Unsustainable Election Numbers

The latest Newspoll published in The Australian continues to detail incredible numbers for Labor. But I think the numbers are mainly due to the Liberals being so bad.

The two-party preferred is 58-42, with Labor on 47 percent of the primary vote.

66 percent are satisfied with Rudd performance, with only 43 percent satisfies with Turnbulls. But the worrying number for Turnbull is that 19 percent are uncommitted, meaning that 38 percent are dissatisfied. If only a small amount of the uncommited move to dissatisfied then Turnbull will have real trouble maintaining his support in the party room.

Could this be why Turnbull is now trying to out do the government on reducing carbon emmissions?

Even Dennis cannot seem to spin this poll as being good for the coalition in any way.

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84 Responses

  1. The Libs should consider themselves lucky to achieve those numbers.

  2. Could this be why Turnbull is now trying to out do the government on reducing carbon emmissions?~Joni

    Could be, but it will be a failed strategy. A Liberal trying to out-green Labor? Please.

    Speaking of failed strategies, carbon-trading is looking more like one of those every day:

    Set up to price pollution out of existence, carbon trading is pricing it back in. Europe’s carbon markets are in collapse.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/23/glover-carbon-market-pollution

  3. The numbers do not make for good parliament…for the Westminster System to “work” it requires good opposition – and unless the Libs get their act together we may end up with a government that thinks it can do no wrong (a symptom of Groupthink – discussed many times at Blogocrats)

    While its fun to ‘gloat” we should be vigilant too – I like to think that we do take our government to task on this blog although the majority of us lean (at various angles) to the left – some more so on Friday nights {check out the Shiraz from Tas!} 😀

  4. Actually, I laughed at first about the green drive from the libs. But churnbull actually has form on this, and due to his previous stance on the issue, might add some relevance to the entire parties new-found ‘greeness.

    Not sure if the general population will buy it though after how hard they went against it previously under brows.

  5. TB

    Completely agree. We need a good opposition to have an effective parliament.

    And yeah – when the government deserves a kick then we give it one.

  6. I maintain the rage at Rodent and Smirker’s move to financially undermine the Labor Party by attacking its union funding base with SerfChoices. A regime using the legislative process to cripple their political opponents is fascism pure and simple. Fascist Liberals.

  7. Caney, on February 24th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Couldn’t agree more, Caney

    Compared that with the Hawke/Keating Accord approach:

    http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/meetpm.asp?pageName=inoffice&pmId=23

    Nice bit of history here for Poodle, too.

  8. From: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,25098059-2,00.html?from=public_rss Julia Gillard calls Christopher Pyne a poodle

    Sky News interview this morning Abbott and Combet. Abbott expressed his respect of Gillard during a discussion of the above…

  9. Min

    Neil = Poodle

  10. Caney – Union membership has been in free fall for decades, or a couple of generations. But you don’t blame the unions for their increasing irrelevance.

    The fact that less than 1 in 5 employees are in a union, about 1 in 7 in the private sector, is apparently the fault of Workchoices.

    When the unions attacked Simon Crean’s seat, and tried to install a “star” union official, that’s not them throwing their weight around in a manner that is destructive to membership participation in the ALP?

    The heinous crime of Crean? To support the recommendation of Wran & Hawke to reduce union voting from 60% to a mere 50%.

    The unions screw up participation of members in the ALP. How about balancing up the commentary occasionally?

    TB – most of the decline in union membership occurred under the watch of Hawke & Keating. When Hawke became PM, union membership was near 50%, they warranted a seat at the table of government. Now, with less than 1 in 5? I don’t think so.

  11. Saw the ‘poodle’ comment on the news last night (or was it the 7.30 report)

    That is the sort of banter that has been missing in politics lately

    And I think Swan should shy away from that, his rhino (I think it was) fell flat.

    He is too much the geek to try and get into all that banter, he should stick to what he is doing best at the moment, crucifying the opposition with financial results, not theatre.

