Julian Lucas is a humble, uncomplicated, man.
He's also fearless.
He's just produced a 30,000 word book, a scholarly analysis of the Trade Union Royal Commission's investigation into The AWU Scandal.
It's no mean feat to take on and critique former High Court Justice John Dyson Heydon AC QC as Lucas does.
And he doesn't hold back.
Heydon's conclusions that Thiess Contractors was a victim of deception "were erroneous".
Heydon was "wrong in his judgements".
And in his conclusion that Gillard committed no crime, Heydon was "profoundly mistaken".
Lucas says Heydon and his staff were ill-equipped to investigate or understand entrenched union corruption.
"Heydon, a distinguished and experienced lawyer.... displayed a myopic lack of awareness of the underlying reality of the relationships he had been called upon to examine".
Julian Lucas points the finger at Thiess executives Joe Trio and Nick Jukes, who along with Gillard's union boss boyfriend Wilson, "entered into an agreement for the procurement of secret commissions".
Did I mention humble? Julian's biographical notes for his book tell us:
THE ROYAL COMMISSION AND J.E. GILLARD
I commenced writing this material during 2015. Initially, it dealt with two prominent members of the Australian Labor Party, former Prime Minister J.E. Gillard and current Leader of the Opposition, W.R. Shorten. Originally the material comprised two lengthy essays which criticized the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption (which I shall refer to as RC whether about the Commission or the Commissioner) in relation to these two prominent figures in that in both cases it was recommended that no prosecutions be instituted against either of them in relation to particular past conduct which had been investigated by the RC.
I submitted my material to various people including several lawyers. I also sent it to the RC itself but it was probably far too late to affect the RC reports. I received a polite acknowledgement but no real response to my submission. I was promised a review by the lawyers representing the RC but as I heard nothing I assume it did not occur.
After the so-called “bagman” Ralph Blewitt was prosecuted in the Perth Magistrates Court in 2017 on charges relating to fraud, I sent a copy of my material to the Court and asked that it be provided to the lawyers on both sides of the case. A key feature of my material was that in relation to Blewitt and those connected with him, I concluded there had been no fraud disclosed and the RC was incorrect in concluding that there was.
In an article published in The Australian on May 24, 2018, it was reported that all fraud charges against Blewitt had been dropped. It said “Prosecutors said fraud charges against Mr. Blewitt that were due to be heard in Perth Magistrates Court would be discontinued because there was little prospect of conviction”.
The article went on: “Mr. Blewitt stated that he was most disappointed because he had wanted the prosecution to proceed so he could call Mr. Wilson, Ms. Gillard and a former Slater & Gordon solicitor, Brendan Murphy, now a federal Court judge, to give evidence… (He said) he should have been more appropriately charged with “receiving secret commissions”, which would have got up”.
I do not know whether my material had any influence on the outcome of the prosecutions although I like to think that it did as I consider justice has been served with the discontinuance of the prosecutions for fraud.
The RC concluded its final report in December 2015. Since then a number of prosecutions have been launched against trade union officials pursuant to recommendations made by the RC.
Among the many findings of the RC were a number in relation to a body known as the “Australian Workers’ Union -Workplace Reform Association Inc.” (“The Association”). This body was established in Western Australia by two officials of the Australian Workers Union named Bruce Morton Wilson and, of course, Ralph Edwyn Blewitt with the legal assistance of Ms. Julia E. Gillard, a then salaried partner in the Melbourne legal firm of Slater & Gordon. The RC regarded the Association as part of the frauds committed by Wilson and Blewitt.
The RC recommended that the two union officials be prosecuted in Western Australia and Victoria for committing frauds upon the major construction company Thiess Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of a prominent public company. The RC recommended that no charges be pursued against Ms. Gillard essentially on the grounds that she was not party to the frauds.
In this book I present material which leads inexorably to the conclusion that the RC was profoundly mistaken in some of his conclusions in relation to this matter. While the RC had the advantage over those who were not present during the hearings, other material has come to light which confirms that the conclusions were erroneous but it might be said that a distinguished and experienced lawyer appeared in any event to display a myopic lack of awareness of the underlying reality of the relationships he had been called upon to examine. I have never suggested that the RC was in any way failing in any aspect of propriety and would not do so. I simply say that he was wrong in his judgments.
At a distance it is clear that the trade union officials did not commit a fraud upon Thiess but entered into an agreement with Thiess for the procurement of secret commissions. These secret commissions were provided in relation to an offer of industrial peace in the relevant workplace of Thiess or alternatively involved the procurement by improper influence of a major contract between Thiess and the Government of Western Australia. The agreement may have related to a combination of these two factors.
Originally I planned to include the material about the two politicians in the one book but have decided more recently that they should be separate publications of which the present one is the first.
It is also clear that whatever other knowledge or awareness Ms. Gillard may have had in relation to the matters under consideration, she should at the very least have been fairly held to account for her involvement in the incorporation of the phoney Association under Western Australian law.
Carmen Lawrence, Bill Shorten, Julia Gillard and many other prominent people feature as Julian exposes what they tried to conceal.
Dyson Heydon spoke of the culture of secrecy that confronted his Royal Commission, "It is …hard core corruption…the parties to the corruption have a strong incentive to keep it secret".
Commissioner Heydon didn't get to all the secrets in The AWU Scandal.
Julian Lucas has cracked it wide open.
He explains the conspiracy to divert taxpayer money into union thug Bruce Wilson's hands through the slush fund his dodgy lawyer girlfriend set up.
Every touch leaves its trace.