On Thursday 25/06/09, the Coalition, assisted by Family First Senator Steve Fielding and Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, voted to disallow a ministerial direction from Julia Gillard which would give construction workers some basic protections against the coercive powers of the ABCC, using its numbers in the Senate to block the move.
CFMEU Construction National Secretary Dave Noonan accused opposition leader MalcolmTurnbull of double standards, pointing out his decision last night to exercise his own right to silence over the fake email affair.
But the double standards don’t stop there. On the News last night on TV Liberal Senator Eric Abetz who reveled in leading the false exposure of the fake email affair, carried on about non co-operation with any inquiry into the affair, saying he would not disclose his source of information and no one will force him to.
On the ABC’s AM program on Wednesday, former Industrial Relations Minister and chief head kicker Tony Abbott, was crying about “the ferocious display of the coercive power of Government” and the government “using all the agencies of the state as a form of political coercion and intimidation”.
Well fellows, welcome to the nightmare of your own rotten creation. Building and construction workers have been facing these draconian powers since John Howard introduced the ABCC in order to coerce and intimidate them.
Under the ABCC’s coercive powers, Australian construction workers have no right to silence and are forced to give evidence about union meetings or any other issue the ABCC wishes to address.
Apparently, politicians and senior bureaucrats can hide behind their right to silence – even in the face of serious allegations – and yet construction workers can be fined or jailed for trying to exercise the same right.
Malcolm Turnbull and his mates are happy to exercise their right to silence but deny thousands of Australian construction workers even minimal protections.
This is a shameful act of hypocrisy from Turnbull and his mates - but who is surprised at that?