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The $60M Trade Union Royal Commission shielded Gillard from queries on cheques from 1993

I published the following article on 24 June, 2014 during the Trade Union Royal Commission.

Christine Campbell, former secretary to Federal MP Graeme Campbell and AWU/Gillard slush fund impressario Bruce Wilson was presented with this copy of a cheque Wilson made out to her on 27 March, 1993.   Ms Campbell has made this statement to the Royal Commission, published at the Commission's website with Exhibits.

Chris campbell cheque

The cheque bears a Victoria Police Operation Tendment exhibit number - 237.

That raises a couple of issues:

  • Victoria Police have a copy of at least this cheque from Wilson's account in 1993.   That raises the possibility that they have more than just this one.
  • Victoria Police think it is relevant in their criminal investigation.

27 March 1993 is 5 days after settlement of the Kerr Street property (the purchase settled on 22 March, 1993).

Ms Campbell did not volunteer the cheque to police - this is the relevant bit of her statement.

Annexure b

If this record exists, who else might have reason to fear the investigative blowtorch of Ross Mitchell and the operation Tendment team?


This post provides pretty strong evidence that the TURC and police were protecting Gillard and others from scrutiny.

Note that Christine Campbell's cheque has an Operation Tendement label - Exhibit Number 0237.

That label however doesn't just apply to Campbell's cheque from Wilson - hers is one of many in a larger exhibit with some fascinating payees.

I now have the entire Exhibit.

Exhibit 0237 in the Operation Tendement investigation files is a lengthy exhibit containing Bruce Wilson's cheques and deposit slips for the period 22 March 1993 to 11 July 1994.

It runs to 61 pages with 3 cheques per page - including the reverse side of the cheques.


Bruce Wilson cheques seized by Victoria Police Operation Tendement by Michael Smith on Scribd

In my opinion it is inexplicable and unforgivable that the Trade Union Royal Commission had access to Victoria Police's Operation Tendement exhibits - but cherry-picked from them and avoided exhibiting some pretty obvious cheques calling for explanations.

Like these from the Christine Campbell 0237 file.

Here now is the unequivocal evidence of Wilson funding Gillard.

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The financial relationship went way beyond the renovations.

Here are two cheques totalling almost $1,000 from Bruce to Myer in Melbourne.  

How can we know these purchases were for Gillard?  Her address is written on the back of the cheques.

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On 10 September 2014 Gillard gave sworn evidence to the Trade Union Royal Commission, denying she received money from Bruce Wilson for her renovations.

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There's plenty more evidence where that came from too.  It wasn't just Mr James funded by Bruce.

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Commissioner Heydon's final report into the AWU Workplace Reform Association scandal is downright misleading.

  1. Senior counsel for Julia Gillard then turned to a different point:270
    A further reason to doubt Mr James’ evidence that Mr Wilson was paying for his work, is because the source of Mr Wilson’s funds has not been identified. Mr James completed the main part of his work in 1993. His invoices for 1993 were dated from between 1 June 1993 and 23 August 1993. It is not alleged that Mr Wilson had access to cash from the Workplace Reform Association during this period.271 No other sources for Mr Wilson’s income at the time, other than his salary, have been identified.

    162. Senior counsel for Bruce Wilson advanced a similar analysis in more detail.272 Counsel assisting answered this argument as follows:273

    Cheque numbers 802203 and 802207 for the amounts of $2,000 were drawn on the Association’s cheque account in favour of R Blewitt on 23 December 1992 and 5 April 1993 respectively.274 On 13 May 1993, Mr Blewitt paid Slater & Gordon the amount of $2,000 in respect of disbursements.275 The remaining $2,000 remains unaccounted for.

    Similarly, cheque number 802206 dated 18 March 1993 for the amount of $6,000 was drawn on the Association’s cheque account in favour of R Blewitt.276 This amount was received by Mr Blewitt on the same day.277 On 3 April 1993, the amount of $6,000 was withdrawn from Mr Blewitt’s account.278 This amount also remains unaccounted for. 

    Extract Ends

"This amount also remains unaccounted for". Ah, no it doesn't commissioner.

Wilson banked it, in a cheque direct from Ralph's account, the same one he'd just deposited the AWU WRA $6,000 in.

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Why was it OK for Christine Campbell to be scrutinised about a cheque from Wilson - but not OK to put the same style of evidence to Gillard?

And there's plenty, plenty more.