FORMER prime minister Julia Gillard flew from Melbourne to Perth in 1992 to iron out legal trouble over a union association, her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson told an inquiry yesterday.
He said that after representations from Ms Gillard, then a partner at law firm Slater and Gordon, the incorporation of the association, which the inquiry has heard was a slush fund, proceeded.
The Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption is looking into allegations of illegal use of money from the fund for various purposes, including the renovation of Ms Gillard’s then Abbotsford home.
Mr Wilson denied using any union money for the renovations and rejected the evidence of builders that he handed Ms Gillard large sums of cash to pay tradesmen.
He also could not recall giving a union worker $5000 cash and asking them to put it in Ms Gillard’s bank account.
Ms Gillard provided legal advice to the association but has said she knew nothing of its operation and has said she paid for the renovations.
Mr Wilson denied evidence by former union official Ralph Blewitt that construction company Thiess had paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the slush fund for training services that were never provided.
He said that from early 1993 a man named Glen Ivory was the training officer.
According to a police statement tendered to the inquiry Mr Ivory, who died in 2004, said he had never been a training officer and was unaware of the bills to Thiess.
Mr Wilson denied fabricating evidence, and questioned the authenticity of the police statement, saying it did not sound like Mr Ivory.
“I would like to know who prepared this statement for Ivory because it wasn’t him,” Mr Wilson said. “He was an earthmover, a bulldozer driver.”
Counsel assisting the inquiry, Jeremy Stoljar, SC, repeatedly questioned Mr Wilson’s truthfulness.
“There seem to be a long list of people, according to you, who are not telling the truth,” he said.
“You have used the name of the late Mr Ivory knowing that he’s no longer with us and can’t defend himself, is that right?,” Mr Stoljar said.
Mr Wilson replied: “Not at all. In fact I wish he was.”
Mr Stoljar said the money paid by Thiess was in part used to pay for election campaigns and to purchase Mr Wilson’s home in Fitzroy.
Here are a few examples of Bruce Wilson paying for GILLARD's renovations.
A court will hear more.
That's S.N. Close Floors. They did Gillard's wooden floorboards. Bruce paid with money from the Gillard/Wilson slush fund.
Handwriting analysis on the back of that cheque will have someone shitting themselves.
Every touch leaves its trace.