THE Gippsland Trades and Labour Council has called Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission into alleged union corruption a “waste of money”.GTLC secretary John Parker said the Federal Government would spend $100 million on the Royal Commission and yet cut services to disability pensioners, nor support SPC Ardmona where thousands of people will be left out of work.
”If they wanted to come out with me, I’ll get them $100 million off dodgy employers not paying taxes, superannuation or work cover entitlements,” he said.
Mr Parker said the commission would be a “follow-on” from Former Prime Minister John Howard’s $63 million Royal Commission into the building industry from 2001 to 2003, where no one was charged.
He said Mr Abbott’s Royal Commission was the same as the Howard Government’s: it would attack the unions that have the most political clout.
“They did it so they could then get around with the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commissioner). That organisation did nothing about corruption in the building industry, they walked past people being underpaid, who weren’t paying superannuation or involved in tax evasion,” Mr Parker said.
He said membership at the GTLC increased from 8000 to 27,000 during Mr Howard’s Royal Commission.
“I’m waiting for membership to top 50,000 now,” Mr Parker said.
The GTLC, with 24 affiliated unions, represents about 12,000 members in Gippsland, from Pakenham to the border.