Published: 30 Dec 2015
The CFMEU welcomed the decision of the Turnbull Government to bury the final report of Abbott's Royal Commission into Trade Unions by releasing it in the dying days of 2015.
National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said that comments by Tony Abbott and former Workplace Minister Eric Abetz in today's media where they discuss the outcome of the report before its release, proves the overt political bias of the Commission.
"It was a predetermined outcome. Dyson Heydon had his instructions from the beginning. That's why this report deserves to be relegated to the dustbin of 2015 along with Abbott himself, Brough, Briggs and Abetz's ministerial term," he said.
"My hope, like that of many Australians, is that the Turnbull government will turn its attention to more positive pursuits in 2016," he said.
The lengthy report of the Royal Commission was released today after almost 2 years of hearings that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
During the course of the Commission, it was revealed that former Justice Heydon had agreed to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser. When the unions asked him to step aside because of the perception of bias, he declined.
"Dyson Heydon should have stood aside," Mr Noonan said.
"You can't sit on a politically charged Royal Commission and speak at Liberal party fundraisers. It's just not on."
Mr Noonan said the report - which he described as tiresomely long and vitriolic in parts - will achieve little.
"Despite the enormous resources expended looking into our union, the report comes up with very little of substance.
"Some officials in NSW raised funds for victims of a building accident and are accused of minor breaches of charity laws.
"This is pretty minor stuff. Maybe they were j walking at the time too. It's all very petty and like Tony Abbott, very passé."
Mr Noonan said if the Turnbull Government was serious about rooting out rorters, rogues and crooks, the Liberal Party would be a good place to start.
"They could start with Bishop, Briggs and Brough, then travel further down the alphabet to Mantach, their chief in Victoria who stole $1.5 million."
Mr Noonan said that the matters of substance in the report could have easily been dealt with using existing mechanisms such as the Federal Police.
"We have always said that we will cooperate with the police in investigating any allegations of corruption.
"In the construction industry there are plenty of real issues that need investigating. Safety is at an all time low. Fatalities and accidents continue as employers cut corners and avoid their legal responsibilities.
"Phoenixing is hurting small businesses and workers as companies take advantage of legal loopholes to avoid paying debts, taxes and wages.
"The focus of the Turnbull Government should be on these issues as well as investigating the return of black lung in the mining industry and doing something about the use of flag of convenience ships to ply the seagoing trade between Australian ports.
"Rather than attack workers' pay and conditions and wage war on the low paid through the eradication of penalty rates, we call on the Prime Minister to put resources into backing ordinary Australians as they seek to build a life for themselves and their families.
"When their workplaces are safe and half their wage isn't been taken away from them, working people might also share Mr Turnbull's excitement about living in Australia.
"In 2016, Mr Turnbull can really excite us if he attends to the real problems that working people face and not the imaginary problems of a previous ideologically blinded leader."