Julia Gillard ‘young and naive’ when involved in $1 Million Union fraud case in 2007

Why on earth is Julia Gillard committing political suicide by unconditional support for Craig Thomson? Why would she not distance herself from this corruption? She behaves as someone beholden to factors unknown to us.

Writes Andrew Bolt: This is not the first time Julia Gillard has been embarrassed by a unionist allegedly misusing union funds. From 2007:

JULIA Gillard has revealed she fell in love with a former union official and fraudster who broke her heart and threatened to destroy her political career.

Ms Gillard, 46, who is poised to become Deputy Prime Minister if Labor wins office in two weeks, yesterday confirmed she was a union lawyer when she met the conman. As a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her then lover, Bruce Morton Wilson, to defraud the Australian Workers Union.

But she has strenuously denied ever knowing how the association bank accounts were used. “These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,” Ms Gillard told the Sunday Herald Sun yesterday. “I was young and naive. I was in a relationship which I ended and obviously it was all very distressing. “I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. It’s an ordinary human error. “I was obviously hurt when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing. I didn’t do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing….”

A lawyer in her early 30s with the Melbourne Labor firm, Slater & Gordon at the time of the fraud, Ms Gillard acted for the AWU. She met Wilson, who was then the West Australian AWU secretary, while representing the union in the Industrial Relations Commission. Wilson later moved to Melbourne, to become Victorian secretary… Now hundreds of pages of new documents have been leaked, detailing the extent of Wilson’s fraud. The con, used by Wilson to cream off possibly more than a million dollars of union funds, was simple and backed by standover tactics.

Mr Bolt does not link to some more detailed research of the issue of Ms Gillard’s lack of judgment by an ex-policeman at www.kangaroocourtofaustralia.com:

“Julia Gillard had criminal allegations made against her in 1995 when she was accused of helping her boyfriend steal over $1,000,000 from the Australian Workers Union (AWU) and helping him spend the money on such things as her personal home renovations and dresses.

Julia Gillard has never denied helping him rip off the $1,000,000 plus dollars, what she has done is denied doing it knowingly. Her part was helping set up an account called the “AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 Account” and possibly other accounts that the money was laundered through when she was a lawyer working for Slater and Gordon who were the solicitors representing the Australian Workers Union.

The allegations against Julia Gillard were initially raised in the Victorian Parliament in 1995″.

There are links to issues raised in the Victorian Parliament as to her judgment and questions of her professional conduct at the time, such as her relationship as a lawyer with a client. I disagree with the title of the blog, and I stress again that there is no evidence or indeed even any allegation of any illegal activity by Ms Julia Gillard.

The author of this research nevertheless asks a number of interesting questions. Questions regarding her morals and judgment, which she defends with an argument that beggars belief:  “I was young and naive …” what, in her early 30’s working as a lawyer for the assertive litigation firm Slater & Gordon?  And did she as a lawyer have a sexual affair with a client?  If she did, is this professional conduct? If so, would she have left the law firm of her own accord? Who else might have been involved and to whom might she be indebted?

UPDATE: Michael Smith of 2UE and Andrew Bolt appear to run with the kangaroocourtofaustralia.

UPDATE2: Original picture trimmed to remove a teddy bear in her lap, which some people took an objection to. I suspect it’s in the eye of the beholder, but no point in distracting from the message.

55 thoughts on “Julia Gillard ‘young and naive’ when involved in $1 Million Union fraud case in 2007

  1. This is far too odd for words.

    Commenting on swirling rumours that one P. Beattie (Teflon Pete)may be terribly interested in the position of PM, come on now a jokes a joke fellas but thats a ripper, the incumbent PM said:

    “”I’ve got a lot of important things to do and I don’t much worry about newspaper idle gossip and speculation,”

    Huh?….Now that will come as a relief to NEWS Ltd and Hartigan. Seems that series of calls from the Lodge about Glenns rehash of a four year old piece were from the Twilight Zone.

    Oooooohweeee! Oooooohweee! (cue spooky music here)

    Time to call in Scully it seems.

  2. Calm down a bit. This story has been about since 1996. Milne just added spin in 2007.
    ********************
    ***************************

    Sydney Morning Herald

    Tuesday July 30, 1996

    By MURRAY HOGARTH

    “Fraud against the union could easily be perpetrated on a major scale,” warned the confidential Ernst & Young review of the giant, conflict-ridden “AWU-FIMEE Amalgamated Union” in May last year.

