A good idea

Unions have become dodgier and dodgier. The can’t meet simple requirements to even file their audited accounts on time. In Australia they are looking at ways of bringing unions into line.

[U]nion bosses could be compelled to reveal their pay and perks under Newman Government plans to expose how members’ money is spent.

In a move set to spark a war with the labour movement, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has confirmed the extraordinary legislation is being considered.

Under the proposal, union officials would have to declare an array of personal professional interests, such as credit card statements, similar to state MPs.

Individual unions could also have to publicly account for all spending, with particular emphasis on political party expenditure.

Mr Bleijie yesterday told The Courier-Mail that union members had a right to know how their fees were being spent.

“The Newman Government will be pushing for legislative change at a state level to stamp out corruption and ensure the law provides more safety nets, checks and balances,” he said.

Mr Bleijie denied the move was political payback for union campaigns against Premier Campbell Newman during the state election and their crusade against cuts under which thousands of public servants were effectively sacked.

He insisted the decision to consider the legislation came after several recent scandals, including allegations of credit card misuse levelled at federal Labor MP Craig Thomson.

The Commonwealth’s bid to increase union accountability through amendments to the Fair Work Act had not gone far enough, he said.

“The amendments don’t reform financial disclosure and reporting guidelines for registered organisations, so they are pointless,” Mr Bleijie said.


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