Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen

Julia Gillard, one step closer to getting away with the AWU fraud and theft

Victorian Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen handed down a judgement on Monday in the Julia Gillard – Bruce Wilson AWU fraud in relation to the discovery of documents sought by the Victoria Police. The bottom line is that the police now have access to the documents they were seeking. It is a judgement that will probably put a big smile on Julia Gillard’s face and make her Christmas.

Some people think Lauritsen’s judgement is a big win, but I do not see it. Some elements are good as far as the pursuit of Bruce Wilson is concerned but that is about all. As Chief Magistrate Lauritsen says in his written reasons “As far as I can determine, the majority of the documents date from 1995. None is earlier than 1992. This proceeding may turn out to be much ado about very little”. (Click here to read the CM Lauritsen’s full judgement on the News Ltd site) (I found it on Andrew Bolt’s Blog here)

That said, Ms Gillard should be happy because Chief Magistrate Lauritsen for whatever reason has made a finding of fact that Julia Gillard and her then boss, Bernard Murphy, did not know about a key element of the fraud that took place. This makes it rather hard to charge them with “conspiracy to cheat and defraud” which is one of the crimes that the Victoria police are investigating.

Others will argue that there is plenty of other evidence and other crimes that Julia Gillard can be charged with. And if they do that they will be right, but missing the whole point. This is a game of knocking one piece of evidence and one crime out at a time, piece by piece until there is no case against Gillard. And the piece knocked out by Lauritsen is a big piece which I disagree with.


This is a follow-up to 2 recent posts on the Victoria police trying to get access to documents from the law firm Slater and Gordon when Julia Gillard worked there and relating to her work for her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson. Click here for the first post and click here for the second post. I also have a specific page set up on the Julia Gillard / Bruce Wilson AWU Fraud. (Click here

In 1991 Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt, as representatives of the AWU, did a deal with Thiess Contractors Pty Ltd in Western Australia regarding a construction job known as the “Dawesville Channel project”. As part of the deal the AWU would supply a “Workplace Reform” advisor. As it turns out the advisor never existed but Wilson and Blewitt did invoice Thiess for the advisors work.

In 1992 Julia Gillard and her then boss at Slater and Gordon lawyers, Bernard Murphy helped set up an association called the Australian Workers Union – Workplace Reform Association. It was set up for Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt. The Association via its bank account was used to funnel fraudulently gained funds from Thiess Contractors Pty Ltd through. In total it was $303,252 for the “Workplace Reform” advisor that never existed.

Wilson and Blewitt initially had problems getting the Association registered in WA as the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs rejected the application. So Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt went to the Melbourne offices of Slater and Gordon and met with two partners, Julia Gillard and Bernard Murphy.

In his written reasons Chief Magistrate Lauritsen says in relation to the meeting that “Neither Blewitt nor Wilson mentioned to Murphy or Gillard the agreement with Thiess over the advisor”. I find this disturbing as it seems to give Gillard and Murphy a big out as far as a “conspiracy to cheat and defraud”charge is concerned. And on whose evidence does he rely to make this statement? It has to be Ralph Blewitt’s affidavit. No wonder Lauritsen was talking up the credibility of Ralph Blewitt in his written reasons. It helps Gillard and Murphy at from that point is concerned..

Why Lauritsen would raise that is beyond me as there is no need to and it sounds like he is acting as Gillard’s and Murphy’s defence council. I won’t get into a long argument but I will make these two points.

1.Both Gillard and Murphy would have known they should have approached the AWU head office for approval to set up the Association which they did not.

2. By the time Gillard helped set up the Association she was already in a sexual relationship with Bruce Wilson and should have stood aside from dealing with Wilson and the AWU any further which she did not.

Director of Public Prosecutions

The decision on whether or not to prosecute Julia Gillard will most likely come down to John Champion SC who is Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions. So what is he like?

He is currently under fire for getting involved in politics and dropping criminal charges against the Victorian state politician Geoff Shaw only a few days ago. From what I can tell the DPP had been chasing Geoff Shaw for a while and to drop the charges at such a late stage makes it a clear political decision. 

“Mr Shaw faced 23 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of misconduct in public office over the alleged misuse of his parliamentary fuel card and car in 2011.”

“Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion, SC, issued a statement saying there was not a reasonable prospect of Mr Shaw being convicted. (Click here to read more)

John Champion is a Liberal appointment, so it cannot be claimed he is biased in favour of Julia Gillard. But it does not install a lot of confidence when the current Victorian DPP in the last week has dropped criminal charges for political reasons. A lot of senior public servants play both sides of the political fence as who is in power today might not be at the next election.  

There is so many twists and turns to come and so many angles to look at things from. It will only be if and when people start getting charged will we be able to look back in hindsight and have a good indication of what really happened with this investigation. Until then we keep guessing.

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28 replies »

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong but I recall Gillard saying that it was a “slush fund” , so she knew the formation of the ‘Association’ was a fraudulent deal as with her pre-signing the document before it travelled back to Perth , same result , fraud.

