I know we have a lot of newcomers to the website today - I'm reprinting this article to give you an insight into some of the key times, dates and places in this saga.
I've put this timeline together to help tell the story of the incorporation of the AWU Workplace Reform Association.
The AWU WRA was a sham that existed in name and bank account only. It was set up by Wilson and Gillard to disguise and conceal secret commission payments from Thiess Contractors.
Wilson and Gillard personally received corrupt payments from the scheme.
Thiess executives were part of the criminal conspiracy too. Secret commission payments are given as well as taken. The failure of authorities to pursue Thiess executives is unforgivable.
The Trade Union Royal Commission allowed Julia Gillard to adopt two clearly forged letters in her sworn evidence. One purported to be from a very senior public official, the acting Commissioner for Corporate Affairs.
The two forgeries provide an alternative scenario to the actual manner in which Gillard incorporated the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association.
As you'll see, Ms Gillard spent a lot of billable hours and incurred significant expenses in Perth.
The Royal Commission didn't ask Ms Gillard how she paid for that time.
I now have a pretty good idea.
I have a lot more evidence to present than what you'll read here. What's here is bad enough. What's to come is sickening.
Tuesday 3 March 1992
Julia Gillard delivers legal advice to the AWU WA Branch about the AWU Fatal Accident and Death Benefit Fund.
AWU WA Branch Executive meeting minutes show at least one member of the executive was opposed to the union even receiving the correspondence.
Wednesday 4 March 1992
Ms Gillard due date to swear Affidavit in Perth with Legal Practice Board of Western Australia - ie 2 months prior to 4 May 1992 admission to practice in WA.
The Affidavit includes a specific acknowledgement that she was to observe the provisions of the Act, including its prohibition on practising in WA before her admission.
Thursday 5 March 1992
Classified advertisement lodged with The West Australian newspaper re Australian Workers’ Union - Workplace Reform Association (AWU WRA).
Friday 6 March 1992
Classified ad for AWU WRA published in The West Australian.
Friday 6 March 1992
Ralph Blewitt applies for private post office box at Northbridge WA in the name of the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association.
From the statement of Nick Fahie, Australia Post investigator - taken in 1997 by DETSGT Dave McAlpine
Monday 16 March 1992
Letter purporting to be from Nick Jukes of Thiess (but signed on his behalf by Joe Trio) engages the AWU WRA to provide a service to Thiess for 54 hours per week at $36 per hour for the duration (3 years anticipated) of the $60M Dawesville contract. That calculates to about $300K. Given the specificity of the AWU WRA details and errors about the construction industry it appears more likely the letter was drafted by someone associated with the AWU WRA.
Tuesday 17 March 1992
Front page story the Kalgoorlie Miner - key points
- 700-800 miners belong to and own the Fatality fund
- it's managed by the AWU Mining Division Committee in Kalgoorlie/Boulder
- Wilson announces a meeting of the members of the fund will take place on 18 April “to endorse changes to the fund, including the setting up of a trust”.
The meeting of members is a requirement of the preexisting fund's rules (since 1946) prior to any substantial change to the management of the fund.
Wednesday 18 March 1992
Follow up story in the Kalgoorlie Miner - key points:
Fmr Secretary of AWU Mining Division says “The AWU hierarchy has never had anything to do with running the fund.”
Bruce Wilson states payments from the fund will resume “once the union’s solicitors give the go-ahead”. Reference to "union's solicitors" (Gillard was responsible for the file) going through paperwork in Perth.
Monday 30 March 1992
AWU WA Branch Executive Meeting records some of Gillard's 3 March legal advice.
There was considerable opposition to the move by Wilson and Gillard to hand control of the Fatality and Death Benefit Fund to Wilson.
The Fund was not owned by the AWU. It had never been controlled by the AWU. Its members weren't all AWU members. The Fund and its assets were owned by the members of the Fund.
I know that several former members of the Mining Division of the AWU in Kalgoorlie at the time dispute the assertion in para (b) that "it is and was the intention that the union should act as Trustee". They say it was never their intention that the union itself should act as trustee for their money and they never approved the change of control from Kalgoorlie into Wilson's office in Perth.
That executive meeting also "determined" that the potential widows and orphans - ie the beneficiaries of the fund - would pay Gillard's bills and expenses. This was prior to the purported change of control of the fund from Kalgoorlie to Wilson in Perth (and that change of control was never properly approved).
Monday 6 April 1992
Julia Gillard gives notice that on Monday 4 May 1992 she intends to apply to the Full Court of the Supreme Court of WA for admission to the practice of law in Western Australia
Tuesday 7 April 1992
The West Australian publishes Gillard's classified advertisement of her intention to seek admission to practice law - on 4 May 1992. It remains unlawful for her to practice law including providing legal advice prior to that date.
Early April 1992
Invoice template created for AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc and first invoice to Thiess issued in amount of $25,272 due and payable on 30 April 1992 - invoice for services commencing January 92.
Thursday 9 April 1992
Thiess raises purchase order for AWU WRA 1st invoice even though no services have been and no services ever would be provided.
