Anthony Albanese

Brutal editorial in SMH on Shorten

The Sydney Morning Herald editorial is brutal on ALP leader Bill Shorten.

The position of Bill Shorten as federal Labor leader is becoming?untenable. The latest revelations of his union past published by Fairfax Media on Wednesday afternoon raise further doubts and questions about his suitability as alternative prime minister.

Mr Shorten should respond to the questions immediately, in full, rather than wait until he fronts the royal commission into trade union corruption in late August.

The Opposition Leader should also reflect on the damage his continued leadership is doing to Labor,?and as such to the interests of the people he claims to represent.

As long as the Australian Workers Union stain lingers and/or grows, Labor cannot hope to win?an election next September, let alone a snap poll that Prime Minister Tony Abbott may well call to capitalise on the Shorten malaise.

Last week Fairfax Media identified tens of millions of dollars of largely unexplained employer payments to the AWU’s Victorian branch from January 2004 to late 2007. Mr Shorten?was state secretary from 1998 and federal secretary from 2001 to 2007.

Mr Shorten called the reports “an unfair smear”. They were not. They reflected legitimate investigations into a man asking voters to trust him.

The latest revelations are even more damning.

The fine print in documents lodged with the Australian Electoral Commission and AWU bank records show the giant builder Thiess John Holland paid Mr Shorten’s union nearly $300,000 after he struck a landmark workplace deal that saved the company as much as $100 million on the Melbourne Eastlink tollway project.

The deal was hugely favourable to the employer, just like other deals struck by the AWU during Mr Shorten’s reign. Some deals involved payments to the AWU, or the payment of member’s dues.?The AWU struck agreements with companies when it suited the union’s political purpose, which was to bolster membership. This allowed the AWU to assert its dominance over rival unions and bolster the power of its leaders in the Labor party’s corrupted, undemocratic structure.

Mr Shorten has described as completely unfair and false any implications that he is not completely motivated and committed to getting a better deal for workers, for productive relations at companies and for standing up for people.

Read more »

Union corruption so out of hand Abbott convenes a Royal Commission

As the months drag by and more and more revelations of union corruption surface in investigations by the Independent Commissions Against Corruption pressure has been building to have a more fuller Federal inquiry.

Tony Abbott has now convened a Royal Commission to look at union corruption.

Five of the nation’s most powerful unions linked to the ALP have been named as targets of a wide-ranging royal commission on union corruption – in which former prime minister Julia Gillard and other MPs and union officials are expected to give evidence.

The announcement came as Fairfax Media learnt Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had referred to police a secret dossier compiled by a whistleblower that made explosive corruption allegations that centre on the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

Other unions are also set to be dragged in and the government says construction firms accused of paying kickbacks to union officials to curry peace or win contracts will also be in the gun.

The CFMEU is one of the five unions named in the terms of reference, along with the Electrical Trades Union, the Transport Workers Union, the Australian Workers’ Union, and the Health Services Union. ?? Read more »

ALP not ready for a wog leader, select union heavy instead

The ALP have selected Bill Shorten to replace Kevin Rudd as leader after the bloodbath of the federal elections. He beat out Anthony Albanese, who was linked Obeid and MacDonald corruption scandals that brought down Labor in New South Wales.

Shorten is considered to be from the right of the party even though he was a union heavy, and was instrumental in knifing Kevin Rudd to push Julia Gillard into the leadership. There was talk in 2010 that he would knife Julia Gillard and take over even getting endorsement from Bob Hawke and Kim Beazley. He did eventually assist in the knifing of Gillard ironically in favour of the person he knifed earlier.

Clearly the ALP like distrustful ratbags as their leader…either that or a union heavy is preferable to a South Sydney wog.

Bill Shorten has been elected Labor leader, despite a clear majority of party members preferring his opponent, Anthony Albanese.? Read more »

Labor leadership candidates racing for the centre ground

In stark contrast with the loons of NZ Labour who were racing to the far left in a bid to secure the leadership the Aussie contenders for Labor’s leadership are instead racing to secure the centre.

LABOR leadership candidate Bill Shorten on Wednesday declared himself a man of the centre, insisting he was best-placed to appeal to the broader public over left-wing rival Anthony Albanese.

But the bid to point out his rival’s hard left background came as Mr Albanese’s blitz continued at a Brisbane campaign event on Wednesday night – with the backing of former Labor MP and Right faction member Arch Bevis.

Another Right member and former Gillard backer Craig Emerson has also backed Mr Albanese as well as Greg Combet, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong and Doug Cameron.

Mr Shorten’s public endorsements have included former union boss Bill Kelty and former Labor ministers Richard Marles and Mark Dreyfus but right-wing unions are mobilising and it is understood more endorsements will be rolled out in coming days.? Read more »

ALP goes soft on leadership too

The ALP now in the middle of their own leadership contest after Kevin Rudd was routed in the election. Like Labour here they are now facing the members… and will probably get a similar result…a leader the members like but the public loathe.

LABOR leadership contenders Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten have promised a “civil debate” in their campaign to win the party leadership.

Bill Shorten addressed the media this afternoon and began by wishing his opponent, Mr Albanese, well.

“I indicated to him that I will serve in whatever position he desires if he is successful,” Mr Shorten said.

He said Australians wanted a Labor Party that sought to “unify and not divide”.

“We must be a party that works to win back government,” Mr Shorten said.

“Labor has to work hard to rebuild the trust of the Australian people.

“I am a campaigner and a builder.

“The essential task is to unify our party and our purpose.”? Read more »

Liberals attack…hard

This is the Liberals latest attack ad…

I love negative campaigning…that video will hurt because it is true.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, outgoing Labor Party boss Sam Dastyari have been linked to corrupt former MPs Eddie Obeid and Ian MacDonald in a new series of Liberal Party attack TV ads due to be rolled out across NSW tonight.? Read more »

Kev tries to polish a turd

Kevin Rudd is attempting to polish a turd by trying to calm voters suspicious that ALP candidates aren’t in fact dodgy corrupt ratbags like the one in New South Wales.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will try to ease voter concerns over Labor’s economic credentials and corruption in the NSW branch before heading to the polls.

Federal cabinet was meeting on Monday to put the finishing touches to a pre-election economic statement to be released on Thursday or Friday.

Mr Rudd is also expected to reveal how NSW Labor will clean up its act after federal party intervention.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday will hand down reports into former members of the previous NSW government, including Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

Three times over budget and three years late

Why is nineteenth century technology so bloody expensive:

The first train line in Sydney to be paid for and built under the Rudd and Gillard governments opened on Monday, $700 million over budget and three years after it was promised to be finished.

The 36km Southern Sydney Freight Line will allow extra freight trains to run between Macarthur and Chullora in the city’s south west and will increase rail freight capacity along the entire Australian east coast.

But the project ended up being vastly more expensive to build than when it was first promised by the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, in 2009.? Read more »