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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3199 ..

whispering into our ear. But it amuses me so much in particular when it comes from a political party, the members of which are no more than puppets of UnionsACT, the CFMEU and others.

Those opposite can smirk; I notice they have been smiling and laughing all the way along. Don’t smirk, shake your heads and laugh about it, because if you laugh too loudly, you might get another stern letter from Alex White. You may be summoned to a meeting with Dean Hall; or you may have some problems doing the numbers for preselection.

I still cannot quite believe that Alex White would have the gall to write to Labor members of this place and demand that he should have the power of veto over whom they meet and when they meet them. I suppose, as has been outlined by Mr Wall, we should not have all that much difficulty in coming to terms with it, when you consider the extraordinary memorandum of understanding between UnionsACT and the ACT government, which has been described by some in the public space as “formalised corruption”.

It has been roundly criticised across the nation, and I am dismayed to think that this government is now considering further formalising this extraordinary agreement in legislation. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during some of the conversations between government and union members on this point and to see just who is being held over a barrel.

It is no wonder that unions are a law unto themselves here in the ACT, because who is going to stop them, when they have so much influence over each member of the government, when they can so easily mobilise their numbers to bring about an outcome? Sometimes it is very clear that parliamentary proceedings in this chamber are actually more like a Punch and Judy puppet show, and I think we all know who the puppetmasters are.

As Mr Wall’s motion clearly states, the 2016 royal commission into trade union governance found evidence of union bullying and intimidation, and we need look no further than the recent robocall campaign against my colleague Mr Wall by the unions. What a dog act that was: to systematically target a member of this place for daring to raise legitimate questions in a committee hearing.

Will the unions come for me after speaking out in this fashion? I do not know; they probably will. I am not sure how they will try to bully and intimidate me, but I would almost be disappointed if they did not have a go.

Mr Barr interjecting

MR PARTON: Let me be abundantly clear: what we are debating here has very little to do with politics of the left versus the right. It does not have much to do with Liberal versus Labor. What we are debating today is whether the people of Canberra have the right to be truly represented by members in this place free from undue external influence, irrespective of where that influence may come from. I am always pleased to get a rise from you, Mr Barr.

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