Page 1016 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2016

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While these are not bad promises, they come at a particularly opportune time for the Labor Party. The Labor government might think that by increasing their focus on urban maintenance they might be able to convince the public that they have been doing their job this whole time. The Labor government might think that by scrimping on upkeep and shirking on services in the previous years of this Assembly to save up a nest egg to blow in election year on urban improvements they can make up for their shortfalls in previous years. The Labor government might think that they have gotten away with adopting a dysfunctional workplace culture of “the boss is coming, so look busy”.

The Labor government have not convinced the people of Canberra that they are doing their job. You cannot fool the people of Belconnen that easily. The people of Belconnen are well aware that this government have taken Belconnen for granted for the past 15 years. We can add to that the focus on wrongly prioritised grand plans like light rail instead of the things that matter. Roads matter, especially when they have potholes in them. So do better bus services and better health facilities. What has happened to our education system, which should and could be the best in the country but is not? The election is coming. The people of Belconnen are not fooled by the government’s attempt at looking busy because the boss is back.

Trade unions—CFMEU

MR WALL (Brindabella) (5.59): I rise this evening to put on the record once again concerns raised with me by many Canberra small businesses, particularly those in the construction industry, about the influence of the CFMEU on workplaces in the ACT and how this influence has had a negative, detrimental effect on the business sector.

The royal commission into trade union governance has concluded and a number of investigations ensued as a result. We have been repeatedly told by the ACT Labor-Green government that they will provide a more substantial response to the royal commission and the damning evidence that came to light once investigations were concluded.

As we all know, the royal commission referred a very serious matter of intimidation to the ACT government for investigation. As was publicly announced this week, this matter has been taken no further as it is statute barred under the relevant legislation, meaning that the time frame to commence prosecution has passed. This means the evidence will never be tested in a court. However, this does not suggest that the offence did not occur at all.

The evidence presented by many Canberrans and Canberra businesses at the royal commission was comprehensive and consistent. In many cases the individuals who spoke up did so in the knowledge that they were risking their livelihoods to do so. However, insult is adding to injury for these people in the wake of silence from this government. The ongoing silence is testament to tacit approval of what has been going on in the industry locally and what I dare say continues to happen on building sites across the ACT to this day.

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