Page 163 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 February 2016

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In effect you have the Greens knocking on the doors of the frail as bequest targets and potential donors to their campaign. That is the righteous fundraising code that he is spruiking here. I think Mr Rattenbury needs to be very, very careful before he claims to be so virtuous when it comes to fundraising.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (3.28), in reply: I must say that I am not surprised by the responses from those opposite, be it Mr Gentleman or Mr Rattenbury, and the political road that they chose to take in the responses, calling the royal commission a political toy, and I think that is exceptionally disappointing. Regardless of the motivation to establish the royal commission into trade union governance, the evidence is now before us. The truth has been highlighted by so many Australians across the country. So many hard working Australians took the effort to make a submission to the royal commission, to risk their livelihoods, their businesses and everything that they have worked so hard to create, to tell the truth about what it is like to do business in the construction industry. So many businesses locally took that road.

I urge Mr Gentleman to take the time to go out and talk to these businesses that appeared before the royal commission and discuss with them what it is like in the industry, what kinds of conditions, threats, harassment, intimidation these businesses are forced to face at the behest of the CFMEU in this town, and then I urge him to say simply, “Your issues are purely politically motivated.” I challenge you to do that, minister, because genuinely so many people in this city have had to suffer through some absolutely dastardly acts, and I think it is absolutely abhorrent that those opposite refuse even to draw a line in the sand and say, “These actions are not acceptable.”

That is all we are calling for. This is going to be a clear, defining policy issue, I think, at the election between the Liberals, who do not stand for this kind of behaviour in workplaces, and those opposite that are happy to do it so long as it keeps their union masters quiet. And that is what this seems to be. They are all conflicted. They are all beneficiaries of the union’s largesse, yet when it comes time to take action and stand and say those kinds of behaviours such as intimidation, corruption, coercion and the thuggery are not acceptable in any workplace—be it in the construction industry, be it in the cleaning sector, be it in retail, be it in the security industry, regardless—they do nothing. That kind of behaviour does not have a place in the ACT.

Those opposite are being absolutely spineless in refusing to take a stand and, one, acknowledge the evidence that the royal commission uncovered whilst it was here in the ACT and, two, walk away from the organisations that have perpetrated so much of this behaviour in the ACT. I am disappointed, as I said, that those opposite cannot see the imperative, the desire and the need to walk away from organisations that act like this. Need I say, I am not surprised.

Question put:

That the motion be agreed to.

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