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Shorten and Howes must join calls for Police investigation into AWU fraud

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SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Liberal Senator for Tasmania

23 October 2012

Shorten and Howes must join calls for Police investigation into AWU fraud

The admission by former AWU official, Ralph Blewitt, on Michael Smith's website, of his involvement in fraud connected with the AWU Workplace Reform Association should lead the Victorian Police to reopen their investigation of this scandal.

Investigations foundered in 1996 when both Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt denied wrongdoing, so Ralph Blewitt's admission of involvement in fraud is a significant new development.

Blewitt's admission follows an analysis of accounts and legal documents which found that the AWU slush fund swindle involved misappropriation of $880,663 at a minimum.

I therefore call on Workplace Relations Minister and former AWU boss, Bill Shorten, and current AWU boss, Paul Howes, to also request police to reopen inquiries, so that AWU members' funds have a chance of being recouped.

Victorian Police are currently assessing new information about this union fraud scandal which led to Julia Gillard and her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, leaving their jobs amid investigations in two states 17 years ago.

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