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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Page: 164

Mr RANDALL (9:58 AM) —I wish to report to the House that the campaign by unions in this current election campaign has reached a new low. It has actually reached its new low in my electorate of Canning. I have heard rumours and other talk about union campaigns in electorates, so I was not really surprised when I received a phone call from a truck driver in my electorate the other day who said that he had been contacted by the TWU and asked how he was voting. The TWU representative, who had identified himself, said, ‘Are you going to be voting the right way?’ The truck driver said, ‘What do you mean by voting the right way?’ The TWU representative said, ‘Are you going to be voting for Kevin Rudd to become Prime Minister? We’ve got to win your seat.’ This TWU truck driver said that he was quite offended because he was a supporter of mine and he had voted for me at the last election, and he found it very intimidating to receive a call from the TWU representative heavying him on the way that he should vote.

It backfired on them because he tells me that he got on the two-way radio in his truck and started telling the guys on the airwaves that he had been heavied and some of them said: ‘Yes, we’ve had the same sort of phone call and we don’t like it. We don’t want to be told how to vote.’ This is a form of push polling, and maybe it should be referred to the Australian Electoral Commission, because people in a democratic country like Australia should choose to vote the way they wish; they should choose to join a union, they should choose to vote in any way they decide. This is not a draconian Third World country; this is a country that allows the freedom for people to choose the way they vote.

As I reported earlier to the House, this is on top of the campaign to support the Labor candidate by the local Australian Workers Union in the southern area of my electorate—a letter from Bill Shorten no less, the current union member who is running for Maribyrnong. Tim Daly says of this fellow in the letter that he is a staunch supporter of the union movement. That is his greatest credential; he is a staunch supporter of the union movement. They are levying these workers $5 a week or $10 a fortnight and you have to send this money electronically. These people are now being rounded up to see if they have been paying their five bucks a week towards the Labor campaign in Canning.

So on one hand you have the union endeavouring to heavy people how to vote and the union heavying people to pay $5 a week. These people have never been better off than on AWAs, of which I have 29,000 in my electorate. These people are getting an average of $200 a week more and they know that they are doing better and they refuse to be stood over by the union thugs in this election campaign. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. IR Causley)—Order! In accordance with standing order 193 the time for members’ statements has concluded.