    “If fraud has not occurred,” it continued, “it would only be because of the honesty and integrity of the employees, and not because of the lack of opportunity.”

    Inside what is now just called the Australian Workers Union (AWU), Ernst & Young are looking like hotshot fortunetellers.

    Serious financial irregularities appear to have been happening for years and what should be the best trade union trademark in the country is looking very tarnished.

    The “WA Inc” accounts affair – as AWU insiders are calling it – represents a dynamite scandal for a trade union movement facing an aggressive, new, conservative Federal Government and ever-declining membership.

    Between 1992 and 1995, about $370,000 flowed through two Perth-based accounts – operated in the name of the “AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc” – which, until last month, had never been heard of in the AWU’s national offices in Sydney.

    All the money came from the big construction group Thiess Contractors, which says the payments were legitimate, arising from a tripartite agreement between it, the AWU and the West Australian Government.

    Indeed, says Thiess, the Government paid it money for an employee training program at a $58 million Thiess construction project and it then paid the AWU. But once in union hands, it seems, the funds went walkabout when the AWU branch in WA was crying poor and running up a debt with head office approaching $1 million.

    It is now known that nearly $220,000 was withdrawn using about 40 cash cheques, ranging from $4,000 to $50,000.

    Exactly where all the money ended up is far from clear. The man who should know, a former top official, Mr Bruce Wilson, says it is all “old hat stuff” and he has “nothing to say”.

    However, two of the so-called “WA Inc” accounts were finally emptied in April last year, when about $46,000 was paid into an even more mysterious Perth-based account called the Construction Industry Fund. It, too, is understood to have been closed this year and may have no legal connection to the union.

    Several other cheques totalling about $35,000 were made out in 1993 to a now ex-AWU official, Mr Ralph Blewitt, and, once, about $67,000 went to the trust account of the high-profile Melbourne law firm Slater and Gordon. The timing of this payment has caught the eye of AWU bosses. It coincides with the purchase of a house in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in Mr Blewitt’s name.

    A cheque made out to the “Slater and Gordon Trust Account” was dated five days before the firm arranged settlement on the $230,000 property.

    The “Transfer of Land” document was signed by Mr Blewitt’s “attorney” for the purchase, his then boss, Mr Wilson, whose signature also appears to be on the dozens of cheques from the “WA Inc” accounts.

    Other records show Mr Wilson later lived in the Fitzroy house while serving first as AWU State secretary for both Victoria and Western Australia, then last year as head of the new, strife-torn National Construction Branch.

    About a year ago, the discovery of another unauthorised bank account sparked what is now known as the “Victorian affair”.

    This account, also unknown to the national office in Sydney until it was exposed by internal union feuding, was operated through the Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne under the name “AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 Account”.

    The Industrial Relations Court has been told Mr Wilson admitted the account held a mixture of “members’ and private money”, and insiders say that although it was a “slush fund” rather than an official union account, the AWU name was used to sidestep withholding tax.

    In a major new development, the Herald has learned that on July 14 last year, a cheque bearing what appears to be Mr Wilson’s signature was written in an apparent bid to transfer about $160,000 from the “Members Welfare” account in Victoria, into the still-unexplained “Construction Industry Fund” in Western Australia.

    But the cheque was caught at the last minute by a “freeze” on the account placed by lawyers acting for the present AWU State secretary in Victoria, Mr Bob Smith, who was a bitter enemy of Mr Wilson, and remains a close ally of Mr Steve Harrison, one of the two rival joint national secretaries.

    A month later, in strange circumstances, the $160,000 was “unfrozen” in a peace deal done by Mr Smith and his lawyers on one side, and Mr Wilson and his lawyers on the other.

    Then the union’s accountant, Mr Laurie Hutcheson, made a special flight from Sydney to Melbourne carrying redundancy cheques to allow Mr Wilson, Mr Blewitt and four others to depart the union with golden handshakes.

    The payouts were authorised by a postal ballot of the national executive conducted by Mr Harrison, with the other joint national secretary, Mr Ian Cambridge, immediately denouncing them as a “rort”.

    Meanwhile, Mr Harrison’s arch-enemy, the Queensland AWU supremo Mr Bill Ludwig, went to court in a failed last-ditch effort to stop the redundancies – even though Mr Ludwig had been Mr Wilson’s greatest supporter, as well as partner in a dominant Queensland-Western Australia-Victoria voting bloc.

