News

Julia Gillard 'stonewalling' on matter: Tony Abbott

THE stage has been set for a fiery finish to the federal parliamentary year, with the opposition vowing to use question time to grill Prime Minister Julia Gillard about her time at law firm Slater & Gordon.

Ms Gillard was again forced to answer questions on Friday after Nick Styant-Browne, a former senior partner at Slater & Gordon, produced documentary evidence showing Ms Gillard had been involved in the mortgage arrangements for a property partly bought using union funds stolen by her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson.

The 1993 bank letter confirms Ms Gillard received an insurance certificate of currency, which was required for approval of a $150,000 mortgage provided by the firm's loan department.

But two years later she told the firm's partners she had "no recollection" of seeing the document.

A 1996 police investigation found Mr Wilson, an Australian Workers' Union official, siphoned the remaining funds needed to purchase the Fitzroy property from a union association.

There is no suggestion Ms Gillard had any knowledge of Mr Wilson's activity.

But Liberal Party Deputy Leader Julie Bishop told Sky News Ms Gillard's version of events had now been contradicted by two people with "intimate knowledge" of the events.

Ms Bishop, who has already used question time to quiz Ms Gillard about the matter, said the opposition would continue to seek a "full and frank explanation" from the Prime Minister on a range of issues.

"There are very detailed questions that I wish to put to the Prime Minister in Question Time next week and I will do that without going into all of the information now because it's obviously very complex," she said.

"I have put a number of questions to her and she has not answered most of them. In a couple of instances she has given answers which I believe need further following up and that's what I intend to do next week in question time."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Ms Gillard was "stonewalling" on the matter.

"I think all of us are more than ready to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt but in order to give her the benefit of the doubt we have got to hear her side of the story; we've got to hear from her the kind of candour and openness about how she conducted herself professionally as a lawyer and how she has conducted herself in answering these questions as a Prime Minister," Mr Abbott said.

Ms Gillard told reporters in Melbourne the revelations were the latest chapter in a long-running smear campaign.

She urged people to apply common-sense in assessing the matter.

"What this boils down to is that 17 years ago I couldn't recall events that happened two-and-a-half years earlier," Ms Gillard said.

"And let's be very clear ... the matter I couldn't recall related to Slater & Gordon issuing a mortgage, not a matter associated with any union fund or account.

"So what this all means is that this whole campaign of smear actually boils down to absolutely nothing.

"There has not been one substantiated allegation of wrongdoing put against me across the full 20 years and the whole campaign of smear."

Asked directly if she had seen the 1993 document, Ms Gillard said she had given the firm's partners her "best recollection" when quizzed about the matter in 1995.

She also made the point she was not the solicitor in charge of the matter.

Topics:  julia gillard slater and gordon tony abbott



Relief from hot, sticky conditions on its way

Chance of a Saturday afternoon storm

LOOK WHO'S HIRING: Six Ipswich jobs up for grabs

12/03/09  181407Business cover.search for jobs jobseeker unemployed careerMICHAELA O'NEILL/ SUNSHINE COAST DAILY

Plenty on offer for multiple skill and experience levels

Local Partners

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Chopper's Republic of Ipswich

HELLO: Chopper will perform his new show Anzakistan at the Racehorse Hotel next month.

Popular character returns

Ipswich house prices looking up in "seller's market”

Region's median house price climbed 1.4% to $325,000 and the median unit price fell 13.8% to $235,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price climbs 1.4% to $325,000 as unit price falls 13.8%

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Work to be done before Hungry Jack's opens

Roadworks outside the Hungry Jack's restaurant at Brassall must be completed before it opens.

Ipswich residents will have to wait for their Whoppers

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!