Adelaide Now reports:
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is willing to call an early election and campaign on a policy of cleaning up the union movement, after a royal commission found it infested by louts, thugs, thieves, bullies and perjurers.
In his final report, Trade Union Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon on Thursday recommended criminal charges be considered against 48 people and organisations and civil action taken in 45 other cases, but said this was just the tip of “an enormous iceberg”.
Mr Turnbull said a federal-state police taskforce would continue to investigate referrals from the commission. The Government will also move to establish a new registered-organisations commission to regulate unions and employer groups. The commission would have similar powers to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The Government also wants the Senate to approve by the end of the month a bill to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Mr Turnbull suggested he could call an early double-dissolution election if the March deadline was not met.
“We are willing to fight an election on this,’’ he said.
“If this is not passed, if we cannot get the passage of this legislation through the Senate, then in one form or another it will be a major issue at the next election.’’
What will Labor do? The unions literally control the Australian Labor Party. Up until very recently it was actually illegal to join the Australian Labor Party unless you were a union member. They control branches, selections and factions. Will they insist Labor defend the indefensible?
In his report, Mr Heydon referred to widespread misconduct that had taken place in every jurisdiction in Australia, except for the Northern Territory.
He said the commission had only uncovered “the small tip of an enormous iceberg’’.
“It is clear that in many parts of the world constituted by Australian trade union officials, there is room for louts, thugs, bullies, thieves, perjurers, those who threaten violence, errant fiduciaries and organisers of boycotts,’’ he said.
“These aberrations cannot be regarded as isolated. They are not the work of a few rogue unions, or a few rogue officials. The misconduct exhibits great variety. It is widespread. It is deep-seated.”
It is very deep-seated.