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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4271 ..

contradiction to the committee report. It is in contradiction to everything that Mr Wall and others have said.

We want to make sure that everybody involved in this process has the highest ethical standards and is not a recidivist law-breaker. That is the point. Unfortunately, this legislation does not do that. It does not create a level playing field. What it does is give a power of veto. They are not my words; they are the words of the MBA and other business groups that appeared before the committee and from public comments that those organisations have made. The reality is that this will give an upper hand to certain union groups in the procurement process. Indeed, it is mandated that three union members be on the local jobs board.

We have heard much from those opposite about ethical conduct, about who does shoddy contracting and about who has poor behaviour when it comes to the law. I agree, and I am sure all of my colleagues agree, that we want to make sure that there is nobody involved in government tenders who has that sort of background, that sort of behaviour. We want to eradicate that. But let me talk about what the Federal Court has found in relation to certain people who would be involved in this process and may indeed be mandated to be on the board by the government. Let me quote:

The Federal Court has slammed the construction union’s “disgraceful” and “woeful” record of law-breaking …

The construction union is the CFMEU. These are quotes from judges from the Federal Court. The quote continues:

Handing down penalties today over the unlawful industrial action by 600 workers, a full court of the federal court found the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union was a recidivist which continued to “thumb its nose” at industrial laws.

If you simply do a Google search—and I invite you to do so—and you look at “law-breaking”, “Federal Court” and “CFMEU”, you will find numerous instances where the Federal Court has condemned the actions of the CFMEU and its recidivist law-breaking.

It is important that we make it clear on the record that what we have heard from business groups and the opposition is a unanimous view that we want to make sure that lawlessness is removed from the process, that the breaking of law—industrial laws and any other laws—is not part of this process. We want to clean it up. We want to make sure it is cleaned up.

The problem is that this legislation entrenches the role in the procurement process, and a power of veto, for those who have been found by the Federal Court to be recidivist law-breakers rather than, as is being proclaimed, cleaning up the system. Yes, let us make sure that we have a clean procurement system. Let us make sure that we get rid of the law-breakers. Let us not support a law that actually entrenches the power—indeed, the power of veto—of those who have been found by the Federal Court to be recidivist law-breakers.

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