Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard (left) and Labor MP Kirsten Livermore share a laugh together in June 2013.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard (left) and Labor MP Kirsten Livermore share a laugh together in June 2013. LUKAS COCH

Gillard cleared as Royal Commission reports on unions

FORMER Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing over an Australian Workers Union slush fund she was involved in setting up, a Royal Commission has found.

Workplace Minister Senator Eric Abetz on Friday tabled the 1800-page interim report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption in parliament.

The report has also recommended the actions of two former AWU officials, Ralph Blewitt and Bruce Wilson, be referred to public prosecutors in both Victoria and Western Australia for their involvement in the union's Workplace Reform Association.

That association was set by Ms Gillard when she was acting as a lawyer at Slater and Gordon for the union and the Commission found Ms Gillard did not commit any crime and "was not aware of any criminality on the part of these union officials".

Other union officials, mostly within the CFMEU, were also recommended for investigations by the Commonwealth and state public prosecutors, for potential criminal charges.

The report found that there was a "culture of wilful defiance of the law" at the "core" of the CFMEU.

Sen Abetz said the report did not recommend proceeding with the government's planned resurrection of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, but it lent weight to the government's plans.

He said the government would respond to the report "in the new year".


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