Feeney resigns - 'can't produce' evidence he renounced British citizenship - because he never did. He lied.
Remember Shorten's triumphant Labor has its house in order statements, it's all the Libs?
One cannot be a factional player within the ALP without money
And Feeney was a great source for Shorten et al.
The Australian published this feature about Bill Shorten's rise to power along with his "whatever it takes" Richo clone David Feeney.
From industrial playpen to the Labor big time
The plan, as those close to them agree, was for David Feeney to be to Bill Shorten what political fixer Graham Richardson was to Bob Hawke.
Fuelled by their collective ambition, the young stars of the Labor movement in Victoria in the 1990s had remarkably similar templates for rising to the top: race through the student and industrial arms of the Labor movement before grabbing a seat in federal parliament. Along the way, Shorten’s path would take him through the union law firm Maurice Blackburn, where Feeney’s wife, Liberty Sanger, remains a principal.
It’s a well-trodden route paralleled at “Maurie B’s’’ great rival, Slater & Gordon, where former prime minister Julia Gillard and Labor frontbencher Richard Marles cut their teeth.
For so many of the rising stars in Labor, the path has been the same: a degree (preferably at Melbourne or Monash University and hopefully law), time served at a fractionally influential union and then relentless pursuit of the numbers needed to get a seat and stay in parliament.
For Shorten, the giddy dream of the prime ministership is now a lot closer to reality than any long-term, grand ambitions Feeney might have held. Mired in controversy over his extensive property holdings, and facing a cashed-up and clever assault from the Greens in Batman, Feeney is fighting for his political life.
The Australian's article today looks at things from Shorten and Feeney's perspectives with mainly positive commentary from those close to them.
It will be interesting to see if Feeney's recollection of this matter has improved with time.
PG: We're concluding the interview . . . going to ask you, Julia, it's been put to a partner of Slater & Gordon in the last week that there exists a receipt with respect to renovation work conducted at your home which is in some way connected with funds from the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association account.
JG: Yes. I have, I have heard a rumour to the effect that someone attended at the offices of the AWU since the time that Bruce has left presenting an account which when the union enquired into it was an account for work on my property and that they refused to pay it. I heard that rumour firstly from Bernard Murphy who said to me that he had heard it from Andrew Watson. I subsequently spoke to Andrew Watson about it and said that David Feeney, who is an official of the Transport Workers' Union, or an industrial officer of the Transport Workers' Union, had raised it with Andrew with the specific intent of Andrew raising it with me and David was happy for me to talk to him about it.
I have spoken to David Feeney. I spoke to him on Friday afternoon. What I believe to have happened is this. This year I had additional work done on my place to try and do something about the outside, the outside is still not painted the right colour, and needed, needed further work done on it. Bill the Greek recommended to me a friend of his called Con, the last name I believe to (be) Spiri, Spiridis or Spiritis or a word to that effect. Con organised for me, or Con came and did the following things.
There are, there were two of the original Victorian windows on either side of the house that were not functional and the wood was rotting. I wanted them replaced by new windows. Contrary to the directions I gave him about that he replaced them with aluminium sliding windows which I was particularly unhappy about. The veranda was slate and it was coming up and the posts which held up the veranda in part were rotting so I contracted with him to replace the posts and to tile the veranda. He did tile the verandah after a fashion, but the job is uncompleted. He did put in posts but he put in, ah, what's the word, decorative posts chiselled out with patterns, rather than plain posts. Given it's a Victorian weatherboard house I was pretty unhappy about that as well. And he mortared the fence and put pickets in it which was required to complete the fence.
When I came home and saw the posts and the windows which got done in, done in one day I raised it immediately with Bill the Greek in fairly vociferous tones and said this has just totally buggered up this job. This is just hideous, you know, you need to talk to Con about it. Bill had been the link to Con. Bill said he would speak to Con about it. Con came back subsequently and did the fence and I raised it with Con. Con said he would get, he knew he had made an error with the windows. He would get the windows replaced with wood windows. He didn't think the posts were his fault because that was the sort of posts that were described to him so there was an ongoing debate about whose fault it was that the posts were the wrong posts. He basically half finished, did most of the fence though bits of it are uncompleted and then he didn't return. I periodically raised with Bill what on earth is happening with Con and these windows and these posts and the tiling's uncompleted and the fence is uncompleted. Bill would say I'll fix it, I'll fix it but it never got fixed.
