THE most telling political development of the past month has been the emergence of the Slater and Gordon affair as a mainstream issue. For months it had been pursued only by this newspaper but has now been taken up by our Fairfax competitors and, more importantly, the Opposition.
Julia Gillard now appears panicked as she refuses to answer forensic questions on the matter in parliament. She stonewalls when it is raised in press conferences
He is incorrect saying "For months it had been pursued only by this newspaper"
This blog was pursuing the matter well before the Australian started investigating, as also was the Kangaroo Court blog (see for eg
Ian Cambridge and Bill Ludwig covered up the 1996 AWU fraud case which helped Julia Gillard )
However, there would be no one looking into the matter if it wasn't for Michael Smith.
He opened up the investigation and he opened up a few eyes.
For many revelations go to MichaelSmithNews.com.
Kenny Goes on:
In this newspaper, award-winning reporter Hedley Thomas has assiduously investigated the issue, unearthing a series of exclusive reports. His critical breakthrough was revealing the transcript of Gillard's interview with senior law partners during her firm's internal review of AWU matters in 1995.
This confirmed Gillard helped to establish what she described as a "slush fund" and that she had not informed her colleagues or adopted the standard accountability practice of opening a file on the matter. Thomas also revealed that as a result, Gillard's partners lost trust and confidence in her, and she left.And indeed more of the MSM are enquiring about the matter.
Even the Sydney Morning
She was more than happy, when word came that Blewitt wanted to buy an investment property in Melbourne, to help find the right place, to do a freebie on the conveyancing, to sort out finance through her law firm's loan facility and, for good measure, to turn up at the auction with her boyfriend to make sure everything went to plan for the absentee landlord.The Australian Financial Review has written an editorial on PM Gillard's unanswered questions (link).
AFR Editorial, 12 Nov 2012 - An extract:
Julia Gillard says she has answered all possible questions about her involvement in the Australian Workers Union slush fund scandal in her hour-long August 23 press conference. But, since then, new information has emerged and the Prime Minister’s insistence that all questions have been answered does not pass muster.
Working for law firm Slater & Gordon in the 1990s, Ms Gillard provided legal advice to her then boyfriend, AWU official Bruce Wilson, and AWU official Ralph Blewitt on the establishment of the AWU Workplace Reform Association, which she described as a “slush fund”. Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt are accused of using the association to defraud the AWU. The Weekend Financial Review reported on a series of outstanding questions surrounding the fund and the purchase and conveyancing of a Melbourne property bought by Mr Wilson (in the name of Mr Blewitt) in 1993. One relates to whether Ms Gillard was aware of the source of the $67,000 used as a deposit on the house. The Prime Minister stated on August 23 that Mr Blewitt had personally provided the funds to buy the Fitzroy property. However, the conveyancing file has revealed that a cheque for more than $67,000 made out on the AWU association’s accounts was used as the deposit.
Read more at the AFR (link)
Bishop vows to pursue Gillard on union fundby Gemma Daley
Deputy Oppoaitin Leader Ms Bishop said.
“This use of slush funds and misuse of union money goes to the heart of the culture of the union movement and the union movement is at the heart of Julia Gillard’s government.”
The Melbourne property was bought for $230,000. Mr Wilson used power of attorney to buy it on behalf of Mr Blewitt. The law firm’s file shows that a deposit of $23,000 was paid, and the firm acted as the intermediary for a $150,000 mortgage.
Ms Bishop has already sought to table in Parliament a copy of a cheque for $67,722.30 from the Workplace Reform Association that was used to settle the purchase of the property.
The cheque is made out to “Slater & Gordon Trust Acc” and is drawn on a branch of the Commonwealth Bank in James Street, Northbridge, in Perth.
Read more of Gemma's article at the AFR (link)
The PM does have more questions to amswer!