  12. Uh, geeze, knew I shouldn’t have mentioned unions. Hi Tom.

  13. Actually TomM, I do blame the Unions for their increasing irrelevance. Or actually, not increasing irrelevance, but declining numbers. It is the success of the Unions by creating a world class enterprise system of Awards that has seen workers come to the conclusion that they no longer need the Union. The Award does the work of the Union. Most jobs these days come with an associated award, and you generally do not have to be in a Union to be covered by that Award.

    Success has bred their decline, not failure.

  14. I actually was a bit offended by the “mincing” comment by Gillard. Maybe I was just being a bit too precious. 🙄

  15. Not just a poodle – but a MINCING Poodle!!

    🙂

  16. Kim Beazley, Valedictory Speech, reported in Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 2007:

    … understand this: when you wish to assault democracy, first you attack the unions. When you wish to restore democracy, first you start with the unions.

    “It is no accident that the opposition in Zimbabwe now is led by the unions.

    “When you undermine unions, you undermine democracy in the workplace, then you will undermine democracy in the nation overall.

    “First you destroy the unions, then you destroy democracy.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/in-departure-the-glory-that-was-missing/2007/09/21/1189881775006.html?page=fullpage

  17. Oh dear,

    Now Tony Abbott’s getting in on the act:

    “RUDD IS A TOXIC BORE!!”

  18. Abbott ought to talk!

    Insults the selfless Bernie Banton as he lay on his deathbed.

    Swears on national TV.

    Is thrown out of Parliament for shaping up to fight a Labor politician.

    Allows his extremist religious beliefs to influence policy decisions.

    … That’s not boring, bit it is toxic! Toxic Abbott.

  19. Tom of Melbourne, on February 24th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Actually the decline in unions is relevant to the work unions have done to improve the conditions for their members – as unions worked to improve conditions in harmony with the government and business – following the Accord Summits, membership declined because ignorant (in the true sense of the word) saw no need to join…

    …the productivity in the mining industry only improved when management stared listening to union suggestions – including training and OH&H – both management AND unions have boofheads – most are seriously dedicated to profitability and productivity (effectiveness, efficiency and fairness)

    Give management free rein (as WorkChoices did) and the unions would surge again…

    …unions are the result of poor management control (either self or regulatory)…

  20. Caney, on February 24th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    re Abbot

    LIES on national TV – re his meetings with Pell!

  21. Tom M.

    Were you one of the supporters of the polish union which stood up to communism and helped bring down the communists in their whole area including the soviet union ?

    What do you think of the millionaire in QLD that has such influence on the LNP wiht him being a member and his donations to the party ?

  22. TB,

    I draw an analogy between the decline of union membership and the decline in vaccination rates in the community.

    As the incidence of the disease declines, people become complacent and do not keep up their vaccinations, assuming the problem has been beaten.

    Same, I think, with union membership. People take their union-won conditions for granted (workers, union or not get the benefits.).

    Taking benefits for granted is one thing: but the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

  23. TB,

    [Abbott] LIES on national TV – re his meetings with Pell!

    I’m not familiar with that incident. However nothing would surprise me with someone who professes to idolise a Lying Rodent.

    When you love and worship someone, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I guess.

    (So many clichés this morning..)

  24. Personally, I don’t have a problem with unions, as long as they act lawfully. Most do, some don’t.

    What I do object to, is their political affiliation. This politicises them, it makes them into a political target, it undermines the voluntary participation of members in the ALP, and it requires unions to have both political and industrial behaviour, All of this often results in a lack of transparency about their objectives.

    Unions ought to support the objectives of their membership, but their political affiliation undermines this.

  25. Personally, I don’t have a problem with unions

    LOL, no, just an obsession.

  26. reb, on February 24th, 2009 at 10:30 am Said:

    Reb, apparently on Hansard, it’s recorded as ‘mixing poodle’. Ah well..history will reveal…

  27. Caney @ 10.56am, you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head (well since we’re going with cliches…).

    Over the last few years, I have spoken to plenty of people and argued on blogs with plenty of people, that their pay and conditions were not due to employers being the soul of generosity, but were hard fought, grudgingly given benefits. Most were Howard Huggers who thought that the boom would be eternal and Ratty and Smirk loved them and Serfchoices was only for the unbelievers.

