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LNP Demands An End To Union Intimidation At Construction Sites In Cairns

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Queensland's Shadow Industrial Relations Minister is demanding the Labor Government stamp out union intimidation in Cairns and protect its own public servants from abuse.

Jarrod Bleijie is commenting after it emerged an investigation is underway into the abuse of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors by CFMEU officials.

The incident occurred at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre construction site in April.

“Labor should be protecting workers who stand up to thugs in the CFMEU,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Any CFMEU official who threatens or abuses public servants should have their right of entry suspended.

“This case needs to be referred to the Australian Building and Construction Commission to be properly investigated – not covered up.

“Intimidating an inspector is a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of two years’ jail.

“But I expect Labor will do nothing. Labor has pocketed $600,000 from the CFMEU since 2014 and will protect thugs as long as the money keeps coming in.”

The CFMEU called Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Inspectors to the site in an attempt to shut down work on the council construction project.

The CFMEU is locked in a dispute with Cairns Regional Council over a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

“If inspectors don’t obey the CFMEU they are threatened and abused,” Mr Bleijie said.

“The LNP has demanded to know the full extent of union intimidation against health and safety inspectors, but Labor won’t reveal the truth.

“The Industrial Relations Minister refused to answer questions on this issue in Estimates this month. Labor is in government, but it’s clear the CFMEU is in charge.”

Michelle Price has been working as a journalist since 1999 and loves human interest pieces.

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