Union corruption royal commission

A royal commission into corruption in the unions is expected to get the go-ahead today.

Union corruption royal commission

A wide-ranging royal commission into corruption in the unions is expected to be approved by cabinet today. It will look at union slush funds, corruption and the behaviour of union officials.

A leaked letter, written last year by the national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Michael O’Connor, shows that the union has already asked for an independent investigation to take place. The investigation will look into claims that the Lack Group paid for a union official’s family holiday on the Gold Coast. The Lack Group is a Queensland-based group of companies which provide traffic management and labour for builders in Queensland and New South Wales.

The ABC has also reported that it was told the Lack Group had paid inducements, including cash bribes, to a group of CFMEU officials, in exchange for help in obtaining an enterprise bargaining (EB) agreement with the union.

The CFMEU is one of Australia’s largest unions. It was formed in 1992 when unions representing a number of different trades were amalgamated. The CFMEU is the union for bricklayers, carpenters, concreters, crane drivers, glaziers, labourers, painters, plant operators, plasterers, steelfixers, stonemasons and tile layers, amongst others. The union has branches in each of Australia’s capital cities, as well as in major regional centres.

Other allegations against the CFMEU include a building company owner who claims he was encouraged by a senior CFMEU official to sponsor the South Sydney Rabbitohs in exchange for the union’s support in his job tenders. Building union whistleblower Brian Fitzpatrick has also claimed that he received death threats from a colleague after speaking out against the union supporting an unnamed crime figure.

Fairfax Media has published information suggesting the corruption goes further than union officials. It claims to have been given access to documents which implicate a senior manager of Winslow, a large civil construction firm, as having received bribes worth at least $60,000 in exchange for rigging multi-million dollar contracts.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, a former trade union boss, has said that there is no need for a royal commission, as the issue of union corruption is one for the police to investigate. “Labor is asking the government to set up a police-led taskforce to deal with these issues. We believe a $100-million-plus royal commission is a political stunt that doesn’t do anything to assist with law and order. This is a job for police, not politicians.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has accused Mr Shorten of protecting his allies in the trade union movement. “We are on the side of the honest worker, we are on the side of the honest unionist, the question is whose side is Bill Shorten on?”

“Sometimes you need to shine a big spotlight, a great big spotlights into the dark corners of our national life. It is only then … that we can see the law-enforcement agencies doing their job properly.”

Read more at the ABC News website

Read more at The Age website

 

Opinion: Wasting taxpayer dollars

Bill Shorten has suggested that, instead of holding an enormously expensive royal commission (estimated at four times what it would cost to bail out the SPC cannery, which would save Australian of jobs), we instead create a taskforce within the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The AFP is highly trained in solving crimes, including corruption and bribery on a national level, and with the alleged links between unions and major underworld figures the AFP should be the responsible authority.

It seems a bit much, after this suggestion, for Prime Minister Abbott to come out and accuse Mr Shorten of wanting to “run a protection racket” as a “former union official”.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney  has described the royal commission as a political stunt, saying that he felt Australians would be cynical about a move which serves the government’s political agenda. Mr Shorten called it a waste of money. “This nation does not have time to waste, or taxpayer dollars to waste, with the government pursuing political stunts, when in fact we’ve got police forces, the Australian Crime Commission, who already possess those powers.”

Australia has a long history of reinventing the wheel, and creating a royal commission to deal with this issue seems like just another song and dance to divert our attention from what should be the nation’s real priorities.

What do you think? Is this issue bigger than the Australian Federal Police? Should we spend the estimated $100 million on a Royal Commission to try and wipe out this corruption once and for all, or is this just a political stunt which will ultimately waste taxpayer dollars?





    COMMENTS

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    Nightshade
    10th Feb 2014
    5:10pm
    IT SHOULD BE LEFT TO THE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE :-
    WISHY WASHY WHITE WASH
    STILL & AGAIN MORE DOLLAR DOWN THE TOILET

    I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE MAY BUDGET WILL SACRIFICE
    NOTHING AS IMPORTANT AS A ROYAL COMMISSION HEY !

    NOW THAT TONY ABBOTT'S TURN HAS COME AROUND TO BE THE HEAD OF THE NATION -
    I SUPPOSE TONY ABBOTT HAS TO SHOW US WHAT HE IS MADE OF -
    HE NEEDS TO STRUT HIS STUFF OR WHAT WILL HE HAVE TO WRITE IN HIS MEMOIRS -
    heyyybob
    10th Feb 2014
    5:44pm
    Of course it should be investigated/prosecuted by the Police. Commission is purely a political stunt (costing far more than we can afford) and will be delayed /timed to give a result in time for the start of the next election campaign kickoff - you can count on it :( Plus the political mileage gained whilst the Commission Circus is waffling along. Give it to the coppers to ascertain if there is any criminal activity and let them prosecute if necessary. Iss simple, yess ??
    ozimarco
    10th Feb 2014
    7:04pm
    I agree that it is a political stunt based on conservative ideology. First, attack the unions. Second, attack wages and conditions. It was always going to happen and should not come as a surprise to anyone. That $100 million dollars could be used to keep a lot of people in a job at least for a few years longer. Spending it on a royal commission only benefits the legal fraternity and nobody else.
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    3:24am
    Tony Abbott promised Australians ONE MILLION JOBS
    Or was that ONE MILLION JOBS LOST ? - so far so good on this one.
    [ ALCOA will go soon & there is a long list to follow - thanks to Glen Stevens & the banks, the artificially high dollar that wrecked Australia ]
    Or maybe ONE MILLION -WORK FOR THE DOLE - JOBS
    Where will the money come from to set up work for the dole jobs /?
    1: liability insurance
    2: third party insurance
    3: training
    4: tools & equipment
    5: on sit toilets - lunch rooms - first aid
    6: supervision
    Just because they are work for the dole jobs does not mean they do not COST - I can't see the welfare agencies forking out for all of this expense for a few hours of free labor.
    Then there are the Local Councils who are to be the recipients of work for the dole workers - DOES THIS MEAN THAT OUR RATES WILL GO UP TO FUND THIS SCHEME ?
    jalna
    10th Feb 2014
    5:52pm
    Definitely for the police to investigate any accusations and lay any charges, as necessary.
    geomac
    10th Feb 2014
    6:22pm
    I am still waiting for a inquiry into our involvement in the Iraq invasion . The USA and the UK felt justified in having a look but not us . Considering the cost , false statements and poor justification for joining the war it would appear to be a no brainer to have one . We had an inquiry into the AWB but it was restricted by the terms of reference , govt ministers get a free pass .
    Was it the Costigan inquiry that unearthed the tax dodge scheme under Howard ? bottom of the harbour scheme yet it was am inquiry into the painters and dockers .
    professori_au
    10th Feb 2014
    11:59pm
    how much did we contribute in total without the approval of the people.
    The same questions apply to Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, etc., etc.,
    These are areas that has nothing to do with us. Our bootlicking politicians allowed it to happen because the USA wanted it. Our servant the parliament did this without asking (referendum). Wake up Australia. Learn of your Rights under the commonwealth constitution 1900-1901 and how these unlawful government are steadily eroding those inherited rights away and replacing with Admiralty law where you will no longer have any rights.
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    3:33am
    We may be in the Ukraine soon -
    BBC News- Ukraine crisis: leaked phone call embarrasses US
    www.bbc.co.uk/news-europe-26072281
    Indeed on the CEC Report they have been going on about thermo-nuclear war - with Russia /?
    Moses 2
    12th Feb 2014
    11:46am
    Geomac !! You should really be worried, Your comments are all B.S.
    Hammer
    10th Feb 2014
    6:46pm
    What a lot of rubbish - of course there must be an investigation into the unions - it should have happened years ago.
    ghoti
    10th Feb 2014
    9:59pm
    No-one's saying there shouldn't be an investigation into alleged criminal behaviour within the union movement. The question is whether or not the expense of a royal commission is justified when it would seem that the Australian Federal Police, Crime Commission etc are adequate for the task.
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    3:35am
    Will anyone end up behind bars as a result of a royal commission - NO !
    So what is the point ?
    KSS
    10th Feb 2014
    7:03pm
    I think the whole union corruption issue goes a lot deeper than we know. The use of union credit cards (and therefore members money) for personal gratification (strip clubs and call girls) and the assertion that this is all OK coupled with the recent allegations of stand over tactics in Sydney at Berangaroo warrant a full and wide ranging investigation. Where criminal activity is found then of course this must be handed to police. BUT I do think there is a historical culture (criminal or not) that has no place in modern Australia and needs changing.

