Tony Abbott announces Royal Commission into unions

Tony Abbott announces Royal Commission into unions

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a Royal Commission into unions will be launched, with the terms of reference expected to focus on investigating bribes, secret commissions, corruption and slush funds.

Mr Abbott promised the inquiry prior to the election, amid allegations former Prime Minister Julia Gillard set up a union slush fund.

He has named former High Court Judge Dyson Heydon to head the Commission, and says he hopes they can begin work as soon as possible.

It follows allegations of corruption, slush funds, and the misuse of union funds in a number of unions over the past few years, including recent claims of corruption within construction unions.

Attorney-General George Brandis says there has been growing public concern about corruption within trade unions.

But Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says a royal commission into unions will be a ‘lawyers’ picnic’ and taxpayer dollars would be better spent on boosting the police force.

Mr Shorten says there is no need for a Royal Commission into unions and police should be responsible for any corruption investigations.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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