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Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Page: 6808

Senator PAYNE (New South WalesMinister for Human Services) (14:39): Very disappointingly, I find it quite hard to deny that the CFMEU's campaign against the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is xenophobic. I find it even harder when I hear former presidents of the Australian Labor Party making exactly that criticism. Former Labor president Mr Warren Mundine recently wrote:

Having lived under the shadow of racism my whole life, the bigoted anti-ChAFTA campaign makes me deeply angry. It's embarrassing watching Labor dance around why they oppose ChAFTA when they didn't oppose similar deals with other countries; or why the labour market testing regime isn't good enough for Chinese companies when it's good enough for everyone else.

That is a scathing criticism. It highlights the absolute hypocrisy of the CFMEU to oppose these arrangements when they apply to China but not when they apply to Chile, Japan or Korea. The Labor Party under Mr Shorten and Senator Wong is at odds with very senior former members like Bob Hawke, Martin Ferguson, Bob Carr and Simon Crean. (Time expired)