    As for trying to bring in the red herring of lack of financial support for SPC - why would Australia bail out a foreign company? SPC is no longer an Australian company as it is wholly owned by Coca Cola Amitil an AMERICAN company which makes considerable profit.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2014
    7:04pm
    PS Any reason why this newsletter did not arrive until 6PM!
    geomac
    10th Feb 2014
    7:25pm
    Coca cola Amatil is an Australian company with the franchise to bottle coca cola . If you are going to bag money going to a foreign company then try Cadbury . Seriously KSS you would think you would at least know the basics before posting .
    Huskie
    10th Feb 2014
    8:00pm
    What about investigating the business practices and use of funds by private companies? The shareholders are entitled to know! All business cares about is the bottom line not the ethics in achieving a dividend
    KSS
    10th Feb 2014
    8:01pm
    With the major share holder being the Coca Cola Company who also have 2 members of the Board. AND the products/brands they sell are actually owned by the Coca Cola Company.

    Rudeness is not necessary or appropriate.
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    3:44am
    WHAT CONCERNS ME IS WHERE WERE AUSTRALIANS WANTING TO START UP THESE BUSINESSES - NOT ALLOWED - THROWN OVER FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT ?
    IF AUSTRALIAN BANKS HAD SUPPORTED AUSTRALIANS IN THEIR DESIRE TO CREATE FOR EXAMPLE - AN AUTO MAKER - FORD & HOLDEN WOULD NOT HAVE EVER COME TO AUSTRALIA - NOR CADBURY - NOR THE PARASITE KODAK - (Kodak closed down Australian photographic services ) -TO MY MIND CERTAINLY A BETTER OUTCOME.
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    3:45am
    p.s.
    I DID NOT GET A NEWS LETTER AT ALL- IS EVERYTHING OKAY AT ADMIN ?
    NO TROUBLE OR FUNDING CUTS /?
    Bofor
    10th Feb 2014
    7:07pm
    I am in favour of a Royal Commission as the police have a Union so who can affirm that that Union is not as corrupt as others appear to be.
    As far as the comment that Bill Shorten says it will cost more than the SPC bail out, SPC need a bail out because of the Unions incessant wages and conditions push.

    To say the country cannot afford the time or money, again Mr Shorten, that is the pot calling the kettle black when you consider the huge debt left by his party due to wasted funds that obviously his party thought we could afford.

    ACTU President Ged Kearney describes it as a "Political stunt", why does that surprise anyone. Dracula in the blood bank comes to mind.

    There has been corruption in Unions for as long as I can remember and I have a very long memory.

    Unions served a purpose when the working force were uneducated souls who could not or would not stand up for themselves. This no longer applies and Unions are passed their "Use by Date"
    geomac
    10th Feb 2014
    7:31pm
    Another poster deficient on facts . SPC has standard industry conditions and wages . Cadbury has better conditions than SPC for its workers so explain the millions for them ? while your at it explain the 20 million for marriage guidance from grecian Andrews .
    There has been corruption in business since time began . There has been corruption in politics forever , remember Askin ? How about Joh , Heinze or any number of pollies from all sides .
    Huskie
    10th Feb 2014
    8:04pm
    Get the facts! The Productivity Commission, SPCA Management and the Federal Member for the area, and the Union have all "de-bunked" Tony Abbotts ascertian that the Wages and Conditions are to blame. It was the high dollar combined with the dumping of imported fruit and processed product that caused the problem.
    SPCA were asking for the money to upgrade very old processing facilities to enable them to compete with the imports.
    Gra
    10th Feb 2014
    9:35pm
    Lawyers have a union as such - (the Law Association), accountants have a union as such ( more than one actually, any association is just a union by another name), business owners have a union (all or most all towns and cities have their Chambers of Commerce or similar) so why shouldn't the worker be entitled to the protection and bargaining power afforded by unions?
    Corruption doesn't stop with unions Bofor - nowhere is corruption more rife than in the corridors of Parliament House, whether it be state or federal.
    Have you ever been a member of a union Bofor or just been one of those sopping up the gravy provided by those who paid their union dues?
    heyyybob
    10th Feb 2014
    9:56pm
    Gra.....you are absolutely right !! Especially the comment about how (so many) people have enjoyed (at some time of their working lives OR their parents lives) benefits brought about ONLY by the efforts of the very unions they now vilify, parroting the drivel put out by the Employers Unions ;)
    Mitch
    10th Feb 2014
    7:24pm
    Why not waste more money on yet again more crap and BS, Why should we give handouts to the people who are disabled and unable to work because there caring for someone with a disability, Why do they deserve HANDOUTS as Tony has said. Its very funny, when you ask people who they voted for and no one yet has said to me " Liberal of course" all the people I have spoken to say "Labour. can't trust Abbott and his cronnies", but its funny that they got the power, I think the whole government is a bunch of jerks who have no care or compassion or truthfully any idea of running a country. Who sells off all of there assets, and wastes money, but hey we can't give handouts to the lazy public, hey we might not get our kick backs and pay rises, interesting how they deserve more pay, but the bludgers who actually do the hard yakka are being paid too much, very interesting indeed,. How far are the public going to allow this stupid party and the few extremely rich power players to destroy our country for their own gain, they do not care about the people just themselves, wake up Australia, someone out there obviously voted for the idiots.

    It sounds more and more like America every day, how long before the justice system is in the governments pockets, they already pick who they send to jail, not on the crime but on the numbers already in jail.
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:38am
    Unfortunately I trust neither. Control of the Labour Party has been taken over by the right wing and is more closely aligned with the Libs than you realise. It needs to be renamed and I would suggest Laboral would fit better. Our first parlaimentarians were what you might call independents, accountable to their constituents Unfortunately poltical parties came into being and these in turn were taken over by their factional groups that took control, stacked pre selection, etc., so that eventually who the public wanted was lost and then it was made worse by the preferential voting. Here we are today a population of approximately 23 million using a system the creates a bias to the two party system. How ridiculous.
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    3:54am
    IT IS CALLED BLAME THE VICTIM -
    AUSTRALIANS SHOULD BE OUT IN THE STREETS DEMANDING JOBS -
    EVERY DAY OUT IN THE STREET DEMANDING JOBS -
    AUSTRALIANS WANT TO WORK
    AUSTRALIANS NEED TO WORK
    WHERE ARE OUR JOBS ?
    PAUL KEATING GAVE AWAY MILLIONS OF MANUFACTURING JOBS TO CHINA WITH THE STROKE OF A PEN -
    HOW WAS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN ?
    THEN THEY BLAME THE VICTIM
    "BLUDGERS WHO DO NOT WANT TO WORK"
    "PARASITES FEEDING OFF THE TAXPAYER"
    THE MEDIA SPEWS FORTH AT AUSTRALIAN VICTIMS & WE JOIN THEM - ARE WE THE PEOPLE SO MESMERIZED - SO HYPNOTIZED - SO BRAINWASHED ?
    Mitch
    10th Feb 2014
    7:24pm
    Why not waste more money on yet again more crap and BS, Why should we give handouts to the people who are disabled and unable to work because there caring for someone with a disability, Why do they deserve HANDOUTS as Tony has said. Its very funny, when you ask people who they voted for and no one yet has said to me " Liberal of course" all the people I have spoken to say "Labour. can't trust Abbott and his cronnies", but its funny that they got the power, I think the whole government is a bunch of jerks who have no care or compassion or truthfully any idea of running a country. Who sells off all of there assets, and wastes money, but hey we can't give handouts to the lazy public, hey we might not get our kick backs and pay rises, interesting how they deserve more pay, but the bludgers who actually do the hard yakka are being paid too much, very interesting indeed,. How far are the public going to allow this stupid party and the few extremely rich power players to destroy our country for their own gain, they do not care about the people just themselves, wake up Australia, someone out there obviously voted for the idiots.