    As a rider, I have to say not all employers are greedy bastards, bent on enslaving their employees and not all union officials looked after their members.

  28. Tom of Melbourne, on February 24th, 2009 at 11:06 am Said:

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with unions

    Good to see you have maintained your sense of huomor there TomM 🙂

  29. Tom of Melbourne, on February 24th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Tom, I ran my own consultancy for 16 years but I have never voted Liberal. My dear old mum worked as a wefter in the Yorkshire woolen mills (among many other jobs) – she always voted Liberal – until, at 85 even she couldn’t defend JWH & The Private School Bullies…and voted Labor

    Most people who vote ALP know the history of the party and its affiliations…but more importantly its relationship with people rather than money (I wish)…

    You keep forgetting all the business unions and their affiliation with the Liberals and the Nats (ie The Farmers Federation, AiG, Chambers of Commerce) – just because it doesn’t have the word “union” in its title doesn’t mean it isn’t one!

    …and don’t think they don’t have some stupid bastards in business unions – I’ve been to some of their meetings…

  30. Hello TB..and I certainly know what a wefter was, my family being dry land wheat and sheep farmers.

    Weft being the horizontal threads.

    My g/grandfather t’other side of the family was a cordwainer from Northampton (Kingsthorpe).

  31. TB – “You keep forgetting all the business unions and their affiliation with the Liberals and the Nats (ie The Farmers Federation, AiG, Chambers of Commerce) – just because it doesn’t have the word “union” in its title doesn’t mean it isn’t one!”

    TB, I’m afraid this is incorrect. There is a big difference between a financial contributor, a died in the wool supporter and being affiliated.
    Many unions in the USA contribute finances and resources to the Democrats, this is understandable and appropriate. But these unions don’t vote for Democrat policy, they didn’t get to choose between Hilary and Barak.
    The business groups you talk about may finance, resource and support the conservatives. BUT they don’t vote at their party conferences, they don’t choose candidates for each seat.

    Unions form part of the ALP, they choose the candidates, they vote for policy, they are 50% of the party. By affiliating they have politicised industrial relations and themselves.

  32. Tom

    I think we get the point. You do not like the link between unions and the ALP.

    But this is not new detail and is not going to change. And I would think that most voters know of the link and are quite OK with it.

  33. Joni,

    If I understand this correctly, are you suggesting that Tom has an interest in the role and activities of Unions..?

  34. Lord Reb

    I might just be reading between the lines and getting the wrong impression, but I do think that is the case.

  35. Please joni…

    Friends can just call me “sir”.

  36. Do you think my interest in the insidious, destructive union/ALP affiliation has moved past the healthy, passing interest?

  37. How to divert the flippin cyber bludgers of the electorate yers ask? Simple. Turnbull needs to get stuck into the damn unions an put a stop to their workplace meddlin once an fer all, OK? The bloomin unions are runnin around the joint givin their members free legal support to hold bosses accountable for their behaviour – which is definetly not on, OK? – an tellin sheials that the super stars of management are givin them a raw deal in the final round of AWA pay negotiations.

    But these pernicious flippin allegations are total garbage aren’t they. Howard’s system works. It’s fair. Yer have yer bloomin right to remain dead protected at law, OK?. Let yer Uncle BWOOCE remind yer girlie whirlies of how workplace negotiations go, OK?

    

When the time comes to negotiate away your pay an conditions, you go into an office and sit down facing a bloke in a suit. If you’re luck’s really in, it’ll be an management super star bloke like me you are listening to, OK? You follow? Good.

    Then the boss bloke tells you exactly how much your pay will be cut by, give you some old chat about why two weeks holiday is all you need an gets sorta apologetic about the fact that he don’t pay superannuation to brunettes.

    Then you say you agree, you sign the piece of paper the suit gives you without reading it, and it’s all over red rover!! I mean, what could be fairer girls? Could you design anything more simple and predictable?

