THE wife of former Labor Minister and now successful lobbyist, Julian Grill, has warned Premier Geoff Gallop that the “witch hunt” against her husband and former Labor Premier Brian Burke could rebound on the Labor Party.
Lesley Grill said: “Mr Burke has been ostracised for years now and surely he and his family have paid for any mistake he may or may not have been guilty of.”
Mrs Grill made her strongly held views known to Dr Gallop in personal correspondence to him.
“I do not believe you are in a position to use WA Inc against Julian as you had him in your shadow cabinet up until 2001,” she wrote.
“He also won a number of elections after he was named in the royal commission.
“I do hope you will respond to this letter and please tell me why you are selectively doing this to Julian and Brian.”
Mrs Grill learned of the cabinet’s decision to blackball her husband and Mr Burke while listening to Labor Treasurer Eric Ripper being interviewed on a Perth radio talk-back program.
The two former senior Labor MPs were black banned by the Gallop Cabinet last week.
No minister or their senior staffers are allowed to speak to them in their capacity as active lobbyists.
Mrs Grill wrote: “Both Julian and I have been active members of the ALP for 30 years and the party has been the central focus of our lives during this time.
“Since retiring from parliament Julian has worked hard for the party, being campaign director and campaign manager respectively for the State seat of Eyre and the Federal seat of Kalgoorlie.
“He raised most of the funds for these two campaigns.
“It makes me very sad when I hear Eric speak about Julian and Brian as if they are behaving in an immoral manner.
“Surely, since they have been selectively banished by the Government your instructions indicate that they have behaved in a different fashion to other lobbyists.
“You, as leader of the State Parliamentary Labor Party in WA, and as Premier, are surely in a position to shoot down criticism by the media and Opposition.
“People respond to compassion just as much as they do to nastiness, and, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many other people, nastiness is prevailing in this treatment of Julian and Brian.”