dirty little secrets …

Michael Smith uncovers zingers from the Royal Commission into Trade unions. Gillard, Shorten, Ludwig and others from the AWU send the Union broke:

Then this zinger:

 

I am dumbfounded by that figure.   Several hours after I first read it I remain astounded, sickened, genuinely shocked and appalled at the sheer utter waste.   I’ll try to get the $800K into some perspective.

During its two year life the TURC allocated 33 public hearing days to the AWU.   The $800K sum in fighting subpoenas breaks down into an average of $25,000 per sitting day – not in total legal costs but in simply trying to keep evidence from the Commission.

6 months of AWU membership costs $286 or $572 annually – so 1,400 AWU members annual dues have been soaked up to pay the $800K bill.

So what did those 1,400 members get in return?

Absolutely nothing,   What possible benefit could there be for a rank and file member in the suppression of information about his union’s affairs?

Very, very few people stood to benefit from fighting the subpoenas – a handful at most.   Bill Shorten, Bill Ludwig, Cesar Melhem and some other senior decision makers with secrets to hide have had their backsides protected through 1,400 workers each kicking in $572  to produce $800,000 of delays and legal frustrations.

Scott McDine the AWU National Secretary told The Australian:

…the AWU’s national office had also suffered a hit to finances and membership. “We’ve had aluminium smelters close, and redundancies among the steelworkers, and we’ve had the purge since the (trade union) royal commission: did you really think we were going to grow under those conditions?” he said. The union has spent more than $800,000 fighting royal commission subpoenas.

Victorian secretary Ben Davis said he had shed members after revelations that many had been signed up without their knowledge or were paying “service fees” rather than genuine dues.

I’m amazed they have any members after performances like that.  $800K provided by the masses to protect a few suss characters with dirty secrets to hide.

Unspeakable swill.

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About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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