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I circulated this morning a copy of my letter published in The Australian on Union Power. Coincidentally the Herald Sun published a cartoon by Mark Knight entitled The Bodyguards. As can be seen by the Knight cartoon below, these gentlemen (sic) are more than life size union leaders surrounding Gillard and Rudd - but with the latter in a firm head grip.

This follows an article in Saturday’s AFR reporting a radio interview in which Alan Jones of 2GB discussed with Mike Smith the allegation that, with the assistance of Julia Gillard when employed at Slater & Gordon, AWU official Bruce Wilson “lost” considerable funds that belonged to AWU. (Mike Smith was a NSW police officer who lost his job at 2UE when about to present his version of the allegation). Also attached is the transcript of that interview and those who wish to hear it can link to Quadrant online.(Alan Jones interviews Michael Smith – Quadrant Online July 23, 2012).

As will be seen, the interviewees also discuss the allegation that the Health Services Union East Branch “lost” some funds because of actions alleged to have been taken by Craig Thomson, now an MP but formerly employed at the HSU East Branch. The latest report into the administration of the HSU’s East Branch, by barrister Ian Temby QC and chartered accountant Dennis Robertson, has been received by Administrator Michael Moore but has not been released. My recollection is that a KPMG report may also be to come.

The administrators of Fair Work Australia have been widely criticised for the time taken to investigate the allegations about the actions taken by Thomson. Needless to say there is an urgent need to undertake basic changes in the staffing of the institution that is responsible for administering a very important piece of legislation. That institution certainly needs to initiate asap an inquiry into the allegations about the actions taken by Wilson and the alleged loss of AWU funds.

Des Moore

Knight cartoon

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