    So, given the IR regime is working efficiently fer big business types, there’s no need to fix anything girls. Jest ignore union trouble makers an their lies, OK? Pay no attention whatsoever to anyone who does not wear a suit, OK?

    Now we’ve straightened yer tiny brains out, yers can get back to work, immediately, all of yer!

  38. Not from where I’m sitting Tom…

    which happens to be resplendent in my gracious drawing room, reclining on my chesterfield armchair with a mid-afternoon brandy and Van Hartog cigar…

  39. “Friends can just call me “sir”.”(Sir reb).

    What a mere commoner you are, compared to General Lord Miglo esq.

  40. I prefer Rear Admiral Miglo of Duck

  41. Actually, Sir reb, some people are so well respected that only their first name is used, followed by their place or origin. For example, Robin of Oxley, Jesus of Nazareth, Neil of Sydney.

  42. Brilliant Tom . . . of Melbourne.

  43. Tom M

    If you think for one minute that the Farmers Federation does not have as much influence on the National Party than unions on the ALP then you are certainly blind.

    I am from the bush and was a memeer of the Farmers Federation and the Young Nationals. The farmers federation may not have actual affiliation with the National Party but they may as well have. The behind the scenes back scratching and manouvering is astounding.

    Only difference. The unions are up front and their affiliation and pressure to achieve their aims is in your face.

    The others are subtle behind closed doors, secretive and sneaky in a round about no admission of liability and deny meetings and phone calls and refuse to answer questions claiming confidentiality based on competitive forces type of way.

    I know which one I favour.

  44. “Jesus of Nazareth, Neil of Sydney.”

    LOL!

    Well done General Lord Miglo of Duck Esq.

  45. And here I was thinking that reb and I would be the Rear Admirals.

  46. Joni..believe me..everyone thought it.

  47. speak for yourself joni. I refuse to be the ‘butt’ of that joke.!

  48. It did occur to me to use Rear Admiral for reb & joni, but I thought better of it.

    I’m glad the term has now been assigned where it belongs.

  49. Aw shucks…. you guys 😛

  50. Of course Shane the Country Party is run by farmers.

    I’d prefer the standards of them not to be used as a benchmark for political ethics.

    The fact remains that by affiliating with the ALP, the unions make themselves into political targets.

  51. Joni, maybe you could be called “sir positry?”

  52. LOL reb… now if I was only from the town in England called Ramsbottom (in Lancashire).

  53. Speaking of Robin of Oxley . . .

  54. Excellent discussion. The role and history of Unions is complex. I come from a family that either worked for private industry, ran small businesses, served in the military or were stay-at-home Mums w/ the odd job. Apart from a Grandfather who was a teacher & Mayor. But who also served in WW1.

    Apart from my uncle, a Uni lecturer, the discussion about Unions rarely came up.

    I spent my teen years working thru High School & post-Secondary in Canada from the age of 13 til I left their initially at age 19…being payed a minimal amount of money for my efforts.

    Delivering papers everyday, magazines once a month on Sundays, burger-maker etc. in a fast food joint one summer, as a packer in a construction boot company another, cleaning parts of Ontario Place at Xmas, cycling an hour each weekend morning to mop hospital floors, taking a bus across the city three nights & one morning a week to do reception work in a real estate office for 18 mths, picking fruit across Canada the summer I graduated, working for a temp agency as a clerk…

    and yes, even a SCAB for 3 mths during a strike by flight attendents (this was the beginning of the Reagan/Thatcher years)…my best mate worked for an aviaton company, we knew bugger all about Unions, were low paid, thought the flight attendants were destroying the company, i’d had psychological damage due to a serious bus accident in my graduation year…& was dying to do anything that got me away from those memories.

    I’m not proud of myself…but I knew no better in those days. The education system was cool in some ways…but very pro-business. Welfare & Unions in Canada were generally looked down upon back then…particularly if you came from a middle class family in a middle class area.

    The company stabbed us in the back anyway. Companies can be ruthless I learnt. Looking back at the work I did for private industry back then, and the horrendous pay…I now realise how exploited I was.

