Employment Minister Eric Abetz has accused Victoria’s opposition leader of being beholden to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

In a speech at the Victorian Liberal Party conference, Mr Abetz on Saturday again condemned what he described as criminal elements within the CFMEU.

“A union which has a history of breaking businesses, of breaking court orders and, I understand, even breaking bones,” he said.

“This very union finds itself being duchessed and supported by the Labor leader in this state.”

He said Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews had “shepherded” the union into his party.

“I invited every man and woman in Victoria to judge the Labor leader by the company he not only keeps but actively sought out,” Mr Abetz said.

“That of itself should disqualify the Labor leader from ever becoming Victoria’s premier.”

Mr Abetz said he dreaded the thought of Labor winning power at the November election.

“Ministerial council meetings on workplace relations would not be enhanced, to put it mildly, by a CFMEU representative posing as a Victorian government representative,” he said.

An opposition spokesman described Mr Abetz’s comments as “desperate” and “sad”.

“With nothing to run on but an expensive dud tunnel and a federal government that is savagely cutting health and education, they have to resort to name calling”.

By Patrick Caruana
  • These kind of cheap shots are extremely poor and Tony Abbott should be taking the lead and forcing his ministers to set the example, not take cheap shots.

    Oh, by the way, I bet Mr Abetz forgot to mention about how the CFMEU were the ones who stopped workers from operating on asbestos riddled sites at Barangaroo a couple of years back. He might also have forgotten to mention how various state Liberal governments appear to have received funding from building firms which subsequently went bankrupt owing workers and subcontractors thousands of dollars.