House debates

Monday, 21 November 2022

Questions without Notice


2:48 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) Share this | Hansard source

Have a look. Have a listen to what Federal Court judges had to say about the ABCC. They were blasted for prosecuting union officials for 'having a cup of tea with a mate'. Apparently those opposite think that's the enemy of residential housing—described as a miniscule, insignificant affair; described as a battleship in full steam that treated proceedings as a blood sport.

That's what the ABCC delivered. It was a rotten regulator. It was a regular not there to deal with the issues that the Fair Work Ombudsman would deal with. The way you can tell is that whatever they ask a question about the ABCC, never once do they refer to any of the things that only the ABCC could deal with. So they want to talk about criminal matters, which the ABCC couldn't deal with, or they want to talk about bullying matters or right of entry matters, which were the province of the Fair Work Ombudsman anyway. All the examples that they give don't stack up to a regulator that was meant to be politicised from the beginning; that was there about a fight that those opposite were engaging because they had one objective: put people in their corners. It was their method of governing, not only in industrial relations. That's what the ABCC did, and I'll be pleased to see it gone.


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