    At the same time, the “unfrozen” $160,000 was split up and returned to several construction industry companies because, it is now suggested, of fears that the money may somehow have been tainted.

    This included: $29,000 to Fluor Daniel; $38,000 to John Holland; nearly $30,000 to Thiess Contractors; $39,000 to the lawyers Philips Fox, acting for Woodside Offshore Petroleum; and $6,400 to the NSW-based firm Chamber Consulting Services, all of which insist the funds had been legitimate payments to the union.

    However, all received letters saying the payments were being refunded because “there has recently been some controversy regarding monies received from your company”.

    Woodside, for example, has since told the AWU national office it had an “arrangement” to pay about $19,500 a quarter to have a union organiser “servicing” its liquid petroleum gas project at Karratha, near the North-West Shelf, and to cover some air fares for Mr Wilson.

    The “Victorian affair” might easily have ended with the redundancy payouts and the money being sent back, and the “WA Inc” accounts may never have come to light, except for Mr Ludwig’s court challenge and the persistent investigations of Mr Cambridge.

    The Industrial Relations Court ordered Mr Wilson, Mr Blewitt and the four other former AWU officials last month to repay their redundancy payments, ruling them invalid because there was no proper redundancy situation.

    In January this year, before the “WA Inc” accounts were discovered, Mr Cambridge wrote to the then Federal Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Laurie Brereton, seeking a royal commission into the AWU – just as the Prime Minister, Mr Paul Keating, called an election.

    In his letter, Mr Cambridge criticised Mr Harrison for taking “the unusual move of permitting the ‘retirement’ of the officials who could be held accountable for the unauthorised funds and their unknown use”.

    While the industrial court has since said there was no impropriety by Mr Harrison, it pointedly applauded Mr Cambridge’s actions and those of Mr Ludwig.

    “Although these matters are unpleasant,” Mr Cambridge told the Herald, “and obviously damage our union’s public standing, any failure to resolve these matters will only ensure that such events can occur again … I am not prepared to turn a blind eye to these matters, as to do so would only foster corruption.”
    © 1996 Sydney Morning Herald

    If you couple this with Kernohans Stat Dec Here:
    (PDF Download)

    http://www.rightpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/declaration.pdf

    Then you get a conspiracy? Not really you get confusion. Milnes redacted article in full was this:

    Glenn Milne’s retracted article in The Australian- 29/08/11: “PM A Lost Cause For Warring Unions”

    Julia Gillard has lost all authority within the broader Labor movement.

    THE real import of the alleged brothel creeping scandal surrounding Craig Thomson has been missed. And it is this:

    key factions and unions within the Labor movement are now openly indifferent to the fate of either Julia Gillard or the federal government. They simply don’t care any more.

    Gillard has now lost all authority within the broader Labor movement. By their actions in the Thomson saga they have signalled a judgment that she cannot win the next election. Settling internal scores and power struggles is therefore now more important than whatever happens to a lameduck PM who can’t haul her primary voting numbers out of the pathetically fatal mid 20s.

    The Mafia-style dirt-covered shovel — code for digging your own grave — dumped on Friday at 3.30am on the doorstop of Kathy Jackson, the union official who had the courage to refer Thomson’s activities to the police, may as well have been delivered to the Lodge. For Gillard it is now that bad. She is simply regarded as collateral damage and large sections in the Labor movement are uninterested about whether she’s terminally wounded or not as they go about their internal bloodletting. It is about to get worse as elements of the Australian Workers’ Union seek to settle up with Thomson’s accusers by demonstrating that Gillard herself was implicated, albeit unknowingly, in a major union fraud of her own before she entered parliament.

    On Friday, Michael Smith of 2UE contacted me to check the veracity of material in a statutory declaration drawn up by Bob Kernohan, the former president of the AWU, and dealing with the relationship between Gillard and Bruce Wilson, which I outline below.

    On Saturday, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew Bolt wrote on his blog: ‘‘On Monday, I’m tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia Gillard directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds. Gillard herself is not accused of any misbehaviour at all. I do not make that claim, and do not hold that belief. But her judgment — and that of at least one of her ministers — will come under severe question. She will seem compromised. It could be the last straw for Gillard’s leadership.’’

