Skip to content

Matters of Public Importance debate, Labor’s extreme IR changes drive our nation backwards

There are giants in politics – and one of those giants was former Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.

If he was alive today, he would be disgusted – disgusted that this Labor government, led by the most extreme left wing prime minister in living memory, is pushing through some of the most extreme IR laws which will set our country backwards, cost thousands of jobs and put our small and medium sized businesses at the mercy of unscrupulous unions.

He would be disgusted that this nation is now run by the unions because that is exactly what is happening here.

He would be disgusted that this Labor government was not putting the interests of Australians first.

In 1983, he forged the historic accord between Labor and the ACTU in collaboration with business. He kept the unions at bay, in stark contrast to this Labor government which, despite the gravest of concerns being raised by every employer group in the country, is determined to serve their paymasters at any cost.

If Labor’s extreme changes which force pattern bargaining onto a large part of the economy were in the best interests of Australia, Mr. Albanese would not have kept this dirty rotten plan a secret before the election.

The abolition of the ABCC is another step into the dark ages, demonstrating that the unions are running the show; and in the case of the abolition of the ABCC, it’s all about propping up the CFMMEU.

Bob Hawke had the guts to deregister the rogue BLF. In 2016, he said the unions need to clean up their act and get their house in order.

It is just appalling, he said. I would not tolerate it. You know what I did with the BLF? I would throw out the CFMMEU.

And as we’ve heard from Senator Cash, things have just got worse. The ALP is receiving on average nearly $1,000,000 a year of donations from the CFMMEU and the MUA, and that’s been the case over the past two decades.

The abolition of the ABCC is nothing more than payback. Total union funds to the ALP in the 2018-20 financial year are almost at $20 million.

The fact of the matter is that Mr. Albanese is too weak to stand up to John Setka and the CFMMEU – he’s already given in to this demand.

What else is next? Labor is turning a blind eye to the findings from Royal Commissions and countless rulings from the courts, which have highlighted the lawlessness and intimidation of the union and the need for strong workplace regulations. Labor is happy to hand the keys to the front gate and lunchrooms at building sites back to the CFMMEU. It is an absolute disgrace.

It is a scandal. It is a scandal that officials from registered organisations, of course including union officials, are exempt from the National Anti-Corruption Commission. It is a scandal that, despite the appalling treatment of women on building sites, the Labor government is working hand in glove with this union.

And let me remind all senators here today that the High Court has found that the CFMMEU was a serial offender which engages in whatever action and makes whatever threats it wishes without regard to the law – the court found it had contravened the laws on approximately 150 occasions. It was well-resourced and these fines are just the cost of doing business.

The lawlessness on building sites when the CFMMEU is in charge are frightening. The ABCC did so much important work to make sure that the interests of all Australians came first. It is an absolute disgrace that this Labor government hasn’t got the guts to stand up to the lawlessness of the likes of the CFMMEU.

One of the giants of the Labor Party, Bob Hawke, would be rolling in his grave if he could see how this Labor government has diminished the best interests of all Australians.

Share this