    Don’t get me wrong, some companies were fair…but they usually had some unionised workforce. Or were run by just plain decent folk.

    I learnt the hard way over the years about the potential for being exploited, particularly if you don’t continue studies…or training. And/or have a number of chronic illnesses. There are plenty of greedy, manipulative, tight-arse employers out there.

    I spent a few months living in the basement of a Jamaican Canadian lady after I’d left home & been ejected from that flight attendent job (ironically I spoke up about health & safety…a no no I discovered)…worked then as a waiter in a restaurant, and glass collector in a pub. I could barely pay for my medication, let alone food, transport & rent.

    I observed another lodger in that dreary basement, a young black man, returning to their room after a long day’s work each day…exhausted, thin as a rake, sad, lonely but striving to improve his life.

    And I’d try to fight the boredom of my existence by listening to the radio sometimes, hear the oft racist & fear-mongering commentary from American stations across the border…

    and after too many episodes of exploitation, being treated w/out dignity…in various countries…films like this began to make sense to me:

    Matewan (1987) – The Union

    The second they get a chance, too many employers become ruthless, mean-spirited, exploitive…the WorkChoices policy would’ve been used to undermine the few protections the workers have…the right-wing politicians & their media work continually to do so…I know…I’ve lived the benefits of their world.

    But also seen & lived the consequences of their policies.

    We need BALANCE, like under Keating. Not exploitation.

    Nor should we allow the PROFITEERS to fool us into xenophobic & anti-migrant actions. DIVERT us from creating a balanced system that rewards decent effort. And assists & provides opportunities for the disadvantaged…& those forced out of work due to the greed of the PROFITEERS.

    N’

  55. I might add, I don’t advocate “walk outs”…not if the industrial relations system has the appropriate balance.

    The brilliant campaign by the Unions during the last election demonstrated that we can be SMARTER about bringing change. Even plenty of employers demonstrated rational thinking.

    SEFCHOICES was a dog of a policy…& don’t think the Liberal top brass didn’t know the economic downturn was coming…they were putting in place measures to exploit it.

    I reckon THE BORG and his QLD crew will try & do same. We know who pulls the strings.

    And we know which media outlets want Bligh out…Murdoch’s Courier Mail had a front page:

    March 21 set for Borg VS Bligh

    yea, American style “Are you ready to rumble?” claptrap…

    And notice that the Premier comes 2nd. No coincidence my friends.

    NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT

    N’

  56. N’ you too would walk out if you were onsite and for over a month were presented with meals with creeepy crawlies aka maggots. Then after 2 weeks of negotiations, all is denial..nooo…this didn’t happen, there were no maggots in the food. And in the mean while the blokes are having to eat ice-cream and pudding because of all the maggots in the food.

  57. Think you’re missing the point Min. Perhaps you didn’t read the entire comments. Fair enuff.

    History demonstrates there were plenty of justified “walk outs”. And hopefully a more BALANCED industrial relations system w/ strong Union participation will ensure they don’t have to happen again…or at least too often.

    N’

  58. For Democratic systems to work, people need to compromise…& listen to one another.

    And learn from one anotther’s experiences.

    Any yes, sometimes extreme measures are required to redress imbalance. Obviously Min. this was the case in the sad situation you mentioned above. Those who supported the worker’s rights in that situation should be applauded…as should the brave workers who resisted expolitation & horrendous conditions

    It’s important that we don’t allow the exploiters of all political persuasions to dictate our responses…and continually speak for us…and the in-built BIASES we have must be also be questioned & analysed at times.

    Not let the political ideology & assumptions we were born into dominate our approach to life & in turn blind us to reason…& the needs of others…& alternative pathways…lead us into uncompromising corners. This is partially why wars begin.

    That’s all I was trying to say above.

    i’m off shopping.
    N’

  59. Min – “you too would walk out if you were onsite and for over a month were presented with meals with creeepy crawlies aka maggots.”

    There was a case in WA where there was a lot of industrial action on a mine construction site over this very issue. Oddly there was also a turf was going on between 2 unions at the same time.

    It was subsequently found that the maggots had been planted, that it wasn’t due to cleaning and catering after all!!

