Lendlease and CFMEU win again

download (14)This is so typical of Malcolm Turnbull: seeming rather than doing.  He will do anything to appear to succeed by getting the ABCC bill passed, while ensuring that we are actually all worse off and Lendlease and the CFMEU have won.

The amendments to the ABCC bill are so bad that we would be better off without it.  The concessions are so anti-competitive and onerous that any net benefits that might have been secured are now in the parliamentary waste paper bin.

Just check out all the anti-competitive nonsense about procurement preferences (that run counter to our trade agreement obligations and WTO rules) and the restrictions on 457 visa holders.  All this is just adding to the costs of construction projects when the aim was to reduce them.

And just in case you thought there might be some bite to the code and the ABCC, Hinch has now caved to the lies peddled by Lendlease and the CFMEU about the need to grandfather the arrangement even though it has been the intention of the government to date code-compliant agreements from April 2014.  (Other companies followed this guideline and have refused to lie down for the CFMEU – more fools them, it would seem.)

But it turns out that the Lendlease-CFMEU agreement contains the following clause:

7.3 Compliance for government funded building work

(a) It is recognised by the Parties that whilst this Agreement is in operation, Commonwealth, State or Territory Governments may impose particular requirements on the content of enterprise agreements in order for the Company to be eligible for future government funded building work. It is essential that the Agreement is compliant with any such requirements in order for the Company to remain eligible to tender for future government funded building work. If any new requirements are promulgated during the life of this Agreement, which impact on the content of this Agreement, this clause will be applied.

(b) In this event, the Parties agree to apply to the FWC to terminate this Agreement in accordance with the Fair Work Act (within 7 days of any such requirement being promulgated) and the Company and Employees will commit to negotiating a replacement Agreement which is compliant with any such requirements.

 

 In other words, Hinch has been hoodwinked because Lendlease and the CFMEU are completely geared up to terminate their agreements and negotiated code-compliant agreements.  There is no need for two year grace period.

Here is a list of the ridiculous concessions our current Prime Minister has agreed to (of course, he doesn’t have a clue about this stuff and it shows):

Malcolm Turnbull is set to secure the passage of legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission on Wednesday.

The deal came after the government made further concessions to Nick Xenophon on procurement and compromised with Derryn Hinch over the retrospective application of tough new rules on workplace agreements.

The Senate also passed tough new limits on the use of foreign workers in the construction industry, which the government opposed but One Nation supported.

Senator Hinch, the last of the Senate crossbenchers holding out on the government, gave the green light on Thursday morning after reaching a deal with the Prime Minister over retrospectivity.

Under the original bill, a tough new building code outlawing so-called union-friendly clauses in building site enterprise bargaining agreements would have applied retrospectively to every agreement signed since April 2014.

Senator Hinch, backed by Senators Rod Culleton and Xenophon, opposed retrospectivity. Under the compromise deal, all building site EBAs will have to conform with the building code within two years from today’s passage of the legislation, which will be November 30, 2018.

With the requisite eight crossbenchers now secured, the bill could pass the Senate as early as lunchtime.

One of the bigger concessions, secured Tuesday night by the Nick Xenophon Team, concerned the procurement of all products and services by the Australian government.

From March 1, 2017, Australian standards must be met for procured goods and services, with requirements of certification and auditing of those standards.

For procurements above $4 million the economic benefits of the procurement to the Australian economy must be considered. This does not mandate the procurement of Australian products.

Also, the regulatory frameworks involving labour regulations, including ethical employment practices, occupational health and safety, and environmental impacts must be considered in any procurement, something which will weigh against cheap imports from China..

For procurements above $4 million the economic benefits of the procurement to the Australian economy must be considered — a first in Commonwealth procurement rules.

“Until now, the Commonwealth government has been spending $59 billion on goods and services without having to consider compliance with Australian standards, employment and environmental regulations, and the broader impact on the economy,” Senator Xenophon said.

“Last night that all changed.

“Until now, the Commonwealth government has been spending $59 billion on goods and services without having to consider compliance with Australian standards, employment and environmental regulations, and the broader impact on the economy.”

The NXT also secured a commitment that the ongoing delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan would be elevated to the Premiers and Prime Minster through the COAG process and all involved would be grilled by Senate estimates twice a year.

And the government also promised NXT to establish a task force to look at a uniform system to protect subcontractors.

The Senate introduced accountability measures for the ABCC itself, including making its decisions subject to judicial review.

Under an amendment put bu Labor and passed with the support of One Nation, there will be curbs on the use of 457 visas for imported skilled workers in the construction sector

The new building code must ensure that no person is employed to undertake building work unless, the position is first advertised in Australia, the advertising was targeted in such a way that a significant proportion of suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents would be likely to be informed about the position; any skills or experience requirements set out in the advertising were appropriate to the position, and the employer demonstrates that no Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident is suitable for the job.

Labor Senate leader Penny Wong said the the government was so desperate to pass the bill it was “unrecognisable” (so true).

