19 Sep 2017

 Minister Cash needs to explain how she could have been satisfied that Mr Hadgkiss did not breach the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct.
Amongst other things, Mr Hadgkiss has admitted to not reading the legislation he was charged with regulating, to deliberately producing misleading information on the law of the right of entry, and to rejecting advice from his staff that his actions were a legal and political risk.
Given that Minister Cash knew of Mr Hadkiss’s behaviour before he was appointed Commissioner of the ABCC on 2 December 2016, how could she have been satisfied that he would “uphold the APS Values set out in section 10 of the Public Service Act 1999, including by performing his or her functions in an apolitical manner and acting impartially and professionally” – a precondition to her appointing him pursuant to section 21(c) of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016?
Did Minister Cash ensure that the Australian Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd opened an investigation into Mr Hadgkiss as soon as allegations of his behaviour were made?  
If not, why not?
Minister Cash’s story is unravelling by the day.  She must front up and tell the truth about what actually happened.
The ABCC bills were re-introduced into the Parliament by Mr Turnbull himself on 31 August 2016, after the litigation against Mr Hadgkiss had commenced.
Why did the Minister push the ABCC legislation through the parliament, requiring that Mr Hadgkiss was appointed as ABCC Commissioner, despite knowing the behaviour that Mr Hadgkiss had engaged in?
This is a scandal and nothing short of an independent inquiry will do.
Every time the conservatives talk about the ‘rule of law’, Australians will know that the Prime Minister and Minister Cash were aware for more than a year of Mr Hadgkiss’s behaviour, which amounted to a serious breach of the very laws that he was supposed to uphold – and yet did nothing.
This shows a contempt for the rule of law – and the seriousness of this situation cannot be overstated.

We'll Put People First.