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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2448 ..

regulator. It gets worse. Just today, as part of the national Sensis business index report, we can see that businesses surveyed in Queensland have stated that excessive bureaucracy and too much notice taken of unions are the leading criticisms of the Queensland government levelled by small to medium businesses. It is also worth noting that the ACT’s confidence in ACT government policy has this month taken a dramatic slide.

The ACT, Victoria and Queensland in particular are the poster jurisdictions of the socialist left wing of the Labor Party. Just think what would happen at a national level should there be a Shorten Labor government in power come the next election. Union thuggery would be rife across all industries and infiltrate all levels of government and procurement.

There was no genuine consultation with industry on this legislation. I am sure that when the minister rises she will say that this is not the case. However, we have the Master Builders Association writing to members:

The MBA has raised concerns through the Governments Construction Industry Advisory Council (established under the Work Safety Council) and we have made written submissions to government explaining our concerns. None of our suggestions have been adopted by government.

They continue:

On 5 occasions we have invited the Minister for safety to attend a meeting with our members to explain the laws, and on each occasion the Minister has not been available to meet our members.

This is consultation with a predetermined outcome, at best. It is also worth at this point recalling the evidence of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, specifically the evidence that related to the ACT. The royal commission confirmed what many had suspected: that unions, and specifically the CFMEU in the ACT, frequently engaged in practices of collusion, price fixing, boycotts, intimidation and harassment within the local industry simply to do deals for union backers.

This is the kind of action that you would attribute to an outlaw motorcycle gang rather than a workers’ representative body, and it is sad to say that little has changed on the ground locally since. The CFMEU are still running defamatory smear campaigns against local builders in an effort to put them out of business. Why? It is because these businesses and these workers had the courage to stand up to the worst corporate thug in this country.

As has happened previously, I am sure Unions ACT, the CFMEU and others will try to paint a picture of me that is untrue. They have said in the past that I do not care about those who are injured on a construction site, or that I do not have enough empathy for the families devastated by the loss of a loved one on a worksite. I can assure this place that this is not the case.

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