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Beazley should denounce Brown.



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THE HON PETER REITH MP

MINISTER FOR WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESS

LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

26 May, 1998

66/98

 

BEAZLEY SHOULD DENOUNCE BROWN

 

Kim Beazley should publicly denounce former Labor Transport Minister Bob Brown for his call to sink the Columbus Canada because it has been loaded by non MUA labour.

 

Yesterday in an extraordinary outburst Bob Brown, the member for Charlton, shouted "good" when Parliament was told that the Columbus Canada was stranded off the US coast because it had been loaded with non MUA labour.

 

He then went on to say "I hope it sinks" and "I'd sink it".

 

Then during the adjournment debate he attacked the men and women who loaded the vessel saying:

 

"I say to that worker and to others like him that they will wear the foul stench of scabbing in their souls forever. Their children and their grandchildren will smell the stench and recoil from it".

 

If Kim Beazley doesn't denounce Mr Brown for his intemperate attacks it will confirm once and for all just where he stands on the issue of non MUA labour working on the waterfront.

 

Throughout the course of this dispute Kim Beazley has not once spoken in the national interest. He has consistently dodged the question of the right of non MUA labour to work the waterfront.

 

On May 4, Kim Beazley was asked six times in the course of one interview on the ABC's PM programme if he supported the right of non union labour to work on the waterfront and six times he skirted the issue.

 

At the nub of this dispute is the right of non MUA labour to work the waterfront; in fact the end of the MUA's monopoly and the benefits that would flow from that to Australian exporters and importers.

 

Today Kim Beazley has an opportunity to show some real leadership. He should immediately call on Bob Brown to withdraw his remarks and unequivocally state that non MUA approved labour has the right to work on the waterfront.

 

For more information on the Government's maritime industry reforms, see http://www.dwrsb.gov.au

 

For further information contact: Ian Hanke (0419) 484095

 

 

 

Telephone: (02) 6277 7320; Fax: (02) 6273 4115

 

 

LK