The Courier-Mail


The Opposition Leader is too closely tied to the union movement to be trusted, writes Andrew Bolt


BILL Shorten will now destroy anything – Australian jobs, an honest judge – to please the worst of the union movement.

Two examples – one serious and one sinister – have worried even giants of the Labor movement, including three former ACTU presidents.

The most serious is the Opposition Leader’s campaign against the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

China has agreed to drop barriers to our farmers and manufactur­ers and especially to businesses which can supply its rising middle class with things like health care.

This access to the world’s biggest market will create Australian jobs for decades.

Labor tried for years for something like this and when the Abbott Government clinched it last November, Shorten claimed part of the credit for his party.

But then the giant CFMEU union started a television campaign that falsely claimed Chinese workers would now steal Australian jobs.

That’s when Shorten changed his tune and demanded changes to a deal that must still pass the Senate.

He started to repeat the CFMEU’s claims that it watered down existing laws that forced Chinese investors here to offer jobs to Australian workers first.

So why might the CFMEU say that?

Well, it must destroy the Abbott Government, which created a royal commission into union corruption that has so far recommende­d charges against some senior CFMEU officials.

But why might Shorten be repeating those claims?

First, for the cheap votes, but the CFMEU has also paid Labor $13 million and its tentacles reach deep into the party.

Moreover, Shorten was backed by faction bosses in the ballot for Labor leader. About 60 per cent of Labor members actually voted for Anthony Albanese, only to be outvoted by the MPs.

Conservati­ves aren’t alone in wondering why Shorten is such a wrecker.

Former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, once an ACTU president, told Labor that “talk of opposing (the trade deal) is just absolutely against Australia’s best interests”.

Another former ACTU president and Labor leader, Simon Crean, said this was a “quality agreement” and the claim that Chinese workers would come in unchecked “is not true”.

Former Labor foreign affairs minister Bob Carr agreed the FTA “doesn’t need to be rewritten” and state Labor leaders backed it – Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley and South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill.

But the most sinister sign of Shorten’s capture by union heavies is his campaign to smear former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, head of the royal commission into union corruption.

Shorten derides this distinguis­hed jurist as “Tony Abbott’s captain’s pick”, so biased that he must be sacked.

Heydon’s crime? To have accepted an invitation from Liberal lawyers to give an annual law lecture, only to pull out when it was sold as a Liberal function.

But Heydon on Monday turned down union demands that he resign.

He noted the same lecture was last year given by former High Court Chief Justice Murray Gleeson, and even the ACTU’s barrister had admitted that “I don’t think anyone would dare suggest



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