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97 Responses to Lendlease and CFMEU win again

  1. stackja

    MT agile and innovative.

  2. Colin Suttie

    “..and the restrictions on 457 visa holders..”
    Why shouldn’t there be restrictions on 457 visa holders in the construction industry (or any other industry)? There are plenty of Aussies out of work. The 457 visa has been widely abused by employers.

  3. .

    No it hasn’t. Plenty of Aussies don’t have “tickets” the unions insist people have to do simple tasks that the intellectually challenged can do. The unions demand these qualifications exist and union maates run the courses.

  4. Arky

    Well then Dot, tackle over- accreditation.
    You would get near 100% support for that stand on here.
    It is an obvious rort.

  5. Ant

    Remember this when all of these bastards use the words “affordable housing”.

  6. Infidel Tiger

    I long for the halcyon days of Rudd/Swan.

  7. Ant

    I long for the halcyon days of Whitlam/Cairns 😛

  8. Joe

    Take a leaf out of the opposition’s play book. GET IT PASSED first. Then over time make small amendments to achieve what you really want. Use current events to signal outrage to justify your amendments.

    No one said that legislation has to be right the instant it is promulgated. It just needs to exist as scaffold to implement your agenda.

  9. Dave Owen

    If Malcolm Turnbull had campaigned on the extremely high commercial building costs in Australia, he might have been able to have had a senate majority in his own right. I thought his campaign was poor. The sooner he goes the better.

  10. johanna

    What an appalling piece of legislation.

    Judith is right – we would have been better off if nothing had changed.

    How on earth is anybody to decide “For procurements above $4 million the economic benefits of the procurement to the Australian economy must be considered.” Who decides this? How? Is there any appeal?

    And, tacking something about the Murray-Darling onto a completely unrelated Bill is the height of contempt for the Parliamentary process.

    Malcolm Turnbull’s incompetent rabble are a disgrace for letting this happen.

  11. memoryvault

    The 457 visa has been widely abused by employers.

    No it hasn’t.

    It’s not an either/or situation, Dot. I’ve worked places where both conditions were true, side by side, at the same time.

  12. Colin Suttie

    You obviously know best Dot.
    I must be imagining the many people I know who are out of work and unable to feed their families, while their former employers keep on the indentured servants 457 visa holders, who cost less and can’t make any trouble lest they be sacked & made to leave the country.
    I am aware of the libertarian blind spot around open borders, but really who is served by bringing in thousands of workers from overseas, while unemployment is a problem here? Just because the unions are against the 457 visas doesn’t automatically mean they are a good thing.

  13. Arky

    This shits me.
    Because everyone is too gutless to take on unions you employ plan B: migration.
    Import a more compliant workforce. Leave hundreds of thousands of people on the welfare scrap heap, and still have unions making deals with their state government and big business mates.
    For the average person and their kids it is a loser all round.
    Fuck you people and your slimy, gutless traitorous stupidity.
    This is why we have thousands of sub standard school classrooms at double the price, useless desal plants and no bloody Eastlink.
    I am mainly looking at you, Liberals. But not by any means only you.

  14. Colin Suttie

    Just to clarify my position – I have been on the equivalent of the 457 visa in Canada – before my employer could take me on they had to advertise the position in Canada, and justify to Immigration that my skills were unavailable in the local market, and were required. This was during a boom, however if the boom had ended I would have expected (at the very least) to struggle to get my visa renewed. Why is this a bad thing?

  15. Snoopy

    Name and shame, Colin. If 7.30 can do it you can.

  16. Colin Suttie

    Ha – I might have to work for them again at some point *shudder*, so I can’t name and shame.

  17. candy

    And, tacking something about the Murray-Darling onto a completely unrelated Bill is the height of contempt for the Parliamentary process.

    It seems very unethical to me took, just completely wrong – two important issues being used as bargaining chips against each other.

    In any case, the whole point is to get the legislation through and the Newspoll up for Mr Turnbull.

    It probably will garner him a few points, so I think the LNP will be happy as Newspoll is very important to them.

  18. Someone typing “457 visas are abused/a rort/cheap labour” on a blog site does not make it so.
    The arguments against 457 visas usually last about as long as the arguments against gun ownership, and very quickly devolve into being just as illogical.

  19. A H

    ‘Considering the economic benefits of a procurement’… but government procurements are always damaging so if this is followed to the letter then no more procurements.

  20. BarBar

    Words fail. How could Turnbull be so pusillanimous? How could he?

  21. Singleton Engineer

    I’m with Dot on this one.

    It is not necessary to demonstrate that every single 457 visa holder represents a rort in order to prove that the system is open to rorting.

    I have seen surveyors, architects, unskilled construction labourers and earthmoving plant operators brought in in this way, not because they were cheaper or better educated or more skilful – essentially, on one project, because the objective was to trial a new technique for installing a solar thermal system. That resulted in them being able to return to Europe (Spain/Germany) with enhanced skills learned on an Australian job funded substantially by Australian government money.

