While most retired lawyers pursue recreational endeavors, retirement finds Harry Nowicki chasing leads to expose corruption allegations impeding the Australian Workers Union.
Those allegations are also the subject of a royal commission.
For the past two years, Nowicki has collected research materials for a book, which is currently half completed. The book focuses on prime minister Julia Gillard’s role in an AWU slush fund created in 1992 by her former boyfriend Bruce Wilson.
What has now come to transpire is an onslaught of accusations against Nowicki claiming he offered Wilson $200,000 in exchange for fabricated evidence that implicates Gillard using stolen funds to renovate her former Melbourne home.
Nowicki vehemently denies the allegations that are outlined in the last pages of a statement made by Wilson, 91 pages long. This statement will be presented to the royal commission, and has already been leaked to ABC broadcaster, Jon Faine.
In his statement, Wilson says: ''Nowicki mentioned the figure of $200,000 and also said [celebrity agent Max] Markson could come back up to see me to discuss publicity in addition to the $200,000.''
Nowicki says Wilson is delusional and will consider defamation action if needed. He expects Wilson’s claims will be set straight after appearing before the commission on Thursday.
His intent with this book is to set the record straight, not incite a political battle.
“My motivation is that the political history of Australia should be written properly. The first part [of the book] is about the criminality and corruption in a union and the second part is about the political dynamics of the Labor Party,” Mr Nowicki said.
He says part of his research on the alleged AWU corruption has been weakened by media attempts to undermine Gillard, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing while working as a junior lawyer at Slater and Gordon in the early 1990s.
A former friend adds, “He's super smart, but I wonder if he's lost perspective with the book and I'm not really sure what the end game is for Harry. Maybe he wants to take down the entire union movement, but that doesn't make sense when you consider where he's come from.”