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WA Nurses Union: finally free from ACTU interference.

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Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 27 September, 2007

Media Release

WA Nurses Union - finally free from ACTU interference

The Governor-General has made regulations that will allow the West Australian Nurses Union to look after its

members without interference from the ACTU and its misleading scare campaign.

These significant regulations - stemming from a direct request from the WA union - will allow it to apply for

registration as a federally registered union in its own right, separate from the federal branch of the Australian

Nurses Federation.

The WA Union, one of the few unions to build its membership in recent years, believes that members’ fees are

being wasted on misleading political advertisements.

WA Nurses boss Mark Olson requested Minister Hockey allow his union to operate as: "an autonomous,

federally registered organisation, free from ACTU interference".

Mr Olson describes Labor’s IR policy as "being more about boosting the power of union officials" rather "than

helping members through better services or improved conditions".

Although the WA Union is currently a transitionally registered organisation under Schedule 1 of the

Workplace Relations Act, without these regulations, it would not be able to obtain full registration as a union

in its own right.

In a letter to Minister Hockey, Mark Olson said he was "concerned" the ACTU was forcing the WA nurses to

contribute to the blatantly misleading ANF and ACTU advertising campaigns against federal workplace

relations laws.

The new regulations also mean the ACTU and ANF will not be able to interfere with the membership of the

newly registered WA Union.

Other unions around the country are also voicing their concerns about the ACTU’s political campaign and


plans for centralised control if the Labor party is elected.

The WA Nurses Union’s regulation sends a powerful message to other unions whose ability to represent and

assist their members is compromised by their role in a misleading political campaign.

I congratulate and encourage any union that is actually trying to help working Australians rather do the Labor

party’s bidding.

For further information contact:

Emma Needham 0400 334 091