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Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Page: 1063


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (19:12): Senator Cameron, thank you. I do not think I need to tell anyone in this chamber that, in terms of the CFMEU donating directly to the Labor Party, one of the reasons the CFMEU and Labor are able to fund campaigns against Senator Hinch and Senator Xenophon is the millions and millions and millions of dollars that they have, much of which is funnelled directly into the Labor Party's coffers.

Mr Chair, I have answered this question several times tonight. Unfortunately, Senator Cameron does not like the answer, but we know why. He is completely, totally and utterly opposed to law and order within the building and construction industry. Senator Cameron, it is a choice. It is an opt-in scheme. It is a choice whether a building industry participant or a company wishes to tender. It is a choice. No-one is forcing anyone—unless, of course, you want to talk about a particular union, the CFMEU, forcing someone to take on the terms that they want them to take on and then passing them down through the chain so that small and medium players who cannot afford these terms are completely locked out of the third largest industry in Australia. Again, it is opt-in. They have had over two years in which to get their affairs in order. They are now able to get their affairs in order by 31 August, and many companies are already code compliant.