No lawbreakers welcome on a Liberals government board

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ANY individual or company that’s breached the law will be banned from holding a position on a government board, under a Canberra Liberals government. 

The Canberra Liberals’ “zero-tolerance approach to convicted lawbreaking” comes after CFMMEU ACT secretary Jason O’Mara and his deputy Zachary Smith, who both sit on government boards, breached work safe laws.

CFMEU ACT branch secretary Jason O’Mara.

Mr O’Mara was one of six CFMMEU officials that the ACT Federal Circuit Court penalised for breaching right of entry laws across three apartment project sites in Franklin, Harrison and Wright in 2013 and 2014. Mr Smith was also amongst the six officials fined.

During the court judgement on Monday (September 22), an ACT Federal Circuit Court judge slammed Mr O’Mara, who currently chair’s the ACT Work Health and Safety Council, a paid position which advises the Workplace Relations Minister on safety issues, for his “dangerous ignorance” after he was found in breach of site safety rules.

Mr Smith is a member of the ACT Secure Local Jobs Advisory Committee which, also advises the Workplace Minister on workplace relations matters.

“Any individual, company or organisation that has been fined or found guilty of breaching workplace and industrial relations laws will not be eligible to sit on a Liberal government advisory board, and any existing positions will be terminated effective immediately,” says a Canberra Liberals spokesperson.

Liberal candidate Andrew Wall says it’s important to take a strong stance against unlawful behaviour to preserve the integrity of the ACT government.

“The law is there to protect families, the community, vulnerable people, workers and local businesses,” Mr Wall says.

“Individuals or organisations that have repeatedly and seriously breached the law cannot be trusted to provide sound advice to the ACT Government in the best interest of the public.”

The announcement of these penalties comes only a month after the CFMMEU and three of its officials, including Mr O’Mara and Mr Smith, were penalised a total of $159,600 after the Federal Court found they engaged in unlawful picketing at a Canberra building site in May 2018.

Before entering caretaker, Mr Wall says the ACT Labor government continued the appointment of these two convicted lawbreakers, who advised the ACT government on procurement decisions and work safety and compensation.

The Master Builders ACT has also slammed the government for keeping Mr O’Mara and Mr Smith in their paid board roles and has written to the government calling for them to be removed from their board positions.

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  1. One would think that removing convicted criminals from government advisory boards would be common practice, but apparently not for the union movement’s bought-and-sold political party.

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