Media Releases

Gillard must stand by her word on Joe McDonald

Reports today that militant union boss Joe McDonald has been allowed to re-join the Labor Party six years after he was expelled by then Labor Leader Kevin Rudd is to be condemned and Ms Gillard must intervene.

In 2007, Ms Gillard made the iron clad commitment that: “We’ve got zero tolerance for this kind of conduct. We’ve demonstrated that with Joe McDonald and in Government we’ll make sure that there is zero tolerance for unlawful conduct or thuggery.” (Julia Gillard, Channel Nine – Today Show, 22/06/2007)

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Gillard Government Giving Up On Accountability

Senate Opposition Leader, Senator Abetz, today said the Gillard Government was giving up on accountability by failing to answer questions placed on notice at Additional Senate Estimates in February.

Figures supplied by the Senate Clerk’s office show that 58% of questions on notice are still outstanding after two months, despite a requirement that all questions be answered by 12 April.

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Milne Must Make Sheikh Explain

“Greens Leader, Christine Milne, must exercise leadership and require her star Senate candidate, Simon Sheikh, to make a detailed public statement about his membership of the Labor Party,” Senator Abetz said today.

“Mr Sheikh has been floundering for days over whether he was a Labor Party member for one, two or more years.”

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Sheikh’s Credibility Crumbling as Evidence Mounts About His Labor Membership

Senate Opposition Leader, Eric Abetz, today said that ACT Greens' candidate, Simon Sheikh's account of his membership of the Labor Party was crumbling in the face of mounting evidence.

On Friday afternoon Mr Sheikh made the startling claim on 2CN that The Australian was going to correct its assertion that he had been a Labor member for four years.

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Kate Ellis out of her Depth

“Acting Workplace Relations Minister Kate Ellis who’s been left in charge in Bill Shorten’s absence is sadly out of her depth when it comes to the Workplace Relations portfolio if today’s media release by her is any indication,” Senator Abetz said today.

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Sheikh Must Come Clean on Labor Membership – GetUp’s Claims to be Independent in Tatters

“Revelations in today's Australian that Simon Sheikh was an active member of the Labor Party for four years, prior to resigning to head up GetUp!, raise questions about his and GetUp's honesty and integrity,” Senator Abetz said today.

A statement on Mr Sheikh's website says: "When Simon was a teenager, Simon was a member of the Labor Party for a year. As happens with many people, he quickly became disillusioned and left."

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Labor a no-show at workplace relations debate

Not one of Labor’s 102 parliamentary representatives could be found to represent Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten at a debate today at the 8th Asian Regional Congress of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association Congress in Melbourne today.

“After accepting the debate some months ago, understandably Mr Shorten pulled out to visit China but not one Labor MP was put up in his place to debate the Coalition on workplace relations issues,” Senator Abetz said today.

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David O’Byrne a national embarrassment

Tasmanian Minister David O’Byrne’s comment via a tweet that Margaret Thatcher was a “war criminal” is in very poor taste and an embarrassment to the Tasmanian people.

“This kind of vile commentary, following the passing of one of the world’s strongest leaders, is to be condemned in the strongest terms,” Senator Abetz said today.

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Extra charges against Michael Williamson

“The laying of two extra charges of money laundering and cheating or defrauding as a director against former Health Services Union boss and former national President of the Labor Party, Michael Williamson, in a Sydney court is noted.”

“The now 50 charges laid against Mr Williamson will provide some peace of mind to the low-paid members of the Health Services Union that justice is taking its course.”

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About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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