Federal Judge, Justice Tony North’s recent criticism of the Turnbull Government’s Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) exposes the watchdog for what it is - unfair and anti-worker.
Reports have revealed that Justice Tony North has criticised the ABCC, and its Liberal appointed Commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss for being a waste of time and taxpayer money, including comments such as:
“For goodness sake, I don’t know what the inspectorate is doing.”
"I must say it's a terrible waste of everybody's time."
JUSTICE NORTH, AFR, 13 MARCH 2017
Such reports call into question the validity and behaviour of the body, and shed light on the insincerity of the Turnbull Government, who took the Australian people to a double dissolution election in order to reinstate a botched watch dog.
The urgency placed on the reinstatement of the ABCC by the Turnbull Government was completely disingenuous.
The ABCC is subject to the whim of Commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss who has a long history of an anti-worker, anti-union ideological agenda.
Mr Hadgkiss has previously been criticised by both the Commonwealth Ombudsman and Federal Court. As director of the ABCC, Mr Hadgkiss, wields even more power.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman questioned the behaviour of Mr Hadgkiss, when he was director of the Fair Work Building Commission (FWBC), saying he breached the confidentiality of people he was interviewing and used questionable interviewing techniques.
This is in addition to previous claims by the Federal Court and the Fair Work Commission that Mr Hadgkiss was “unjustifiably vexatious” in his attack on the union movement and prone to “unsubstantiated hyperbole”.
The ABCC is unfair and anti-worker. It has coercive powers to compel workers to secret interviews, be denied legal representation and threatened with imprisonment if the person exercises their democratic right to not participate.
The Liberal Government’s return of the ABCC is simply part of their anti-worker, anti-union ideological agenda.