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5
Jul
2014

Islamic Threats; Union Corruption in Victoria

One or two recipients of my commentaries have suggested it would help if I highlighted what seem to be important new developments and possible policy issues emanating from circulated media reports and commentaries. In this commentary I have tried to do this by highlighting in red.

The front page report in today’s The Age below contains some repetition of what has already appeared but it gives added weight to the leading role being played by Australians (sic) in Syria/Iraq and emphasises the need for major legislative and other changes to reduce actual and potential terrorist activity here. Note the comment by the Kings College London research group that Australia provides   “one of the three most influential preachers online” – so much for free speech? Also that a Monash group here has identified six plots in Europe by returnees from Syria.

The emergence of revelations of union corruption in the building industry in Victoria, and an apparent connection with the Labor party there, is shaping up to be of major significance both politically and for the Royal Commission on Union Corruption. My commentary yesterday was circulated with the graphic front page lead in the Herald Sun claiming an official of the Labor Party sought $50,000 from builders reconstructing ex-Pentridge Prison in exchange for industrial peace and that this (unnamed) official was in effect working with the CFMEU. Today’s Herald Sun reports that the leader of the Victorian Labor Party, Daniel Andrews, has acknowledged that the matters raised are “serious” but has refused to comment until the Royal Commission reports.

However, I am not circulating today’s Herald Sun report but, instead, an article published by that paper digitally at 6.00 pm yesterday.  A good deal of that article is repeated in today’s article. But the 6.00 pm digital version included comments by Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy which have not been printed in today’s article. Those comments were to the effect that Guy is aware of a number of examples of union actions attempting to force builders to make financial contributions to them or employ people who are not suited to the work and has advised those builders to report this to the “relevant authorities”. I have emailed Guy suggesting that he should advise the Royal Commission of those builders who have informed him of such union or other actions of the kind mentioned. Guy’s comments in yesterday’s 6.00 pm digital edition are highlighted below.

That digital edition also reported Andrews as indicating that he would have no “hesitation in acting on the findings of the RC as they come forward”. That has not been published in today’s article.

The Herald Sun reports of recent days suggest that it may giving major coverage to the issue of union corruption, including to revelations at the Royal Commission.