Victoria’s Opposition has called on Premier Daniel Andrews to sever Labor’s ties with the CFMEU after two high-ranking state officials were charged with blackmail.
Victorian CFMEU chief, John Setka, and his deputy, Shaun Reardon, were arrested and charged on Sunday by a taskforce set up to investigate matters arising from the royal commission investigating trade union corruption.
The two are due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Opposition industrial relations spokesman Robert Clark said the Labor Party had no choice but to part ways with the union.
“This is an issue of integrity of government,” he said.
“We’ve had the CFMEU found guilty of criminal contempt, fined time and time again, now we’ve got these latest criminal charges.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the charges were serious but added he would not be dragged into commenting on the case.
“It’s not appropriate for the Premier of the day, or any politician frankly, to be running a commentary on matters before the courts,” he said.
“There is no doubt these are very serious matters that need to be dealt with appropriately and I won’t be saying any more than that because to do so would potentially risk justice being served.”
Federal Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor said he would not comment on the arrests.
“I’m not going predetermine the processes of a matter before the court,” he told 774 ABC Melbourne.
“We’ve said for two years it’s always up to police, the public prosecutors and the Australian Crime Commission to investigate serious allegations of misconduct and that’s how things should operate.”