Our very own Watergate

The front page story in The Age today:

Gillard files missing, say lawyers
Search fails to find ‘slush fund’ records

It begins:

A FILE detailing Julia Gillard’s role in helping set up a union slush fund from which her former boyfriend stole hundreds of thousands of dollars has disappeared.

Law firm Slater & Gordon yesterday said it could find no documents relating to the work done by Ms Gillard — a former salaried partner of the firm — in establishing the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association in 1992.

Police believe the association was used by Ms Gillard’s former boyfriend and senior AWU official Bruce Wilson to steal more than $400,000, including about $100,000 which helped fund the purchase of a Fitzroy unit bought with Ms Gillard’s professional assistance.

Slater & Gordon managing director Andrew Grech told The Age last night that the firm had not been able to locate any documents relating to the controversial transaction.

‘We have not been able to identify any such documents following extensive searches of our archival records,’ Mr Grech said.

‘If there are such documents, we don’t have them. They could have been misplaced, or lost. I simply don’t know.’

Anyway, that’s how it begins. How it will end is anyone’s guess.

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36 Responses to Our very own Watergate

  1. squawkbox

    Tony Abbott must have stolen them.

  2. Token

    Has the shareholder’s meeting been held?

  3. Token

    Bunyip has the answer:

    The AGM is to begin at 2.30pm, October 25, on the 12th floor of S&G headquarters, 485 LaTrobe Street.

  4. C.L.

    Is Bunyip really going to rock up to the AGM?

  5. jupes

    Has anyone asked the WA Corporate Affairs Commission for their files on the AWU Workplace Reform Association?

  6. Myrrdin Seren

    There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that branch members of the CMFEU will be providing security and pre-screening questions from the floor at the S&G AGM 🙂

  7. C.L.

    Somebody asks a question about Julia Gillard at Slater & Gordon:

  8. C.L.

    How it will end is anyone’s guess.

    We know how it should end:


  9. Token

    You are correct Lars, with Watergate no person or company was ripped off for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Watergate is an immaterial petty crime compared to Gillard’s action at S&G in the Wilson matter.

  10. Rabz

    Slapper & Drongo managing director Andrew ‘Godwin’ Grech told The Yaged last night that the firm had not been able to locate any documents relating to the controversial transaction.

    Gee, no one could have predicted that outcome…

  11. OldOzzie

    The interesting take from that article in the Age was this

    “In a letter dated September 24, partner Leon Zwier of Arnold Bloch Leibler, representing Slaters, challenged Mr Blewitt’s claim.

    ‘‘It is not sufficient to claim that any documents we hold concerning the AWU Workplace Reform Association belong to your client simply because he was at some point an office holder of the association,’’ MrZwier wrote.

    In reply, lawyers Galbally Rolfe, representing Mr Blewitt, said: ‘‘We note your admission on behalf of Slater & Gordon that they hold documents concerning the AWU Workplace Reform Association.’’

  12. Boy on a bike

    “Losing files is sexist”, claims Gillard.

    Shorten blames “mysogynist filing cabinets”,

  13. Token

    Though it is a long bow, Bunyip notes something which a few poeple have picked up:

    1/ The S&G files on the Kerr Street property and other AWU-related matters were transferred to Maurice Blackburn, where Nicola Roxon took charge of them, when the union yanked its business in disgust from Gillard’s old firm.

    Does Roxon have the missing files? Does Blackburn’s have them? What light can be shed by Bill Shorten, also at Blackburn’s and Roxon’s then-lover, on the scandal at the AWU, where he went on to become the hero of the Beaconsfield Mine drama.

  14. H B Bear

    How do you lose a file that was never created?

  15. H B Bear

    Oh hang on – now I get it.

  16. SteveC

    Watergate is an immaterial petty crime

    Liberty un-quote?

  17. Myrrdin Seren

    ….Bill Shorten, also at Blackburn’s and Roxon’s then-lover…..

    This does not create a happy mental picture for an otherwise bright spring morning 🙁

  18. Token

    Looks like Lars is really taking on the mantle of being a dodgy quote snipper.

  19. Keith

    The files are ash in Bill Ludwig’s fireplace.
    However, if Gillard actually wrote to the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner in support of the registration of the slush fund, misrepresenting as an association, the WA Corporate Affairs might still have the letter.

  20. Helen Armstrong

    What about that guy who has a shed load of documents over in Perth? Ex union bloke, while back now, was in the papers for a couple of days. I’ll have a look on Pickering.

  21. Token

    I think you mean Blewitt Helen, it was the document he provided to Michael Smith upon which it looks like Gillard seems to have backdated her witnessing of a document <a that stoked the latest turmoil.

