Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


12 MAY 2023


Labor Minister Tony Burke’s appointments to the Fair Work Commission announced today are a cynical exercise in stacking the commission with union mates of the Albanese Government.

Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Senator Michaelia Cash said: “The Albanese Government promised openness, transparency and to appoint people on merit. Instead, they are exclusively appointing their union mates to the Fair Work Commission.”

“The Fair Work Commission is supposed to be an independent umpire with significant powers to determine workplace laws in Australia, but the Albanese Government wants to make the Commission a closed shop where non-union members need not apply,’’ she said.

Today’s appointees come from or have backgrounds working for unions including the United Workers Union, National Union of Workers, ACTU, Transport Workers Union, Australian Services Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

“This Government wants the union movement to be at the centre of everything they do and every appointment they make. No doubt we will see more and more of this as time goes by,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Tony Burke is a gold medallist in delivering for Albo’s union mates. We’ve seen this from the moment this Government was sworn in and it continues unabated,’’ she said.

“The next instalment is likely to be further changes to industrial relations laws in which Mr Burke’s aim will be to give unions more power, despite the fact less than 8% of the private sector workforce are union members,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Labor will always look after their union donors ahead of the actual job creators in our economy,’’ she said.