Test for Labor on Shorten accountability

Following reports that the appointment of Nicole Wells to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission is under investigation by the Tasmanian Integrity Commission and refusals from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to release documents relating to her appointment to the Fair Work Commission, Senator Abetz will tomorrow move that the documents be released.

Mr Shorten, as Workplace Relations Minister, in 2013 appointed Ms Wells to the Fair Work Commission. Mr Shorten has so far resisted calls to release all documents relating to the appointment.

“The allegations that are under investigation are very serious and it is disappointing that Mr Shorten has refused to release all documentation related to the appointment,” Senator Abetz said.

“Ms Wells is now the subject of two investigations – one by the Registered Organisations Commission and now by the Tasmanian Integrity Commission. This raises serious questions about Mr Shorten’s judgement as a Minister of the Crown and his fitness to be Prime Minister.”

“This motion is a test for Mr Shorten – will his Senators support the full release of this information or will they continue the union boss protection racket?”

“I call on Bill Shorten to allow his Labor Senators to support this motion,” Senator Abetz concluded.



  1.        That the Senate notes:
    1.        Ms Nicole Wells was appointed to the Fair Work Commission on the recommendation of the Hon. Bill Shorten MP as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations on 5 August 2013;
    2.       The Registered Organisations Commission is currently investigating the conduct of Ms Wells as a union official; and
    3.        The Tasmanian Integrity Commission is currently investigating the circumstances around her appointment to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.
  1.        That all documents held by the Department of Employment relating to the appointment of Ms Wells to the Fair Work Commission, including correspondence and due diligence paperwork be laid on the table by the Minister for Employment no later than Friday, 15 September 2017.

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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