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This double dissolution election was called on the back of the senate’s failure to pass the bill in relation to the re-introduction of the ABCC. Turnbulls and team have barely uttered a word about it since. What a rabble

Below are some choice pars from Nick Cater’s column in today’s Australian, Federal election 2016: Bill Shorten must put nation before unions

“…We can confidently assume the CFMEU is bankrolling Labor’s campaign with a seven-figure donation as it has in all ­recent elections. Perhaps that ­explains Shorten’s apparent ­indifference to the union’s unlawful behaviour.

In the 1980s, when Bob Hawke became prime minister, more than half the workforce was unionised. Today ­unions represent fewer than one in five workers; in the private sector it’s barely one in 10. The union movement has long ceased to represent the broader interests of workers; it has become little more than a vested interest group promoting the sectional interests of a few.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the construction sector, where the extra costs imposed by enterprise bargaining agreements — or “IR premium” as it is euphemistically known — can add 30 per cent or more to the cost of major projects.
The iron law of public infrastructure is that when a Labor minister announces, the CFMEU pounces. In February Queensland’s Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe ­announced that “things are on track and on budget” with preparation for the 2018 Gold Coast Games. Yet work on the stadium that will host the opening and closing ceremonies ground to a halt thanks to twice-daily, two-hour “union meetings”. At least 20 subcontract workers have lost their jobs.

Games chairman and former Labor premier Peter Beattie calls it “hiccups”, while Premier ­Annastacia Palaszczuk refuses to intervene. “We won’t pick fights with unions, lawyers, doctors, nurses and almost every sector like the LNP did,” she said.

Of course not; the ALP’s Queensland branch received $14.9 million from unions ­between 2007 and 2015. Of that, a little over $2m came from the CFMEU.

In Victoria, home to the union hugging Andrews government, the $4.3bn Regional Rail Link has been dogged by industrial disruption. Last month the CFMEU and one of its officials were fined $78,000 for stopping concrete from being poured by parking nine vehicles across a site ­entrance. The official, Joe Myles, threatened the site superinten­dent with “war” if his demand to place a CFMEU delegate at the site were not met.

Millions of dollars worth of penalties such as this have been issued since the Gillard government abolished the Australian Building and Construction Commission four years ago, but they have little, if any, effect; the CFMEU is prepared to wear it as the cost of doing business while subcontractors are driven to the wall, bosses threatened and wor­kers stripped of their rights.

The construction of railways, hospitals, sports centres and other public facilities proceeds more slowly than it otherwise would and excess costs are expropriated from the taxpayer. A deadweight is added to national productivity, making the task of providing future jobs and prosperity even harder…”