Prime minister Scott Morrison speaks at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia in Perth on Monday.

Scott Morrison to take on ‘militant’ unions in industrial relations review


Play Video

Scott Morrison announces industrial relations review
  • Scott Morrison announces industrial relations reviewNOW
    Scott Morrison announces industrial relations review
  • Minority government leaves PM in trouble
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is planning a review of the nation’s industrial relations system that will focus on the role of unions in workplaces, as part of a push to rev up the economy.
The Liberal leader announced the plan in Perth today and said Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter would lead the review.
“Under our Government, the days lost to industrial disputes has fallen by 40 percent compared to what it was under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government,” Mr Morrison said in an address to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.
“There is still a strong agenda of legislative change that we want to make.”
Mr Morrison put the unions on notice to expect tougher laws, referencing the recent scandal with CFMMEU Victorian leader John Setka.
“(Opposition leader) Anthony Albanese, he can jump up and down about John Setka all he likes, but the real question is – will he actually support legislative change to make sure that thugs in militant unions have no place in the union movement?” Mr Morrison said.
This is the prime minister’s first visit to Western Australia since the coalition’s surprise federal election win on May 18 and his first major economic speech since being returned to office.


Mr Morrison told the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA the government would prioritise its proposed Ensuring Integrity Bill – which would make it easier to deregister unions – when parliament resumed next week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is taking aim at unions as part of an industrial relations review. (AAP)
He said he would also continue to pressure Labor to back the coalition’s three-stage personal income tax plan in full.
Mr Albanese confirmed today the Labor Party would support the government’s stage one and stage two tax plan, for low and middle income earners.
“This would provide up to $1350 for all those (earning incomes)above $90,000,” Mr Albanese said.
Labor had previously said it would only support the first stage of the tax plan , but not other cuts due in 2022 and 2024.
However, Labor was still opposed to the third stage of the government’s tax package, Mr Albanese said.
Under the government’s tax plan, from 2024/25, 94 per cent of Australians will pay a marginal tax rate of no more than 30 cents in the dollar, compared to only 16 per cent if stages two and three are not delivered.
Opposition frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon says the focus on unions is a distraction.
“The government needs to start showing some initiative, start talking about what it’s going to do about productivity in the economy, rather than spend all of its time putting up these false debates,” he told ABC Radio National.
Mr Morrison will also note the recent call by the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, for the government to do more to stimulate the economy over the longer term.
The government has already foreshadowed a $100 billion infrastructure investment program that will fund nationally significant transport projects across the states and territories.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019






David Crowe

David Crowe is chief political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.