Life got a little bit more crazy than it had been and I ceased to sort of pay much regard to it or think about it but there was this uncompleted work at the property or to the extent it was completed large bits of it were done wrong. I don't know what transactions Con and Bill have had about the account for that work, but I believe what has happened is Con has gone to the AWU looking for Bill or looking for payment for the account.
Obviously, it accords with what David Feeney has told me that he was sent away by the AWU and without explanation an account from Con was put in my letter box last week, so that's the first account that I've had from him. It is an account dated June directed towards me, yeah, I think that's right, directed towards me, dated June and it's got a letter on it, some of which is not decipherable but talks about finishing off the tiles. The account is for $3780. I've paid $2000 of it already and I'm making arrangements to get the $1780 together to pay the rest of it. I have suggested to David Feeney that I think the way forward in relation to this is for me to simply meet with Bob Smith at FIME and say someone came here looking for payment of an account. That's nothing that I have caused, nothing to do with me, if it is this account then I've paid it, even though it hurt me to do so given the quality of the job. If there is anything else then I will pay it.
The information from David Feeney is that Bob Smith doesn't believe that I am at fault in relation to this. He has got no agenda about damaging me in relation to this or using it against me, that he will be quite happy to see the issue go away, and that he thinks that Bob will respond well to a direct discussion like that. I've left that matter on the basis that David Feeney will sound Bob out and, provided there isn't any unforeseen problem, I will meet with Bob as soon as possible for the purpose of clarifying that matter. Now I believe that that must be the source of the rumour about, that must be the factual construct behind what has become the rumour about, about the association or Bruce or the union or whoever paying for work on my house and I don't obviously given I've been fairly surprised by events to date in relation to this matter, I can't categorically rule out that something at my house didn't get paid for by the association or something at my house didn't get paid for by the union or whatever, I just, I don't feel confident saying I can categorically rule it out, but I can't see how it's happened because that really is the only bit of work that I would identify that I hadn't paid for. And it seems, just looking at the receipts and how much I borrowed and all the rest of it that I basically paid full value for everything else, so it doesn't seem to me looking at the house and working through it mentally that there is sort of thousands of dollars of free unexplained work lying around in the house.
It seems to me that I've paid, you know, relatively ordinary funds for work to get done and you know I don't see where there could be big money coming from any other source into the renovations. So I think that that's the site of the problem, it's this recent invoice with Con. I will know if there is anything else having spoken to Bob Smith.
PG: OK. Is there anything else that you think we need to know about?
JG: No, I think that's it, I can't think of anything else.
PG: OK. Thanks. The interview was continued because we needed to talk about . . .
JG: Sorry, I'm getting confused, the, Geoff when we were not on tape asked me a series of questions about things that I have had done to the house that I don't recall getting invoiced for. It occurred to me that one of those things is, and Geoff has actually seen this with his own eyes. Bill the Greek, whilst I was at work one day, built for me a low level brick fence. I didn't ask him to do that. The result was truly hideous and I think Geoff saw it when he dropped me off one night and everybody else who's passed my house has commented on it. In order to try and make it look less hideous, part of the work that Con was to do was to mortar it and put pickets on it that goes like that to try and stop it looking quite as Greek, dare one say.
I didn't, I've never, I didn't pay for the bricks, I didn't pay for the bricks. I've never had an account in relation to the fence. Now, I don't, I don't know what that means about where Bill got the bricks from, and I don't know whether that means anybody worked with him on the fence, that I haven't paid. He, you know, he pleased as punch sort of said he had built it for me. That he had built it for me. Whether that means he himself did it, given Bill's obvious difficulties with the truth I no longer know.
PG: What are Bill's obvious difficulties with the truth?
JG: He's just a big Greek bullshit artist.
PG: Julia, you told us you commenced a personal relationship with Bruce Wilson in late 1991. Can you tell us the current status of that personal relationship?
JG: Bruce is currently in Western Australia and we aren't in contact and I don't expect to be in contact with him again unless I needed to for some particular purpose related to the issues that we've discussed, and that means in, well, that obviously means that any relationship between us is at an end.
PG: OK, thanks.