House debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Constituency Statements

Australian Labor Party: Trade Unions

10:35 am

Photo of Andrew WallaceAndrew Wallace (Fisher, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I believe that most Australians have known for years that the Labor Party have no interest in what matters to the ordinary worker. Gone are the days when the Labor Party benches in this place and in the Queensland parliament were filled with working men and women. They have turned their back on Australian workers, and the Australian people have known this for some time. Australians saw this in Labor's $387 billion of extra taxes on our workers and retirees that the ALP took to the last election. They have seen it in Labor's fierce opposition to every necessary reform that this coalition government has brought forward to clean up the bullying, intimidation and criminal behaviour faced by workers on our nation's building sites. Queenslanders have seen it in Queensland Labor's refusal to get behind any proposal that will create jobs outside of metropolitan Brisbane. In fact, until now, only one group would stand up for Labor's credentials—

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 10:37 to 10:52

I rise in continuation. Until now, only one group would stand up for Labor's credentials with the workers, and that was the CFMEU—but no more. Apparently, this love affair is over. Even Australia's most militant union have had enough of Queensland Labor. According to recent media reports, they are pulling out of their Queensland Labor Party faction. The reason: because even the CFMEU have recognised that Labor is a 'creche for party hacks'. In what is almost poetry for an organisation more used to using four-letter expletives, they described Queensland Labor as 'an impotent and self-serving echo chamber for a cabal of Peel Street elite'. We are told that the CFMEU have in recent months called former Treasurer Jackie Trad a dud and criticised the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for failing to support job-creating industries in regional Queensland.

When even the CFMEU are supposedly sick of the Queensland government's endless failures, will we finally see Labor change? Of course not. Sadly, in truth, the CFMEU care no more for workers than Queensland Labor do. This name-calling will end up just another token gesture. In the coming Queensland election, they will continue to pour millions of dollars into Labor's coffers and send CFMEU members out to our regions to attack LNP candidates who are truly fighting for local workers. Worst of all, Labor will continue to accept their money, despite more than 2,000 separate cases of illegal behaviour on the part of this union and its officials. Despite the union amassing more than $17 million in fines and openly flouting the law, Labor will continue to accept the CFMEU's millions of dollars every year. Only the LNP can provide an effective government. (Time expired)