    The equivalent happened with module manufacture in a purpose-built factory.

    I’m convinced, having seen the ease at which this can be done, that my experience is repeated daily, year after year.

    If that isn’t a rort, then nothing is.

    Case proven: 457 visa are (sometimes) rorts that need tightening up.

  22. Bear Necessities

    Damn you John Howard! Fancy talking this ….. into staying in Parliament.

  23. Dr Faustus

    One of the bigger concessions, secured Tuesday night by the Nick Xenophon Team, concerned the procurement of all products and services by the Australian government.

    From March 1, 2017, Australian standards must be met for procured goods and services, with requirements of certification and auditing of those standards.

    The Devil will be in the detail on this one, but it seems much more cock-up than concession.

    If the intent of requiring “Australian standards” means any preferment of Australian goods and services, the Government will be in breach of the WTO Treaty on Technical Barriers to Trade – specifically, WTO members must ensure that technical regulations “are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to, or with the effect of, creating unnecessary obstacles to trade“.

    It’s either a Toothless Tiger – or a massive fuck-up that will end in WTO arbitration.

    Additionally, this measure will choke Government procurement on the morning of March 1, 2017; in fact, the shortage of ISO-qualified auditors and inspectors will probably require a fleet of 457 imports.

  24. Joe

    Additionally, this measure will choke Government procurement on the morning of March 1, 2017; in fact, the shortage of ISO-qualified auditors and inspectors will probably require a fleet of 457 imports.

    Laws and regulations are for little people. The Govt. should just lie. Just like every other Country in the world. The WTO is an irrelevance.

  25. Far Right Heretic

    Dot, have you ever set foot on a construction site? The industry is rife with immigrants and foreign workers with working for cash with no qualifications and no clue what they are doing.

  26. gabrianga

    Another show of “innovative and “agile” negotiation from Our Fearless Leader?

    That smug smile as he rattled of “his Government’s “achievements” was a powerful emetic for those who believe Turnbull should be toppled.

    The handling of the “backpacker tax”, which affects a few thousand, should have sent a warning signal to those who still believe that Turnbull should be a Coalition Leader. It was nightmarish yet Turnbull no doubt will claim another “achievement” ?

    Since when did weak kneed surrender/compliance take on the mantle of “negotiation”?

    Since Malcolm crossed the floor to join Rudd?

  27. Far Right Heretic

    Dr Faustus, maybe its time we tell the WTO to go fuck themselves and start doing what is in Australia’s best interests.

  28. Tel

    Additionally, this measure will choke Government procurement on the morning of March 1, 2017 …

    Hopefully yes, the buggers might learn to balance their budget. Everyone else has to.

  29. thefrolickingmole

    How on earth is anybody to decide “For procurements above $4 million the economic benefits of the procurement to the Australian economy must be considered.” Who decides this? How? Is there any appeal?

    Dont worry Labor will make up another tribunal or “court” which cant be removed, stacked with labour lawyers, union heavies and Trigglypuff to rule on such things.

    Completely independent and fearless they will be..

  30. H B Bear

    Is this Potential Greatness?

    And, tacking something about the Murray-Darling onto a completely unrelated Bill is the height of contempt for the Parliamentary process.

    Nope just the broken Australian Senate working as it always has. Brian Harradine anyone? Now with the Greek Robin Hood and his band of merry men from the failed State of Mainland Tasmania expect a couple of billion shoveled into this black hole of good governance every few months to keep the Waffleworth charade going.

  31. H B Bear

    Any time you agree with kd wrong you know things are crook.

  32. Everything they touch turns to shit. The transformation to the New Labor Party is almost complete. Anyone who is still a member of the Liberal Party must be hunted down and mercilessly humiliated.

  33. Gutho

    In two years time the Turnbull Coalition Team will be out of office and Mr Shorten’s Labor Party will toss the whole thing out anyway

  34. Megan

    Why are we surprised or outraged about this? It is plain as the nose on several thousand faces that the Usurper is completely and utterly out of his depth. Beyond his selfie fetish with the rich and famous and his penchant for the trappings of office, he is totally devoid of the skills needed for the job.

    Beyond useless. And always has been.

  35. Senile Old Guy

    Why are we surprised or outraged about this? It is plain as the nose on several thousand faces that the Usurper is completely and utterly out of his depth.

    I’m neither surprised or outraged. I remember his stint as Opposition Leader. I am surprised that 54 morons in the LNP thought he would be any good as PM.

