Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News 24 12pm News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) at this point, because it is a busy day the return of Parliament, but thanks for your thoughts so far. Now as we everything in this Parliament and as Chris was just alluding to, the fate of that Building and Construction Commission will ultimately rest on pure mathematics. To pass the bill, the Government needs at least six of the eight crossbenchers to support it and it's well short of the mark at present. There are just two votes that appear to be in the bag. One of them is the South Australian Families Senator, Bob Day. Well, Bob Day you came from the housing industry before politics. It seems fairly clear that you've made up your mind about the Building and Construction Commission. Why is it so necessary in your view? I supported the bill last time and I'll support it again this time. It should never have been abolished. It was like taking Customs' officers out of airports and criminal activity sky rocketed. We need to bring them back. So lots of your crossbench colleagues are wanting more information. They want a briefing on that secret redacted volume of the royal commission report. Is that material to you in any way? I respect the commissioner's recommendations that be kept confidential so it doesn't compromise any potential prosecutions. So even if it's offered you would not be taking up any briefing or reading? No, I won't. I don't want to read it, I don't want to see those names or even the redacted version. The royal commissioner has been clear in his recommendations that that part be kept confidential to ensure that any prosecutions and any action taken as a result of evidence, taken in the royal commission is not compromised. Do you think it's bad in policy that the Government seems prepared to offer some form of briefing or redacted reading to other senators? The Government's between a rock and a hard place. They've got two options, a bad option or a worse option. Clearly they've taken what they think is the bad option and that's offering to show the confidential report. They think that a worse option would be not to show it, but I disagree. I don't think it was a good idea to do that, but I can certainly understand the Government's predicament. Taking The Greens out of the equation, that are eight of you on the crossbench, it looks like the Government's only got about two of the necessary six votes they would need to pass this. Is that your reading of the situation? They've got two confirmed supporters, myself and Senator David Leyonhjelm. From what I've seen and heard they're reasonably close with some of the others and a long way away with a couple of the crossbenchers. I can't comment. The prospect of double dissolution arises if this arises, does that play on your mind? This is about this particular issue. There are a lot of people hurting badly as a result of the activity that goes on on some of these commercial and industrial building sites that needs to be fixed, off the table and then they can address a number of other activities and corruption. Corruption is really corrosive. It's debilitating for honest employers and honest employees who don't participate in that activity. way does this filter down the line to every day Trade Unionists or every day workers. You talked about many, many people who gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the devastating effect it had on their lives and the way they can't go about their business, they were intimidate ed, coerce ed add then of course the cost explosion, that passes through to consumers. Buildings cost a lot more to build and that is the cost
played through in the rent and the cost to consumers.But what of the Labor argument that says where crimes are committed, there are police forces in every State, indeed there is still an ongoing investigatory role from the Royal Commission itself. Why do you need this free-standing watchdog?Well, well as
because every State also, as well as having policemen on the beat and in patrol cars, you also have a staff force and a special branch of the police that deal with special cases. You don't send two constables in short sleeved shirts up to a bikie fortress, for example, and demand to search the place. You have very special police forces and this is a very special case, and you need a special group and the ABCC clearly fulfilled that role previously, and like I said, when it was abolished, criminal activity went up. They need to be brought back.Proposed powers that it has, many say are draconian. Are you suggesting they could even go further?I'm saying that special cases need Special Forces, like they do with the STAR force. I think the previous activity of the ABCC was not draconian. They dealt with matters at hand, as they had to be dealt with, and from what I hear, Senator Lyonheljm is proposing a sunset clause so that there is a deafening to the legislation. So I think that's a reasonable case as well.Just more broadly, as we head into the political year of 2016, the Turnbull Government that is
is going to want to show result that is it can get an agenda up and then pass it. What do you think that means for crossbench Senators like yourself, a greater willingness to negotiate, to get results?Well, for this crossbench Senator, I was