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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Missing AWU scandal files “found”.
Monday,November 19,2012 (5:02pm)
CRITICAL FILES relating to the growing AWU scandal and Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend Bruce Wilson which had disappeared from the federal archive in Queensland have been found.
The files, which relate to attempts by the AWU to recover money paid to Wilson and his union associate Ralph Blewitt, have been recovered in Melbourne.
The files contain the claims made by former AWU boss and ALP power broker Bill Ludwig to the Industrial Registrar for the recovery of the money paid to the dodgy union officials.
On Saturday, The Weekend Australian revealed that the files lodged with the Industrial Relations Court’s Queensland registry in 1995 by the former AWU national president had been lost in the past nine months.
This afternoon, deputy Opposition leader Julie Bishop called on the federal court to protect all files relating to the AWU and the AWU Reform Association which Gillard has said she set up as a slush fund for her former boyfriend.
“The federal court must conduct an immediate audit of all files relating to these matters and give them official protection to prevent any possible destruction of material that may be called on as evidence in future,” Bishop told me.
Files are still missing in WA and NSW.
Among the files missing in NSW is the original affidavit made by former AWU official Ian Cambridge, a respected member of the industrial community, and the original conveyancing documents for a Melbourne property bought by Wilson in Blewitt’s name at an auction which Gillard attended.
Gillard arranged for Labor law firm Slater & Gordon, where she was a partner, to provide a portion of the money for the mortgage on the property.
She also waived the firm’s fee for work done by the firm on the conveyancing for Blewitt.
The Australian revealed last month that the file held by the State Records Office in Perth on the AWU Workplace Reform Association was empty.
It should contain key documents from 1992, when the association was registered by the West Australian government.
Slater & Gordon also has disclosed that it cannot find its file on the association.
The Federal Court documents were filed by Mr Ludwig in a bid to recover the large redundancies paid to Wilson and other AWU officials—including his bagman Blewitt and their friend Bill Telikostoglou, whom Gillard called “Bill the Greek”.
According to retired lawyer and union historian Harry Nowicki, the files contain affidavits from key players and the details of the meetings in which the AWU became aware of fraudulent activity.
These include the national executive meeting of August 16, 1995, which voted to pay large redundancy cheques of AWU members’ money.
The WA Premier, Colin Barnett said on Sunday he would seek an explanation from the State Records Office about the missing file of public documents relating to the union slush fund when he received a formal complaint. That was being prepared today.
Paperwork for the creation of the association set up by Gillard and allegedly used by her former boyfriend to plunder funds, was filed with the WA Commissioner for Corporate Affairs in 1992, and should be contained in the missing State Records Office file.
There is no evidence Ms Gillard knew about the alleged frauds and she has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In August she said she provided legal advice to set up the slush fund but knew nothing about its workings until 1995.
Federal Housing Minister Brendan O’Connor told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday people were “sick of the smear” in relation to Ms Gillard’s role in the AWU saga and attempted to smear Bishop by referring to her work for CSR on asbestos cases.
That attempt backfired however as Bishop actually ran two test cases for the industrial giant openly and transparently and rather than delaying the asbestos-related claims, ensured the speedy payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to asbestos victims when the cases were concluded.