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John Passant

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November 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Grocon, the CFMEU and bourgeois ‘justice’


The following is a statement on 21 November 2014 from John Setka, Secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union in Victoria, from their Facebook site CFMEU Vic.

John Setka Statement re penalties for Grocon Wall Collapse

Today Grocon was fined just $250,000 after pleading guilty to its role in the deaths of three innocent people.

 When a wall on Grocon’s Swanston St development toppled on 28 March 2013, brother and sister Alexander and Bridget Jones as well as French researcher, Marie-Faith Fiawoo were crushed to death. The tragedy occurred opposite the CFMEU’s office and our officials and staff were among the first on the scene.

Our officials are all too aware of the dangers faced by construction workers every day but the deaths of Bridget, Alexander and Marie-Faith were particularly traumatic.

As one of the first on the scene CFMEU Assistant Secretary Shaun Reardon said: “The images of that day still haunt me and will remain with me forever. As a father, all I can think of is the impact that this tragedy has had on the families. This is something no parent should have to bear.”

Having spent time with Bridget and Alexander’s parents, I know they will never recover from their loss.

The tragic events are a shocking reminder of the need to fight every day to make the construction industry safe.

Today’s sentence also brings into stark contrast the approaches our governments take to industrial disputes and criminal liability for workplace fatalities.

Our industrial dispute with Grocon has always been about safety.

When we fight to protect the safety of building workers and the public, Liberal politicians call for our deregistration.

Yet when Grocon pleads guilty to its role in the deaths of three young people, the same politicians are silent. Tony Abbott embraces Daniel Grollo as a member of his Government’s Business Advisory Council.

Three young lives were lost because of the failures of Grocon to properly ensure workplace safety and the company was fined $250,000. In contrast, the CFMEU was fined $1.25 million over a dispute with Grocon about serious safety breaches.

Grocon’s guilty plea would bring more comfort to the families of the deceased if it wasn’t cheapened by comments made by Mr Grollo’s wife, who suggested this week the wall collapse was due to sabotage.

Our staff and officials will never forget that day.

Our thoughts are very much with the families of Alexander and Bridget and Marie-Faith, and all those whose lives have been scarred forever.

John Setka
CFMEU Secretary


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