Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3376 ..
the party and members of the Labor leadership but, more importantly, members of the Labor Party serving in this Assembly, is well known and well documented.
The continued association with an organisation that has been labelled by many as the worst corporate offender in the country raises serious questions as to the appropriateness of this relationship continuing and the appropriateness of the influence that this union continues to wage over the policy directions of this government and of the territory.
We see time and again individuals and officials from the CFMMEU being dragged before the courts on numerous criminal and civil charges that raise serious questions around whether or not the union are fit to have such an influence over public policy. They continue to wage unfair and unfounded campaigns against businesses that they deem to not be their friends. I would like to draw members’ attention to an ongoing campaign between the construction union and a local builder and developer named Milin construction, who had the courage to stand up in the royal commission and explain their experiences of what was happening in the construction industry locally, only to be faced by a vicious and malicious campaign against them and their company on the ground in the community.
These campaigns are not only defamatory, and raise serious questions around the way that the union operates as a law unto itself within this town, but also they impact thousands of Canberrans who have purchased properties and now have a smear campaign being run against the builder of those properties, in many instances costing those home owners thousands and thousands of dollars, simply because of a reputation being besmirched.
There have been numerous inquiries into the special deals and the special treatment that the Tradies group, owned by the CFMMEU, and the CFMMEU themselves, have enjoyed through land deals, changes to zoning, car parks being exchanged, leasebacks and the like. It simply continues to paint a picture that, ultimately, these organisations operate in their own interests, not in the interests of the community and not in the interests of the ratepayers of Canberra. For that reason those opposite should cease their formal affiliation with such a disreputable movement as the union.
I am struggling at this point to continue talking, so I will leave my remarks there. As members are well aware, I will continue to raise these issues. This is something that is of paramount importance regarding the integrity of the way that government is conducted in the ACT. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (10.05): As Mr Wall’s motion notes, there were reports last week that the ACT branch of the CFMMEU—I will get the hang of that, with the addition of the maritime section—and the branch secretary have been charged with criminal cartel conduct. This follows an investigation by the ACCC and the Federal Police. I understand that the matter is listed to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court in September, and the ACT CFMMEU has said it will vigorously defend the charges.