    It sounds more and more like America every day, how long before the justice system is in the governments pockets, they already pick who they send to jail, not on the crime but on the numbers already in jail.
    sherbob
    10th Feb 2014
    7:35pm
    Gee, when a previous Govt was in power all we heard was Lets Have A Royal Commission, even on the most trivial of matters! If Shorten is not worried about HIS position & his previous involvement with Unions he has nothing to worry about, so go with the flow Billy Boy or join the rank & file of those accused if you something to hide! The cost is irrelevant to the outcome, & we will all realise what we had running the country over the last 6 years odd. At least we now have a Govt that has the balls to get things moving & in the right prospectum. Remember who supported the Labor Govt. to get them into power, money, threats donkey votes buy power, unions go down---Labor party go down, what a Titanic conlusion!
    Gra
    10th Feb 2014
    9:41pm
    This government might have balls but it sure is lacking in the brains and integrity departments. Quite humorous really sherbob when you believe the Labor party shouldn't be allowed to have any support from the unions but the Liberal party is fine to get massive donations from the big end of town and the Nationals get the backing from farmers etc.
    Abbott is all about destroying the unions, not sorting out who did wrong - as far as he is concerned every union member is scum and a thug. He hasn't got the brains between his batwing ears to differentiate.
    Gra
    10th Feb 2014
    7:41pm
    Definitely a waste of taxpayers money. But then, what else could we expect from Abbott when there is a chance to bash the unions. Add to that a chance to grease the palms of the coalitions suited mates in the judiciary.
    This matter could have been investigated more thoroughly by the AFP and as far as I am concerned, not giving the investigation to them is a display of no confidence by the PM.
    Abbott's anti-union stance was highlighted by his relying on false information and distorted facts regarding workers entitlements as an excuse to deny SPC any government assistance.
    Cassius
    10th Feb 2014
    7:42pm
    No way another Royal Commossion which penalises tax payers and benefits fat cat over paid judges etc
    mogo51
    10th Feb 2014
    7:46pm
    I see this article as being somewhat lopsided, instead of being a neutral in reporting as journalists are supposed to be. Whilst I see $100k being a bit rich, the majority of the money will go into the coffers of over priced legal personnel, who feed like sharks off the public purse.
    It should be done by federal lawyers and barristers paid by the public purse and giving them something to do, but the outcry from the whining laborites would be deafening.
    A Royal Commission is capable of enforcing witnesses to give answers. Journalists should report the facts and let the decisions be made by the people paid to make them. Corruption has been rampant within these industries for many years, we can only hope a few penal sentences are handed out - lets hope that gets reported.
    Luchar
    10th Feb 2014
    8:36pm
    If Bill Shorten, his Labor mates, his union mates and the Greens are all against the Royal Commission, it seems to me that Tony Abbott is on the right track.
    Gra
    10th Feb 2014
    9:45pm
    $100K won't even cover the cost of the first week of a Royal Commission. All a Royal Commission is is another opportunity for wig wearing Liberals to get their snout in the trough and produce findings that will reflect what Abbott wants to hear.
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:45am
    the royal commission will possibly be stacked with government supporters, and perhaps may need an extension of time and more money?????????????????????
    Marc
    11th Feb 2014
    11:27am
    @mogo51: The section of the article to which you are taking exception is clearly headed "Opinion"; the section above reports the "facts". It's an editorial, which you'll find in pretty much every type of news media, giving the writer's opinion and also inviting us to give our own, as you have done.

    If it weren't for the "Opinions", which in turn give rise to lots of spirited (and often, amusing) discussion, I don't know if I'd ever bother looking at this newsletter.
    Reeper
    10th Feb 2014
    7:49pm
    Of course this site would have a dig at Abbott and the RC; it is likely to turn up lots of naughty things about Unions, ALP, Lefties who run the ABC and lots of others who have had their fingers in the pie.
    The RC need to be able to submit evidence to the AFP for prosecutions - might clean up Australian work places and government
    mogo51
    10th Feb 2014
    8:00pm
    Well said Reeper, a few on this magazine have trouble hiding their political alliances regrettably.
    Hammer
    10th Feb 2014
    8:05pm
    How true mogo51. I do wonder sometimes why I bother to read the views put forward by this magazine.
    moorlands
    10th Feb 2014
    9:27pm
    Reeper, I do'nt know how old you are? but if you think the corruption that is endemic within Australian business is a legacy that has not been recognised and been taken advantage of by corruptibles within the union movement, then you are very naive.
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:52am
    Corruption is rife, no matter the political persuasion. That is why I do not trust any political party. Let us elect independents who will be accountable to you and I.
    Ask the candidates who will they give allegiance. If to a political party of the corporation, then dump them.
    Ask will they be prepared to accountable and transparent and report back to their constituents. If they agree to this then elect them. We want nay demand allegiance to the sovereign people. No foreign power, no corporations

    10th Feb 2014
    8:05pm
    The first comment got it right - leave it up to the police and the courts. $100m would feed a hell of a lot of pensioners for a long time, ($100m/$20k pa per pensioner = 5000 or a good rise for the rest!) and is a lot to waste on chasing the Liberal dream/nightmare of smashing Unions and having a controlled workforce. Look how 'successful' WorkChoices and 'enterprise agreements', flagship of Lib policy for years now under Wee Johnnie, have been - count the companies crying poor because 'cost of labour is too high' under WorkChoice deals!!

    On which subject - how much is Tone's 'commission of audit' feeding a few fat cat mates, going to cost?

    Man - I just had a short story published called 'Built On A Dream' - which showed how things built on a dream can be a nightmare instead - seems apt to me....
    mogo51
    10th Feb 2014
    9:19pm
    Oh Dear Grappier,
    Such tunnel vision - 6 years Labor, out went a $80m surplus, in with a $650 plus Bil deficit, much wasted on excellent Labor policies, Insulation bats, school building programmes, etc. - they should be hiding in a corner, seen but not heard!
    geomac
    10th Feb 2014
    11:46pm
    mogo
    I read about a 20 billion not million surplus so where do you get 80 mil from ? Same with your deficit figure . It was 30 billion odd until hockey loaded up another 13 billion in 3 months . I notice you do not complain about how we got through the GFC but attack the policies that helped get us through . A million premises got insulation yet no complaints from the recipients flooding the media . Why is that ? Ask any parent if they were happy with the school buildings program and if you are lucky you will get 3% complain . While your at it ask if they prefer a flag pole to a library or school hall .
    Nightshade
    11th Feb 2014
    4:12am
    DEAR MOGO51 - IF THERE WAS EVER THIS SURPLUS ?

