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Julia Gillard has a case to answer

By Anthony Cox - posted Monday, 3 December 2012


It has been a tumultuous week in Federal parliament. The Opposition has prosecuted a case against the PM she may have committed criminal acts.

The media coverage has been just as extraordinary with a polarisation of views; one end of this continuum says that the PM has no case to answer and that the Opposition's case is like the emperor without any clothes. Some think, like Lenore Taylor, the PM is winning public opinion while others such as Jenny Hocking say it is the Opposition leader who has the case to answer not the PM.

So what are the facts?

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We know the PM drafted the application for association. The name of the association is in her handwriting and the objects for that association were taken from Socialist Forum, which the PM had set up.

The declared purpose of the association which the PM drafted was: Development of Changes to Work to Achieve Safe Workplaces.

In addition to drafting the application for association the PM also sent a letter to the WA Commissioner for Corporate Affairs vouching for the bona fides of the association. The PM did this because the Commissioner would not have registered the association if he had known the ostensible real purpose of the association.

The ostensible real purpose of the association was admitted by the PM in her exit interview at Slater and Gordon and confirmed in her press conference on the 23rd August 2012.

In the exit interview the PM said: "it's common practice, indeed every union has what it refers to as a re-election fund, slush-fund...it was better to have an incorporated association, a legal entity, into which people could participate as members, that was the holder of the account."

At that press conference the PM rejected the term "slush fund" because she said it was "terminology with a particular overtone". The PM preferred the description "that the purpose of the association was to support the re-election of a team of union officials and their pursuit of the policies that they would stand for re-election on."

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This distinction is however unimportant; what is important is that the PM has admitted that she knew the application for association she drafted was based on a purpose which was different from the ostensible real purpose.

That is incontrovertible.

The association was registered in WA. The WA criminal code says at Section 170:

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About the Author

Anthony Cox is a lawyer and secretary of The Climate Sceptics.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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