Miller all ears for unions
LNP asks if minister is really calling the shots
THE office of Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller handled 1000 pages of correspondence and briefing notes relating to unions during her first four months in the role.
The sheer volume of union-related material dwarfs even that dealt with by the office of Treasurer Curtis Pitt – who is also Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations.
Between mid-February and mid-April, his staff were involved with about 300 pages of correspondence from various unions – an average of about five a day.
By contrast, the office of Ms Miller – a CFMEU member who describes herself as a “proud member of trade unions generally” – handled an estimated average of eight pages a day between February 14 and June 5.
A spokesman for Ms Miller said her office had a “high level of contact with stakeholder unions such as the Queensland Police Union of Employees and the United Firefighters Union”.
“This is part of our promise to be a government of consultation which stands in stark contrast to the toxic relationship the LNP had with nearly every stakeholder and community group they came into contact with over the last three years,” the spokesman said.
Earlier this year, the independent Office of the Information Commissioner knocked back a Right to Information request by the Opposition for “any emails, letters, briefing notes or memos” regarding unions because Ms Miller’s staff said a search would be too onerous.
Last month, its appeal was also rejected.
The Information Commissioner ruled that processing the application would “consume substantial and unreasonable resources of the Minister and/or agency”.
“It is estimated that there are approximately 1000 pages that could be located…” he wrote. “It may be extremely time consuming to ascertain the source of some documents and when they were created, and for what purpose.”
Opposition police spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said there were “serious questions about whether the Police Minister is making the decisions on her own or is she being instructed by her union bosses”.