UNION whistleblower Bob Kernohan has spoken publicly of his final conversation with former protege Bill Shorten, in which the now Opposition Leader allegedly told him to "move on" from the AWU slush fund scandal.
In an interview with 2GB broadcaster Michael Smith - who was suspended from rival 2UE two years ago for attempting to air a prerecorded interview with Mr Kernohan - the former Australian Workers Union Victorian president said he was disappointed with the way Mr Shorten had reacted when details of the slush fund were starting to emerge.
Mr Kernohan said he had barely spoken to Mr Shorten since the pair worked together at the AWU in the mid-1990s and the existence of the AWU Workplace Reform Association, established by fellow union official Bruce Wilson, became known.
"I called for an open audit of the Victorian branch books, Bill was part of all of that," Mr Kernohan said. "When I asked Bill to support me, he looked at me and said, 'Look mate, think of your future ... everybody else has swept this all under the carpet, move on'. Bill Shorten and I have probably spoken half a dozen words since that day."
A spokesman for Mr Shorten last night referred The Australian to a 2012 television interview in which Mr Shorten said his recollection of the conversation did not match Mr Kernohan's.
"Mr Shorten denied this claim in 2012 - it is untrue," the spokesman said.
Mr Kernohan has provided a statement to Victoria Police's fraud squad investigation into the Workplace Reform Association and allegations Mr Wilson used it to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from construction giant Thiess.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard, who was Mr Wilson's girlfriend at the time, helped provide legal advice to establish the association, which she later described to her law firm as a "slush fund". Ms Gillard has strenuously denied any wrongdoing, as has Mr Wilson who has not been charged with any offence.
He has launched an appeal against a decision last month by Victoria's Chief Magistrate who found there were reasonable grounds to believe documents relating to the association and held at Ms Gillard's old firm of Slater & Gordon were created in furtherance of a fraud.
Mr Kernohan said he was confident the police investigation would uncover the truth.