Royal Commission Extended by 12 Months

Master Builders strongly supports the Federal Government’s decision to extend the Royal Commission into trade unions to the end of 2015 and expand its scope to allow a deeper probe into criminal conduct by union officials.

In announcing the government’s decision, Attorney-General George Brandis said:

“It is very plain that the problem of criminality and the associations between certain unions, and certain union officials, and crime is a much more widespread problem than appeared to be the case when at the beginning of this year the government decided to establish the royal commission”.

This follows receipt of correspondence from the Royal Commissioner (retired High Court Judge) Dyson Heydon, which stated in part:

“The inquiry thus far has revealed evidence of criminal conduct which includes widespread instances of physical and verbal violence, cartel conduct, secondary boycotts, contempt of court and other institutional orders, and the encouragement of others to commit these contempts. Some officials appear to regard their unions as having immunity not only from the norms and sanctions of the Australian legal system, but also from any social or community standard shared by other Australians.”

Rather than seizing the opportunity to condemn those elements within the broader union movement that engage in corrupt and illegal conduct, both the ACTU and the ALP have chosen to instead side with them, condemning the extension as ‘politically motivated’. It would seem that they too appear to regard unions as being above the law and the community standards shared by other Australians.

The position of the ALP is particularly concerning, as it is indicative of a party that continues to put the interests of its union benefactors (even where corrupt and illegal), ahead of the rule of law and the Australian national interest.

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