Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 06, 2022


Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:58): My question is to the Attorney-General regarding the CFMEU.

1. Has the Attorney-General met with any of the union leaders from the CFMEU?

2. When did he meet with them?

3. What was discussed?

4. What measures will the minister introduce to ensure that the union will not engage in the poor behaviour that has become synonymous with its members on construction sites interstate?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:58): I thank the honourable member for her question. As the Minister for Industrial Relations, I have met with many, many unions. I would have had meetings with unions and telephone conversations with unions on dozens and dozens of occasions and business groups as well—employer groups and industry groups—and that stands in very, very stark contrast to the former government whose industrial relations minister would get up here time and time again in this place with a smirk on his face and think it most amusing to denigrate people who work in unions as union bosses. That was a common tactic that the former industrial relations minister used to use. We stand in stark contrast to that. We will deal both with industry and employer groups and unions. We are proud to do so. Unions represent—

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —tens of thousands of South Australian workers.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I have met with unions, had conversations with union officials many dozen times since becoming minister, and a number of those meetings would have included members of the CFMEU.