    • Don, you might want to read the post again. People are so busy trying to convict Gillard they lose sight of what is happening. I said in the post “Others will argue that there is plenty of other evidence and other crimes that Julia Gillard can be charged with. And if they do that they will be right, but missing the whole point. This is a game of knocking one piece of evidence and one crime out at a time, piece by piece until there is no case against Gillard. And the piece knocked out by Lauritsen is a big piece which I disagree with.”

  2. You seem to miss the two main charges against Gillard here, Shane. They relate to fraudulence, which is compounded when committed by a lawyer.

    (1) Fraud one: Misleading the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner in regard to the written bona fide of the AWU WRA. She convinced (in writing) the legitimacy of the Association after it was rejected. Without Gillard’s interception as a lawyer the Assoc. would likely to have not been established. Her involvement in misleading the Commissioner is answerable.

    (2) Fraud two: Power Of Attorney. Blewitt states Gillard falsely witnessed the Power Of Attorney because she wasn’t present. Blewitt says he was in Perth with Wilson when it was signed. It was then taken to Melbourne for Gillard to backdate and sign. That’s fraudulent witnessing. Gillard insists she was in the room (re; her 2GB interview with Ben Fordham). The 363 documents from S&G are believed to contain Gillard’s time and travel sheets will may very well confirm where she was at the time of signing the documents. If so, Gillard will be done for fraud.

    You also ignore that Lauritsen has identified ‘others’ in his statement in relation to fraud, in particular in relation to the documents (others separate to Wilson and Blewitt). As there was only one known other in relation to the documentation it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to pin point who that other is.

    • Simon I have not missed anything, you have failed to read the post and understand it as you are so busy trying to show the evidence that you have against Gillard which is like a lot of the people chasing Gillard. The point of the post is how the evidence will be knocked out and there will eventually be no case against Gillard or Murphy for that matter.

      Lauritsen did not identify others. The police have which Lauritsen wrote. The others could be Bill Ludwig or other people.

  3. This may be a stupid question but who is responsible for assigning the Magistrates to the cases? Although the Judicial appointments made by Gillard seem to have been very well thought out as soon as she realised that she had been caught out on her part in the theft and fraud. All these assisted cover ups by the judicial system tell us that political interference in their appointments should be a thing of the past and should, like local council members, Mayors etc. be voted in by the voting public where decisions (appointments) can be based on their merits with no political input and they should be made to stand for re-election every 5 years so that their performance can be judged by us, the people paying their salaries.

  4. Bill Ludwig? How was he involved with the fraud except for long after the fact in supposedly covering it up?

    As for trying to be ‘busy trying to show how smart you are’, the points I made haven’t been rationally refuted by you, just sideswiped and dismissed. You’re better than that.

    You also claimed in an earlier post:


    ‘Labor Party ring-in Chief Magistrate Lauritsen hears the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU fraud matter

    It’s time for an update on the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU Fraud which was in court this week before Victorian Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen.

    It’s looking like the cover-up of the cover-up will be bigger than the original cover-up and crime. Yes, it would be comical if it wasn’t so criminal.’


    You then went on to establish a lengthy argument as to the bias and corrupt nature of Lauritsen and his supposed unsuitability to hear this matter


    ‘I said at the beginning of the post that it is the “same Peter Lauritsen that was identified as being corrupt by former ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill in 2009″. I will expand on that in the next post as this one is long enough as it is.


    What Lauritsen has demonstrated is the opposite of what you argued/alleged.

    Best to let this matter play out rather than to make inaccurate calls along the way, Shane, in the best interest of fairness. Not ‘trying to be smart’, just accurate.

    • Simon, Lauritsen has done a big favour for Gillard and Murphy which is unexplained so I stand by the fact that he should have never heard the case in the first place. You say “the points I made haven’t been rationally refuted by you, just sideswiped and dismissed. You’re better than that.” You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Getting into some full-blown argument about all the facts is not what the post is about. Re-read the post again Simon.
      You say “Bill Ludwig? How was he involved with the fraud except for long after the fact in supposedly covering it up?” The police are meant to have plenty of evidence that we do not know about so who knows who these “other people” are. I think there is a good chance that Ludwig was in on it right from the start. It has previously been implied that he received $50,000 from Wilson and Ludwig is a known fraudster and thief.

  5. It’s interesting you have named Bill Ludwig as one of the “others” Shane. That $50,000 payoff that Wilson gave to Ludwig suggests to me that Ludwig knew about the fraudulent account and probably allowed Ludwig to extort Wilson in exchange for the silence of Ludwig from telling the AWU about this fraud. Wilson & Ludwig were very close allies. If it’s not Gillard & Murphy as one of the “others” then who are they? Ludwig could be one for starters.