    Unions at your service

  60. Tom, hubby doesn’t often chip in but he would like to know what exactly do you know about the maggots, what site it was at, where the turf wars were happening.

  61. N’…sorry. You’re right. My fault, lack of concentration. However, one thing that did strike home was your description of your family/rellies. Sounds so very like my own crew:

    “I come from a family that either worked for private industry, ran small businesses, served in the military or were stay-at-home Mums w/ the odd job. Apart from a Grandfather who was a teacher & Mayor. But who also served in WW1..”

    So funny..on Tim Dunlop’s blog that I must have been A LIAR when I said that Jeff’s uncle an Italian was Mayor of Richmond..no..not possible. But yet he was (Coloretti).

  62. Now what have you lot been up while I’ve been away?

    Jesus! Its now HRH, sreb! All Neil!

    Beat the tom, Tom – what am I doing…

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Hey, sreb got another gig this Saturday! “Nother one booked for May…business is picking up, 😀

  63. TB..youngest is off Morris Dancing but has to be back to UQ tomorrow. A gig at a folk festival west of Toowoomba.

    Wave wave to Tom..hubby awaiting answer.

  64. Yes Min, we have had this exchange in the past, when you made a similar comment.

    The construction site I’m referring to was about 300km north of Kalgoorlie

    Apologies to hubby, I trust he didn’t have to wait too long.

  65. Tom, hubby says yes that’s the one. It’s Anaconda Murrin Murrin.

    Hubby says that you are wrong in all of your assumptions.

  66. Just for confirmation hubby says that it’s a $600.00 taxi ride from Kalgoorlie. This is what Tommy Smith and the boys paid.

  67. Well Min, who’s to know?

    I don’t know hubby, but I’ve read parts of the Royal Commission and some of the sworn evidence.

    Perhaps you would ask hubby to check whether he provided a sworn statement or testimony to the Royal Commission?

    The findings of the Royal Commission are interesting.

    Interestingly there is sworn evidence of meat being taped under tables, bolts placed in salads…

    “There was an original report of food contamination by maggots on 19 August 1998. … There were also further endeavours by person or persons unknown to ensure that food served from the Projects kitchen was contaminated by maggots, or other foreign materials.”

    “This case study illustrates”

    (a) The existence of demarcation disputes between unions.
    (b) The problems caused for projects with unions compete for, or seek to poach members from, other unions”

    etc, etc

  68. Hello Tom..just to let you know that you haven’t been forgotten. Jeff said that he will get back asap. Also of interest from the Royal Commission is a letter to Twiggy Forrest from Stephen Dennis which in part reads:

    “The first and most important issue is a non-unionised workforce. As you know, our entire ER/IR strategy is to create a non-unionised workforce…”

  69. Min, on February 25th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Well there’s a surprise! Not…

  70. Min, there’s plenty of stuff on the Royal Commission file. Much of it is critical of Andrew Forrest and contractors.

    Unions perceived that he had broken a deal; they were determined to get square. Perhaps throwing dead flies into a fridge, taping meat under a table, putting bolts into salad is regarded as appropriate industrial activity in some places.

    Perhaps then having the site stop work on safety grounds is acceptable. This type “safety” dispute obviously allows the unions to claim pay for the period of the “safety” stoppage.

    None the less, I said that there was evidence of deliberate food contamination and lots of union coverage disputes. About this hubby said “you are wrong in all of your assumptions”.

    Perhaps if hubby wishes to contribute from time to time as you indicate, he should provide some evidence as I’ve done. Not just more blame the employer for the behavior of these unions.

  71. Tom of Melbourne? Discussing Unions?

    Well I’ll be….

  72. Nice pussy there reb

  73. Thank you John.

    Why are you doing an impersonation of Nasking?

  74. “Why are you doing an impersonation of Nasking?”

