Parliament
Parliament

State’s shameful record revealed

MORE construction union officials are before the courts in Queensland than anywhere, as the Attorney-General says the state's time as a hotbed of "militant behaviour" and "sinister tactics" has gone on too long.

In the final fortnight of Parliament, the government seeks to pass its union crackdown bill which would see organisations or officials deregistered if they repeatedly break the law.

It follows multiple Federal Court judges blasting the CFMEU's "unending recidivism" and for being "the most recidivist offender in corporate Australian history".

CFMEU protest at Queensland Parliament. There are more CFMEU officials before the courts for industrial law breaches than in any other state. Picture: Annette Dew
CFMEU protest at Queensland Parliament. There are more CFMEU officials before the courts for industrial law breaches than in any other state. Picture: Annette Dew

Queensland union officials have been revealed as the most militant in the nation, with 20 of the 65 CFMEU representatives before the courts from the sunshine state.

It is more than in NSW and double the next worse in Victoria.

The state is also responsible for more than half the nation's 120 right of entry breaches, as well as 12 of the 17 instances of illegal strike action before courts.

Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said the state was suffering from an "uptick in militant behaviour" from the union.

"This includes repeated unlawful entries that can endanger workers and significantly hamper the delivery of key infrastructure projects," he said.

"The unapologetic recidivism we've seen from a small but militant minority of registered organisations has gone on long enough."

Mr Porter said the Ensuring Integrity Bill would "curtail the bullying, intimidation, harassment, coercion and other sinister tactics" engaged in by the CFMEU.

But Labor's industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said the proposed laws went beyond any penalties for big companies.

"If you're a union, three breaches of paperwork and the entire organisation can be brought down," he said.

Attorney-General Christian Porter says the “unapologetic recidivism” of the CFMEU has gone on “long enough”. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Attorney-General Christian Porter says the “unapologetic recidivism” of the CFMEU has gone on “long enough”. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

"The reason this Bill is in front of the Parliament is that they want to bash unions."

The government has watered down its original proposal to win support from the crossbench.

It introduced a demerit point system, so unions can be banned if they commit multiple minor breaches, while Federal Courts will need to be satisfied of the gravity of the law breaking to justify a deregistration.

The government needs either Jacqui Lambie or Pauline Hanson's One Nation to support its proposals for it to pass the Senate this fortnight.

In NSW the CFMEU has more alleged breaches of industrial law than any state.



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