We are being told by the Prime Minister of Australia that what happened 17 years ago has nothing to do with her Prime Minister position today. I am sorry Ms Gillard, but you were never so wrong, you chose to hold a Public position and therefore open to scrutiny, you can’t close your eyes and hope we will go away.
Slater and Gordon are said to have accepted your resignation and had closed their inquiry against Ms Gillard. Now, it is not in a law firm’s advantage to find a partner of their firm had committed a corrupt act, nor would they have wanted to fire her as again questions would be asked. Therefore it is often suggested to people they resign and the firm would close their enquiry against them. This is not a rare act, and is a way of maintaining a reputation for a firm, and I would imagine far more important for a Law firm.
This does not clear Ms Gillard of anything however, it just moved the issue away from the Law Firm, reducing embarrassment.
Now of course Ms Gillard believes this is dead and buried, but when new evidence appears nothing is closed.
Asked about a report in The Weekend Australian that she left her job as a partner with Slater & Gordon as a result of a secret internal probe in 1995 into work she did for Mr Wilson, the Prime Minister said: “I am not dignifying all of this scurrilous campaigning by going through these things point by point.”
The firm’s 1995 probe revolved around Ms Gillard’s work since mid-1992 for the Australian Workers Union and Mr Wilson, her then boyfriend, and her role in establishing the AWU’s Workplace Reform Association for Mr Wilson. Mr Wilson and his friend, AWU West Australian branch head, Ralph Blewitt, allegedly used the legal entity to corruptly receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from large companies.
Ms Gillard said she had continuing good relations with Slater & Gordon and had given a speech at their Sydney office in the past few weeks.
Asked about allegations by former Slater & Gordon partner Nick Styant-Browne, that she resigned after an internal probe by the firm into the affair, the Prime Minister told Sky News’s Australian Agenda: “I did resign from Slater & Gordon. That’s a matter of public record. I made the decision to do that. All the rest of this is just, you know, scurrilous.”
Slater & Gordon managing director Andrew Grech yesterday released a statement in which he said the partnership, upon learning of “what has been described as the AWU/Bruce Wilson allegations in August 1995, it conducted an internal legal review as it would do, and has done, whenever any such allegations might be made.
“Ms Gillard co-operated fully with the internal review and denied any wrongdoing.” He said the 1995 internal review “found nothing which contradicted the information provided by Ms Gillard at the time in relation to the AWU/Bruce Wilson allegations and which she has stated consistently since the allegations were first raised”. He said Ms Gillard took a leave of absence from Slater & Gordon in September 1995 to campaign for the Senate.
“Ms Gillard’s resignation from the firm became effective on 3 May 1996 when, Slater & Gordon understands, she commenced employment with the then Victorian Opposition leader as an adviser,” he said.
Interestingly though Chief of Staff to the Victorian Leader of the Opposition, J Brumby, MLA (1995–98). At no time have I ever heard of the PM running for Senate, especially in September 1995 when it was claimed she campaigned for the Senate on Leave without Pay from from Slater and Gordon. According to the PM’s Fact sheet, which would have been verified she was Chief of Staff for John Brumby. http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers/gillard/fast-facts.aspx
A solicitor for eight years and a partner for five, she moved from practising law to state politics in 1995 as chief of staff to then Victorian Opposition Leader John Brumby. http://www.liv.asn.au/PDF/younglawyers/interviewslifeinthelaw/PrimeMinisterJuliaGillardRisetothetopYLJ44Autumn20
Ms Gillard keeps claiming that these matters were dealt with on the Public record, however, Slater and Gordon’s investigation is NOT on the Public record, and neither is the reason for her resignation. In fact Slater and Gordon’s MD memory of this was so good he though Ms Gillard went on Leave without Pay in 1995 to campaign for Senate. However it appears she took a position as Chief of Staff for John Brumby in September 1995 strangely just after Slater and Gordon began their Enquiry into the Wilson scandal during August 1995.
This time frame shows there are questions that must be asked and that something never was clarified during the cleansing of Slater and Gordon’s involvement in this matter.