Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2016) . . Page.. 159 ..

These policies will increase competitiveness and maximise employment outcomes for VET trained students here in the ACT and strengthen our local labour market.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

Debate resumed.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (3.16): It is a new year and a great opportunity for those opposite to recycle their previous motions. We have seen Mr Wall here hitching his wagon to the tainted and partisan royal commission, just as he did in his motion of August 2015. Given that he has actually given that opportunity to me, this will provide me with the chance to go to some of my greatest hits from that occasion. That motion was all about politics and no policies.

This motion is an obvious attempt to continue the Liberal Party’s war on the unions and, as part of that, a war on workers’ rights and entitlements. That was certainly something I said last time, and it remains as pertinent today as it was when Mr Wall first brought his motion forward just over six months ago. I would love to see Mr Wall put more effort into policies and good reforms for Canberra because, whilst I am sure he has ideas, we have not seen so many of them. They tend to be more of these political kinds of motions.

The Liberal Party’s anti-union agenda fails yet again to address the importance of worker health and safety in the ACT. It fails to understand that unions play an important part in helping to address these issues through education, support, surveillance and contributions to policy development. Construction site safety has been a clear focus for the CFMEU, the ALP and the Greens over the last few years, and work such as the building quality forum and the Getting home safely report have made a material difference in worker health and safety in the ACT.

Members have no doubt keenly followed the progress of the Abbott-Turnbull royal commission into trade union governance. As I recall, the report was released in the week between Christmas and New Year. An objective viewer would wonder whether that indicated the commission found less than it was seeking to find. I think “taking out the trash” is the expression most commonly used to describe this approach.

We still do not really know what the commission found because the government has refused to release secret chapter 6. This is the document that Malcolm Turnbull is using to justify the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. But you cannot read it. That is right—you cannot read it. And if you thought things could not get any stranger, the Turnbull government is now offering the Senate crossbench secret viewings of secret chapter 6, but anyone who takes up the opportunity for a secret viewing cannot talk about what they have seen. Presumably secret chapter 6 is such a thrilling read that those around you will spontaneously vote to resurrect Work Choices or the ABCC in the Senate.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video