  7. There is still a fly in the soup to consider, and that is the complete set of documents including the full exit interview that is now in America in the possession of a former partner at Slater and Gordon. They tried to force him to return them but he won’t play ball with them. I have no doubt that certain documents have gone missing since the AWU issue reappeared but I also have no doubt that at the right time the notarised documents will come back from America to expose the totality of the wrong doing both then and since.



    • One would hope that those who are entrusted to hold the office like Lauritsen and who take The “Oath or Affirmation of Office” (as would in most cases, I imagine be similar to the below as taken from the Supreme Court of Victoria) and where they are being paid by the taxpayers of their respective state or Commonwealth that they not treat those who pay their big salaries like ignorant idiots who don’t realize what they are doing in covering up obvious crime and fraud. This therefore makes them just as guilty as the perpetrators (Gillard and Co.) if not more so.

  8. Gillard could escape the charges in the police investigation. But even if that happens, the Abbott government are going to definetly instruct a royal commission into the illegal activities of the Australian unions. One of the the biggest investigations in the likely royal commission will be the AWU fraud, and as a result of that the full truth of the fraud will be exposed, so as a result the royal commission will expose & sink Gillard. The royal commission is going to hit the unions & the labor party so hard. There is no way out for Gillard & others in the long run.

  9. If I’m reading you correctly Shane, then I would take it that Lauritson is laying the groundwork for the gradual dismantling of the case brick by brick. He’s building in the escape hatches so to speak. He can’t throw it all out right now because it has traction among many of the general public (thanks again Internet), but he can bring about its failure through the legal process, which we all know by now is as flexible as it needs to be at any given time. We continue to follow as we’ve being doing since…forever. Things should slow down even more now that its reached a Courtroom.

    • It doesn’t really matter if it slows down, or even if she eventually manages to wriggle clear although this police investigation is based on a report of a criminal offence, namely the fraudulent power of attorney that she claimed to witness in person. No, simply her being charged will be enough to have all the rats saving their own skins and singing to the cops. And if you think people in Labor and the unions won’t back stab each other in an attempt to save themselves, then where have you been hiding?

  10. Thanks for the diagnosis Shane and Paul. Many of us would be unaware of how this is been managed by Lauritson. Keep the pressure on him and he might have to do his job properly for once

  11. CM Lauritsen ruled in favour of Det.Sgt. Ross Mitchell’s application that the documents on which Bruce Wilson was claiming legal privilege were used in the furtherance of fraud and/or other offences and therefore legal privilege could not be claimed.

    Because Gillard’s undisclosed intimate relationship with Bruce Wilson was at the heart of, and pivotal to the success of the fraud it enabled, conflict of interest meant every time Gillard acted for Wilson in matters even remotely connected to the AWU, it was unlawful.

    One of the few truths stated by Gillard in her 11/9/95 exit interview was this:

    Gillard has publicly confessed that in 1992, she gave Wilson legal advice on setting up, registering and incorporating an association for which she drafted the rules. None of those rules mentioned the purpose she said she understood it was for, re-election of a particular team of officials ( led by her lover).

    W.A Fraud Squad investigations by Sgt. McAlpine subsequently confirmed what was apparent from the start. The association was a bogus entity that existed in name only..

    What it was allegedly for, or what Julia Gillard or Bernard Murphy were told it was for is completely irrelevant in assessing the lawfulness/criminality of any consequent actions.

    The key point is that In agreeing to act for her lover, Gillard breached every relevant rule and fiduciary obligation she had sworn to uphold, as well as every relevant rule of the AWU..

    The clincher is that she personally wrote in ‘Australian Workers Union – Workplace Reform Association’ on the Application to Incorporate. Unauthorised use of the AWU name is illegal

    • There are few lawyers who are naive or do not understand what they are doing for their clients. If someone is innocent of all accusations, why do they block release of any documentation ?

  12. Could Wilson’s lawyers have bungled it more yesterday ? – and yet still succeed in another weeks delay with holidays rushing on. I hope if I am ever before a court I get a beak half as accomodating.

  13. It was the original compliant from Michael Smith that sent the Vicpol into drive on the AWU/WRA cam–but Michael’s complaint was that he had been advised of a possible fraud which pertained to the signing and witnessing of the Power of Attorney used by Wilson and Gillard to buy a property in Blewett’s name
    One of the early sessions of questionings was when Vicpol visited the once associate of the Sand G lawyers, Olive Brosnahan,as she was then, It is salutary that the good chaps in Vicpol since that time have been in OVERdrive, so I wouldn’t say that Gillard is home free of fraud charges by any long shot!
    The second feature is that Vicpol has really widened their case and it now looks as if they will have the full story or as full as could ever be found, to hand over to the Royal Commission into unions our new government is planning for 2014.
    Compliments of the season to all

  14. Well, she’s now joined the roster of the notorious Neocon front: the Brookings Institute. I don’t think she fears anything at all from Australian Law. Such are the rewards of fundamental corruption these days.

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