    John obviously got a hold of a pic of me during my angry young bear days.
    N’

  75. Tom..apologies for the delay but hubby starts work at 6am. One thing that I can’t find from the Royal Commission is the factual evidence/reports from eye witnesses that the maggots were planted. Jeff says that yes, 1st instance but not subsequent instances. He won’t of course be able to provide evidence such as links etc, however he was there when it was all happening..so maybe this might be of interest to you.

  76. Min, a young woman that worked in the kitchen gave evidence and a description of a man that fled the scene. She apparently interrupted his sabotage. A crushed fly with maggots was found next to an open fridge and dead flies had been thrown into the fridge. Some claim to know exactly who it was that the young woman observed.

    There is other evidence of meat being taped under tables – to attract the flies that are about as big as sparrows out there? Bolts in salads and much of this contamination occurred to the food that was in the self serve areas.

    The men would stop work on safety grounds, get paid, go to town. Beats working in the dust, heat and flies, and the process appears to encourage plenty of “safety” stoppages.

    And just to clarify, I didn’t commence this exchange, I merely sought to qualify your statement that –

    “you too would walk out if you were onsite and for over a month were presented with meals with creeepy crawlies aka maggots.”

    I’m also not bothered at all about whether hubby gets back to me. Certainly I wouldn’t dream of pressing him for a response after only 43 minutes (as I was).

  77. Sorry Tom. I did do that didn’t I. I’ll run this one by hubby when he gets home from work. And so the woman was an employee of Eurest?? The caterers who were later dismissed?

    If you’re not interested in continuing the discussion, just let me know. I just thought that you might be interested.

  78. I’m not particularly bothered one way or the other Min.

    Though only if you wish to, you or hubby are welcome to justify –

    “Hubby says that you are wrong in all of your assumptions.”

    One the evidence in the public domain, exactly which “assumption” have I made that hubby is able to demonstrate is “wrong”?

  79. Tom. I thought given that you have shown interest in this for a good while now, that you might like to know what was happening onsite.

    Re hubby’s statement..I just wrote it down as he said it.

    It’s not a matter of justification, hubby just thought given your interest that you might like to know what was happening onsite.

  80. Min. This is what I understand –

    • The original kitchen standards were substandard. The Royal Commission was critical of this.
    • There was an original case of maggot infestation.
    • Subsequent cases were deliberately caused, opportunistically to disrupt the project.
    • Bolts were placed in salads.
    • Off meat was hidden in meal areas in order to attract flies.
    • There were lots of (paid) stoppages due to “safety” – ie food contamination. People were flown home (with pay) during this, even though it was suspected that some contamination was deliberate.
    • CFMEU was fighting AWU for coverage of the site. They were even engaged in a dispute over which union would cover the kitchen.
    • CFMEU was also fighting AMWU for coverage of trades classifications.
    • All unions were fighting Andrew Forrest over the industrial arrangements that would apply following commencement of actual operations.
    • Unions allege that Forrest made an agreement to have a union agreement apply to operations, but he reneged. Forrest denies he ever made this commitment.
    • There was a history of alcohol and drug misuse/abuse in the construction accommodation.
    • There is evidence of fighting and violence.
    • The site was a basket case for a number of reasons, including those above and the inadequacy of the management.

    Hubby is welcome (only if he wants) to add to my understanding, but if he doesn’t wish, he needn’t bother.

  81. Hello Tom..I just didn’t want to bore you should this be something that you weren’t interested in. Hard to know on the blogs isn’t it, whether someone is genuine or not.

    I was thinking that given how much research you have obviously done that you will like some on-the-ground factual info.

    Will be back asap. Mind you, this will be just hubby. But if there is one person in this world who will tell the truth then it’s hubby.

  82. “But if there is one person in this world who will tell the truth then it’s hubby”

    Well, I don’t doubt that.

    Oddly I’ve seen a dozen people all witness the same event, each has an entirely different view of it, and all sincerely believe that their version is the correct one.

    I am though interested in why hubby would say that I am “wrong in all my assumptions”. That seems to be a bit of a challenge.

  83. Hi Tom,

    Sorry for the delay..daughter and bf arrived yesterday evening to collect their budgie..YAY! Jeff did a quick run though before work this morning and he says that if you have any queries, he is happy to help.

