VICTORIA’S Prahran state Liberal MP Clem Newton-Brown has urged the state opposition to denounce the CFMEU for homophobic slurs allegedly made against a Grocon manager by union officials.
The Victorian Government has been on the attack over Opposition Leader Daniel Andrew’s ties to the union, which has been rocked by allegations of corruption over the past two months. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has been specifically mentioned in proposed terms of reference in the Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption recently announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Newton-Brown gave notice in parliament yesterday of a motion calling on the opposition to sever ties with the CFMEU and to denounce the alleged homophobic attack. He also attacked Albert Park stateLabor MP Martin Foley for his silence on the issue, despite his role advising the Opposition Leader on LGBTI issues.
“Mr Foley wears the badge of Shadow Minister advising the Leader of the Opposition on equality. The question has to be asked, what advice has he given his leader on this issue?” Newton-Brown told the Star Observer.
“Mr Foley has failed at the first test in his role as adviser to his leader on equality. He needs to stand up for the LGBTI community even if it means putting him offside with his union masters.”
Foley dismissed Newton-Brown’s motion, suggesting he was in no position lecture the opposition given his own parliamentary record.
“Mr Newton-Brown is a member of the government that made it easier to sack LGBTI Victorians He is in no position to offer advice to anyone on rights,” he told the Star Observer.
“He needs to be reminded of people in glass houses not throwing stones.
“It is only Labor that will reinstate LGBTI Victorians to decency and fairness. It is only Mr Newton-Brown and the Napthine Government that attack LGBTI Rights.”
Victoria is going to the polls in November of this year.