Pretty strange bedfellows indeed, particularly when the gov is trying to smear building and construction workers as evil union thugs in need of a strong cop on the beat.
It’s a grab-bag of powers that any law-enforcement agencies would envy, and one which has led the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to express concern.
The Law Council of Australia has backed those human rights concerns, and strongly recommended against the bill. In a submission to government in February this year the Council states:
A number of features of the Bill are contrary to rule of law principles and traditional common law rights and privileges such as those relating to the burden of proof, the privilege against self incrimination, the right to silence, freedom from retrospective laws and the delegation of law making power to the executive.
It is also unclear as to whether aspects of the Bill which infringe upon rights and freedoms are a necessary and proportionate response to allegations of corruption and illegal activity within the building and construction industry.
The Law Council has also expressed concern that the Employment Minister could fire the Commissioner without providing any reasons, and agreed with the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights that the Commissioner’s power to delegate responsibility down to “a person” of their choosing are overly broad. New Matilda