  36. Baldrick

    Three words:
    Stupid.Fucking.Liberals

  37. fair go

    My brother in law has 30 years experience as a boilermaker welder across Australia. In the last 12 months he has had odd casual work at low hourly rate of pay. His last casual job lasted 10 days in a new workshop run by Australians. There were eight Chinese 457 visa workers there and one Australian apprentice who was learning nothing because he could not speak Mandarin. He got 10 good days with my brother in law and was planning to quit his apprenticeship as unable to communicate with his so called tradeys from China. This Australian small business is a disgrace. Not once ounce of decency, just money at any cost. Labor and Liberal have failed working Aussies over and over again, and believe me, this fabricating shop is only the tip of the iceberg in Perth. The housing and construction sector is the same. Anyone who condones this is an unaustralian fool. Good on the Unions for tackling an endemic and systematic rorting of the system purely for greed.

  38. Does anyone else smell BS?
    It’s more overpowering than a pair of CFMEU dacks soiled with GetUp tofu flavoured skid marks.

  39. How did Eight Chinese guys who cannot speak English manage to obtain a 457 visa?
    Half of Australia would be lucky to pass the IELTS test to level 5, not on their first go.
    If these Chinese guys have not passed their IELTS, how was a visa wangled?

  40. Furthermore, how did a workplace which has Nine, perhaps Ten, people manage to be granted Eight x 457 visas?

  41. Philippa Martyr

    Any minute now our Doomish Overlord is going to explain to us how this is actually a small-government conservative master-stroke from our current Prime Minister.

    Plus throw in some additional remarks about how Tony Abbott would have made a much greater mess of it, so really we should be thankful.

  42. old bloke

    Salvatore the Bitter Clinging Deplorable
    #2223856, posted on November 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Furthermore, how did a workplace which has Nine, perhaps Ten, people manage to be granted Eight x 457 visas?

    Sal, I’ve seen large IT departments in some companies which are almost entirely populated with 457 visa holders. IT used to be a reasonably good paying industry, not any longer. I have some sympathy for the guys and girls employed on 457 visas, they truly are seen as indentured labour.

  43. Senile Old Guy

    Any minute now our Doomish Overlord is going to explain to us how this is actually a small-government conservative master-stroke from our current Prime Minister.

    Any minute now…

  44. Aussiepundit

    The real issue here is that Gillard was a smarter and more substantial leader than either Abbott or Turnbull.
    In her short reign she pumped through truckloads of legislation across the whole policy spectrum, transforming entire industries overnight.
    Abbott came in loudly promising to repeal a couple of those things (e.g., Carbon tax, 18c), but left most of the Rudd-Gillard policy program intact, while his ministers tinkered around the edges. Turnbull has done the same thing.

  45. Aussiepundit

    By the way, that’s not intended to be praise nor an assessment that the changes she brought in were necessarily good, merely an observation that she changed things, and the Liberals, for the most part, didn’t reverse those changes.

  46. Old Bloke: There are two streams to 457 visas. Regular, and I.T. industry.
    They should be different visas, why the two are combined is difficult to fathom.
    There is barely a condition or requirement in common.
    These differences include, but are not limited to; The minimum pay for an I.T. worker on a 457 visa is considerably higher than for actual 457 visas.

  47. Habib

    We allow ourselves to be governed by degenerate cretins. What’s that say about us?

  48. mareeS

    Fitting that you termed MT “our current prime minister,” Judith. Not for much longer. He may make it through to March, but the ineptitude is something to behold.

    I am one of the more cynical ex-Liberal members, and even I didn’t think he would such a monumental failure. He has truly gobsmacked me. What planet has he come from, that he doesn’t get a single thing right?

    As for understanding anything about the average Australian, Peta was correct with one of her best zingers: Mr Harbourside Mansion.

  49. Senile Old Guy

    Abbott came in loudly promising to repeal a couple of those things (e.g., Carbon tax, 18c), but left most of the Rudd-Gillard policy program intact, while his ministers tinkered around the edges.

    Oh, really?

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott says repealing thousands of regulations and laws will hand people back control over their own lives and save businesses millions of dollars in compliance costs. In a speech to the parliament to mark the repeal of more than 8000 regulations and 1000 laws, Mr Abbott said his government’s mission was “not bigger government; it’s bigger citizens with more opportunities”.

    And note that the speech was to mark the repeal, not start it.

  50. Far Right Heretic

    @Salvatore the Bitter Clinging Deplorable:

    If things exist, they exist, whether we understand how they ‘work’ or not. 457 rorts are common among the blue collar sector. Remember recently when some people were busted in a white card scam in Sydney? This is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how these 457 bastards do it but I have met enough of them to know they do it. Maybe it involves bribery. Maybe it involves someone in a government department helping out his cousins. Maybe someone else sits the language test. I do know that large workplaces are forewarned about immigration showing up. Whether its a courtesy call or a tip off I don’t know. I did hear a rumour that a certain food processing plant had a bunch of fake documents ready to hand out in case they were ever warned of a raid.

  51. Those 8000 regulations & 1000 laws repealed by Abbott were not ones that mattered.
    They were “dead”. They were irrelevant & outdated rules, sort of like automobiles must be preceded by a pedestrian waving a red flag, that pubs must provide stabling and straw for Six horses, that the matromonial bedsheets must be draped publicly over the balcony rail the morning after the wedding, etc.

