Joint Media Release: Labor Must Stand up to Bully Union Boss on Sporting Infrastructure

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Sport must immediately call out the head of the CFEMU, John Setka for threatening to delay sporting infrastructure upgrades just because he doesn’t like the new AFL umpire boss.  

Not only is this selfish and unAustralian, but it could have serious implications for the AFL and the millions of Australian footy fans.   

It is typical of the unions to put their own personal vendettas above the interests of Australians, but it will be Australians who pay the price. This threat will impact all Australians who look forward to cheering their footy teams on the weekend or having a kick on AFL grounds.  

Shadow Minister for Sport, Senator Anne Ruston said it represents a new level of thuggish behaviour from the union boss, who has a direct line to Prime Minister Albanese.  

“John Setka is without a doubt one of the most militant unionists in Australia, and this new threat to the AFL cannot be ignored.  

“We know that the Albanese Government is dictated to by union bullies like John Setka. This time, they must stand up for Australian sports instead of bowing to the wishes of their union paymasters,” Senator Ruston said.  

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Senator Michaelia Cash said that these demands are an absolute disgrace that have been enabled by the Albanese Labor Government’s union friendly legislation.

“Anthony Albanese and Tony Burke effectively handed over control of our nation’s construction sector to their mates and donors at the CFMEU. This type of disgusting behaviour is the result.” Senator Cash said

“The Prime Minister and Mr Burke should now stand up for Mr McBurney whose livelihood is being threatened by the CFMEU. They should stand up for the AFL which is being threatened.

“The AFL needs also needs to announce its support for Mr McBurney and show that they will not give into these bullying and standover tactics by the CFMEU.”

“What it does do is once again expose the CFMEU for the thugs and bullies they are. It’s absolute proof that the building industry needs a tough cop on the beat like the ABCC was. That’s why the Coalition has promised to restore the ABCC when we are back in Government.

“People who make such demands have no place in our nation’s building industry in 2024," Senator Cash said.

Senator Cash also called on the Albanese Government to finally stop accepting donations from the CFMEU, given their open threats against Mr McBurney.

“Enough is enough. If Mr Albanese genuinely opposes these disgusting threats from the CFMEU, he needs to announce the Labor Party will no longer accept their donations. Anything less is an endorsement of these tactics.”

The CFMEU reportedly donated $4.3 million to the Australian Labor Party in the lead up to the 2022 election.

The Australian Labor Party is intrinsically linked to the union movement, and it is up to the Albanese Labor Government to immediately call their union mates out.

A failure to do so only reiterates that Labor will always prioritises the interests of union thugs over the interests of Australians. 


tags:  news feature