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Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Page: 536

Senator McKENZIE (Victoria) (19:08): I did make mention the last time I was up speaking about the government's Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 that the Labor Party is clearly running scared of the shambles of the CFMEU-run state, my home state of Victoria. This is the third quorum call, when all I have been trying to do is to put on the record the need for the Labor Party to stand behind the good workers of Australia, to stand behind the honest trade union organisations and to actually put integrity back into the trade unions and the vital role they play in ensuring fairness across Australian workplaces. But, once again, our good arguments and good policy are falling on deaf ears.

In Victoria the actions of the CFMEU, which has been given a free pass by the new Victorian Labor government to continue the militant actions against the people of Victoria, must be halted. We know Labor is not the party to achieve this, with unions, including the CFMEU, bankrolling Labor's state election campaign to the tune of $1.6 million. In Victoria we are seeing Daniel Andrews' Labor government, led by the CFMEU's John Setka, removing the requirement for drug and alcohol testing on building sites. They are rolling back the move-on laws, giving union thugs more protesting power. And they are supporting a union blockade of supermarket chain Aldi. The Labor Party's opposition to the changes outlined in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 is clearly based on party and union affiliations rather than delivering the best for the people and the workers of Australia.

What has been made very clear to all of us in this place over recent times is that the people of Australia are absolutely sick of us standing here and arguing partisan positions. They want us to be focused wholly and solely on their needs and interests. The Liberals and Nationals are working as part of a coalition. We are the only parties committed to ending rampant and ingrained union corruption—that seems clear from the votes as they stand today. The key point is: if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. What does the Labor Party have to fear? Are there more Craig Thomsons sitting opposite? Are there Michael Williamsons lurking within the union movement that you do not want uncovered through the rollout of this legislation? It is time to restore confidence, and I call on those opposite for leadership.