UNION CONTROL: ‘ABCC will target construction companies, not unions’ reports The Weekend Australian, October 22, 2016: Before projects begin, head contractors hold talks with unions to draw up an EBA and sign a master copy. Then they give the unions a list of all the subcontractors tendering for work, whereupon the unions visit the subcontractors [small businesses] with the master copy in hand and make it clear (and this is where the thuggery and bullying can come in) that without the subcontractor’s signature on the EBA tenders will be denied and no work from the head contractor will come their way.
Both sides are misinforming the public. The Prime Minister, who wrote a column in these pages about the issue recently (October 17), isn’t helping the matter much. His messaging is all about the unions, whereas it should be about how the code will bring competition into a non-competitive sector and ensure that small businesses are not the victims of unfair business practices.
‘PAUL MURRAY: PM fails to dim union power’ reports The West Australian on October 22, 2016: One of the great puzzles of this year’s Federal election campaign was why Malcolm Turnbull did not turn his guns on the union movement.
The election was ostensibly called over union militancy, with the double dissolution trigger provided by the Senate’s rejection of key industrial reform legislation.
There was no shortage of ammunition from the Abbott government’s royal commission and Labor’s leader was a virtual sitting duck, the embodiment of a union-made politician.
THE AUDACIOUS PURSUIT continues, The Weekend West, October 22, 2016, reports: ‘Nationals eye city seats as mining tax proves popular in polling.’ “The WA Nationals are considering running candidates in metropolitan seats to leverage the popularity of their mining tax in what would be a provocative incursion onto the turf of the major parties.”
“The Weekend West can reveal the plan is being pushed by North West Central MP Vince Catania, who wants the March State election to be a “plebiscite on the GST”, and is being considered by leader Brendon Grylls.”
“On Tuesday, Mr Grylls told a business audience the best way to achieve a policy outcome in modern Australia was to exert political pressure on key seats, citing South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon extracting $50 billion of defence contracts during the last Federal election campaign.”
‘Grylls’ iron ore tax has flaws but electoral maths says it’s on the table’ reports The West Australian on October 25, 2016: “It’s an outcome that the polls suggested was likely and now it has happened — neither Colin Barnett nor Mark McGowan has the numbers to form government in their own right. Once again, the WA Nationals hold the balance of power. ABC election analyst Anthony Green, 8.40pm (WST), March 11, 201[6]”

“Anyone who believes that Brendon Grylls’ $5-a-tonne iron ore tax is never going to happen needs to ask themselves whether the above scenario is completely unbelievable. And, if it is believable, does anyone reckon Mr Grylls won’t use his bargaining power to force someone to agree to the tax on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto? Does anyone believe Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan won’t jump at the chance to make that deal?”
BABY LEAVE DOUBLE DIP: The West Australian on October 25, 2016 reports: ‘Bosses blast end to paid baby leave ‘double-dip’’. “Much of the $1 billion expected to be saved by clamping down on paid parental leave “double-dippers” will never eventuate as private employers dump their own schemes, the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry says.”
Whilst few SMEs have their own PPL schemes, in our judgment the “Chicken Little” assertion of the CCIWA does not stack up, the report says: “Social Services Minister Christian Porter defended the changes, arguing they were designed to make paid parental leave fairer.”
“We are seeking to try and rebalance, bring more people into the system and spread it more generously to low-income workers, but provide some reasonable limits based in effect around income and the generosity of a private scheme at the other end of the PPL spectrum,” Mr Porter said.