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Gillard to address conduct claims

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Former prime minister Julia Gillard’s lawyers will address claims about her “questionable” professional conduct in relation to a union slush fund operated by her one-time boyfriend.

But for now, Ms Gillard notes the trade unions royal commission has found she committed no crime.

Gillard ‘committed no crime’

“Ms Gillard notes that … she did not commit any crime and she was not aware of any criminality by any other person,” a statement from the former Labor leader reads.

The lawyer assisting the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has concluded Ms Gillard did not know about alleged criminal activity by her former lover, union boss Bruce Wilson, but did receive money from him.

Julia Gillard
Former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Photo: AAP

However, Jeremy Stoljar SC has found in written submissions to the commission that aspects of Ms Gillard’s professional conduct as a solicitor “appear questionable”.

The report also concludes that Ms Gillard likely did receive money from Mr Wilson for renovations to her Melbourne home in the 1990s – something she has consistently denied.

Ms Gillard’s lawyers will be making further submissions to the commission at the appropriate point, her statement says.

The former PM was questioned by the commission in September about off-the-books advice she gave Mr Wilson and his union bagman, Ralph Blewitt, on setting up a slush fund, the AWU Workplace Reform Association (WRA), when she was a lawyer in the early 1990s.

Mr Stoljar concludes the WRA’s sole purpose was “to receive money fraudulently” and recommends charges against Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt.

Of Ms Gillard, he writes: “Some aspects of her professional conduct as a solicitor appear questionable.

“Had she adopted a more rigorous approach to the task, it might have been more difficult for Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt to have behaved as they did.”

Commissioner Dyson Heydon will consider the submissions in compiling his interim report, which is due to be handed to the federal government on December 15.