    Big call. But I do have a good deal of knowledge regarding Bolt’s claims. On Sunday November 11, 2007, just days before the November 24 election I interviewed Gillard, then deputy leader of the opposition, in my capacity as political editor for News Limited’s Sunday newspapers. The interview concerned the embezzlement of union funds — not disputed — and later the subject of a court conviction by a former boyfriend of Gillard, Bruce Wilson. I had researched the piece for months. It was the most heavily lawyered article I have ever been involved in writing. The story said that as a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the AWU. But she has strenuously denied ever knowing what the association’s bank accounts were used for.

    Gillard, then in her early 30s, was a lawyer with Melbournebased Labor firm Slater & Gordon. At the time of the fraud she acted for the AWU. She met Wilson, then the West Australian AWU secretary, while representing the union in the Industrial Relations Commission. Wilson later moved to Melbourne to become Victorian secretary of the union.

    ‘‘These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,’’ Gillard told me. ‘‘I was young and naive. I was in a relationship, which I ended, and obviously it was all very distressing. I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. It’s an ordinary human error.

    ‘‘I was obviously hurt, when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing. I didn’t do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing.’’

    What the lawyers would not allow to be reported was the fact that Gillard shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wilson using the embezzled funds. There is or was no suggestion Gillard knew about the origin of the money. We now await the issue to which Bolt refers.

    If it comes, and if it is powerful as Bolt suggests, it will be further evidence that the Victorian Right represented by the AWU is involved in a life and death struggle with the Right as represented by the Hospital Services Union. Thomson was a senior official of the HSU for 20 years before entering parliament via the seat of Dobell.

    The HSU split several years ago into two factions. Thomson was supported by Jeff Jackson, Kathy Jackson’s former husband. This so-called old guard was the support base for Victorian right-wing power boss, David Feeney. Feeney is now looking for a parliamentary seat because Gillard’s abysmal numbers have made his third Senate spot vulnerable.

    A defeat for the old guard by way of a successful prosecution of Thomson by police, would leave Feeney powerless and without a base or a seat.

    Jackson himself has been accused of using union money on escorts with enemies of the Victorian HSU boss releasing bank statements showing payments to the same Sydney brothel where federal MP Thomson’s credit card was allegedly used. Jackson has denied the claims. Ultimately at issue here could be the succession to Gillard, and I’ll explain why.

    When Kathy Jackson called in the wallopers, the stakes were high. Because a federal defeat for Thomson and his allies would enhance the power base of Victoria’s two other factional king makers, Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy
    who are both aligned with the new guard in the HSU. And we all know what Shorten’s ultimate ambition is.

    What a tangled web we weave especially when you consider Thomson is married to Zoe Arnold, a former Transport

    Workers Union official and adviser to former NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher. Alex Williamson, daughter of HSU national president Mike Williamson, is an adviser to Gillard. And, of course, as mentioned, Kathy Jackson, who blew the whistle on Thomson, was married to former Victorian state HSU secretary Jeff Jackson.

    Truly the NSW Disease has arrived in Canberra.

    Meanwhile amid all this interbred internecine manoeuvring Gillard attempts to adopt the high ground, attacking shadow attorney-general George Brandis for intervening in the course of justice. On Thursday morning Gillard attacked Brandis for speaking to NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher at a time when the allegations against Thomson were being assessed by NSW Police. Unfortunately she got her facts wrong because the NSW police only announced they were conducting an assessment four days after Brandis spoke to Gallacher and in fact only got Brandis’s dossier three days after he spoke to Gallacher.

    A small point but one that indicates the pressure is beginning to show on Gillard as she desperately searches for
    points of deflection. During the same press conference she also vainly tried to defend Thomson’s decision not to make a statement to the parliament on the facts. We all know why; if he lies he’s finished as an MP and Gillard is washed up as Prime Minister. Gillard and Thomson are shackled together just as surely as two First Fleet convicts.

    Oh, and here’s a small postscript on which to end. On September 7 at the Wyong Christian School at 2pm there will be the opening of a new hall built with funds from Gillard’s time overseeing the Building the Education Revolution.

    Thomson is scheduled to attend as the local member. My gut instinct is that both he and the Prime Minister will be
    otherwise engaged.

    *************************

    Fairly full of implication but also full of “I dont believe it myself, but!

    The real proof of the pudding is this:

    Gillard did not move to Altona ’till around Easter 1998, its alleged she lived in Fitzroy with or without Wilson from 1993.

    This raises the question did she know he was a thief, using funds intended for the AWU to buy the Fitzroy premises?

