Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Questions without Notice
Registered Organisations Commission
My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that the Prime Minister went to a double-dissolution election to establish his Registered Organisations Commission, the commissioner was hand-picked by the employment minister and the only reason the commission is even looking into a 10-year-old donation to GetUp! is that the employment minister told it to do so?
What we know about this matter is that the Registered Organisations Commission received information which, they say, raised reasonable grounds for suspecting that relevant documents were maybe being interfered with by being concealed or destroyed. Now, we know there have been examples of documents being concealed, with attempts to destroy them, in respect of other union investigations. This is a concern that is a fact. What the honourable member is suggesting is that a regulatory agency, designed to ensure that unionist members' funds are not being dealt with improperly or unlawfully—
Ms Chesters interjecting—
How very convenient that would be for union officials who misuse union members' money. When the member for Barton gave his extraordinary Setka-like interview yesterday, he said—
Opposition members interjecting—
Oh, he did. The member for Isaacs objects. What John Setka did was say that the government uses the police for political purposes, and that is precisely what the member for Gorton said yesterday. What he also did was follow the same line as the member for Sydney. He said, 'Let me just say this: I do know of allegations made of a civil nature against the AWU 10 years ago. None of the allegations, even if any of them were true, warrant this conduct.' So is he seriously suggesting that, if a regulator charged under law to investigate wrongdoing believes that evidence is about to be destroyed, it should do nothing? That would be very convenient for those who misuse union members' money.
Ms Claydon interjecting—