From his late teens, Bill Shorten would tell anyone who listened that his ambition was to be Labor prime minister, following in the footsteps of his heroes Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. But first of all he had to find a faction because, in the Labor Party, it is the factions who have the power to select MPs, premiers and prime ministers.
Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
On May 19, the federal government’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption released a 116-page discussion paper recommending a swathe of new attacks on union rights. The proposals give the clearest indication so far of the likely outcome of the expensive inquisition into the union movement when the commission releases its findings in December. The document presents little more than a sweeping wish list of restrictions on the rights of union officials and the ability of unions to carry out their work to benefit members.
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, appointed by the Abbott government and headed by retired judge Dyson Heydon, released its interim report on December 19. The report called for criminal charges to be laid against several Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) officials, including charges of blackmail against the CFMEU's Victorian state secretary John Setka and assistant secretary Shaun Reardon.