    Highly probable as she must have handled the cheques to Slater and Gordon that were from Wilsons “cunning kick Accounts” as she was the AWU lawyer handling the AWU account taking instructions from Wilson.

    There were however TWO houses involved as well as two lots of renovations and a lot of clothing (womens) involved, if you believe Ian Cambridge, later promoted to the NSW Industrial Court (Ludwig in Gillards ear) when he signed an affidavit to that effect.

    So Gillard needs to answer, if she wasnt living in Fitzroy with Wilson (just visiting, where was she living, who owned the premises and who was paying for the renovations for any or all the premises she may allege she was living in (up until Altona)if not at Fitzroy.

    The fact that she was “sharing the love” with a person who was instructing her in a civil matter (AWU accounts etc:) is not a conflict of interest its simply bad judgement.

    The fact that she may have and probably did avail herself of benefits from assisting knowingly in a criminal offences, misappropriation, fraud probably and standover tactics is a crime as she well knows.

    Hence the floating of the story “I was naive and didnt realise”. It also explains the inferences abounding that she paid back the AWU, a union in which Shorten and Ludwig are major players.

    If any of the suspicians about her knowledge of the source of funds (as well as the Accounts from where the Fitzroy premises came out of) can be proven it would explain the absurd reaction she has shown to the re hash of the story.

    In that case it would obvious she has been captured / bought, paid for and used by the very people who supported her elevation.

    We could well have a puppet Prime Minister who is a thief and a liar.

  3. And these reports dating back to 1996 are worth reading:

    *****************************************
    Ex-union men to pay $114,000
    The Australian, June 5, 1996, Page 6

    By JOHN ELLICOTT

    SIX former union officials were ordered to pay back more than $114,000 in redundancy payouts yesterday in the latest saga in the Australian Workers Union factional war.

    Rival joint national AWU secretaries Mr Steve Harrison and Mr Ian Cambridge both claimed the Industrial Relations Court of Australia ruling was a victory for their faction.

    Justice Madgwick ordered that the former members of the national construction branch of the AWU, which was headed by Mr Bruce Wilson, return monies given to them as redundancy in August last year.

    Justice Madgwick found the union members were not entitled to the payments.

    Mr Harrison said the judgment showed he did not have any responsibility for the redundancies and that his bona fides was not queried.

    The action against Mr Harrison was brought by AWU national president and Queensland ALP powerbroker Mr Bill Ludwig, who is aligned to the Cambridge faction.

    AWU free of fraud inquiry
    The Weekend Australian, June 8, 1996, page 2
    By SID MARRIS

    THE Victorian major fraud squad had decided not to bring charges over the operation of several accounts of the Australian Workers Union, union officials said yesterday.

    The secretary of Victorian branch of the AWU, Mr Bob Smith, said police had confirmed yesterday that there would be no charges over accounts operated by the former national construction branch secretary, Mr Bruce Wilson, because of “a lack of evidence”. Mr Smith immediately demanded that the joint national secretary, Mr Ian Cambridge, who had called for a royal commission into the union after the accounts were revealed, resign.

    “Given the fraud squad’s recommendation, I take it as a `given’ that we will be in receipt of your resignation forthwith,” Mr Smith said in a letter to Mr Cambridge yesterday.

    Mr Smith was a factional rival of Mr Wilson but supported a redundancy payout last August which was overturned by the courts this week.

    The court found that while the six payouts to former officials of the construction branch should not have been made, they had been authorised by the national executive of the union in good faith.

    Mr Cambridge said yesterday he believed the issue of the accounts was far from over.

    “The last person that would influence me to resign would be Bob Smith,” he said.

    Police probe use of bank account in union name
    The Australian, Friday, August 2, 1996, Page 6

    By NIGEL WILSON

    POLICE in Western Australia have been called in over the use of a bank account in the name of the union central to a bitter factional struggle for control of one of the nation’s biggest unions.

    Hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone through the account, officials with the Australian Workers Union confirmed yesterday.

    The money, collected from companies operating in Western Australia, was supposed to be directed towards training young people and helping ease a skills shortage in the construction industry.

    Mr Tim Daly and Mr Peter Trebilco, joint secretaries of the West Australian branch of the Australian Workers Union issued a statement yesterday acknowledging the existence of an unauthorised bank account in the name of The Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association Inc.

    The account was operated in Perth between April 1992 and April 1995.

    “Present officers of the union had no knowledge of the existence of the account until recently,” the statement said.

