QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS - CFMEU


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (15:10): It is not surprising why the Labor Party opposition in this chamber are doing their damnedest to try and disguise the evidence of organised criminality in the union movement.

Can I just very briefly name 10: organised crime; jihad terrorists; the CFMEU—we all know about that; the Comancheros being used as debt collectors—we all know about that; the construction company that pays Mr Shorten's election campaign director—we all know about that. We know about Mr Shorten cutting workers' conditions. We know about the CFMEU leaking details from Cbus members. We know about John Sekta's threats. We know about the police arrest of a former CFMEU official who gives evidence. We know about Bill Shorten's close friend Cesar Melhem and the Industry 2020 slush fund. We know about Cesar Melhem, Mr Shorten's very close friend, and the false invoices. And we know about the Boral construction sites in Melbourne where, it was claimed, the law was determined by the CFMEU.

Why are the Labor Party opposite running the union line? Because they are controlled by the union movement. There is perhaps nothing wrong with that—if the union movement were in any way representative of the Australian people. But the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that only 17 per cent of employees were trade union members. I will repeat that: 17 per cent of Australia's workers choose to be members of the trade union movement. No wonder the Labor Party involved themselves in these arrangements when in government—to make sure that governments insist on workers being members of the trade union—because, even in the public sector, only 42 per cent of employees choose to be members of the union.

But take that to the private sector: only 12 per cent of employees in the private sector choose to be members of the union. Yet the unions control the Australian Labor Party.

We all know the statistics: half the current federal ALP members and senators have had paid positions in the trade union movement. As I said, if the trade union movement were at all representative of Australian workers, you might be able to accept that, and yet 17 per cent of Australian workers choose the ALP organisation which choose every member sitting opposite here and half the ALP frontbench of the Labor Party. Of the front bench of the ALP, 22 of 43 are former union officials. Of the 26 current members on the national executive, the chief organisational body of the party, 19 are former union officials.

I say again: if the union movement were representative of Australian workers you could almost think that that was relevant. But only 17 per cent of Australian workers choose to be in the union and, in the private sector, only 12 per cent choose to be in the union.

Suddenly and, strangely, there is silence from those opposite. This is the first time I have ever made a speech where I have not been subject to bullying interjections. But today the facts are out there. Of all workers in Australia only 17 per cent of them choose to join the union movement. And yet the union movement controls the opposition and controls the alternative government. No wonder the Labor Party come in here and want to shut down a royal commission, which has exposed the criminality of the union movement. (Time expired)

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