    BBC News -
    UN Recovery 'Entrenched' as Consumers Spending Growth Hit's Fastest Rate in Decades according to the National Institute of Economic & Social Growth -

    All of the above is happening in a country that has massive unemployment -
    HOW .../?
    WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM - IT DOES NOT GROW ON TREES ?
    Is it possible that the banking sector is doling out CREDIT ?
    So as to create & support a consumer led recovery ?
    Okay - so people have been convinced that they can afford credit -
    They will have to default eventually - THEN WHAT ?
    A BAIL-IN - THEY TAKE MONEY FROM THE RICH DEPOSITORS & GIVE TO THE POOR SPENDERS - MANY POOR SPENDERS CAN SPEND BETTER THAN ONE RICH TIGHT FISTED GIT.
    Is this why Mark Carney is pressuring the nations of the world to implement a BAIL-IN ?
    MARK CARNEY alias ROBIN HOOD
    Robs the rich bank depositor to give to the poor spenders to save the nations economy -
    p.s. THE BANKING SECTOR IS ALSO SAVING IT'S OWN BACON = CLOSURE DUE TO INSOLVENCY & BANKRUPTCY -
    Lino
    10th Feb 2014
    8:05pm
    This is very much needed as anyone who has worked in the building game will tell you many jobs are held up under the pretext of health & safety the builders laborers run the show weed them all out.
    mogo51
    10th Feb 2014
    9:23pm
    Absolutely correct Lino. The reason our industries are collapsing are due to horrific wages and conditions squeezed by Union heavies. When will the rank and file realise this does noting to help the Australian Manufacturing and other trades (what is left of them), coupled with MP's ridiculous theories that we can compete with 3rd world countries with far lower wage structures.
    heyyybob
    10th Feb 2014
    10:34pm
    Oh right mogo - Business owners haven't relocated overseas in droves because they can take advantage of the slave labour rates and non-union active countries and increase their profits and throw Australian workers on the scrap heap without batting an eyelid ?? Hello ?!?!!?!
    heyyybob
    10th Feb 2014
    10:35pm
    Horse / cart ;)
    doggone
    10th Feb 2014
    8:25pm
    nothing but an expensive union bashing exercise organised by the far right.
    we have law enforcemnt people commonly known as police who would do the job and get results and at a far lower costs.

    what a waste of taxpayers money.

    is the liberal party here a paid up member of the far right american tea party?

    their actions would suggest so.
    Not Amused
    10th Feb 2014
    8:32pm
    A Royal Commission is vital for the dignity of all Australians, many who haven't had the time or inclination to follow the complexities of Union/ALP corruption going on for 3+ decades. How many times have we read that police are investigating former PM, former industrial relations lawyer, Julia Gillard? No wonder Labor fears RC's ability to compel witnesses for questioning.

    Whilst I am highly supportive of police, they do have a union too. This is a commission into ALL unions and inquiries therefore need to be independent. There can be no more lying, ( there's already too many contradictory liars who will probably be trying to save their rear ends), no obfuscating, because perjury applies to Royal Commission evidence just as it will in court. Be ready folks, there's going to be some shameful revelations and it's better to clean it out now before any more hardworking union members' money is stolen. I used to loyally pay union dues until I discovered a branch secretary employed his wife as his secretary.

    Just do your homework on Gillard, Wilson and Blewitt and how the sham entity AWU-WRA was set up. Then there's the formal allegation of the creation of a false document (max. stretch 10 years in Victoria) and then - follow the money. Oh, and don't forget the Boulder scam.

    Yes, follow the money.
    heyyybob
    10th Feb 2014
    9:00pm
    OK. Fine, with your reasoning it follows that the Employers Union (Chamber of Commerce etc) should also be included OR are they, in your opinion, Lilly White and free of corruption ?? As if !! All the anti-union screamers always seem to forget about the Bosse's Unions ;) Do they REALLY believe it (corruption, bullying, etc) is a one-way street ?? Reckon a lot of the ProAbbotters on this thread think so :(
    Not Amused
    10th Feb 2014
    9:31pm
    heyyybob, ask former AWU official and strong unionist Bob Kerhohan if he wants a Royal Commission into unions. Mr Kernohan was bashed for wanting to tell police about the theft and corruption going on before his office was wrecked and he was thrown on the scrapheap with years and years of suffering consequence. On various occasions he has described how Bill Shorten (the union bully who thought it just fine to throw the F--- word at the little pie shop lady) prevented him from receiving his financial entitlements - for 8 years.

    Kernohan has told of his fear at finding bullets in his letterbox and was threatened via Australia Post. If you think that union corruption and thuggery stopped there, think again. I'm not an anti-union screamer. I paid my dues for a very long time. I didn't know what was going on, it was all happening in dark back corners, kick backs and theft, but I do now. Those HSU employees are not big wage earners, yet someone thought he could use their money to pay for dirty movies, prostitutes and all manner of perceived "entitlements". If we have any respect for workers whose $600-$1000 pa. dues could probably be better appreciated by their families, we should do as Gillard suggested, open it all up and let the sunshine in. Something she never did herself, and a declaration that is very likely going to haunt her forever.
    heyyybob
    10th Feb 2014
    10:13pm
    Not Amused - I'm NOT saying that s**t hasn't happened over the years and apart from the very real good achieved by Unions. What I say is that it should be left to the Police to investigate and prosecute if justified, not another Commission Circus with the Government as it's Patron. As I said above let the investigation include corrupt activities etc of the Employers Unions also. You quote the lascivious activity of ONE crap Union Official, another who uses the F word (shock horror) etc. You are NOT the only person who has paid his Union dues and has ENJOYED the benefits achieved by Unions for over 100 years :( At least I don't rubbish the whole Union movement and those officials who HAVE worked hard for the workers. If we hadn't had them on our side over the decades we certainly wouldn't have most of the working conditions we enjoy today !! Unless, of course you think the Employers would have offered them ;)
    Not Amused
    11th Feb 2014
    9:04am
    heyyybob, let me get this right. Just so I can rationalise your line of thinking. You think it is o.k. for an aspiring male Labor leader to be caught on CCTV abusing an inoffensive lady by hurling the f... word at her?
    heyyybob
    11th Feb 2014
    1:45pm
    Not amused - you got it wrong !! I'm making the point that the incident you have mentioned is irrelevant to the subject under discussion. Surely you cannot disrespect the Union movement and its officials and members because of that and ignore the good that has been achieved by the effing Union movement over 100 effing years ;)
    Not Amused
    11th Feb 2014
    4:50pm
    Heyyybob, nothing I said is irrelevant to the subject - Bill Shorten is a union heavy who set a very low example when he thought no-one was looking. It was typical conduct of union thugs who did what they wanted e.g. ripping money from low-paid workers when they thought no-one was looking. Yes, unions were doing good work prior to the 1980's, but they have become irrelevant since then, in some part due to the systemic corruption that is being gradually uncovered and made public. By the way, I am female. If your language (and that of Bill Shorten) is representative of union rabble, then there's not much hope for the 18% of Australian workers who belong to unions ever retrieving lost public support. There is also now no place to hide for the likes of Williamson, Obeid, Thomson et al, followed very closely by some high level Labor politicians who must be feeling very, very nervous. Every touch leaves its trace.
    Brissiegirl
    11th Feb 2014
    6:48pm
    I'm agreeing with Not Amused. The royal commission will clean out all the corruption, lies that have been hidden for years. Mr Shorten as a former powerful AWU unionist who was able to install and remove Prime Ministers must have thought he wasn't being recorded when he swore at the shop owner, very thuggish behaviour. It is just too true that highly paid union bosses have come to believe they are untouchable. Mr Shorten has not done his union cause any good at all.
    Brissiegirl
    12th Feb 2014
    9:34am
    I will add that the aggressive manners outlined by not amused such as bullying thuggish language believed to be otherwise unseen and unheard by the public will all be under the spotlight of a Royal Commission. Small as it might seem to some people, obscene language as a method of intimidating people seems to be typical of heavy union officials who think they are entitled to manipulate politics because of their fierce ambition to rule over all of us. That is Shorten the AWU union man who showed no mercy knifing the knifers. let's see the royal commission compel all of them to tell the truth i bet there will be a lot of knifing going on trying to save their own backsides.
    Blossom
    10th Feb 2014
    8:37pm
    I know for a fact that AFP have access to silent phone numbers
    moorlands
    10th Feb 2014
    8:59pm
    Engy, correct, your silent phone numbers is not silent to essential services, maybe that is a good thing if you require emergency help, but if you have evidence of crime they have your number.
    moorlands
    10th Feb 2014
    8:50pm
    Abbot got elected with a litany of lies, now he is trying to ensure that he will not be thrown out in the next election by more and more smear campaigns instead of letting the law take it's course, I in no way defend corruption by Union or Corporate or Politicians. In a previous post I foresaw Murdoch being made CEO of the ABC, already one of the senior management of Newscorp has been appointed to the board of the ABC, couple this with a military man being appointed as Governor General, see where we are heading?
    mogo51
    10th Feb 2014
    9:14pm
    No not really. The ABC needs all the bloody help it can get, it is a disgrace, same Australian Channel.
    Gen. Cosgrove is an excellent appointment, served the country well with dignity and diligence - more than we can say or the outgoing GG who got the job because she was a relation of Shorten. At least try and get it balanced.
    moorlands
    10th Feb 2014
    9:48pm
    mogo51, I have no interest in "Snouts in the trough" I say scrap state governments and put Australia under one Government "First past the post " I am not sure about outgoing GG, but Cosgrove is well known for his mindless obeying of orders.
    mogo51
    10th Feb 2014
    10:16pm
    Well we agree on your first comment on one level of government, federal, then regionals, stuff the States and their bickering, we are all Australian.
    I feel the same about GG, not needed, but if we have to have one, a yes man/woman is all we need. Bit like having sex with a condom.
    geomac
    11th Feb 2014
    12:02am
    The present GG has performed her duties with grace and diligence . Bryce was the QLD governor for 5 years before Rudd appointed her as GG in 2008 .
    moorlands
    11th Feb 2014
    12:32am
    Geomac, Bryce could courtesy, Cosgrove can salute, please explain?
    MITZY
    11th Feb 2014
    1:39pm
    mogo51: Quentin Bryce as geomac has indicated was QLD governor before Rudd appointed her as GG and she was sworn in on 5/9/2008. Bill Shorten was married/partnered to Deborah Beale the daughter of Julian Beale a former Liberal MP. Shorten met Deborah Beale (Bryce's daughter) in 2007 before Quentin Bryce was appointed GG by Rudd. Bryce's appointment had nothing to do with Shorten who she was not related to at that time. Shorten also had an association and live-in with Nicola Roxon as well for some time.

