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Slater & Gordon shareholders should demand answers on AWU-Workplace Reform Association scandal

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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

25 October 2012


"Slater and Gordon shareholders should demand answers at today's Annual General Meeting about the firm's actions concerning the AWU Workplace Reform Association scandal," Senate Abetz said today.

"Shareholders should demand that Slater & Gordon ensure the release of the full, unredacted transcript of Julia Gillard's interview from the firm's internal inquiry, where she described her role in setting up the Workplace Reform Association slush fund."

"They should ask why Slater & Gordon demanded the return of the 1995 transcript from former partner, Nick Styant Browne, with warnings about breaching the confidentiality of former clients and staff of the firm."

"They should also get to the bottom of why the firm asked the AWU to waive its right to legal privilege in this matter - a move AWU boss Paul Howes has described as 'unethical'."

"And they should ask why in August the firm, which is listed on the ASX, issued a statement glossing over this issue, when others insist Ms Gillard left the firm under a cloud."

"Finally shareholders should demand that the firm identify and locate all missing files and documents on this scandal and cooperate fully with any Victorian police inquiries into these matters."

"Slater & Gordon shareholders will today vote on increasing the maximum annual remuneration of non-executive directors by $150,000 - from $500,000 to $650,000."

"Up to $900,000 of Australian Workers Union money went missing in the Workplace Reform Association scam."

"It is in the interests of Slater & Gordon's shareholders that its corporate reputation be beyond reproach," Senator Abetz concluded.

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