House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Statements by Members

Workplace Relations

1:39 pm

Photo of Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell (Lyons, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In the past fortnight we've learned that more than 120 plasterers at the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment have not been paid for months. Where was the government's tough cop on the beat, the ABCC? It wasn't protecting those plasterers; that's for sure. It was nowhere to be seen. It was the invisible cop, the cop that wasn't there, the cop that was enjoying a doughnut while a crime was taking place under its nose. In fact, if it weren't for the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, the CFMMEU, those workers would still be languishing, waiting for justice.

Those on that side take great pleasure in attacking the CFMMEU and its members, the men and women who build our cities, process our timber, sail our ships, mine our minerals and keep our lights on. Those opposite are quick to criticise the union for transgressions but are slow to thank it for the vital work it does keeping worksites safe, enforcing strict quality standards that keep us all safe and keeping Australians paid fairly for the work that they do. Thanks to the CFMMEU, these plasterers are now likely to receive their back pay from the head contractor—no thanks to the state Liberal government and certainly no thanks to the ABCC, the so-called tough cop on the beat, the weakest cop in the country.