Secretive union deal does not pass the pub test

The Opposition has slammed the McGowan Labor Government for refusing to provide details around terms for paying $200,000 of taxpayers’ money to the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

Shadow Forestry Minister Steve Martin said the recent Auditor-General report outlining Forestry
Minister Dave Kelly’s failure to provide Parliament with the information as ‘not appropriate’ shows WA Labor’s further muddying of Government transparency.

“Minister Kelly has once again proven his Government’s lack of commitment to their promised
‘gold standard transparency’ and in fact shows a willingness to omit crucial information from West Australians,” Mr Martin said.

“The AWU’s relationship with the WA Labor Party is questionable enough for them to provide
representation for all forestry workers, but this financial injection raises further questions on the AWU’s ability to provide truly unbiased representation of forestry workers.

“One would think this payment is meant to prevent the AWU from openly criticising the State Government on this matter.

“The WA Labor Government is happy with demolishing the forestry industry then act like a cash handout to their Union mates will make it better.

“Minister Kelly must front Western Australians on his Government’s decision to fund such a closely tied Union for important discussions around the future of all forestry workers.”

Opposition Leader Mia Davies said the decision by Minister for Forestry Dave Kelly to not provide information about the deal with the Labor Party-affiliated union does not pass the pub test.

“This is just another example in a growing list of secretive deals by the McGowan Labor Government that don’t stack up,” Ms Davies said.

“The Premier promised to lead a Government that would deliver ‘rolled-gold transparency’ and solid accountability but has done anything but.

“Using taxpayers’ dollars to pay the AWU to negotiate transition packages for workers in the timber industry, while refusing to provide the terms of the contract, reeks of an arrogant Minister.

“The Auditor General has found the McGowan Labor Government wanting on a number of occasions when it comes to governance and accountability.

“Clearly the Premier and his Labor Ministers believe they are above good governance – West Australians deserve better than the arrogance and dishonesty currently on display.”