TONY ABBOTT'S promise to hold a judicial inquiry into Julia Gillard's actions as a lawyer should the Coalition win the next election was confirmation Mr Abbott would ''stay wedded to sleaze and smear'' even in government, the Prime Minister said.
Ms Gillard was referring to the terms of reference associated with the inquiry Mr Abbott has promised to hold into Ms Gillard's role as a lawyer for Slater & Gordon in the early 1990s. The terms largely target Ms Gillard's alleged actions.
Should she lose the next federal election, Ms Gillard will either be an opposition frontbencher or a private citizen and she believes continuing what has already been a 20-year ''witch-hunt'' against her would be beyond the pale for a newly elected government.
''Mr Abbott is now going to ask the Australian people in 2013 to vote for him on the basis that the centre of his prime ministership would be continuing with this personal campaign of sleaze and smear,'' Ms Gillard told the Ten Network's Meet the Press program on Sunday.
''The driving purpose of his prime ministership would be to continue a fight against me, rather than a fight for the Australian people.
''Well, I think Australians are heartily sick of this.''
With a new poll showing only one in five voters believed she was being honest about the saga, Ms Gillard reiterated she had done nothing wrong.
''I've told the truth about this matter,'' she said.
Mr Abbott insisted again that Ms Gillard had committed a crime in her role of providing legal advice to incorporate an association for her then boyfriend and Australian Workers Union Victoria state secretary Bruce Wilson.
The association was allegedly defrauded by Mr Wilson and his sidekick, Ralph Blewitt, but Ms Gillard has maintained all along that she had no involvement with, or knowledge of, the association other than to provide routine legal advice to enable its incorporation.
The judicial inquiry promised by Mr Abbott is aimed largely at Ms Gillard, with four of the eight terms of reference to do with unproven allegations about her personal conduct.