    It's not right to denigrate a gracious lady who did an excellent job and upheld the protocols of the office of GG from September 2008 until next month (March) when she will be replaced with Cosgrove who is also a well-respected gentlemen and will most probably do an excellent job as well.
    Aloysius
    10th Feb 2014
    9:11pm
    It has been well-reported that the police avoid industrial matters and unions in particular. Policemen are mostly union members themselves and so they have a conflict of interest.
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:17am
    Did she perform her duties. Who did she give allegiance to? The real flesh and blood Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Sovereign people of the Commonwealth or to the paper queen of Australia (the COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CORPORATION of USA.
    who appointed her. She did not perform with loyalty when as a GG she openly supported a Republic. Surely under law this is an act of treason against the Crown and the sovereign people?
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:17am
    Did she perform her duties. Who did she give allegiance to? The real flesh and blood Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Sovereign people of the Commonwealth or to the paper queen of Australia (the COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CORPORATION of USA.
    who appointed her. She did not perform with loyalty when as a GG she openly supported a Republic. Surely under law this is an act of treason against the Crown and the sovereign people?
    moorlands
    11th Feb 2014
    1:07am
    Hi Prof,You may have not replied to the post that you had intentioned ?.
    MITZY
    11th Feb 2014
    1:55pm
    Aloysius: Its hard to get independence because the judges are also appointed by the governments and they have political allegiances also.
    Do we know which way the head of this R.C. leans to politically?
    George F.
    10th Feb 2014
    9:31pm
    If the commission was going to cost $10-00 Rachel would be against it , as there is scope for Labour figures coming out of it badly. You could have 300 of them out of the debt Labour has accumulated in record short time. I am new to these pages, is Rachel on record thinking that a billion a year for illegal immigrants is good value ? or a carbon tax that will reduce global temperature by how many degrees ? still waiting to hear the number ? did not Rudd give 5 times that amount to Indonesia to foster "moderate "mosques ? . There is a lot of waste we would like to hear Rachel's opinion on.
    GregB
    10th Feb 2014
    9:37pm
    A Royal Commission is the only way to get the full story. The police have virtually admitted they can't get the information needed. A commission with strong powers is needed.
    moorlands
    10th Feb 2014
    10:13pm
    But Greg, as I understand it a Royal Commission has no powers to bring prosecutions, so what do we have a "Boys club smear campaign " we will smear you now, and next time you can smear us but no one will face prosecution?
    professori_au
    10th Feb 2014
    11:53pm
    Abbott is politicising the corruption in the Unions. I am apolitical and believe this is a good instance of the affluent trying to demonise the union movement. I believe that between the federal Police and the unions themselves they can clean up the union.
    Any royal commission run by politics is questionable. It is likely that the parameters set will provide a bias in favour of the governments objective. Abbott and Howard claim they have a Mandate. A Mandate is the option of the lawful government. The lawful government is the Sovereign people Of the Commonwealth of Australia under the Commonwealth Constitution 1900-1901, not the COMMONWEALTH CORPORATION OF AUSTRALIA; a corporation registered in Washington USA and accountable to USA Law and the USA Revenue department, In other words a foreign power subservient to the USA. I don't know whether you signed your rights away to become a slave under the corporation. I know I did not. The money the government spends on a commission would go a long way towards paying off the alleged debts we have. I should remind you, We, the people did not incur the debts. Those unlawful members of the corporation ran up any debt. I would love to audit or see and independent audit done of all departments of this corporation and also ask why has is registered funds in safe haven off shore and how much. I won't go too much into the issues but sufficient to say that research into what has been happening indicates there is an unknown millions, perhaps trillions of dollar held in off shore accounts and this money belong to the people of the Commonwealth of Australia. Why is it necessary to do this. Surely this money would be better held in Australia subject to scrutiny from the people of the Commonwealth Australia. An example is the Futures Fund set up by the coalition. How much money has the government in investments and are they guaranteed to benfit all.
    MITZY
    11th Feb 2014
    1:50pm
    professor_au: There are so many countries signed up as corporations of their countries and I did list them once a long time ago.
    The Queen is one of the signatories, no wonder she is going broke, just like the rest of us.
    I agree the money being spent on a Royal Commission could be better spent elsewhere. We have the proper authorities already to do this investigation why spend extra.
    I don't see the logic of spending millions of dollars on this Royal Commission when Hockey is trying to cut costs in every direction. I don't see the logic in giving funds to Cadbury's a multi-national not even for the benefit of the people who work there and the company, but to boost Tasmania's tourism! However, there is an election coming up soon in Tasmania! It could be a great vote getter. The MAY BUDGET is going to "cut to the bone" in all the wrong directions, but there is a lot of huff and puff going on at present clouding the issues.
    Crazy Horse
    13th Feb 2014
    8:32am
    As others have explained many times, the Corporation registered in the USA that you constantly refer to is just the real estate holding company for the Washington Embassy and the variousconsulates requred under US law. It has no other function. The Commonwealth of Australia was legally established by the Constitution Act passed by the British Parliament, nothing at all to do with the USA.
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:06am
    No we should not need to set up an expensive Royal commission that in all probability from experience will be jobs for those supporting the government.
    Ensure the Federal Police are provided with the resources and staff to carry out the investigation and as the union movement has already asked for the investigation then it can be resolved much better and possibly much cheaper. We do not need politics interfering with an investigation. we already see how badly Abbott wants the ABC done away with or neutered so that his government is not questioned too closely as he will only have the biased Murdock press to promote instead of putting the truth to the public
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:22am
    In the last election I sent the papers back with a statement; As I am not a director or shareholder in this corporation I am ineligible to vote. The AEC said it was outside of its authority and to take it up with parliament. Did nothing more, not even a fine. Two contacts from up north made similar comments and "no further action:
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:31am
    We have a problem that governments in Australia, regardless of colour have sold us out. It has been treachery within. We had a manufacturing industry, motor, textile and so on until the Button gang came to power and considered the so called level playing filed and global economy. I was still farming then and on several committees and my comment then was that if your believe that then you believe in fairies. Level playing fields does not mean that people in third world countries will be helped to improve their living standards. The only beneficiaries will be the corrupt and greedy at the top and we will still have slave and sweat shop production. Tie that in with world banks and you will understand it is not about sharing wealth but of putting it in the hands of the few. Time has proved me right.
    moorlands
    11th Feb 2014
    12:48am
    If you wanna make a point fella keep it short.
    squirrel
    11th Feb 2014
    12:37am
    Gotta be a royal commission given the amount of flak from the true believers. They are running scared knowing the game will be over with a royal comm compared to a police whitewash. We almost lost our nation to crime and corruption when those other squabbling twits were in power.Ease up on their wrists tony and clamp harder on their throats. The truth is out there.
    professori_au
    11th Feb 2014
    12:41am
    The comment that the police have their own unions, so does the judiciary and I would argue the politicians, Its called the parliament where they can pass laws on how to get their snouts deeper into the trough to take more and more from the taxpayers
    turtonmb
    11th Feb 2014
    1:07am
    The ruination of many third world countries is corruption. Let`s stamp out as much as we can here. before we become a third world country. Perhaps any union official who allegedly has gained from corrupt behavior. can put money towards a Royal Commission. This is not a political stunt, it is a huge political problem, so let`s have a Royal Commission. Police investigations. more investigative journalism and anything
    else that will help stamp it out. Helen
    bartpcb
    11th Feb 2014
    3:14am
    Of course it's a waste of taxpayers money. The Police authorities have more than enough jurisdiction to deal with corruption in any organization. This is just a right wing propaganda exercise to undermine Unions and the social movement as a whole, and to detract attention away from the right wings serious attempts to remove the hard fought for benefits that we all enjoy, fought for I might add by the Unions. If they can, the right wing will have us a carbon copy of USA working conditions, two weeks annual leave, no long service leave, minimum wage below the poverty line, no award rates and the list goes on and on.
    Grateful
    11th Feb 2014
    8:26am
    Precicesly bartpcb. That is the ideolgy of "Liberals" i.e. "Republicans" i.e. Tea Party. But, Royal Commissions can also be Pandora's Boxes and the old saying that it takes two to tango, could come back and bite everyone concerned. As Eric Abetz said recently, why can't the employer simply say NO? "Corruption" is a double edged sword and both parties, except in Bali, most often end up getting what they want.
    Anyway, Tony Abbott doesn't have any positive policies so he has to come up with something, but, yes, a bloody waste of money for what will turn out to be a Barristers' Banquet!! Won't spend $25 million to save a Region but put $100 million in the pockets of already grossly overpaid barristers!!
    Oars
    11th Feb 2014
    8:21am
    I think the quoted $100Mill is a bit steep- BUT the Royal Commision sends a message to the public that these Union Boss Thugs, who have terrorised the workers for years- and used the workers as their guinea pigs, need to account for their actions. History will tell the full story. Hopefully, Australia has grown-up now, and see that these Union-bosses have little real concern about us rank and file. I know I have- hope others will have a closer look- with both eyes. Pity it took so long for such a clean out of the cupboard.
    Grateful
    11th Feb 2014
    9:35am
    Oars. What about the terrified employees and their families of Ford, Holden, Toyota, Ardmona and all the supply chains of those industries, when employers can just walk away?
    That is capitalist terrorism in anyone's language, when capital totally dominates the arguement by simply withdrawing that capital!!
    ALL employers have a distinct advantage over ALL employees and the nastier the employer the nastier it gets for those employees.