Wednesday 15 April 1992
Ms Gillard’s 6 April 1992 notice of intention to apply for admission to practice law in Western Australia is published for a second time in The West Australian newspaper
Wednesday 15 April 1992
Trust Deed purporting to take control of the AWU Fatality and Death Benefit Fund's assets signed in Perth.
Julia Gillard is the Slater and Gordon solicitor listed as responsible for the file.
There was no extraordinary general meeting of the members of the fund to approve the change of control.
The money was stripped from their local (Kalgoorlie) control and under the terms of the new Trust Deed effective control over their money was handed to Wilson. He had a wide discretion as to how he'd spend it.
The production of this Trust Deed was the last identifiable deliverable from Gillard and Slater and Gordon regarding the Fatality and Death Benefit Fund for the next several months.
Saturday, 18 April 1992
Wilson's promised meeting of members of AWU Fatality and Death Benefit Fund “to endorse changes to the fund, including the setting up of a trust” does not take place.
Trust deed had already been executed without a meeting of members of the fund to endorse the change of control.
Tuesday, 21 April 1992
Thiess sets up a vendor payment code (ie internal cost centre) number C98112 for AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc including the secret post office box.
That cost centre is kept separate from the Thiess vendor code for the legitimate AWU.
Thiess processes payment of 1st AWU WRA invoice $25,272 and makes a ledger entry charging the payment to the AWU WRA cost centre.
Thursday, 23 April 1992
Application to incorporate the AWU Workplace Reform Association lodged with the Office of State Corporate Affairs. It's assigned the number 1002116.
Thursday, 23 April 1992
AWU Fatality Fund Trust Deed stamped by WA State Taxation.
Monday, 27 April 1992
Thiess issues cheque 288902 for $25,272 charged to Thiess cost code C98112 - that produces a machine printed cheque automatically addressed on the face of the cheque:
AUST WORKERS UNION
WORKPLACE REFORM ASSOCIATION
PO BOX 253
Monday, 4 May 1992
Julia Gillard signs register at Supreme Court of Western Australia - admitted to practice law in WA.
Prior to this date it was unlawful for Ms Gillard to do legal work in Western Australia.
That means her claim that she "provided legal advice on the incorporation of an association" must be false, given the objects etc were drawn up and the application lodged on 23 April 1992.
Monday 4 May, 1992
Blewitt and Wilson open CBA Bank Accounts for AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc.
Early May 1992
Office of State Corporate Affairs writes to Mr Blewitt at his home address with Notice of Refusal to Incorporate AWU-WRA on grounds its objects make it a trade union.
That office assigned the initial application the number A1002116X - that number has been crossed out but is clearly visible on the top right hand side of the application. The letter X signifies that the application was refused.
Friday, 15 May 1992
GILLARD is again in Perth order to attend a meeting at Boulder/Kalgoorlie with Wilson.
It's also the date of a forged letter purporting to have been written by a "Ray Neal" to Julia Gillard of Slater and Gordon (Mr Neal has given sworn evidence in which he categorically denies either writing, approving or signing the letter) . He states the letter contains an unlawful offer to incorporate the AWU WRA.
Ralph Mineif, then in charge of incorporated associations at the WA Office of State Corporate Affairs says the letter is not authentic.
Friday, 15 May 1992
Notice given to AWU Fatality and Death Benefit Fund members that Wilson and Gillard will attend at Boulder the next day, 16 May 1992 “to discuss changes to the fund”.
The hastily arranged meeting was a sham. The change of control had been effected - unlawfully - weeks earlier without approval or knowledge of the members or owners of the fund's assets.
Saturday, 16 May 1992
Out of the 7-800 members of the fund only a dozen attend the meeting which was closed to the press. Ralph Blewitt set the room up and Gillard/Wilson spoke.
Monday, 18 May 1992
The Kalgoorlie Miner reports on the meeting.
- The AWU has "taken over" the fund
- The meeting wasn't to seek approval for the change, it was for information only
- Wilson said the change had been made on the union's own initiative, "We didn't have to touch it"
- Only a dozen members attended the meeting, Wilson said the low attendance may be "Because the members are unconcerned about the fund's management because of the low fees they pay". (I've been told quite the opposite by some very passionate miners who simply didn't know about the meeting and were appalled at the news of their money being taken out of their control).
Wednesday, 20 May 1992
Thiess datestamps receipt of 2nd AWU WRA Inc invoice for $8942 and commences processing it for payment.
Thursday, 21 May 1992
Ms Gillard is in Melbourne to appear for the Painters and Dockers Union at the Industrial Relations Commission.
Thursday, 21 May 1992
Despite being in her office in Melbourne, Ms Gillard claims on this date to have written this "Memo" to Ralph Blewitt.
Law firms aren't in the practice of sending Memos to clients, particularly Memos which contain detailed legal instructions and enclose purported correspondence from a Corporate Affairs Commissioner.
Because Gillard had to be in Melbourne, Blewitt and Wilson also flew to Melbourne to work together on a response after receiving the notice that the Commissioner refused to incorporate the AWU WRA.
