In­quiry on unions just a cash cow

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THERE would have been very few of your read­ers who would have watched the royal com­mis­sion into trade unions.

Those who did watch it, as I did, would have con­cluded that it is an enor­mous waste of some $ 80 mil­lion, which would have been bet­ter spent in North Queens­land on a sta­dium, for ex­am­ple.

It was very clear that Bill Shorten’s ap­pear­ance was de­signed only to smear. The coun­sel as­sist­ing be­came heated when he couldn’t de­liver on this ob­jec­tive and the com­mis­sioner him­self ac­tu­ally threat­ened Shorten un­less he gave the an­swers they sought.

For his part, Shorten was al­ways in con­trol with one or two ex­cep­tions which were em­bar­rass­ing but not dam­ag­ing.

There are sev­eral mat­ters, on the other hand, that should dam­age the in­tegrity of those who or­dered the in­quiry.

It has been re­ported that the com­mis­sioner is to re­ceive $ 3.2 mil­lion for two years’ work, while the for­mer law firm of In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Abetz will rake in $ 17 mil­lion for its in­volve­ment.

These fig­ures, if cor­rect, make Shorten’s fail­ure to register a $ 40,000 cam­paign do­na­tion seem small fry in­deed.

KEN McEL­LIG­OTT,

Townsville.

Bill Shorten.

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