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



AUDIO: Ipswich's cheapest homes for under $100k

RENOVATOR'S DREAM: This Dinmore property will go under the hammer in October.

The bottom of the Ipswich real estate market marked with renovator

Iconic Ipswich pub now number one in Queensland

PA Hotel owners Mary-Anne and Clive Johnson are pleased to have been awarded the Queensland Hotels Association 2016 Hotel of the Year.

It's official - Ipswich is home to the best pub in Queensland

Sunny until Sunday

Look for sunny skies Saturday and Sunday.

Expect sunny skies over Ipswich today and tommorow.

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Things to do around Ipswich this weekend

The Ipswich Orchid Society Garden Spectacular is this weekend.

Things to do around Ipswich

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets