Construction union officials will co-operate with joint Victorian and federal police investigations into union corruption, violence and organised crime links despite describing the new task force as a political stunt.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine say the task force, prompted by the work of the unions royal commission, will deal with widespread corruption in the building sector.
CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan says the task force announcement is intended as a red herring to divert attention from the federal government’s fuel excise hike before the November 29 Victorian election.
“If the police have got something they want to discuss with use we will be frank, we will be co-operative and we’ve got no tolerance or time for people acting corruptly in the industry,” Mr Noonan told ABC radio on Friday.
“I think it’s also important that the police be allowed to do their jobs with their own priorities and not be involved in being directed politically, and quite frankly I think what we’re seeing today has some of the hallmarks of a political stunt.”
Mr Noonan also rejected claims made to the royal commission into trade unions that the state government had enough evidence of wrongdoing to warrant deregistration of the CFMEU.
“If they believed that they would have taken steps to do so,” he said.
“If the proof is there then we say let them bring it on.”