    “Approximately $385,000 has passed the account which was closed in April 1995.”

    The national AWU management is locked in a bitter dispute which led to a former West Australian and Victorian branch secretary, Mr Bruce Wilson, being made redundant last year after allegations against several union officials over unauthorised use of funds.

    These allegations, aired in the Industrial Relations Court, led to an order requiring Mr Wilson to repay his redundancy payment on the grounds that it was invalid.

    Mr Daly refused yesterday to link Mr Wilson with the unauthorised account but said Mr Wilson had been AWU secretary in Western Australia when it was established.

    “At this time, the union is aware of the existence of the account and that deposits and withdrawals were made from it.

    “The WA branch of the union has not at this stage been able to ascertain whether any of the funds involved belonged to the union.

    “The incumbent secretaries have reported the branch’s concern at the finding of the account, and the nature of the transactions into and out of the account, to the Fraud Squad.”

    Mr Daly said he had been advised that most of the money which came into the account came from Thiess Contractors which in 1993 was awarded a $58 million contract to build the Dawesville Cut – a unique channel designed to help flush degraded wetlands at Mandurah, south of Perth.

    In the late 1980s, the West Australian Government had established the Building Construction Industry Training Fund into which all contractors for projects in Western Australia paid a levy which was supposed to fund training.

    The BCITF accumulated funds rapidly but was criticised for being unable to demonstrate that it was developing training programs.

    In 1994 a special review, tabled in Parliament, recommended the BCITF be scrapped.

    It appears that some of the money in the unauthorised AWU account was intended for the BCITF.

    Mr Wilson did not return calls from The Australian yesterday.

    Union seeks NCA probe on bank accounts
    The Australian, Friday, August 9, 1996, page 4

    By SID MARRIS

    THE NSW Government may refer financial irregularities within the troubled Australian Workers Union to the National Crime Authority.
    The joint national secretary of the AWU, Mr Steve Harrison, has written to the NSW Police Minister, Mr Whelan, asking for a National Crime Authority investigation of bank accounts operated by the AWU in Victoria and Western Australia.

    The call has been supported by Mr Harrison’s factional rival, Mr Ian Cambridge, who made a similar call for an NCA investigation as well as calling for a royal commission into the union before the federal election this year.

    A spokeswoman for Mr Whelan confirmed yesterday the matter was being considered by the acting Police Commissioner, Mr Neil Taylor.
    It is believed powerful ALP and union leaders are concerned that if an NCA inquiry is not held the Howard Government could use a royal commission to attack the union movement in general.

    ACTU secretary Mr Bill Kelty has also been calling on the warring factions to settle their differences after 18 months of damaging factional bloodletting.

    The AWU was a hurried amalgamation of two powerful right-wing unions – the old AWU and the Federation of Industrial, Manufacturing and Engineering Employees which still operate separate national offices in Sydney.

    While the union has been brawling large numbers of members have accepted lucrative contract offers from large mining and resources companies and have left the union.

    Mr Cambridge has been active in uncovering unauthorised accounts operated by former Victorian and West Australian secretary Mr Bruce Wilson.

    Mr Wilson was a former factional ally of Mr Cambridge and powerful Queensland secretary Mr Bill Ludwig, but was dumped by the group after the irregularities were first uncovered.

    The Harrison group, however, has attacked the Ludwig faction for not supporting an inquiry into Mr Wilson’s branch in 1992.

    But in a further twist, the Harrison group approved a redundancy payout for Mr Wilson and five other officials, which was later overturned by the Industrial Court. The court found no impropriety in the payment.

    In June the Victorian fraud squad found “insufficient evidence” to pursue criminal charges over unauthorised accounts operating in Victoria.

    Gillard slams Labor enemies
    The Australian, Monday, March 13, 2006, page 1

    By Samantha Maiden, Political correspondent

    JULIA Gillard has attacked her enemies within the ALP as “lying cowards” for dredging up allegations first raised more than a decade ago that a former lover rorted union funds to renovate her home and buy her dresses.

    Just 24 hours after the ALP’s Right faction accused Ms Gillard’s political allies of attempting to broker a deal to allow her to defect from the Left faction, her enemies have again raised allegations twice aired previously under privilege in the Victorian state parliament.

    The allegations were raised again yesterday with The Australian by senior ALP figures who are critical of Ms Gillard’s perceived attacks on Labor leader Kim Beazley.

