LNP calls on Queensland premier to cut CFMEU ties
Summary: The Liberal National Party is challenging Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to distance her Labor government from the powerful Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.....
News Corp reported CFMEU members picketing the Oaky Creek North mine in central Queensland were under investigation for reported threats and intimidation towards security and non-striking workers.
It alleged CFMEU members threatened to rape the children of workers crossing picket lines at the Oaky Creek North mine in central Queensland.
Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday said the reports were concerning and any intimidation tactics were "not acceptable".
However, the opposition went on the attack and targeted the premier over the issue in state parliament on Wednesday.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls challenged Ms Palaszczuk to cut CFMEU links to her government and return money the union has donated to the Labor party.
"Given that Palaszczuk cabinet ministers have hosted the CFMEU 58 times over the course of this term, will the premier now cut off the CFMEU, instruct her ministers to stop their open-door access, and direct her caucus members to resign their membership of this vile bunch of thugs," Mr Nicholls asked during question time.
Ms Palaszczuk reiterated she did not find the behaviour acceptable "full stop" but said the allegations had to go through the legal process.
"If there is a police investigation, that will continue and it will go through the normal processes, as it should for anyone in the same position," Ms Palaszczuk told parliament
"Nobody in this state is above the law."
The revelations came after the government announced it would move to ban donations from developers to state and local political parties, which the LNP said should include unions as well.
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington asked whether the premier would now ban donations from the CFMEU in light of the allegations.
"The answer is no," the premier said.
Some ministers tried to criticise the LNP for bringing up the issue, with Education Minister Kate Jones criticising the opposition for not dumping their Redcliffe candidate Kerri-Anne Dooley over a blackface photo scandal.
The CFMEU released a statement that said the allegations were being "used as a distraction from the real battle to save Aussie jobs".
But it did not condone offensive behaviour and had issued guidelines to protesting members.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said legitimate allegations should be taken to the police, not the media.
Mine owner Glencore locked out approximately 190 workers from the mine earlier this year after the CFMEU launched industrial action.
Protesters have been picketing the mine for more than three months.
It's understood one protester is facing charges and four others are being investigated over the allegations.