    What about the capital terrorists who caused the GFC and how many of those have been investigated and sent to jail for fraud which caused financial disasters for millions of people who are still recovering from its effects?
    Most employers are completely supportive of their employees rights and you rarely see "union action" with those employers and their industries. But, there are many employers who aren't so considerate and put profit above everything. What is the first thing those companies do when their profit is threatened, yes, they slash jobs!!

    Unions act the same as anti virus and anti malware for computers, without them, the life of ALL employees would be at the whim of employers and what kind of a society would we have then?

    Just look at the U.S. with its minimum wage of $7.50 and people only getting part time jobs to avoid "contracts" and most having to rely on tips to help pay the rent. Do we want a repeat of what IS HAPPENING right now throughout the U.S.??
    That's what Tony Abbott wants!!!

    Only today he is telling mining companies that it is better to delay building any infrastructure than to "give in" to wage demands!!
    How naive, he is the one asking to create 1 million jobs and he is telling his mates not to develop mines etc from which those mine owners MAKE their massive profits, just so he can stick it up workers??? LOSE LOSE!! He is an economic illiterate idealogue as his own Peter Costello described him!!
    patcat
    11th Feb 2014
    9:23am
    Government does something and RACHEL THINKS !!!!!!!!!
    Eclair
    11th Feb 2014
    9:35am
    What a waste of tax payer money. This is not statesmanship but grubby, vindictive politics. Why doesn't Abbott's government try doing something positive instead of destroying the joint. All their efforts go into tearing down anything the previous government built, effectively wasting all our taxes for that period of government. By concentrating their efforts on leaving nothing standing which can be a monument to former leaders, they have become backward looking and fail to plan for our future. Any day now I am expecting to hear they plan to recreate Bob Menzies from a lock of hair the Liberal Party has preserved like a holy relic.
    MITZY
    11th Feb 2014
    2:32pm
    Abbott can't move forward because he's still acting as Opposition Liberal Leader!
    Oars
    11th Feb 2014
    11:19am
    What the last blog was implying was that all em,ployers are bad guys and all workers - and particularly Union Bosses are good guys. Where have you been for the last 50 to 100 years?. Unions were originally set up to improve our working conditions and pay. The pay was to represent our worth in the pecking order. Some of us got more because WE ARE WORTH IT> Others just took the easy road, and let us do the hard yards and they got the benefit. Then the reality dawned about 40 years ago- if you were there then. There was a thing called higher awards for higher duties. But then arrived the "comos" who bleated "unfair " and "demarcation", and rubbish like "we are all worth the same money". So the real hard workers left the unions, and went out to earn their keep, and watched their old mates get ripped off by the thugs. If I've missed something out, I'm sure the "rusted-on one eyed" will remind me. Pay is a reward for working, not shirking.
    geomac
    11th Feb 2014
    12:31pm
    Oars
    You have a strange concept of history . The accord between unions , business and government , Hawke era , marked a decline in union membership . Workers got better pay via the accord because it went across the board regardless of being in a union or not . The unions achieved the better pay for all but lost membership . So comos ? arrived about forty years ago . They escape from under the bed Oars or from the imagination ?
    mogo51
    11th Feb 2014
    12:03pm
    There has been considerable comment on this matter and perhaps Rachel might think about reporting with her obvious political bias in the future. As I understand it, this is supposed to be an A political forum for the benefit of members, not for reporters to pursue their political preferences.
    geomac
    11th Feb 2014
    12:42pm
    An opinion piece is an opinion . Opinions differ and it may surprise you mogo but your free membership does not allow you to dictate opinions . You , like me are free to read and comment on articles . I have found articles I have disagreed with and by your comments those articles would have been agreeable to you . If you want to read nothing but what aligns with your thinking read the liberal site or similar . Plenty of sites out there though not all are free .
    Oars
    11th Feb 2014
    12:35pm
    Mogo, you are spot on. This blog page has become a propaganda trick for the winging left. As an exmember of that group, I see now why Australia is struggling with 40% wingers not prepared to get on with their share of the workload. I don't live in their marshmallow world, as I have WORKED all of my life. As a 75yr old I can still keep up with many of the "new breed" that profess to be workers, yet they seem to lack something. Determination. What a great country this will be again when we all pull our weight, and not slacken off the rope 'cos nobody's looking.
    Grateful
    11th Feb 2014
    1:05pm
    Maybe Tony might now call for a Royal Commission on Boards of Directors of all companies after what we are again hearing from that "sector' with that David Jones disgrace.
    And if anyone wants to read about REAL "fair dinkum" graft and corruption on an unimaginable scale, try reading "Extreme Money" by Satyajit Das and you will never criticize unions or workers ever again!!!
    Oars
    11th Feb 2014
    1:15pm
    Maybe the reality will dawn when Aussie-made goods are far too high compared with offshore made goods. Then we will let our purses do the buying. Then the Asian influence has already begun. If our high wages close down local industries, and work goes overseas, then very few will have any jobs here. So then who will pay the Union bosses expenses -eh?
    geomac
    11th Feb 2014
    1:28pm
    Oars
    We had 5% tariff on cars our competing nations have 30% or more . You say high wages and I say high dollar . You say high prices for our goods and I say competing against goods dumped on our shores by subsidies from govts ie EU or USA . We have free market and the rest have free subsidies to retain their manufacturing and farmers .
    Oars
    11th Feb 2014
    2:12pm
    GeoMac and other light-weight economists. Let's not beat about the bush. Clothes made in Oz cost about 10 times that in Asia.Asia has few if any unions, and all unskilled persons are still employed, but for far less than Oz. A car built in Asia is half the price than Oz yet still high level of skill used there. We have been bullied into thinking that a bloke who can just hold a screw-driver isd a high-tech mechanic. Wages to unskilled in Oz is 5 times that in competing countries. Too dear, lost sales, close factory, all on dole- looks a bit bleak -eh?
    MITZY
    11th Feb 2014
    2:27pm
    It's hard to buy Australian-made clothes (other than expensive designer labels) so all of us are buying Australian labels made in China/India/Pakistan etc. etc. However, I would much prefer we had them made in Australia for a little more than putting the workers in those countries at risk of death from the conditions they work in. They definitely need the unions they haven't got - what about that building that completely collapsed a few months ago and killed so many of the workers. The owner (the capitalist heavyweight) didn't care, he just opened up somewhere else under the same conditions.
