AWU slush fund accusations continue against Julia Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Prime Minister Julia Gillard Rob Williams

THE opposition has continued its question time attack on Prime Minister Julia Gillard over the Australian Workers' Union slush fund affair.

Like Monday, the opposition used every one of its questions - all asked by Deputy Leader Julie Bishop - to focus on Ms Gillard's time as a partner at law form Slater & Gordon.

Ms Gillard continues to deny any wrongdoing.Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was again silent during question time, a point continually made by Ms Gillard during many of her answers.

On two occasions Speaker Anna Burke rule Ms Bishop's questions out of order.

Ms Bishop came under scrutiny herself on Tuesday after it was revealed she had met with AWU bagman Ralph Blewitt in Melbourne last week.

She said they had met for no more than 10 minutes.

Mr Blewitt had not been able to provide Ms Bishop with any documents incriminating Ms Gillard.

Ms Bishop was also forced to clarify comments she made suggesting Ms Gillard had in the 1990s benefited from the union association run by her then boyfriend and Australian Workers' Union official Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt.

She told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday morning Ms Gillard, Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt had established the AWU Workplace Reform Association without the knowledge of the union "to hide from the AWU the fact that an unauthorised entity was being set up to siphon funds through it for their benefit and not for the benefit of the AWU".

But at a press conference late on Tuesday Ms Bishop said she was referring to Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt, and not Ms Gillard.

"I didn't say it in question time yesterday, and I didn't say it today.

"'They' refers to Wilson and Blewitt, and I've said this on a number of occasions," she said.

Earlier on Tuesday Slater & Gordon issued a statement seeking to clarify why it had not notified either the police nor the AWU, its client at the time, about the association when it learnt of allegations of misconduct by Mr Wilson, its other client, in August 1995.

"Slater & Gordon has consistently maintained, and still maintains, that at all times it has acted in accordance with its legal and ethical obligations in relation to all aspects of the AWU matter," the statement read.

"Given the repeated publication of the question above Slater & Gordon has obtained independent legal advice from Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL) and Mr Philip Crutchfield SC. The firm received this advice yesterday evening.

"Without waiving any of the former clients', or Slater & Gordon's privilege to maintain the confidentiality of the communications between it and the firm's independent legal advisers, that independent advice has confirmed that Slater & Gordon was (and is) not permitted to divulge confidential and privileged information of one client to another client or any other party."

Topics:  australian workers' union julia gillard question time

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

Surfer Ziggy Albert (blond hair) and his paddle buddy on their way to Old Woman Island enjoyed the encounter of a lifetime when a mother whale and her calf popped up in front of them.

You couldn't find a better way to start the day than this

Local Partners

Wakeskating champ hit with $200 fine at school pick-up

AUSTRALIAN wakeskating champion Cody Murphy has copped a $200 fine for forgetting to carry his driver's license when making a five minute trip to school.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.