Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

2:53 pm

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Bushby for his question. In terms of the Victorian Electrical Trades Union allegations, under this government the regulation of registered organisations and financial service providers has never been stronger. We have recently amended the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act to require that officers must disclose material personal interest in a matter that relates to the affairs of their organisational branch and that obligation extends to the officer or a relative of the officer. Organisations and branches must disclose this information to members. We have introduced tough new laws to tackle conflict of interest in financial planning and superannuation. Changes made also require organisations and branches to disclose payments that have been made to related parties of the organisation or branches and other persons or bodies. A 'related body' is defined to include entities that are controlled by organisations or officials of the organisations.

Trade unions are overwhelmingly professional and democratic and they represent the interests of members in a highly effective way. Australia has had a long and free independent trade union movement that is representative of and accountable to its members. Trade unions are overwhelmingly, as I said, professional, democratic and highly effective.

The CEPU has advised Fair Work Australia of Federal Court proceedings and FWA is monitoring—


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