The Australian reports that Labor has asked the government for copies of top secret Trade Union Royal Commission documents:
Labor has written to the Turnbull government to formally request access to the secret volumes of the Heydon royal commission [sic] report on trade unions, as it accused the Coalition of selectively using the inquiry’s recommendations for its “immediate political interests”.
In a letter to Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, obtained by The Australian, opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor says the government must provide access to all sides of parliament — “and potentially to other interested parties” — if it seeks to use the chapters “to make the case for legislation”.
Royal commissioner Dyson Heydon has recommended a volume of the interim report be kept confidential to protect the physical wellbeing of 29 witnesses and their families. He has also urged for a sixth volume in the final report to remain confidential.
Labor’s request is nothing short of outrageous in light of the following:
- The whole purpose of the keeping the material in question confidential is to protect the lives of 29 witnesses and their families. There really is no need to go any further than this, but let’s keep going to humour Brendan O’Connor and Labor.
- The Labor Party is clearly controlled by trade unions. Don’t take my word for it – just go to paragraph 109 of Royal Commissioner Heydon’s August 2015 decision (on the unions’ application that the Commissioner disqualify himself):
Counsel for the ACTU submitted that the Royal Commission had a political context, and was politically charged. In part this was because of the natural political hostility between the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party. And in part it was because of the historical and current association between the trade union movement and what is in part its political wing, the Australian Labor Party.
- Still not sure? Then, let’s go to what counsel for the ACTU had to say in the same application:
10.17am: Mr Newlinds: “The underlying premise that the unions have the ability to exert great control on the Labor Party ought to be taken as a given.”
The Commission was created by the Abbott government and it has been said that it was created for purposes of hopefully damaging the Labor Party in part, Newlinds says.
- Anyone with room temperature IQ can see it’s impossible to provide the requested material to Labor without a serious risk of it ending up in the hands of unions – which would put people’s lives at risk.
- The Labor member who wrote the request is Brendan O’Connor. His brother is Michael O’Connor, who just so happens to be the national secretary of the CFMEU – one of the most (if not, the most) implicated unions in the whole Royal Commission.
How can Labor, let alone Brendan O’Connor, request the confidential documents with a straight face? Do they care at all about the lives of those 29 people and their families? Or are they simply expendable for their ‘greater good’?
Perhaps Labor wouldn’t have been encouraged to make such a ludicrous request if Turnbull hadn’t dangled the material as negotiating bait to cross bench Senators a few days ago.
Regardless, the only thing to do is swiftly hand the confidential documents and all other material to the police. The sooner the relevant people are investigated and charged the better.