This assessment seems to ignore the series of absolutely catastrophic government policies for which he had carriage while he was minister for transport and infrastructure, policies which were always very favourable to his union mates. To name a few:
- The ‘reform’ of coastal shipping to effectively eliminate cabotage and impose other restrictions, in order to push up the obscene pay and conditions of MUA members – note this is a union shop, not a closed shop;
- The federal takeover of heavy truck regulation – an absolute disaster with the Heavy Vehicle National Law supposedly in place earlier this month;
- The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, which is just a union racket to ensure that mums and dads can’t undercut the featherbedded and OTT paid truck-drivers employed by the big companies, who all do deals with the TWU;
- A series of very strange infrastructure decisions, including giving the go-ahead to projects known to fail cost-benefit tests. The Moorebank intermodal project, for example, should never have been given the nod as there was perfectly good private sector proposal in the offing which did not require taxpayer funds.
- All the while, Albo was appointing Labor mates to the governance arrangements – yes, stop that guffawing, everyone – of these projects. (Bruce Baird, chairman of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Board????, Kerry Schott, Chair, Moorebank Intermodal).
And now we have Albo’s laughable and extraordinarily weak performance when it comes to Qantas.
No, Labor couldn’t possible support the scrapping of the Qantas Sale Act. Does anyone want a Flying Panda or a Flying Camel? Really, Albo, you can do better than this display of xenophobia.
You would have to amend the Air Navigation Act 1922, says Albo. So what? Just get on and do it. And by the way, Virgin has already structured itself to get around this arcane statute.
The real reason is that Albo is opposed the rescinding of the Qantas Sale Act is that he is doing the bidding of his union masters. With the clause that states that the majority of maintenance and the like must be undertaken in Australia, it is really a racket to protect union jobs. (Note that all Virgin’s heavy maintenance is undertaken offshore.)
The unions also realise that a new foreign owner would not be the soft touch that Qantas, at least Qantas of yesteryear, has been.
You really wonder whether Labor and the unions would rather Qantas fail than to concede on ownership and accept more reasonable wages and conditions. Just as Justice Higgins was happy to see the BHP mine close nearly a century ago, rather than allow pay rates to be adjusted downwards, the tradition lives on.
SOLIDARITY FOREVER … IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT QUEUE.
As for Albo having hidden talents, all I can say is that he hiding them very well under his unionised bushel.