A good gage of whether the Royal Commission into unions has done its job is if we end up with a long list of heroes who saved the day when the Royal Commission hands its report to the government. If the Royal Commission does write up people as being heroes or implied heroes then it is almost guaranteed that the Royal Commission was a dud and nothing more than a selective witch-hunt.
A large percentage of the people who give evidence will be coming from one side or the other in union factional fights and there are no heroes there.
A prime example is the Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge who will likely be a key witness and give evidence at the Royal Commission. Mr Cambridge is written up in almost all media as a hero or implied hero because he called for a Royal Commission into the AWU in 1996. But Cambridge was also involved in a factional war at the Australian Workers Union (AWU) at the time when he called for the Royal Commission.
Cambridge wrote to the then federal Minister for Industrial Relations Laurie Brereton on the 23rd January 1996 asking for the Royal Commission into the AWU. Ian Cambridge knew full well that the federal government that was Labor, union controlled and led by Paul Keating would not have a Royal Commission. Four days later on the 27th January 1996 the Paul Keating federal government announced the election to be held on the 2nd March 1996. The John Howard led Liberal Party won power yet Ian Cambridge never wrote to the Liberals asking for a Royal Commission. Calling for the Royal Commission in 1996 was just part of Cambridge’s strategy for his internal fight at the AWU. (Click here to read more)
I have dealt with Cambridge personally and he is a major league grub, corrupt as they come and right up there with the worst of any of them and if he comes out smelling like roses than you know that the Royal Commission failed to get to the whole truth. There are plenty of skeletons in Ian Cambridge’s closet from his union days and elsewhere and I am sure the union boys will let everyone know.
Ian Cambridge is one example but almost everyone from the union movement has similar baggage although maybe not as bad as Cambridge. So don’t hold out for any heroes.
I was at the Royal Commission’s first hearing day on Wednesday and I found it to be a time waster, although probably a necessary one as it had to start somewhere. No witnesses were called and Commissioner Heydon and the council assisting the commission, Jeremy Stoljar, read out what they were going to do, but gave very little away as far as specific details are concerned. It will probably be a month or more before they have hearing days with witnesses giving evidence. For starters they need a hearing room and more staff as they had to borrow both on Wednesday for the first hearing day from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. (Click here for Commissioner Heydon’s opening remarks and click here for Mr Stoljar’s opening address)
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver says the Royal Commission is a witch hunt and if he is correct then he is in a lot of trouble as Mr Oliver and his wife Justice Suzanne Jones have had their snouts in the union / Labor Party trough for a long time and have made millions from it. (Click here to read more) Mr Oliver is not part of the solution, he is part of the problem and should resign the same way the AWU National Secretary Paul Howes has.
The Labor Party are already under extreme pressure to change for the better from a corruption view point and I believe the Royal Commission can help the process if it does its job properly.
This is the peoples Royal Commission (we’re paying for it) so do your bit with social media and help make sure the Royal Commission does its job. Government departments do monitor social media and react to it so if you spend a minute or two on Facebook and Twitter etc. it does help.
It is a bit of a slow start to the Royal Commission but I would expect when it does get up to speed it will be a fast and furious battle to get to the truth.
You can make a submission to the Royal Commission into unions using the contact details on their website. It is tradeunionroyalcommission.gov.au (Click here to go to their website)
Admin: If you use Twitter the best hash tag for the union Royal Commission so far is #UnionRC or #unionrc
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