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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2289


Mr WALLACE (Fisher) (15:49): It's interesting that those opposite come in here today and try to rubbish our economic plan. The reality is that we have record jobs growth. You can't argue with the facts: 403,100 jobs have been created over the last 12 months. That's a little over 1,100 jobs each and every day over the last 12 months. I know that's an inconvenient truth for those opposite, but the facts remain the same. You don't like hearing about that—1,100 jobs. This government places great importance on everyday average Australians, and everyday average Australians are the beneficiaries of those 1,100-plus jobs every day.

Let's contrast that with what those opposite are doing under the Leader of the Opposition. They will be introducing $150 billion of extra taxes. There's no doubt that those opposite subscribe to the Jeremy Corbyn and the Bernie Sanders schools of economics. We stand for mums and dads. We stand for small business. We stand for jobs. Those opposite have absolutely no clue. They lead with their chins. They come in here and they bring butterknives to gunfights. It's quite amazing. Let's look at what those opposite stand for. Those opposite stand for a protection racket for you know who—a protection racket for the CFMEU. I notice that some of those opposite here today were proudly sitting in the Federation Chamber just a couple of days ago with their CFMEU badges on. They're not wearing them now. In his address to CFMEU workers at the Oaky mine, Mr Shorten said:

You should also say to your families that Bill and Brendan

sounds like some sort of a movie—

have the highest respect for the mining and engineering division of the CFMEU. These people will be with you the whole way, always have been and always are, always will be. If we form a government, yeah, we'll do the right thing, we won't let you down.

For some of us who are a little bit more suspicious of the Leader of the Opposition, I'd say that he's up to no good, he's offering them all sorts of skulduggery.

Let's look at a recent case about the CFMEU. The CFMEU are the gift that keeps on giving, and yet those opposite still continue to come in here and support them—not only wearing their badges and but also taking their money for Labor Party donations. In a recent matter, just a couple of days ago, Federal Court judge Richard Tracey reiterated previous court findings that the CFMEU showed a repeated disregard for the law, spending millions of dollars of union funds on penalties when the money could have been used to benefit their workers. I've got some interesting figures here. Those opposite might be interested to know this. The ABCC told the court in that same matter that the construction and general division of the CFMEU's Victoria-Tasmania branch received revenue of $30.9 million in 2016. There would be many businesses in Australia that don't receive that sort of money. It had a net surplus of $226,000 and net assets valued at $58 million. Is it any wonder that the CFMEU treats fines imposed by the courts as the cost of doing business—as the cost of running a protection racket for the continued thuggery of its officers. (Time expired)