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CCC | Carl Wulff – The Inside Story | Medium length | International Anti-Corruption Day 2019


– So yeah, my name is Carl Wulff. I am married with two
children, grown up children. I was the Chief Executive
Officer of Ipswich City Council from July 2006 until December 2013. I held other Chief Executive
Officer positions in Victoria and New South Wales. I’m now retired and I’m
speaking to you now from the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, where I’m on remand,
awaiting sentencing which will happen next week. So I now expect to be here for some time. This one has a massive
effect, I don’t think, I have been through a
lot of things in my life. Divorces and death in the
family and things like that. And all of that is basically pale in significance compared to the impact of being charged
with the corruption and pervert the course of justice charge, that I was back in October 2017. Everything else in your life probably pales into insignificance. The only thing I could
think of that would even be comparable, would be if you were telling you had a terminal illness. Well, my occupation, I’m
qualified as an engineer and undertook the roles of
Chief Executive Officer for more than 10 years. I guess, in my case, when
this all happened I was already retired, but if this had happened to me 20 years ago, basically my career would have been over in local government. And, the chance of
getting any sort of job, other than some menial task,
low paying menial task would be pretty unrealistic. So, for something like this
to happen to you would really just wipe out the rest of your career. Forget what any aspirations
you had for your career. And basically you look for something else, but it’s not gonna be satisfying or as well paying or as interesting as the career that you’ve given up because
of stupid mistakes. It’s at times like this you find out who your real friends are and I
can tell you there aren’t many. You soon find out most
people who are friends, or you think are friends are
friends because of the position you hold or whatever. But I know that now I can count on one hand the
people who I’d classify as still being friends. Well financial effects they’re
also devastating because first of all you’ve lost your job, unlikely to get another job anytime soon. So you generally have no income. You have to engage lawyers, which is a sensible thing to do, but they’re not cheap. And then things happen
such as the confiscation, people come back and whatever
you got in terms of corrupt monies received, they’ll
take that back from you. So, and if you don’t have
it, you have to find a way to get that money. In my case, I had pre-empted this and
actually sold our home and had the money available
which I had already put into the lawyers’ trust account, for that purpose. Which was fortunate because
the orders for confiscation was ordered on the banks,
freezing all my accounts. So whatever money you’ve got
in the bank, all of a sudden under the confiscation orders
you’re whole income stream and your whole access to
funds are totally frozen. And the banks will not release that until the confiscation orders are lifted. So, it’s a devastating
aspect, that you have to sell your own home and return all the money
that you’ve ever got from your corrupt activity. And you have no income and in
the short term you may have no access to any money that you
happen to have in the bank. I think in my case, my
family has always been very supportive, but I’m the
oldest in the family and my father’s dead. I have a power of attorney
from my mother who is 92. I have always been looked on
and respected in the family as being the sorta pseudo father figure and dependable, reliable and
all those sorta things. Even though they say that
they still have you know, respect for me and still hold me in esteem and that sorta thing, I think I’m sure that there
is a significant amount of disappointment and
disbelief from them that this has all happened. And to some extent, the
family and the extended family are also subject to the
embarrassment of the media and the publication and people
asking them what’s happening and what’s going on. So, not only do you suffer
stress, but all those people around you, family
and friends also are suffering some degree of
stress as a consequence. Nothing in life can prepare
you for being in prison, unless you’ve been in prison. I know, one of the lawyers said to me, “Ah, you’ll probably be okay. “After a couple of weeks
you’ll get used to it.” I’ve been here now seven weeks
and I’m probably only just getting used to it now. It’s a total loss of your freedom. Certainly the most, probably
not experienced this level of anxiety on a daily basis,
since I’ve been in prison. So every day you wake up, you’re not sure what’s gonna happen. It’s a volatile environment, there’s a lot of different
people with different issues. So it’s certainly not
somewhere that you’d want to ever find yourself. So sitting through many of
these fraud prevention and corruption identification processes in the past and I’ve sat
through many of them, they’re really not targeted
at what really happens, they’re targeted at a theory. How to put programmes into place. How to tell people how
to identify corruption, how to report it. What programmes to put
into the system to pick up double payments and all these
sort of things that happen. That’s fine, that’s a theoretical
computer driven response to fraud and corruption, but I’ve never actually
seen any training or any educational facility
that actually relates to a real world event where
somebody’s talking about their experience and how bad it is, and how different it would be for somebody if they end up in this position and the theoretical education
programme will never come across with the, a heavy hitting approach and understanding from people that know what they could expect. And even if you know what you can expect, I can tell you that
what actually happens is far worse than your expectations. And I’m learning it the hard way.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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