    Abbott repealed none of the laws that were costing business money, removing people’s freedoms, or constricting development.

  52. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how these 457 bastards do it but I have met enough of them to know they do it. Maybe it involves bribery. Maybe it involves someone in a government department helping out his cousins. Maybe someone else sits the language test. I do know that large workplaces are forewarned about immigration showing up. Whether its a courtesy call or a tip off I don’t know. I did hear a rumour that a certain food processing plant had a bunch of fake documents ready to hand out in case they were ever warned of a raid.

    I don’t know how many 457’s you’ve sponsored Far Right Heretic, but the scenarios you describe cannot legally happen.
    If they do there will be people going to jail.

    Do you want me to fully fisk your above, or just leave it that I’m calling it Highly Implausible? (Every sentence.)

  53. Senile Old Guy

    Those 8000 regulations & 1000 laws repealed by Abbott were not ones that mattered. Abbott repealed none of the laws that were costing business money, removing people’s freedoms, or constricting development.

    Won’t argue about that. And, at best, it was only a start. But are not many of these state laws?

  54. Tel

    I have some sympathy for the guys and girls employed on 457 visas, they truly are seen as indentured labour.

    Given the Progressive claim about how unimaginably racist Australia is, sure is strange that people are willing to exchange 5 years of their life in return for staying here.

  55. memoryvault

    How did Eight Chinese guys who cannot speak English manage to obtain a 457 visa?

    “How” it happens is beyond me, Salvatore. Nonetheless it happens. On one site where I was contracting, I was tasked with devising a site induction specifically to be delivered (by me) via an interpreter, for a group of twelve Koreans who spoke no English whatsoever.

    They had been brought in to fit preformed lagging to steam pipes as part of the expansion of the site steam power station. This is a job mentally deranged and physically disabled monkeys could be trained to perform. Once the Koreans had been inducted, I devised and delivered a course in how to do the job, and assessed them all as competent. It took two hours.

    Bleating “it can’t happen” to those of us who been caught up in it first hand, is pointless.

  56. Won’t argue about that. And, at best, it was only a start. But are not many of these state laws?

    Lol. The substantive point is; all the laws Abbott repealed were “stale” laws.
    He did nothing about reducing red or green tape. Despite pleadings from the citizenry.

  57. MV, your anecdotes will have to include evidence the “no speakee Inglese” types were on a 457 visa.
    Otherwise it is meaningless.

    Hint: Not all foreigners are on a 457 visa.
    Not all visas are a “Four-Five-Seven”
    Not all folks with a wog accent are automatically on a 457 visa.

    Not all, but most, yarns about “457 visas” turn out to be some other visa altogether.
    Pardon me for being sceptical. It’s just experience guiding me.

  58. Senile Old Guy

    He did nothing about reducing red or green tape. Despite pleadings from the citizenry.

    But if they are state laws, he can’t.

  59. Robbo

    So Hinch got conned into signing off on a useless piece of legislation. What is surprising about that? He’s hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer when he is sober and he only gets worse after a session on the booze.

  60. But if they are state laws, he can’t.

    ffs, nobody has said he should have fixed state laws. (Except perhaps by having some Premiers shot)
    There were plenty of Federal law/rules/regulations/whatever TF you wish to call ’em, actively hampering business/freedom/whatever.

    He repealed about… oh…. zero.

  61. Linden

    Shorten wasn’t shy on issuing 457 visas, in fact he apparently issued thousands of them when he was the employment minister under Gillard,
    so whilst doing that why was not he concerned about the down and Aussie worker?

  62. At least the ABCC is back in business, albiet in unacceptable form, but that can be changed by later tweaks.

    Oh yeah?
    How will that work? The Senate is ..er… non-Turnbull-compliant, and is unlikely to change.
    The best chance is for the govt. to obtain some photos of Hinch/Xenophon of such a nature that Hinch and Xenophon would …. prefer the photos to not be published.

    Then, & only then, may the Senate give Turnbull an actual ABCC.

  63. Linden

    In our constitution Federal laws over ride state laws?

  64. Dr Fred Lenin

    If my system of only allowing politicians one termin parliament in their lifetime were law ,the pollsters could go jump off a high building ,en masse the meeja decromatic socialists could follow them ,all politics is meeja directed these days. Except perhaps for Trump who truthfully calls them a pack of liars .and stuffs them at every turn ,much to their chagrun that . such an uncouth Non intellectual can screw with their brilliant minds

  65. Anon

    It’s what happens when a self-opinionated radio jock becomes a Senator. He doesn’t have a clue and will sell out to the best headline grabber. He is looking like a fool.
    Time to lose the hair dye, look your age – and act it.

