking to the Commissioner, the

        45       WA Commissioner of Corporate Affairs?

        46       A.   I think "causing" is not the right word. 

    Q.   Well, you crafted a letter for him to that effect?

         2       A.   My understanding from my instructions was that

         3       Mr Blewitt and Mr Wilson wanted to incorporate this

         4       Association.  The clear meaning of the letter from Mr Neal

         5       is that there is an issue in relation to that

         6       incorporation.  I then provided advice to Mr Blewitt about

         7       the resolution of that issue.  Whether or not he accepted

         8       that advice or acted on it is entirely a matter for him.

         9

        10       Q.   Do you recollect whether the concern on the part of

        11       the Office of State Corporate Affairs also related to the

        12       fact that the words "Australian Workers Union" were

        13       included in the name of the Association?

        14       A.   No, I don't believe so and on the face of this

        15       correspondence that doesn't show, does it.  You would

        16       anticipate, wouldn't you, Mr Stoljar, that if there was

        17       more than one concern about incorporation, that it would be

        18       separately referred to in the letter of 15 May 1992.

        19

        20       Q.   Did you make an inquiry of Mr Blewitt - or Mr Wilson,

        21       for that matter - as to whether he had in fact caused the

        22       amendment to the rule to be effected?

        23       A.   No.  Having provided the advice, I wouldn't have.

        24

        25       Q.   No, I'm simply asking whether you made any inquiry,

        26       subsequent to incorporation, as to whether --

        27       A.   No, I did not.  No, I did not.

        28

        29       Q.   You didn't follow up that matter?

        30       A.   No, no, I would have given Mr Blewitt the advice and

        31       then he and Mr Wilson and others, on my understanding, are

        32       involved in the Association, it's then a matter for them.

        33

        34       Q.   Mr Wilson had by this stage moved to Melbourne?

        35       A.   My recollection is Mr Wilson moved to Melbourne in

        36       mid 1992.  Sitting here, I can't tell you what date versus

        37       21 May 1992.  There may be something in your - sorry, the

        38       Commission's documents that helps clarify that, but I don't

        39       have that date in my mind.

        40

        41       Q.   He certainly was physically in Melbourne at that time?

        42       A.   I can't help with you that, Mr Stoljar.  I know he

        43       moved to Melbourne in 1992.  It may be that in one of the

        44       many documents before the Commission that date is

        45       clarified.

        46

        47       Q.   Did Mr Wilson have discussion with you about why he

         1       wanted to set up a fund in WA?

         2       A.   Not other than the ones that we've already gone to in

         3       our discussion during the course of this morning.

         4

         5       Q.   The position when this memorandum to Mr Blewitt was

         6       sent on 21 May 1992 was that, so far as you knew, there had

         7       been no committee of management appointed or anything like

         8       that?  You weren't aware of that?

         9       A.   Sorry, just repeat the question, I'm sorry.

        10

        11       Q.   The committee of management had not been appointed to

        12       the Association?

        13       A.  At what point?

        14

        15       Q.   When you sent your memorandum to Mr Blewitt on 21 May

        16       1992?

        17       A.   I don't know and I didn't - apart from, as we

        18       discussed a little bit earlier today, advising about the

        19       requirements of an incorporated association, it had to have

        20       a minimum number of members, it had to have a committee of

        21       management, I didn't make further inquiries about how

        22       Mr Blewitt and Mr Wilson then went about operationalising

        23       that.

        24

        25       Q.   The critical function of this Association, as you

        26       understood it, was to enable funds to be received in a bank

        27       account that would operate so as to obviate the possibility

        28       of debate arising in due course about the ownership of

        29       those funds?

        30       A.   We had that discussion earlier today and you would

        31       recall what I said then, that I thought it was about

        32       regularising arrangements between a team of people

        33       associated within a trade union and going to run for

        34       re-election together and election fundraising, in the

        35       holding of an account into which election funds raised for

        36       the election would be held.

        37

        38       Q.   Can I come back to Mr Wilson and his movements in

        39       1992.  At a certain point at least he was living in

        40       Cardigan Street?

        41       A.   Yes, that's correct.

        42

        43       Q.   Did you discuss the Association with him from time to

        44       time?

        45       A.   No.

        46

        47       Q.   You had no discussion with him about it at all?

         1       A.   No.

         2

         3       Q.   You had discussion about his work, I presume?

         4       A.   Mr Wilson and I came to be in a relationship.  As

         5       couples do in relationships, from time to time we'd discuss

         6       matters at work, if you had a particularly good day, if you

         7       had a particularly bad day, but no, we did not discuss the

         8       Association.  And whilst I would say, Mr Stoljar, whilst

         9       this matter has come to assume a great deal of significance

        10       in the years since, at the time of these events and my

        11       provision of advice, it had no particular significance.

        12

        13       Q.   Which, the Association had no particular significance?

        14       A.   I mean in terms of a busy legal practice, it did not

        15       stand out, amongst the many legal matters on which

        16       I advised, as a matter of particular significance, or the

        17       significance it has come to bear, you know, as has happened

        18       as the years have gone on.

 

The only recourse available after the Commissioner has declined to incorporate is to seek a review by the Minister.

 

13 May 1992 - Julia Gillard writes to Corporate Affairs Commission after notice the association was ineglible for incorporation.  Gillard agrees she urges incorporation.   The letter has been filleted from the now empty WA Archive file for this association.  However the only way to review the decision was to engage the Minister.

 

15 May 1992 - Corporate Affairs Commission letter to Gillard - the Association will be incorporated - subject to a letter promising a rule change within 30 days of incorporation.  That letter appears to be forgery.  It has the effect of "covering" for the delay in incorporation and also excluding the possibility of Ministerial review.  It is riddled with errors and the Ultra Vires offer to incorporate with a gentleman's agreement on the head of Ralph Blewitt is implausible.

By that date, a Friday, Gillard had arrived in Perth as recorded in these extracts from a local newspaper.  She accompanied Wilson on a preexisting appointment to the Boulder branch of the AWU to speak on the death and disability benefits schemes.

21 May 1992 - Gillard gave evidence to the TURC that she wrote to Blewitt instructing him to write to the Commission promising a rule change.  Blewitt states he did not receive that Memo.   No rule change was made.   The entity was incorporated as it stood.   It appears unlikely that the Memo was written with the intention of Blewitt acting on it in good faith, nor that it was written on the date it purports to have been written.

26 May 1992 - Blewitt writes out cheque to himself for $156.83 and one for $22 to the Corporate Affairs Commission, the fee for a Ministerial Review of Application for Incorporation.

27 May 1992 - Blewitt cheque presented

29 May 1992 - Corporate affairs cheque presented

24 June 1992 - The AWU-WRA Inc was incorporated

More soon!

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