The Royal Commission into the construction industry is unjustified and has been called in an election year to distract attention from the failings of the Howard Government.

“This is a politically motivated waste of taxpayers’ money designed to throw muck at unions in the lead-up to a Federal election,” said ACTU Secretary Greg Combet.

“Allegations of unlawful conduct have already been referred to the police by the CFMEU with the support of the ACTU. Any further claims should also be referred to the proper authorities.

“The recent report from Employment Advocate Jonathan Hamberger into the construction industry is a collection of thin, unsubstantiated allegations and does nothing to warrant this inquiry.

“Mr Hamberger alleges State police ‘lack both the willingness and the expertise to deal with matters with an industrial relations component’. No evidence whatsoever is provided to justify this serious claim, but Prime Minister Howard and Workplace Relations Minister Abbott use the report to justify the Royal Commission.

“Despite our belief that this is politically motivated, now that the inquiry has been established, the ACTU and its affiliates will do whatever is required in carrying out our legal responsibilities because unions have nothing to hide,” said Mr Combet.