  22. Ivan Denisovich

    The Skeleton In The Cupboard:

    James Hacker: How am I going to explain the missing documents to “The Mail”?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, this is what we normally do in circumstnces like these.
    James Hacker: [reads memo] This file contains the complete set of papers, except for a number of secret documents, a few others which are part of still active files, some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967…
    James Hacker: Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, a marvellous winter. We lost no end of embarrassing files.
    James Hacker: [reads] Some records which went astray in the move to London and others when the War Office was incorporated in the Ministry of Defence, and the normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for libel or breach of confidence or cause embarrassment to friendly governments.
    James Hacker: That’s pretty comprehensive. How many does that normally leave for them to look at?
    James Hacker: How many does it actually leave? About a hundred?… Fifty?… Ten?… Five?… Four?… Three?… Two?… One?… *Zero?*
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, Minister.


  23. Good to see this has now gone beyond the control of Gillard. It will never go away now.

    So when does the Coalition bring it up in parliament, or do they “do her slowly” and risk her winning the next election? If Labor win the next election, they will turn up the heat on democracy, and take comfort in Chavez’s reelection.

  24. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    I log on with my coffee to enquire, just like any other morning, if Comrade Beloved Helmsperson has come unstuck overnight, to discover if anyone has left a shovel at her front door – each day I hope for such excellent news. This morning I read about “missing” bloody files! What utter bullship!

    Now, I’ve been around for a bit but I am nonetheless simply stunned.

    The fix is in – it’s fair dinkum like Friday night at the Harold Park trots or Eagle Farm in the ’70s. The fix is in alright!

    The field includes Comrade solicitors Slater & Someone, sheltered workshop to the young and naive; a file which was not created by a solicitorette whose work was so exceptional they would have had to advise their professional indemnity insurers; Comrade Dank and Tepid Roxon at the next lawyers’ office (Comrades Blackburn) lined up to deal with her – sorry – its former client and the non existent file; dear leader candidate Comrade Short Billy practising at the same lawyers (and simultaneously bedding one of the above); an investigative journalist sacked because the prime minister made a phone call; dodgy union officials, pinched funds – the whole shooting match.

    No-one in authority is exercising it and, in any event, Chaos is in charge – just like a raid on the SP bookies when the punters and pencillers run in a dozen different directions to confuse the coppers. Oh eventually they’ll bag some poor sod who was betting $20 each way on the last (and the brown paper bag behind the front counter) and announce a triumph of law and order.

    I’m betting this will go nowhere. In time a friend-of-the-family judge will be appointed to grant the lawyers two years to craft the cover up and then find there is no chance of a conviction due to a lack of evidence.

    It’s an old story, entirely predictable, but I remain stunned – I think by the brazenness of it all.

    Struth, Robbie Waterhouse and his old man were warned off for 15 years for less!

  25. Jannie

    This is The Age, not the ‘hate media’. If the ABC picks up this story, it might signify that the guardians of the left are giving it away.

  26. Leigh Lowe

    What a frikkin’ surprise!
    Labor/ALP leaning Law Firm can’t find file which will embarrass Labor PM.
    All may not be lost.
    I wonder if an erstwhile Slugs and Bugs partner now working across the pond (and no longer pals with well-known Slugs and Bugs founder) might have kept an “insurance copy”.
    There seems to be some remarkably well informed sources around (replete with copies of documents which can’t be found at Slugs and Bugs).

  27. .

    Shorten, Conroy, Gillard, Roxon all have been accused of impropriety.

    It is for the good of the ALP and the country that they lose the next election and lose it good and proper.

    If the ALP is the salvation of the working class then what good does it do for them when it is run by corrupt insiders who have never worked as ordinary workers?

  28. Anon

    Sorry, couldn’t resist….

    I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world … without you

  29. what planet am I on?

    “If the ALP is the salvation of the working class then what good does it do for them when it is run by corrupt insiders who have never worked as ordinary workers?”

    Try asking the shop steward, on the building site where you work,that question. Industrial accident they’ll call it.

  30. blogstrop

    Michael Smith has passed something important on to the Victorian Police Commissioner.

  31. Peter Gordon

    A mysoginist ate my homework.

  32. Steve of Glasshouse

    Will Julia be able to say the word

  33. mundi

    As if anything will come of this. Julia is like a drop in the ocean off free-riders off union money. Lets be truthful here: people in unions are exactally known for their business prowess. Most unions have tonnes of money that simply disappears into thin year – usually pretty much all of it. Does it really take $500 per year per person to have a couple of meeting with your employer and a few safety visits? Of course not. The rest goes into lobbying and bribes.

  34. Gab

    And a lot of it is used for Labor election campaigns.

  35. Winston Smith

    And Gab, an awful lot appears to be used for parties to which I am never invited. Thank God.

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