  66. Malcolm

    Get your facts right Judith. It’s not perfect, but it’s a damned side better than doing nothing. The Coalition has to work with the independent senators and that’s the art of politics. Howard had a double majority and should have jailed half of the CFMEU but didn’t act. At least Hawkie had the balls to ban the BLF. Now Labor is run by the CFMEU – Dan Andrews and Bill Shorten are beholden to that evil and corrupt union. Victoria is a joke. Unfortunately Dan Andrews took an oath of office to faithfully serve the interests of the CFMEU at any cost.

  67. rafiki

    Gillard had a clear run after she signed up to an alliance with the Greens. MT has an unstable, cranky and in some cases dishonest bunch of independents to deal with. The answer to the question- ‘why did not do better in the DD election’ – may well that the big Mediscare lie that fooled the very many stupid and venal voters. The High Court may help MT if it finds that Culleton(?) was ineligible. Perhaps the next election will result in the Hanson group holding the balance in the Senate. If so, and in the LNP coalition sneaks back in, we might get some reform. But Hanson may oppose fiscal reform, and her trade policies are stupid. Maybe too some post Heydon RC prosecutions will take the wind out of Labor, but there looks to be a slight chance of this.

    But on the whole the situation is depressing, even tragic. I feel sorry for my country. I am starting to think, as so many here say, that we are fucked. I don’t blame MT for this.

  68. OldOzzie

    Judith,

    Grace Collier supports your thoughts above

    How Derryn Hinch got scammed

    GRACE COLLIER

    Shame on you, Senator Derryn Hinch. Shame shame shame. Hinch has been scammed by construction firm Lend Lease. He insisted on amending the ABCC bill to advantage the company. Now, corruption will continue, savings will not materialise, building companies that did the right thing all along will be penalised, and the work they were hoping to receive, will not come their way. Lend Lease will be laughing all the way to the bank, laughing at Hinch and laughing at us. For this folly, we will all suffer.

    Shame on you too, Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull caved to Hinch when he didn’t have to. He could have put clause 7.3 of the Lend Lease EBA under Hinch’s nose and stood firm. This outcome is worse than no outcome. It gives the appearance of doing something good, whilst doing something bad. It rewards the bad guys, and keeps in place the construction cartel. When Labor is elected, the ABCC will be abolished. Nothing will have been achieved. And next time, no one in the construction sector will back the Liberals, because they don’t back those who back them.

    When Lend Lease sat down to negotiate its last, controversial EBA with the CFMEU, it knew what was coming. It knew it would miss out on government work with the EBA. For this reason Lend Lease inserted the following clause, which allows it to terminate the EBA seven days from today. Now, thanks to a gullible Hinch and a weak Prime Minister, it doesn’t need to use it.

    7.3 Compliance for government funded building work

    (a) It is recognised by the Parties that whilst this Agreement is in operation,

    Commonwealth, State or Territory Governments may impose particular requirements

    on the content of enterprise agreements in order for the Company to be eligible for

    future government funded building work. It is essential that the Agreement is

    compliant with any such requirements in order for the Company to remain eligible to

    tender for future government funded building work. If any new requirements are

    promulgated during the life of this Agreement, which impact on the content of this

    Agreement, this clause will be applied.

    (b) In this event, the Parties agree to apply to the FWC to terminate this Agreement in

    accordance with the Fair Work Act (within seven days of any such requirement being

    promulgated) and the Company and Employees will commit to negotiating a

    replacement Agreement which is compliant with any such requirements.

    to quote from the comments

    “Notice how no one says that Turnbull is the smartest person in the room anymore.”

  69. Aussiepundit

    In a speech to the parliament to mark the repeal of more than 8000 regulations and 1000 laws

    Those laws were mostly redundant or obsolete, and their repeal had no effect at all on day-to-day life in Australia. The ‘mass repeal’ is a parliamentary parlour trick.

  70. Aussiepundit

    The Coalition has to work with the independent senators and that’s the art of politics.

    Here we go again. The same stale old “art of politics” talking point we used to get from the previous PM’s office and his supporters.

  71. Aussiepundit

    Next they’ll be telling us that “Politics is the art of the possible.”

  72. Rockdoctor

    Have watched the back and forward for a few weeks now on 457 visas. Mining has it’s problems as well. A friend of mine was employed by a Coal Mining company in NSW, when the downturn came he saw the writing on the wall & jumped into Enviro work at same firm. He detailed a discussion with his former boss, went the lines of 1 Australian Geo ($70,000 p.a.) that returned great quality data could be employed or 2 457 visa Pom’s that return twice the data at a much more mediocre quality; who didn’t want to go home at the graduate award (about $40,000p.a.) what would he choose?

    I know of one consultancy that was nick named the UN of (Insert company nic name) and they were almost indentured, they had a law firm on speed dial to chase for damages well above the cost of covering the 457 visa if a visa holder ever jumped ship. There were other consultancies out there who used trawl UK universities to employ on rubbish wages and kept the visa hanging over their heads like the sword of domiciles.

    The reason why Australian born professionals don’t make a big deal is that the workforce is incredibly well connected and reasonably small. Make noise and you might as well kiss ever working in the industry again good bye. At the moment I question the need for any 457 visas for mining professionals, I know plenty looking but working in unrelated fields. Just my observations anyway.

