||Issue No. 193||29 August 2003|
Smells Like Community Spirit
Interview: The New Deal
Unions: In the Line of Hire
Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
International: The Domino Effect
Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Poetry: Just Move On.
Review: Reality Bites
The Locker Room
Tom’s History Of The World
Tony Is A Tool
Abbott Asked to Consider Honesty
Clough, former CEO of Clough Constructions and Engineering, admitted donating thousands of dollars to "Australians for Honest Politics" - a front organisation established by Abbott to fund prosecution of One Nation
leader, Pauline Hanson, when it became apparent her race-based policies were luring away Coalition voters.
At the time, before much of her agenda had been adopted by the Howard Government, Abbott publicly denied the existence of such a fund.
In the face of court evidence produced during Hanson's prosecution in Brisbane, Abbott this week recanted, sparking CFMEU insistence that he reveal the extend of construction industry backing.
National secretary, John Sutton, has written to the Minister seeking information on other construction companies that chipped into the hush-hush account.
"Considering Tony Abbott's position as Workplace Relations Minister and his establishment of a Royal Commission which white-washed building industry
employers, we believe the community should know whether or not other industry employers donated to his fund," Sutton said.
"We've little sympathy with Pauline Hanson's racist policies; what we're committed to is politics that's above board in practice, not just in theory."
The union's call comes one year after Abbott's $60 million Building Industry Royal Commission went through its funds with a fine tooth comb.
In the face of independently audited accounts, Counsel Assisting and the Commissioner, himself, publicly raised questions about the propriety of donations made to union funds.
They had to withdraw some claims, and apologise for others, but earned a lot media coverage on the way through. Twelve months after those proceedings
finished none has resulted in legal action, despite Abbott funding a follow-up Interim Taskforce to the tune of another $10 million taxpayer dollars.
Labor front bencher, Mark Latham, has joined the chorus for Abbott to level with Australians about the identities of slush fund donors.
The Minister's failure to disclose, Latham said, raised important questions, including ...
- do donors include business people who Abbott has favoured and assisted in his capacity as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations?
- do they include corporations Abbott has mentioned and assisted in Parliament?
- were the donations organised by Ian Harley Macdonald, Abbott's campaign director and fundraiser who was subsequently gaoled for embezzlement?
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