Senator for Western Australia Dio Wang says he will continue negotiating in good faith with the Government on laws to stamp out corruption in the building and construction centre while at the same time urging all parties to commit to his parliamentary inquiry into the establishment of a federal anti-corruption watchdog.
“Since Christmas, I have been talking to the Government and the PM’s office about the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission laws in the wake of the findings of the Trade Union Royal Commission being released,” Senator Wang said today in response to questions about media reports that the Government would only negotiate with a bloc of crossbenchers on improvements and safeguards to the ABCC.
“But while discussions were initially constructive, we have not received any substantive response in recent weeks since the Government decided to prioritise laws to make it harder for people to elect independent voices to the Senate – only media reports.
“We have not been negotiating as a political tactic for a convenient election date – our amendments on the ABCC Bill go toward the Government’s own work on tackling corruption in areas such as sham contracting and wage exploitation, so it’s hard to understand why the Government would no longer want to discuss them in good faith.”
Senator Wang said he was well aware of calls by the public and crossbenchers for the Government to commit to a federal anti-corruption agency.
“That’s why I have separately set up our Senate inquiry into the establishment of a National Integrity Commission, which everyone but the Government voted for back in February,” he said.
“We need everybody to commit to this inquiry – which would be axed in a double-dissolution election before it’s even had a chance to take evidence at a public hearing – and to bringing forward legislation as a result of it.”
FOR FURTHER BACKGROUND:
• ‘Statement in response to industrial relations legislation and the election’, 21 March 2016:
• ‘Finally, a chance for people to have their say on federal anti-corruption agency’, 7 March 2016:
• ‘Senator welcomes votes for federal anti-corruption agency’, 25 February 2016:
• ‘Senator leads charge for federal anti-corruption agency’, 24 February 2016: