Larry Pickering

Thursday, 12th December 2013

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, recently returned to the fray over concern that news sources are being threatened by the Gillard Government.


I could hear, smell and touch the relief in Bob Kernohan’s voice over the phone as he left the Magistrates Court in Melbourne yesterday. I wanted to give him a cuddle as he drew a little closer to the end of an agonising personal nightmare.

He had called me to say Senior Magistrate Lauristen had rejected Slater & Gordon and Bruce Wilson’s claimed privilege on what could be critical evidence in the AWU scam.

Decent union men have paid a high price to avenge those who stole from their members’ pay packets and systematically rorted and laundered taxpayer and construction company funds.

[Ill-informed bloggers had circulated on the net last week that Magistrate Lauristen may not allow the application by Vicpol and that he could be an ALP “plant”. There was no reason to believe Lauristen would not hear and judge the application on its merits. He did exactly that. Internet conspiracy theorists should understand the likelihood of injudicious rulings ending with an embarrassing peer review and possible invalidation in an appellant court.]

Journalists, Michael Smith, Glenn Milne and others have paid a high price in attempting to uncover the truth. Ralph Blewitt also suffered brutal defamation from an acid-tongued Gillard as she tried to discredit the evidence of her former associate.

Without Blewitt, Vicpol would have no case. As with all whistleblowers, he had everything to lose and nothing to gain except peace of mind.

Bruce Wilson was a high-life union crook and all union crooks, from Mafia mob boss John Gotti down, had a solicitor as a partner in their criminal activity.

Julia Gillard was Wilson’s willing solicitor, partner and moll… there is no doubt about that. Her explanation that she was “young and naive” is beyond all belief.

Twelve dedicated detectives from Victoria’s Major Fraud Squad have spent 12 months unearthing a mountain of evidence against Bruce Wilson.

Under each rock they turned over they also found a naive Julia Gillard, who they now ominously refer to as “others”.

The detectives must have winced when faced with the Boulder, WA, incident; in my opinion the worst of many Gillard/Wilson capers:

WA newspaper archives show Bruce Wilson travelled to Boulder/Kalgoorlie in 1992 to attempt to allay AWU members’ concerns about his wish to transfer the management of large sums of union members’ money to a new AWU account in Northbridge, Perth.

The money resided at the time in a separate account called, “The Goldfields Fatal Accident and Death Fund”. This money, donated from union members themselves, was intended to financially assist bereaved families of deceased union members.

Wilson was determined to have management of the account shifted to the AWU’s head office in Perth. Wilson was the then WA boss of the AWU. He and Ralph Blewitt were to be sole signatories on the account and union members were justifiably apprehensive.

They were wary of Wilson’s alleged fraudulent activities and demanded a meeting. It was set down for 8pm in the Boulder Town Hall.

Wilson knew he would never convince members of the legitimacy of the proposed move himself. So he introduced to the stage a person of high legal authority to assure union members there was no need for concern.

The person he introduced was Julia Gillard.

Members were unaware Gillard was his lover and personal solicitor. She was presented as an important Industrial Lawyer from Victoria and an official representative of the Labor stalwart law firm, Slater & Gordon. Slater & Gordon were also unaware of anyone representing them.

Gillard addressed union members at length explaining why the money should be moved and that there was nothing to worry about. She insisted the members were in the good hands of the ALP’s Slater & Gordon and their best interests would at all times be protected.

Gillard must have done an excellent job because the account containing approximately $1 million was shifted to a private Northbridge, Perth account. The address for all correspondence was nominated as Northbridge Post Office, Box 253.

Three years later, police were asked by incoming AWU State Secretary, Tim Daly, to investigate large amounts that had been withdrawn from “The Goldfields Fatal Accident and Death Fund” part of which was used to buy two holiday units in Kalbarri.

Despite the WA Major Fraud Squad’s Detective David McAlpine’ keenness to lay charges, it didn’t happen. The Kalbarri holiday units, were subsequently sold.

Again the laundered money vanished.

It was only the tip of a very large iceberg that is only now beginning to thaw.