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Shorten must act on Queensland Children's Hospital dispute

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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Liberal Senator for Tasmania


13th September 2012

Shorten must Act on Queensland Children’s Hospital Dispute

Bill Shorten‟s refusal to condemn the actions of CFMEU union bosses who have halted work on the Queensland Children‟s Hospital is a failure in his duty as a Minister of the Crown.

“The Queensland Government‟s strong stand against recalcitrant union bosses is reassuring, but it is being let down by the Federal Labor Government,” Senator Abetz said today.

“Mr Shorten needs to decide what‟s more important; indulging the thuggish behaviour of his trade union boss mates or ensuring a Children‟s Hospital is finished on time.”

“Every parent knows the answer,” Senator Abetz said.

“This latest ugly activity by CFMEU bosses is on the back of previous CFMEU blockades of the Cancer Clinic and the Children‟s Hospital in Victoria.”

“This action will further deny access to high quality medical care for our children.”

“Mr Shorten needs to remember he is a Minister of the Crown and no longer a union boss,” Senator Abetz said.

“The national interest and that of our children needs to come first.”

“It is disgusting that the CFMEU bosses are using tactics, including unlawful industrial action and rolling out „scab-hunters‟, to attack workers who defy CFMEU orders on the construction site of a Children‟s Hospital.”

“The CFMEU union bosses, who gave $1.7 million to the Labor Party in 2010 alone, have been given free rein in the building and construction sector.”

“The only way to fix this problem is to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission with its full powers.”

“In the interim Mr Shorten should take real and decisive action to ensure that this project gets back on track immediately,” Senator Abetz said.

Media Inquiries; David Allender (02) 6277 3019 - 0457 590 881