    “You might notice she left out one of her boyfriends when she went on Australian Story,” a senior Labor figure said, referring to Ms Gillard’s appearance on the ABC TV program last week.

    As Ms Gillard angrily dismissed the allegation yesterday as “lies”, the decision by her enemies to bring up the affair prompted a warning from Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon that launching “a jihad” on Ms Gillard was not the way to build Labor unity.

    Kim Beazley will hold talks with former leader Simon Crean in Sydney today in an attempt to hose down the rising tensions within ALP ranks.
    In 1995, former Kennett minister Phil Gude was the first to raise allegations under parliamentary privilege regarding Ms Gillard and the former secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Bruce Wilson.

    Mr Gude said the National Crime Authority and Victoria Police were investigating allegations of misappropriation of union funds.

    At the time, Ms Gillard was a Senate candidate for the ALP and a partner with law firm Slater & Gordon.

    Mr Gude told parliament the AWU was still receiving bills for “strange items ordered by Mr Wilson”.

    In 2001, Liberal frontbencher Geoff Leigh told the Victorian parliament there were allegations AWU funds had been spent on Mr Wilson’s “close friend”.

    “While Ms Gillard was swanning around the country to promote the Labor Party, union funds were being used to renovate her property and $17,000 of the $57,000 bought her the best clothes,” Mr Leigh told the state parliament.

    At the time, Ms Gillard dismissed the allegations as “absolutely untrue”.

    In 2001, Mr Leigh told parliament that AWU official Bill Shorten, who was recently preselected in a safe ALP seat in Victoria, was “aware of this serious matter”.

    It was alleged in a statutory declaration read into the parliamentary Hansard that Mr Shorten had told a union official he would not rest “until (the) crooks are in jail and the money is returned in full to the union”.

    Mr Wilson left the AWU in 1995 after a factional battle for control of the union. No adverse findings were ever made against him and he was never forced to return any money to the AWU.

    Describing her attackers as “lying cowards”, Ms Gillard yesterday dismissed the claims that she had attempted to swap factions or had renovations paid for by the AWU.

    “The people making these allegations are cowards who skulk around anonymously,” she said.

    And Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon denied he had held talks with NSW ALP secretary Mark Arbib to allow Ms Gillard to swap factions, and dismissed the latest allegations as lies.

    “Kim Beazley will lead Labor to the next election and will win if the party gives him a structure which produces inclusion and unity,” he said. “Launching a jihad on Julia Gillard is hardly a path to unity.”

  4. I just saw a commenter asking for details from the “Agent”.

    LOL, all that information will be at the Victorian Land Titles Office or whatever it is called in Victoria.

    Will save the “Agent” from compromising his “Reputation—–ROFL—as if they have any, with the REI.

  5. Theres more there than meet the eye. Theres more fuel on fire… UK Spin Dr David Taylor. Apparently Gillard didnt win the last election. Spin Dr from UK Labow Party ….. read some comments and you’ll work out for yourself.

  6. Julia just keeps making mistake after mistake… We all know the track record, pink batts, BER, boats… And so on. The labour party is hanging on with everything they’ve got… At this rate when they lose the next election, and they surely will, they will not have a hope of getting back into government for another 20 years when a new blood of voters that don’t remember Rudd and Gillard finally give them a go.

  7. Get rid of the dog all she has done is screw everyone over what sort of a msg are we sending to our enemys that were weak its no wonder america has stationed troops in our country and anyways what is sorry hows is someone with such a tainted past able to even get close to running this country i say “revolt” us as the citizens throw her out its obvious she has the ALP sitting under her table eating the scraps.
    We need a leader to lead our country not a low down back stabber.

    I know i wont be voting labour next time and before this i only ever voted labour.

  8. The Galah must go! It is beyond comprehension how much money they have waisted; including the most resent “change my mind” on the National Broadcasting Network then having to hand out millions compensation. Now she is handing out money for votes!! It’s the money for School Scams again and Rudd the Dudds vote for me hand outs!!

  9. Desperately seeking ~ Bruce Morton Wilson
    Ex lover of Julja Gillard and AWU fraudster.
    For anyone who had information regarding the whereabouts of Bruce Morton Wilson – please leave details on this site as a comment.
    Thank you.

  10. Compare with Abbott’s early record while he was at uni in England, saving a child from a raging sea, saving children from a house on fire (dug up by his biographer). No wonder Labor has to tell lies to denigrate him!