    Every day working garments Australian-made may have been a little dearer but they did come better made. You have to practically re-make the Chinese junk that is being produced in Asia and sold here. If you have a thread showing, the next moment you have a whole hem undone. When you go to iron the cotton t-shirts, shorts, slacks, etc. they are nearly all difficult to iron because of the uneveness and poor workmanship, not to mention the chemicals/colourings (formaldehyde etc) used to produce the materials. Chemicals that were banned in Australia years ago.
    We have become just as greedy buying this cheap junk as the big business of Australia, selling it to us.
    geomac
    11th Feb 2014
    3:26pm
    Oars
    In your view we should pay low wages . I can see no other option to what are saying . We have a floating dollar and its at present high . Do you suggest we peg the dollar to a low currency or set a low one ? 300 deaths in a garment factory with no union conditions , low wages and a fire trap is your idea of the price we should pay to have clothes made here ? A three dollar coffee here would be a hours work for some elsewhere . Drop wages and you drop the pension , sales and home loans . Who can buy goods when putting food on the table and rent takes more than you earn . The only way to achieve low wages is to have all wages and conditions go down to the lowest common denominator . I do not see parliament setting an example for that . 500,000 for a PM without a policy for industry except no hand outs unless you are Cadburys is poor value .
    geomac
    11th Feb 2014
    4:23pm
    Oars
    So our miners and farmers are on low low wages are they ? Well I guess they must be to export our minerals and food produce . Trouble is miners earn heaps more than process workers and farmers are on a par with workers in other sectors .
    dippity
    11th Feb 2014
    2:33pm
    So much begs to be commented upon here.

    To Moorlands - I read your post about the ABC with interest. I googled ABC's board and can't find anyone on the current board, to December 2014, nor any of the 4 new members, recently appointed, that are purported to be "one of the senior management of Newscorp". I wonder where this information can be found - I would be interested to read it. That would be contrary to the ABC charter of fair and truthful reporting.

    I agree with those who have here advocated for police intervention in these union matters. That is the appropriate course of action. An investigation by the Crime Commission would be more appropriate, in my opinion. Of course, I am neither a lawyer nor a politician, so I don't have an axe to grind or an obscene profit to make!

    This union corruption is a pervasion of all areas of work and business. I can recall my ex-husband some 30 years ago enquiring of a union rep from the FEDFA (now part of the CFMEU) how to be placed in a mine of his choice after working in an allied industry in the area, as a union member, for about 3 years. His reply was that $1000 will get you into that mine. The kind offer was rejected and his application was handed to a lesser mining company. Two good things occurred. The mine he was eventually employed by had only 9 weeks of strikes in more than the 15 years he was employed there (Australian owned in totality at the time) whilst the mine he was after had numerous strikes over the years and was a part venture with an American company. And as an aside, John Maitland, one of the $1000 men, has now been caught out for different fraud.

    The CFMEU and other unions which still control closed shops are an abomination.

    I suspect the Royal Commission into this issue will achieve very little, except to deplete the coffers even more. But hallelujah TA will be seen to be doing something and that is all he will be seen to be doing. Everything else will be operational matters, I suspect.
    Oars
    11th Feb 2014
    4:37pm
    It is always difficult to accept the innevatible- and to smokescreen over the facts is pathetic. I repeat- SLOWLY- so you OzEconomists can follow. Basic goods, that require low skilled labour already arrive hear from other countriers that pay their low-skilled workers one fifth the rate that Oz LOW SKILL workers receive. The real push is to SKILL UP- as Julia and Kev kept saying. I totally agree. However, the fact still remains that unskilled workforce will slowly die out and unless the Tuthberry brings us a pot of gold, the unskilled jobs will be few. Ozzy Population has probably 5 Million of such unskilled. China has approximately 200 Million. I will leave you to do the figures. It has nothing to do with big business, or burnt buildings, or any other sideissue. It's to do with high wages over a 50 year period to low skilled workforce. All of these points are made (less bluntly) by most economists. Can't you see these warnings.??? You can't bury your head in the sand forever, 'cos you won't own the beach soon.
    Rosscoe
    11th Feb 2014
    6:33pm
    Maybe we can have a Royal Commission to look into the Reserve Bank Board? Last time I looked, there was a LNP member on it. Definitely against the rules!!!!! All right for some, I guess.
    bargainhunter
    12th Feb 2014
    8:20am
    IT NEEDS A ROYAL COMMISSION!!! THE EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION STANDS OUT LIKE THE PROVERBIAL BUT THE LABOR GOVERNMENT 'DID NOTHING' TO HAVE IT INVESTIGATED!!! WHY??? IF THE TRADE UNIONS AND MEMBERS OF THE LABOR PARTY HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE THEY SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST GOT THE A.C.C. TO INVESTIGATE...HMMM! AND AS FAR AS SPC, HOLDEN AND TOYOTA GOING UNDER. THE WORKERS HAVE ONLY THE UNIONS TO BLAME..SHAME ON THE TRADE UNIONS THEY BROUGHT ALL THESE COMPANIES UNDONE! IT'S ALL COMES DOWN TO GREED; THESE COMPANIES HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING FOR YEARS, LONG BEFORE THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT CAME TO POWER; TOYOTA HAD BEEN GIVEN OVER 500 MILLION OF OUR HARD WORKING TAX DOLLARS AND THERE STILL CLOSING THE GATE...WHAT ABOUT OUR FARMING INDUSTRY THAT'S GONE TO THE PACK AND THEY NEVER GET A HAND OUT!!
    Marc
    12th Feb 2014
    10:11am
    @bargainhunter: on left side of your keyboard, about half-way up, there's a key called "Caps Lock". It has both an "on" and "off" function. If you learn how to use it appropriately, I might take a look at your posts. :-)
    geomac
    12th Feb 2014
    11:34am
    Hard working tax dollars ? So the idle tax dollars are excluded I presume . Then again maybe ts hard working people and their tax is what is meant but slackers pay tax too . Farming industry never get a hand out ? That is clearly untrue and besides the subsidies farmers get every few years conditions mean loans etc are given to farmers . If its not drought its floods and hand outs are needed .
    geomac
    12th Feb 2014
    1:33pm
    Toyota Australia has never blamed the union for its decision to close its manufacturing operations by the end of 2017, neither publicly or in private discussions with any stakeholders,” the company said in a statement.