    I hope that you don’t mind if the answers are under your points..

    • The original kitchen standards were substandard. The Royal Commission was critical of this. Agreed, just a blower to blow the flies from the blokes’ backs which didn’t work. The problem was addressed with recommendations but after several days, nothing had been done. Plastic strip fly curtains helped a little, but not a lot.

    • There was an original case of maggot infestation.
    • Subsequent cases were deliberately caused, opportunistically to disrupt the project. Jeff says: It was the first case that was deliberate..a bloke playing ‘funny buggers’. But subsequent events were genuine. For example, the bloke who found maggots in his crib (lunch taken on site) was a Supervisor with no reason to try to disrupt the site.

    • Bolts were placed in salads. Jeff says: Never heard of this happening.

    • Off meat was hidden in meal areas in order to attract flies. Jeff says: Firstly, the mess area was cleaned after every meal and so hiding off meat wouldn’t be possible. Secondly, there was no need to attract flies, they just came in on the blokes’ backs. To give you an idea, usual at Murrin Murrin would be a hundred flies on each bloke’s back and often the flies were so bad that it was impossible work without a fly net attached to your helmet.

    • There were lots of (paid) stoppages due to “safety” – I.e. Food contamination. People were flown home (with pay) during this, even though it was suspected that some contamination was deliberate. Jeff says: There were two paid stoppages one 24hr and the other 48hrs due to maggots and the other paid stoppage was due to insulation being dumped next to the crib huts. Also, that the people flown home due to maggots weren’t paid for the stoppage but after they had rebuilt the mess so that flies couldn’t get in and new caterer Nationwide commenced, management phoned everyone who had left the site and offered them $900.00 incentive to return to Murrin Murrin.

    • CFMEU was fighting AWU for coverage of the site. They were even engaged in a dispute over which union would cover the kitchen. Jeff says: Correct, but this happens all over.

    • CFMEU was also fighting AMWU for coverage of trades classifications. Jeff says: this wasn’t at Murrin Murrin but at Port Hedland because the people there thought that they weren’t getting enough coverage by their own union the AMWU.

    • All unions were fighting Andrew Forrest over the industrial arrangements that would apply following commencement of actual operations. Jeff says: Correct

    • Unions allege that Forrest made an agreement to have a union agreement apply to operations, but he reneged. Forrest denies he ever made this commitment. Jeff says: Unknown, just hearsay.

    • There was a history of alcohol and drug misuse/abuse in the construction accommodation. Jeff says: A bit of the problem is that they built a very large wet mess and if you have population of 2,000-2,500 people with nothing else to do after a long day in the extreme heat, of course you will have problems. Twiggy later tried to address this problem by providing some diversions such as raffles.

    • There is evidence of fighting and violence. Jeff says that while he was there he never saw one fight but on Grand Final weekend about 20 people were given ‘window seats’ (were sacked).

    • The site was a basket case for a number of reasons, including those above and the inadequacy of the management. Jeff says that the job was poorly managed by Fluor Daniel however many people (in spite of the flies) would consider that this was one of the better jobs. Forrest as above went to considerable trouble to address issues. Once the mess was rebuilt and Eurest replaced, there were no further problems (to Jeff’s knowledge). The new mess included a tunnel with an ultra violet light. Jeff also says that Forrest was a very personable bloke who he got to know quite well. My note: Jeff was injured on site and so was given the job of driving Twiggy around.

  84. Fair enough Min. It seems that Jeff & I share a level of agreement. He agrees that there was at least some deliberate contamination of food and he agrees that there was a demarcation dispute between unions fighting over membership.

    Jeff may not be aware of all the cases of contamination. He may not be aware of the sworn testimony of meat being taped under a table. He may not have known of the young woman that said she saw someone apparently throwing flies into a fridge.

    Jeff might prefer to emphasise some of his experience differently to others. As I said yesterday, we can have a dozen witnesses to the same event, all will have (slightly) different recollections, all sincerely believe in their recollection.

    But thank Jeff for his input. It’s been worthwhile.

    Regards

    Tom

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