Building industry secret police abuse powers

Building industry secret police abuse powers

The peak body for working people has slammed the actions of the Morrison Government’s building industry secret police, the ABCC, after the rogue regulator forced Lendlease to hand over the home addresses of people who participated in a political protest against the government.

The ABCC used special powers to compel Lendlease to hand over the names and home addresses of 150 people who attended the Change the Rules political protests in October last year. But the ABCC also tried to keep the request to the company secret from the public.

The move comes after ABCC officers stepped outside their mandate last month to pursue manufacturing workers over their attendance at the protest.

The ABCC has had significant extra resources devoted to it under the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government, while regulators overseeing the scandal-plagued banking sector have been cut.

While Michaelia Cash – the Morrison Government minister until recently responsible for the operation of the ABCC – feels free to refuse to speak to the AFP over her role in the leaking of sensitive police information, working people and the companies that employ them are compelled to hand over private details.

 

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“In a democracy, people have a right to attend political protests without fear of some shadowy government agency pursuing them over it. They also have a right to privacy.

“Scott Morrison and his building industry secret police are robbing the one million Australians who work in construction of their rights.

“They have used powers they shouldn’t have to force 150 people’s employers to disclose their home addresses in a blatant violation of their right to privacy.

“One ABCC Commissioner has already quit in disgrace after being caught breaking the law he claimed to uphold.

“Now it appears another is determined to over-reach his authority, abuse his power and bring an even greater stench to this already desperately compromised body.

“It’s time to disband this failed and politicised secret police service and let working people get on with their lives in peace.”