Union ‘ ghosts’ haunt Shorten
BILL Shorten will be quizzed on “ghost” union members and deals struck with construction companies when he faces the royal commission today.
The former Australian Workers’ Union national secretary will be the third Labor leader, after Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, to appear at two royal commissions initiated by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Ms Gillard appeared at the unions inquiry and Mr Rudd faced questions in the home insulation commission. Mr Abbott said yesterday evidence of p r e v i o u s w i t n e s s e s s h o w e d there were “ghosts” on union membership rolls and deals had been done to “dud” workers. “Let’s see what light can be cast on that in the next day or so,” he said.
Labor workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor said the Prime Minister had his own questions to answer.
“Why has he spent $ 80 million of taxpayers’ money going after his political opponents?” Mr O’Connor said.
Mr Shorten has been briefly mentioned in evidence during the inquiry in 2014 and 2015. He has provided several affidavits to the royal commission.
In one affidavit, Mr Shorten denies a 1996 conversation in which he was alleged to have told former AWU Victorian president Bob Kernohan “we are all just moving on” when discussing recovery of some worker redundancy payments.