Bleijie slammed as ‘misogynistic dinosaur’

AFTER the Palaszczuk Government has appointed a high-profile union boss and a MP's wife to the QIRC, Cabinet Minister Grace Grace has dismissed Jarrod Bleijie's suggestion that the pair should not have accepted the positions.

Mr Bleijie slammed the appointments after it was revealed this morning that Queensland Council of Union's (QCU) general secretary Ros McLennan had been made a commissioner.

Labor MP Linus Power's wife Jacqueline Power was also one of four people appointed.

Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie. Picture: AAP/Glenn Hunt
Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie. Picture: AAP/Glenn Hunt

Mr Bleijie said both Ms Power and Ms McLennan should not have accepted the positions while claiming, "On the 30th anniversary of Fitzgerald (Inquiry) we now have the wife of a member of Parliament appointed to the QIRC."

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said Mr Bleijie was as "predictable as he is ignorant".

"Mr Bleijie's comment demonstrates that he is a misogynistic dinosaur," she said.

"Ms Power is her own person and is eminently qualified to be appointed a Commissioner of the QIRC.

"She holds a Bachelor of Arts (UQ), Bachelor of Laws (QUT) and Master of Law (Griffith University) as well as a Certificate in Mediation and Participatory Processes from Harvard University Law School.

"That she is the wife of a member of parliament is totally irrelevant and, quite frankly, Mr Bleijie should apologise for this disgusting slur."

Ms Grace defended the appointments, stating Labor governments have a track record of appointing members from both union and employer backgrounds, as well as members with legal and government experience.

"I don't recall Mr Bleijie complaining when his federal LNP counterparts stacked the Fair Work Commission and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission with people with a background representing employers," she said.

Grace Grace said Bleijie was as “predictable as he is ignorant”. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
Grace Grace said Bleijie was as “predictable as he is ignorant”. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

Meanwhile CFMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar also took aim at the appointments, claiming they were of "dubious value".

"What we have here is a decision that commits taxpayers to funding millions in extra salaries

over the coming years for a series of appointments that basically reward friends of the

government who have demonstrated themselves to be compliant and reluctant to challenge

authority," he said.

"These appointments reflect an appalling lack of judgment on the part of the Palaszczuk

Government - a government which when it comes to the interests of workers is looking

increasingly remote and intolerant of criticism."

The CFMEU split from the QCU in 2017.

 

EARLIER: THE Palaszczuk Government has appointed another high-profile union boss to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) general secretary Ros McLennan has been handed the top role with three others.

It comes after former Queensland Teachers' Union vice-president Samantha Pidgeon was appointed late last year.

The role is a job for life with industrial commissioners holding office until they turn 70 - or unless they resign.

Jacqueline Power has also been handed the top role, who The Courier-Mail understands is Labor MP Linus Power's wife.

Ms Power is currently the legal adviser for the Australian Workers' Union.

John Dwyer and Catherine Hartigan have also been appointed as commissioners.

Both Mr Dwyer and Ms Hartigan have been practising barristers for more than a decade.

The role boasts a salary of $353,763 per annum.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace, who was a former QCU general secretary, said each of the appointees brought life skills to the role.

The new commissioners will fill vacancies in the QIRC following the retirement of two members earlier this year and the impending retirement of a further two members.

Shadow industrial relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie slammed the appointments, claiming it was a reward for union bosses who supported the Labor Government.

"Ros (McLennan) who campaigned to teach students how to be union activists now gets a plum job on the QIRC," he said.

"Everyone who is not a union should be worried for any matter they have before the QIRC.

"It is being stacked by union hacks and Labor mates.

"Linus Power's wife (Jacqueline Power) and Ros McLennan should not have accepted the appointment."

There is no suggestion of impropriety involved in the appointment of any of the roles.