  73. Dr Faustus

    Malcolm Turnbull caved to Hinch when he didn’t have to. He could have put clause 7.3 of the Lend Lease EBA under Hinch’s nose and stood firm.

    Unfortunately, neither Turnbull, Hinch, nor anyone involved in recruiting Hinch, will have any of Grace Collier’s technical understanding of the industrial issues. None of the tossers would have had any idea about the significance of clause 7.3 – even if they were aware of it.

    And that is the absolute disgrace of our parliamentary system: where basement-level, know-nothing pricks get to horse-trade big moving parts of the Australian economy for personal political advantage.

    Surrounded by a cheering and jeering cast of thieves and opportunists, the deal is done. Turnbull is a piss-poor retail politician masquerading as a Sun King and fighting for his life; while Hinch is an unwell media populist, in the wrong place and deeply, deep out of his depth.

    And Australia is paying the price: actually, it fucking well deserves to pay the price for acquiescing with this nonsense and feeding the bastards.

  74. hzhousewife

    Abbott repealed none of the laws that were costing business money, removing people’s freedoms, or constricting development.

    When Trump does his similar thing in the US, I fervently hope he is not similarly sucked in by the lawyers.

  75. went the lines of 1 Australian Geo ($70,000 p.a.) that returned great quality data could be employed or 2 457 visa Pom’s that return twice the data at a much more mediocre quality; who didn’t want to go home at the graduate award (about $40,000p.a.) what would he choose?

    The minimum pay for a 457 visa is $54,000 p.a. + full cost of repatriating the visa holder at the expiry of the visa.

    Furthermore, a holder of a 457 visa cannot be employed at a rate lower than the going rate for Australian staff. The dept. monitors this closely (using some of the stupidest calculation metrics you’ve ever seen) and errs on the high side.

    If your pal was told he was being tossed aside at $70,000 for 2 x $40,000 poms, then he was being bullshitted.
    If all on-costs are included, the minimum cost to an employer of a 457 visa holder is about $75,000 p.a.

  76. egg_

    Of concern is the minor parties ‘unrepresentative swill’ crowing about the unrelated horse trading that many have achieved in passing stuff through the Senate.

  77. egg_

    Derryn doesn’t have a Hunch?

  78. I know of one consultancy that was nick named the UN of (Insert company nic name) and they were almost indentured, they had a law firm on speed dial to chase for damages well above the cost of covering the 457 visa if a visa holder ever jumped ship. There were other consultancies out there who used trawl UK universities to employ on rubbish wages and kept the visa hanging over their heads like the sword of domiciles.

    Do you want me to unpack that for you?

  79. Mayan

    It’s not an either/or situation, Dot. I’ve worked places where both conditions were true, side by side, at the same time.

    Memoryvault: careful there. Such subtlety, clarity, and precision of thought might soon have you excommunicated from the Cat and labelled a cultural Marxist.

  80. .

    Far Right Heretic
    #2223656, posted on November 30, 2016 at 12:40 pm
    Dot, have you ever set foot on a construction site? The industry is rife with immigrants and foreign workers with working for cash with no qualifications and no clue what they are doing.

    Um yeah sure. You’re a deadset lunatic. Name them.

  81. Far Right Heretic

    but the scenarios you describe cannot legally happen.

    You are supposing the law is ever enforced. And gaol time for an offence committed by a business? Hahaha. I don’t know what fantasy world you live in where no one ever disobeys the law and corporations reside in prison but I imagine it must be nice.

    Um yeah sure. You’re a deadset lunatic. Name them

    Name what you idiot?

  82. Oh come on

    Far Right Heretic, why don’t you just fuck off? Seriously. I don’t know why you think this place is a friendly harbour for your benighted perspective. It isn’t.

  83. Oh come on

    I’ll take the wisdom of someone who’s had repeated and direct experience engaging the working visa system over that of some plonker whose knowledge primarily comes from a mate who gave him the ‘inside run’ and almost certainly manipulates the facts to suit his pinheaded beliefs – just like his mate does.

  84. You are supposing the law is ever enforced.

    I know Goddamned well the law is enforced. Anyone breaching the law regards 457 visa holders is playing with fire.

    And gaol time for an offence committed by a business? Hahaha.

    What a stupid comment.
    The penalties are fines, payment of back pay + penalties + more fines. And most importantly, loss of the Licence to Sponsor.
    I’ve lost count of the number of businesses known to me that have lost their licence to sponsor, some for the most arbitrary & silliest of non-reasons.

    I don’t know what fantasy world you live in where no one ever disobeys the law and corporations reside in prison but I imagine it must be nice.

    Don’t be a dickhead. I’m a long term sponsor of 457 visa holders. I’ve also employed people on 417, 462, 857, 119, 010, 030, 500, 850, 187, and other visas I’ve forgotten even exist.

