More Liberal jobs for mates and no voice for workers as Marshall Government changes laws

Months after appointing an unqualified Liberal mate to a Board overseeing training in the construction sector, the Marshall Government has passed laws giving the Minister the power to appoint more unqualified cronies – and pay them more.

Under the guise of removing union representation from the Construction Industry Training Board, the Government has made shocking changes that would give the Minister unprecedented powers to stack the board with employers, increase their pay, and allow them to reduce the levy paid by the industry.

CFMEU National Construction Assistant Secretary Andrew Sutherland said he had grave fears over the future of the $21 million fund.

“The voice of workers is critical in their own training fund. There is only one reason why the Marshall Government wants to remove unions: and that is to remove scrutiny,” Andrew Sutherland said.

“The Construction Industry Training Board had always been above politics. In the past, bosses and unions achieved bipartisan agreement on how funds were spent.

“There are no checks and balances now, and the Marshall Liberal Government is free to appoint whoever it wants to the Board, pay them more, and use the funds however they want.

“This is a scandalous betrayal of public trust and workers’ rights.”

Late last year, the Government appointed a Liberal mate, Nicholas Handley, with no relevant qualifications to the Board – which was not done in accordance with legislative requirements and government policies and procedures.

“Now they’ve changed the laws to enable them to stack the Board legally.

“We are considering legal advice as to whether the appointment of Nicholas Handley should be referred to the South Australian ICAC.”

The Construction Industry Training Board oversees funds which are raised through a levy on the industry to train and retain workers in the construction industry – one of the most dangerous industries in the country.

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