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Wednesday, 17 August 2005
Page: 141

Dr EMERSON (7:28 PM) —I will take the opportunity in addressing the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Amendment Bill 2005 to condemn the appalling statements made in this debate by a number of members on the other side of this parliament about the President of the ACTU, Sharan Burrow—and also in relation to Mr Martin Kingham—have been. Those statements display the pathological hatred that members of the government have for the trade union movement—the organised labour movement of this country. The legislation before us here today is just another example of a pattern of behaviour on the part of this government, which is trying to destroy any and every activity of unions in our society and in our economy.

The truth of the matter is seen in relation to superannuation, which I will go to immediately. The government wanted superannuation choice because it did not want unions involved in compulsory superannuation. In the area of occupational health and safety covered by this bill, again the government wants no role for unions. It has been trying to get this legislation through since 2000, but now, with its control of the Senate, we see the full colours of this government on display, in its pathological hatred for the trade union movement of this country.

In relation to the asbestos debate, the previous speaker said that there was no role for the trade union movement, which has done a great job—Greg Combet has done a great job in that area.

Debate interrupted.