Legislative Council: Thursday, November 03, 2022


Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:44): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Attorney-General, regarding industrial relations.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: Media reports last week indicate that the CFMEU is escalating its campaign against local subcontractors to boycott construction firms that will not agree to CFMEU demands. My questions to the Attorney-General are:

1. Has the Attorney-General or any of his Labor government colleagues been contacted by any South Australian construction businesses about this issue?

2. Has the Attorney-General or any of his Labor colleagues contacted or met with any construction companies regarding their concerns?

3. How will his government ensure that these businesses are protected from intimidation and pressure on their subcontractors from the CFMEU?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:45): I thank the honourable member for her question, and I thank her for asking a question that falls within my portfolio responsibilities. I do note it sounded substantially similar to the first question that was asked of the Premier in the lower house, but even if it is the same question that was asked in another chamber earlier today, at least it has a nexus to my portfolio area. I think the deputy leader has taken a step up on her colleagues.

I haven't had any contact myself from concerned people in the industry about the issues that the honourable member purports have recently occurred in terms of subcontracting. If anything was raised with me, I would be happy to discuss it with any construction business in South Australia. We have a very productive relationship with industry in South Australia.

Take, for example, the recent Master Builders awards that occurred in South Australia. If I remember correctly, there were a number of Labor ministers who attended those awards, but the Leader of the Opposition refused to attend those awards because, I think as the media reports said, he wasn't happy with the way he was invited. I can assure you, sir, this government works very constructively with members of industry, particularly those in the construction industry.