Gillard was involved in the next steps to gain incorporation - ie an appeal to the minister. No only is this memo false, therefore, but Ms Gillard must know it's a false document.
Saturday, 23 May 1992
Tuesday, 26 May 1992
The AWU WRA application material is relodged with the Office of State Corporate Affairs.
That second application is briefly allocated the number 1002203. That number is struck out as well indicating that the second application couldn't be approved for incorporation by the Commissioner.
Associations are incorporated formally on the date of receipt of a valid application.
The number 1002203, briefly assigned to the AWU WRA was assigned to the Armadale Community Recreation Association - and it was incorporated on 26 May 1992.
That confirms the date on which the AWU WRA paperwork was resubmitted.
The 26 May submission was made in the belief that the Commissioner would again refuse incorporation. The submission argued the case for incorporation and included an application to the Minister to review the Commissioner's decision to refuse it.
Gillard prepared the submission and application for ministerial review.
Tuesday, 26 May 1992
On Wilson/Gillard's direction Ralph Blewitt handwrites a cheque for $22 to the State Corporate Affairs office. The $22 was the gazetted fee for the Minister to undertake a review of the Commissioner's decision to refuse incorporation.
Wednesday, 27 May 1992
Blewitt attends the CBA Branch in Beaufort WA to transfer money from the AWU WRA's cash management account into its cheque account to cover the cheque.
Wednesday, 27 May 1992
Thiess pays AWU WRA's 2nd invoice with cheque 294403 in the amount of $8,942 made out to AWU WRA Inc, including computer generated address - PO Box 253 Northbridge. The payment is coded against the internal Thiess AWU WRA Inc cost centre.
About this time Thiess senior executives were told that the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs has refused to incorporate the AWU WRA. That information can only have come from Wilson or his co-conspirators.
Thiess immediately closed down the AWU WRA Inc cost centre. It was as if the AWU WRA Inc (which had never existed) suddenly didn't exist. Only two payments were ever cost-coded to the AWU WRA Inc ledger:
Part of the submission to the Minister included the proposition that the AWU WRA was not simply a union offshoot - it would be part of a tri-partite arrangement with Thiess and the Building & Construction Industry Training Council/Fund (BCITF).
Wilson was a director of the BCITF. The chief executive, Raymond Ernest Crake was a conman who has criminal convictions for fraud.
On the same day as it shut down the AWU WRA cost centre Thiess applied to the BCITF for a grant for training purposes at the Dawesville channel construction project.
Wednesday, 27 May 1992
Thiess GM Nick Jukes writes for the first time to BCITF. Compare the construction of this letter - replete with engineering references and a clear insight into the construction industry with the purported letter from Jukes to the AWU WRA dated 16 March.
A couple of months later Thiess was awarded a $500K+ grant from the BCITF. About $100K of that was earmarked for a "consultancy" to be provided personally by Raymond Ernest Crake.
Thursday, 31 May 1992
Thiess raises paperwork to process 3rd AWU WRA Inc invoice for $7,776 - however the company changes internal cost code to the long-standing pre-existing C93732 - the legitimate cost code for the AWU WA Branch.
Thursday, 11 June, 1992
Thiess Contractors and the AWU execute an MOU for workplace reform at the Dawesville site.
Thiess executive Nick Jukes would later tell police that the AWU WRA arrangements were part of an agreement between Thiess, the AWU and the BCITF. That was false, the MOU added legitimacy to the submission arguing the case for incorporation - but it was a sham. Beyond being quoted to get the entity incorporated (and by Jukes later to the police to conceal the true secret-commision purpose of the entity) BCITF arrangements had nothing to do with the AWU WRA.
Wednesday, 24 June 1992
The AWU WRA was incorporated by the Commissioner on the direction of the Minister.
Wednesday, 27 June 1992
It's ironic that only after the AWU WRA is actually incorporated Thiess stops issuing cheques to it.
On 27 June Thiess issues cheque 298677 for $7,776 costed to the AWU cost code C93732.
The automatically generated cheque included the computer printed address for the AWU's normal Perth office.
Australian Workers Union
113 Newcastle Street
Perth WA 6000
Thiess senior executives knew exactly what they were doing in making these secret commission payments to Wilson.
Someone in Thiess has crossed out the standard AWU mailing address and hand written in the secret PO Box in Northbridge.
Thiess would continue to make the secret payments for the next three years.
It kept making the agreed 3 years worth of "on site training" payments for the Dawesville contract - even when the job finished 8 months early and the construction site was flooded.
One persistent and widespread suspicion has been that the architects and masterminds behind (The AWU Scandal) might have also been involved in further misappropriation of funds from the families of deceased miners. In the minds of ordinary Australians, embezzling one and a half million or more dollars (in 2013 dollar equivalents) from hard working trade unionists is bad enough. But going that extra step and stealing money from widows and orphans plumbs the lowest depths of deception and criminal behaviour. Understandably, despicable conduct of this nature simply invites widespread public outrage and condemnation.