Our 17 August editorial and your comments on the ACTU Heydon Bias application - two weeks ago to the day
Two-way radio and reel-to-reel tape recorders - Jason Morrison reports from scene Tornado strikes Sydney North Shore 1991

Next week at the earliest for Labor/union moves on Trade Union Royal Commission

This report from The Australian a short time ago:


It will be at least a week before the labour movement reveals whether it will seek judicial review of Dyson Heydon’s decision to continue as trade union royal commissioner.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said the peak union body was seeking legal advice and discussing its position with affiliated unions before deciding whether to take its gripe with Mr Heydon to court.

Ms Kearney said no decision would be announced before the Senate votes on a motion that would petition Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to sack the royal commissioner for the apprehension of bias.

Labor plans to move the motion when parliament resumes on Monday.

“There are a number of balls up in the air about this and we’ll just wait until all that settles before we make a decision,” Ms Kearney said in Canberra.

She expected unionists to continue cooperating with the royal commission, but acknowledged it would be a decision for individual unions and witnesses.

“What bubble does Dyson Heydon live in to think that there would not be some level of apprehended bias about his agreement to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser?” she said.

“We are surprised at that and I think from here on in, anything really that comes out of the royal commission will be tainted by that.

“As long as the royal commission is going on, we will be participating.”


And Mark Dreyfus has now read the Commissioner's Judgement - he's a brave man criticising it

Meanwhile, Labor says that Mr Heydon has “sidestepped” the unions’ central proposition that, as head of a politically charged royal commission, he could not agree to address a Liberal Party fundraiser and escape the perception of bias, Labor says.

In his first comments after digesting Mr Heydon’s 67-page written reasons for rejecting the unions’ claim, opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus accused the royal commissioner of having “sought to minimise” the political context of the royal commission.

Mr Dreyfus said it was up to the unions who brought the applications to decide whether they will seek judicial review in the Federal Court or High Court, but recommitted the opposition to a Senate motion that would petition Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to intervene and sack the royal commissioner.

“He’s sought to minimise the nature of the event, appearing to say at times that it wasn’t a Liberal Party event when it clearly was. And he’s also sought to minimise the absolutely clear political context of this royal commission,” Mr Dreyfus, himself a Queen’s Counsel and former attorney-general, told ABC Radio.

“It’s to be looked at from the point of view of someone looking from the outside saying here’s the bloke that’s been appointed to determine an absolutely politically-charged royal commission and all of the issues arising in it.

“And he’s prepared, in the middle of the royal commission, to go and speak at a Liberal Party event organised by branches of the Liberal Party. And you don’t need to go beyond that. That’s the central proposition here, and Dyson Heydon despite writing 67 pages of reasons has actually sidestepped it.”