The $5000 question - claims Julia Gillard's ex-boyfriend Bruce Wilson put cash into her account
The Daily Telegraph
November 14, 2012 12:00AM
JULIA Gillard's past continued to haunt her last night, with allegations emerging that in June 1996 a union employee told the national head of the Australian Workers Union that he deposited $5000 cash into her account.
The allegation, outlined exclusively in The Australian today, is that the cash had come from the Prime Minister's then boyfriend, AWU official Bruce Wilson.
Ms Gillard has always denied any wrongdoing over the creation of a union slush fund on behalf of Mr Wilson and union official Ralph Blewitt during her time as a lawyer for Slater and Gordon.
The allegation comes as Mr Blewitt indicated he is willing to speak openly about his role in the union scandal but wants the police to guarantee him immunity from prosecution.
The Australian reports that then national AWU head Ian Cambridge, now a Fair Work Australia Commissioner, recorded in his 1994-1996 diary allegations by union employee Wayne Hem that Mr Wilson, after a night at a casino, had given him a wad of cash totalling $5000 along with Ms Gillard's bank account details and told him to deposit it.
The report also states that Mr Hem's allegations formed part of a statutory declaration sworn to the newspaper in Melbourne three days ago during a lengthy interview.
The report stressed it was not known from where Mr Wilson got the funds and there was no evidence, nor was it suggested, Ms Gillard asked for the payment or knew of its origins. Ms Gillard yesterday repeated her denial of any wrongdoing.
Her spokesman issued a statement to The Australian saying: "The Prime Minister has made clear on numerous occasions that she was not involved in any wrongdoing.
"I also note that despite repeatedly being asked to do so, The Australian has been unable to substantiate any allegations of wrongdoing."
Mr Hem told The Australian that he told Mr Cambridge about the bank deposit on June 7, 1996, during a drive to Melbourne. During this time Mr Cambridge was investigating AWU fraud.
Mr Cambridge's June 7, 1996 diary entry notes Mr Hem telling him "about an event that took place in about July last year (1995)", The Australian reports.
"This event involved Bruce Wilson handing Wayne an envelope which contained approximately $5000 in $100 and $50 notes and Wilson instructed Hem to deposit this $5000 into a personal account of Julia Gillard."
Mr Hem provided further detail on the allegation in his statutory declaration to The Australian, saying he had been asked to attend Mr Wilson's office. "I went down and he handed me about five grand," Mr Hem said in the report.
"Then Bruce handed me a piece of paper with the account number and a name on it, and it was Julia's name.
"He said 'Go put this in Julia's account'. I said 'OK'.
"He (Wilson) made a comment about not saying anything. I just went down to the bank, put it in, came back, gave him the receipt.
"I didn't know if it was for Julia or if the account was a private account or a Slater and Gordon account. It just had Julia Gillard's name on it and I put it in the bank account."
Read more on this story at The Australian.
AWU man ready to open up on fraud
The Daily Telegraph
November 14, 2012 12:00AM
POLICE have asked the lawyer for a key player in the Australian Workers Union scandal whether his client would provide details about an alleged "slush" fund used by Julia Gillard's former boyfriend Bruce Wilson.
In a move that could shed fresh evidence on the 15-year-old union fraud, Victorian detectives have confirmed they are willing to speak with former AWU official Ralph Blewitt.
Now living in Malaysia, Mr Blewitt's testimony could be explosive and include details of an alleged "slush" fund that was used to help purchase a Melbourne property.
Prime Minister Gillard, whose former boyfriend Mr Wilson was the mastermind behind the union fraud, provided advice on a number of matters while a lawyer at Slater & Gordon, including helping to register the AWU Workplace Reform Association which Ms Gillard admitted was used as a "slush" fund by Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt over a three-year period.
Mr Blewitt has indicated he is willing to speak openly about his role in the union scandal but wants police to guarantee him immunity from prosecution.
Last night, Mr Blewitt's Melbourne lawyer Bob Galbally said his client was happy to co-operate with Victorian fraud squad officers. He expected the police would seek to investigate the scandal "on a wide basis" including details of a "slush" fund used by the two former AWU officials.
"My client is happy to make a statement to the police about the purchase of the Kerr St property. The purchase was with stolen funds," Mr Galbally said.
He said Victoria Police had said they "are prepared to investigate the matter".
"Before I take (Mr Blewitt) in for a statement, I am seeking approval from the police to him making a statement with a proviso that it should not be used in evidence against himself," Mr Galbally said. He said he expected police would "investigate on a wide basis".
Known as the AWU Workplace Reform Association, the fund was used to misappropriate $400,000, according to an investigation carried out by the union management.