Legislation introduced into NSW Parliament today to allow the HSU to be put into administration has a hidden agenda which may have wide ramifications, according to Greens NSW Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge.

“The Government professes to be sorting out a legal technicality in the HSU case but is in fact introducing a bill that has much greater powers than are required to address this problem,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“The Greens support legislation which allows for a union to be placed in administration where there is clear evidence of gross misuse of funds or gross administrative abuses.

“However, we have severe reservations about the scope of the government’s bill and the unparalleled powers it gives the Finance minister to place almost any union in administration.

“The bill sets an extraordinarily low bar for the Minister to appoint an administrator to an industrial organisation.

“There are no restrictions on the identity of the administrator, no notice requirements before an administrator is appointed by the Minister and no limitation on which unions he can place in administration.

“The Greens have proposed an amendment which will replace the over-arching Ministerial power with the ability for the Commission in Court session to make an interim appointment if the interests of the members and the interest of justice require it.

“This is ugly wedge politics from the O’Farrell government. It is using the HSU debacle to attack the integrity of the balance of the union movement.

“The Greens support balanced legislation for the independent oversight of unions, but not for political control by O’Farrell’s finance minister,” Mr Shoebridge said.