Shorten under scrutiny

ALP Leader  testimony to the union corruption royal commission has possibly doomed him. The corruption that has been revealed is stunning. reports:

LABOR leader Bill Shorten has been admonished and his credibility as a witness questioned as he repeatedly avoided answering questions at the royal commission into trade union corruption in Sydney today.

Commissioner Dyson Heydon said he was concerned about Mr Shorten’s credibility as a witness and warned him to give “proper” answers as he faced questions over his deals as union boss.

I suspect Shorten has to do this, because to tell the truth would be damning.

Mr Shorten was being quizzed over $300,000 in “bogus” payments from building companies that secured union co-operation on the giant Melbourne EastLink project.

Shorten’s union took secret backhanders from companies they did deals with. They sold out their own members, in order to increase the union’s wealth. And they tried to keep it secret by sending fake invoices to the companies for services never needed or delivered. There should be people in jail for this.

The hearing began with Mr Shorten being quizzed over a $100,000 a year deal — over three years from 2005 to 2008 — paid by building giants Thiess John Holland when Mr Shorten was Victorian and national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union.

The union issued a string of invoices to the engineering contractors for ads in their union magazine, training and dinner dances to make up the payments.

Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission Jeremy Stoljar said the invoices were being issued with “no regard” whether the events and services had “actually been provided.”

One invoice for $30,000 was for research done on “Back Strain in Civil Construction Industry” but no research has ever been provided.

If the payments were legitimate, then they would have not been hidden through fake invoices.

Mr Shorten revealed in the hearing on Wednesday he had failed to declare a donation from a labour-hire company ahead of the 2007 federal election.

The $40,000 donation from Unibuilt was not declared until Monday this week.

Unibuilt later donated money through the Australian Workers’ Union that was used to fund Mr Shorten’s campaign director Lance Wilson between February and November 2007.

Mr Wilson, known to Mr Shorten as a member of Young Labor, was however listed on the books of Unibuilt as a “research officer”.

The companies were not only paying secret money to the union, but also giving secret donations in terms of staff to Shorten’s personal campaign for Parliament. And Shorten never disclosed this until two days ago.

I think the man is toast. They may not like Abbott, but they simply can’t trust Shorten.  The latest Newspoll has him with only 28% satisfaction and 56% dissatisfaction – very very low ratings for an opposition leader. That is a net -28%. A year ago he was only -3%.

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