May 10, 2006 | Graham

Questions for Bill Shorten

Bill, if belonging to a union is such a good idea why is it that you are only acting on safety problems at the Beaconsfield mine after they’ve proved fatal? Rather than just calling for an inquiry into the mine company’s management of the mine shouldn’t you be having a long hard look at your own operation? Maybe it’s time to allow alternative representatives to unions to handle industrial issues and admit that life’s been so cosy for the union movement for so long that they’ve stopped to offer a valuable service.
But then, if John Howard and Alexander Downer can walk away from the AWB scandal unscathed, why should your situation be any different? It’s not as though it was your job to run the mine, just represent the interests of the workers, and if no-one directly told you that there were any problems, even though plenty of people apparently knew, then it couldn’t be your responsibility in any way…could it?

Posted by Graham at 12:09 pm | Comments (7) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Ummm excuse me but arent you forgeting one little fact here. Like who makes the laws.
    Bet you squilions that the actu has brought these safety issues countless of times to goverment agencies.
    nice try tho 🙂

    Comment by con — May 10, 2006 @ 7:42 pm

  2. Graham, I believe Bill Shorten and the AWU had ongoing discussions about mine safety at Beaconsfield for a long period before the latest rockfall. After a previous fall, mine management had assured Shorten it would not send workers into unsafe environments. That is why mine management acted like kids caught with matches when the latest rock fall occurred and initially seemed to have killed three miners.
    I don’t know what more Shorten or the AWU could have done, especially when they have no management say at the mine, and our government is doing everything it can to remove what say they do have.

    Comment by Tony Healy — May 11, 2006 @ 10:47 am

  3. On this issue,I do not qualify to comment,but this man,Bill Shorten,is destined for better things,and in my opinion,will one day hold a very responsible position in the government of Australia,once we get rid of the coalition,and John Howard,this Budget by Peter Costello has said,it all,and that is Australia is a country,for the rich,or better still “ELITE ” that,THAT DETERMINES how the rest of the not so wellof have to exist and the YUPPIES? that want to be included,in the Howard Street,there is no room for the poor,the workers and their families,some may be fooled by the handout of the $30,to keep as the loud mouth Peter Costello says,for when it is needed,but by the time XMAS comes,it would,have been absorbed,bread,milk,petrol,and all other things needed in the working family household,this in anycase is just a GIMMICK for them to be re,elected,but the workers of Australia will ensure this will not be so.

    Comment by Thomas Wertheim — May 11, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  4. Hey, haven’t any of you guys heard of a strike? Have we become such a Nanny State that it’s always the government’s fault when things go wrong?
    If Shorten can’t come up with better excuses than these he ought to be in big trouble!

    Comment by Graham Young — May 11, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  5. So unions are a service now? Well that says it all. And who might be the alternative representatives to the union? The Office of Workplace Services I suppose.

    Comment by Margaret O'Riordan — May 11, 2006 @ 11:58 am

  6. Disgracefully we have been subjected to the modern labor party way of unionism which is hunky dory if you are an official.Surely,the mildest and the staunchest of unionists must realise that the undermining of the union structure has not come from this grubby howard government but from our own complacency in accepting opinions and decisions of our fearless union leadership probably as far back as two and a half decades.These people must eventually be brought to heel by the rank and file and have their corrupt and politically ambitious arses kicked.That we, the working class have been weakened by these self important donkeys is the only reason that this bunch of girly-men of the coalition has managed to put together the testosterone levels needed to pull this WORKPLACE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS garbage on.And just to finish off,if you think this so called union affiliated labor party is going to take you anywhere near back to where you were,think real hard.

    Comment by jeff peebles — May 11, 2006 @ 8:00 pm

    The Howard IR laws has gone to the high court. The most important legal case in 50-100yrs and a growing number of legal experts are worried if the laws are not stopped it will be the beginning of the States demise.
    This government is destroying Australia on so many fronts. The most damaging and badly written IR legislation that was rushed through parliament by a puppet coalition senate. Save us High Court!
    How can a so called legal expert like Kevin Andrews put his name on such a bill. At least one senator admitted to not reading the bill and I suspect most
    senators didn’t bother.
    A government that illegally sells Telstra who turns a blind eye to corrupt payments by AWB not to mention the compulsory ID card. That is if you are not rich.
    Then there lies on Iraq, GST and children overboard and what about forcing disabled to work.
    Howard and Liberal voters, you made a bad choice with your last vote. This time don’t fall for the interest rate rubbish (which they don’t control) and baby bonus bribes or small tax cuts.
    One day we will have a PM who doesn’t stab us in the back. Mr Howard, go and live in America. Oh that’s right your on holidays there right now.

    Comment by Glen Cunningham — May 13, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

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