    I do not have “some idea” of sponsoring & visas, nor do I have a “pretty good idea” of sponsoring & visas, nor do I even have a “lot of experience” with sponsoring & visas.

    I’ve done so much of it I’m a veteran. I don’t think you’re making up the stuff you’re talking of above, I know you’re making it up.

  85. Oh come on

    Far Right Heretic sounds like one of those fucking dimwits who knowingly cheats on their taxes and believes that they’ll never get caught because they haven’t yet been audited.

    That being said, he is a bigot – open and proud of it, so it seems. Stupidity comes with the territory, I suppose.

  86. For the Record: I’m not disputing MV’s anecdote. I’m certain it happened. I’m questioning which type of visa (if one at all) the “no speakey Inglesey” co-workers had used to get into Australia.

  87. Philippa Martyr

    I stand corrected.

    It was our old chum aussiepundit who gave us the lecture on how this is really so much better than anything the Abbott government did.

  88. Here’s where Faroutheretic got the “gaol” part from:

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how these 457 bastards do it but I have met enough of them to know they do it.

    Yeah, coz business executives are going to stand around bragging to people about how they & their company are knowingly, deliberately, and methodically breaching immigration law.

    Maybe it involves bribery.

    Maybe it does. Pop along to your nearest Border Force post and have a go at bribing an immigration officer. See how that works out for you.

    Maybe it involves someone in a government department helping out his cousins.

    This ain’t Malaysia, pal.
    In the scenario you describe someone almost certainly will be going to gaol.

    Maybe someone else sits the language test.

    This never happens, nope never, honest injun it don’t, just like it never happens with Taxi drivers or uni students.
    Seriously, what do you think happens if this gets found out? Just take a wild guess.

    I do know that large workplaces are forewarned about immigration showing up.

    Clearly you’ve no knowledge whatsoever of how the 457 compliance regime works, or you’d know that a tip-off (yeah right, as if) makes utterly no difference.
    What difference could it possibly make? (keep in mind, you expert you, that we’re discussing workers on 457 visas – not illegal immigrants).

    Whether its a courtesy call or a tip off I don’t know.

    What a stupid comment.

    I did hear a rumour that a certain food processing plant had a bunch of fake documents ready to hand out in case they were ever warned of a raid.

    “Fake documents” eh? What would be the objective of this?
    Pull a fake document, even one, on an immigration officer, and you’ll be neither passing “Go” nor collecting $200 – in fact your feet won’t even touch the ground.
    (Once again, keep in mind you expert you, that we’re discussing 457 visas here, not a bunch of illegal arrivals working as kitchenhands in Chinatown.)

  89. .

    I have a feeling “far right heretic” is actually Bob from the Viet Cong.

  90. Senile Old Guy

    I feel sorry for my country. I am starting to think, as so many here say, that we are fucked. I don’t blame MT for this.

    Turnbull inherited all the problems when he knifed Abbott.

  91. Tekweni

    Turnbull created the problems when he knifed Abbott.

  92. Oh come on

    I have a feeling “far right heretic” is actually Bob from the Viet Cong.

    This makes a lot of sense.

  93. notafan

    I don’t know how many 457’s you’ve sponsored Far Right Heretic, but the scenarios you describe cannot legally happen.
    If they do there will be people going to jail.

    One of my customers in the commercial building trade in Melbourne told me that pretty much all commercial plastering is done by Chinese nationals on 457 some sort of visas.

    Mentioned that first day on the job they were all watching a youtube in the break room on how to plaster.
    Certainly appeared to be the case on the building site near my work.

    If the contractor does a deal with a subcontractors who can provide crews of workers why couldn’t they


    oh look

  94. notafan

    1234 was/is the owner of loon pond and likes to abuse Judith (his Dame Groan) as did numbers aka one and the same as far as I am concerned.

    FRH doesn’t seem to be the same person.

  95. Bob in Castlemaine

    If former CFMEU functionary Penny Wong and former AWU head kicker Bill “think of your future Bob” Shorten are grinning like the cats that just got the cream surely the penny, sorry five cent piece, has to drop.
    Obviously not for some, while Chairman Mal preens on the media stage does anyone other than he and Derrin “human headline” Hinch seriously believe the ABCC legislation is anything other than a complete sell-out? It does precisely nothing to upset the status-quo when it comes to the cosy existing arrangements between the CFMEU and big builders but of course it also sets the stage for a Shorten election campaign to “roll-back anti-worker legislation”, all funded of course by $millions of corporate “donations” and even larger union levies on members.
    Well good luck, but when can we anticipate the arrival of Australia’s Donald?

  96. Smufti

    The CFMEU legislation was always nothing more than an ideological symbol.
    Nothing has changed.

  97. Slayer of Memes

    to quote from the comments
    “Notice how no one says that Turnbull is the smartest person in the room anymore.”

    I’ve said for a long time that the only room the Termite is the smartest man in is commonly labelled as ‘WC’ on building plans..

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