    “As stated at the time of the announcement, there is no single reason that led to this decision.

    “The market and economic factors contributing to the decision include the unfavourable Australian dollar ... and low economies of scale for our vehicle production and local supplier base.

    “Together with one of the most open and fragmented automotive markets in the world and increased competitiveness due to current and future Free Trade Agreements, it is not viable to continue building cars in Australia.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/joe-hockey-toyota-at-odds-whether-union-to-blame-for-car-makers-closure-20140212-32h1u.html#ixzz2t4Tbdgyj
    Moses 2
    12th Feb 2014
    11:36am
    No it is not a Wasting of taxpayer dollars, the Union is corrupted right to the Top.
    And is Time to clean up this mess, so Workers can get Protections from real Union Officials.
    Moses 2
    12th Feb 2014
    11:42am
    Shorten has to worried a bout a Royal Commission, look how many Union Officials given the
    there B.S input on this page. It should have happened years ago!!
    Grateful
    12th Feb 2014
    3:26pm
    I'm amazed how so many people have AGAIN turned this into a LNP v ALP issue. How fortunate is this P.M. to have so many people who are completely missing his PERSONAL agenda.
    With this Royal Commission he thinks that he will have the ALP, especially Bill Shorten, on edge right up to the next election and with the support of the Murdoch press, it will be THE hot topic until then and during it. He has nothing positive whasoever to offer.
    Just watching question time in parliament, nothing seems to have changed except Tony Abbott has changed the side he is sitting on. He is still acting and sounding like an opposition leader with his continued boring "blame game' on the ALP, just like the bully tactics of a primary school bully. And will someone please buy him a different colour tie from that baby blue thing that he has worn now for two years to make him look cuddly. He is a puppet and is even dressed by the "puppeteer" and we know who they are.

    Whether Tony Abbott and his rabid Immigration Minister like it or not, Kevin Rudd "stopped the boats", now aided by the tropical season in the north. Only idiots would spend thousands to risk their lives on stormy seas just to end up in Nauru or Manus Island and anyone who thinks that those "boat people" are idiots have never tried to get to Australia by boat.
    And those that continue to union bash are showing their age. Sure, there are a few idiot ratbags, you get them in all walks of life, it's called, that's life. But, they pale into insignificance when compared to the true abusers of this world, yes, capital and all its major participants. What they are doing to millions of people makes those few individual criminals in the union movement look like petty thieves. Don't be so naive to think that corruption and graft is not the basic stapler of greed on which, sadly the capitalist system now thrives.
    taylah
    12th Feb 2014
    8:48pm
    For 28 years I paid union dues to HSU lately $600/annum. Officials look like getting off scot free through the courts paying clever lawyers. What are all the union officials past and present afraid of - bring it on the quicker the better. At least we get to know exactly what has been going on in the union movement.
    Crazy Horse
    13th Feb 2014
    8:57am
    It is obvious that most of those posting have no idea of the real world that is the construction industry. I have had extensive dealings with companies and unions so here is my observation:
    The whole construction industry (not just the unions) is Full on dog eat dog environment. Get what you can for yourself and devil take the hindmost. There is a word for this system, it's "Capitalism".

    Yes there is corruption, kickbacks etc but it's not confined to a few errant union officials. It is endemic throughout the industry.

    Tony Abbot's witchhunt Royal Commission will have very closely crafted Terms of Reference to ensure that only unions are examined. Consequently it will do nothing to stamp out corruption. It will be allowed to drag on for two years at enormous cost benefiting no one except the droves of overpriced lawyers who will descend on it in a feeding frenzy. It will undoubtedly deliver it's final report in two years time, coincidently an election year.

    Meanwhile, having successfully ridden out the world wide GFC, Australia is now rapidly going down the gurgler. Having had virtually full employment for a very long time, in just four months Abbott an Co have unemployment skyrocketing and an artifically created recession looming. Many thousands of very good people (including me) have lost their jobs. Every day brings more bad news whilst the Government does absolutely nothing positive. Worse than doing nothing, they actually bullied Holden into closure with the inevitable result that Toyota would follow suit.
    bargainhunter
    13th Feb 2014
    9:53am
    RACHAEL! WHY DO YOU INSIST ON HANGING TONY ABBOTT OUT TO DRY. GIVE US A BREAK WE HAVE FINALLY GOT RID OF A USELESS MONEY WASTING GOVERNMENT??? DIDN'T HEAR MUCH ABOUT THAT IN YOUR PREVIOUS WRITINGS. I FOR ONE AM FED UP OF READING IT!! GIVE IT A BREAK OR YOU WILL LOSE A LOT OF READERS.....LABOR WAS WELL AND TRUELY OUTVOTED BY A LARGE MAJORITY OF VERY SMART VOTERS...
    geomac
    13th Feb 2014
    9:34pm
    I read the article again to see if I missed something you have picked up on . Can you elaborate as to where abbott has been hung out to dry because I cannot see anything ?
    Maybe you consider asking a question as hanging out to dry but surely not the one asked in the article . So what is your gripe ?
    What do you think? Is this issue bigger than the Australian Federal Police? Should we spend the estimated $100 million on a Royal Commission to try and wipe out this corruption once and for all, or is this just a political stunt which will ultimately waste taxpayer dollars?
    professori_au
    18th Feb 2014
    10:39am
    18/02/2013
    Well the news is out. Alcoa has announced that it will shut its Point Henry aluminium smelter and two rolling mills, costing a total of approximately 1000 jobs. This does not include the flow-on effect to sub contractors and suppliers.
    It also raises the question of whether Alcoa will continue the clean up of the sites of polluted material on the site and also held in landfill that Aloca was attempting to reclaim.

    Alcoa has also the Electricity power station at Anglesea. It hopes to gain a licence and will also try to sell it. Hmmm? I may be incorrect, but I am told that the Victorian government paid or subsidised the Power supply installation and also included a lower tariff rate for power usage Alcoa than was the normal commercial or private charges.
    Is there any provision for a return of the power station to the government should Alcoa be unable to continue at Pt. Henry? I suspect not, so Alcoa has gained another business at taxpayer expense?
    professori_au
    18th Feb 2014
    10:41am
    It raises questions of corruption no only with unions but with governments and employers.
    I do not sanction corruption in any form but inquiries need to look at both sides. After all, the taxpayer is the ultimate victim