Let’s just set the scene.
The recently established Registered Organisations Commission earlier this week obtained the necessary warrants to allow the Federal Police to forcible enter the Sydney and Melbourne offices of the AWU. They were seeking documents and files around the allegation that the AWU, while under Mr Shorten’s leadership, donated $100,000 to GetUp! and $25,000 to Mr Shorten’s 2007 campaign.
It does not seem disputed that the payments to GetUp! or Mr Shorten’s campaign were actually made. What appears in questions is whether these payments were made within the “rules” of the AWU. In other words, whether the person/persons making the payments did so with the appropriate authority of the Union and further whether the donations contravened civil penalty provisions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission Act 1996, the predecessor to the Fair Work Registered Organisations Act 2009.
To put this in another way, were such payments made by government, were they properly authorised and appropriated. Similarly, were such payments made by business, were they made within the terms of the constitution of the company and the delegations from shareholders to directors to management.
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP is the deputy leader of the opposition. Prior to entering parliament in 1998 at the age of 29, Ms Plibersek was:
- Women’s Officer, University of Technology, Sydney.
- Domestic Violence Unit, NSW Ministry for the Status of Women.
- Electorate officer.
On current trajectory, come next election, Mr Shorten will be Australia’s next Prime Minister and Ms Plibersek will be Australia’s next Deputy Prime Minister. In the event Mr Shorten is travelling, on holidays or unwell, Ms Plibersek will be Australia’s Acting Prime Minister.
Both Mr Shorten and Ms Plibersek were members of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments, and held executive positions during parts of same. Mr Shorten was also a key agitator for the NDIS when he was Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services.
In response to the Federal Police “raids” on the offices of the AWU investigating the above, Ms Plibersek said:
the government was hypocritical to instigate an investigation into AWU donations when Bill Shorten was national secretary given the Prime Minister’s $1.75 million to the Coalition’s 2016 campaign.
You talk about transparency of donations, which is what this whole thing is about. We’ve got a Prime Minister who donated $1.75m to his own campaign.
The first point to note is that this is not a discussion around the transparency of donations. This is a question of whether the donations were legally and properly authorised. But more to the point, does not Ms Plibersek understand the difference between Mr Turnbull spending his own money and the AWU spending other people’s money?
To Ms Plibersek, there seems to appear no difference between spending one’s own money versus spending other people’s money? Possible how Australia got pink bats, NBN, $900 cheques and the rest.
Breathtaking isn’t it. What’s mine is mine. What’s your’s is mine. What’s their’s is mine. It’s all mine mine mine.
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