The next steps in the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations’ application to appoint an administrator to restore democratic control and functionality to the HSU East Branch were heard before the Federal Court today.
The Minister’s unprecedented intervention is motivated by the Government's absolute determination to ensure the HSU East Branch is structured to ensure its primary focus into the future is the 55 000 hardworking members who deserve a union leadership that puts members' interests first.
The Federal Court today issued orders for the future timetabling of this matter. Those orders include:
- an advertisement advising of the Minister’s application, to determine whether there are any further interested parties, to be published in newspapers and HSU websites by 7 May;
- a further directions hearing be held on Friday 11 May to hear from any interested parties in response to the Minister’s advertisement;
- a mediation between the parties to be held and to be concluded by 17 May;
- the filing of all evidentiary material and submissions in support of the applications by 17 May, and all others material and submissions by 30 May; and
- a hearing of the Minister’s and the HSU’s application commencing on Tuesday, 5 June.
“In announcing my intention to file my application last week, I explained the Government’s decision was taken to provide for the HSU to function into the future for the benefit of members. Those reasons included:
- meeting the expectations and in the interests of HSU members;
- sustainably and in a proper and democratic way; and
- in accordance with its statutory obligations, including those set out in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act.”
“The leaking of the interim report from Mr Temby QC and Mr Robertson, and their comments regarding the lack of transparency and accountability in the financial governance arrangements of HSU East over recent years, as well as the raid by NSW Police on HSU offices in Sydney yesterday, have strengthened my belief and resolve that this is the best way to ensure a more democratic and effective union into the future, for the benefit of HSU members,” the Minister said.
Following the filing of the Minister’s application on Monday, six senior office holders of HSU Branches in WA, South Australia, Tasmania (No 1 and No 2 Branches) and Victoria (No 2 and No 4 Branches) have also filed an application under s.323 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 for an administrator to be appointed to the HSU East Branch. This application will be heard alongside the Minister’s application.
The ACTU and UnionsNSW also appeared at the hearing and advised the Court that they wanted to be heard in relation to this matter in support of the Minister’s proposal that an administrator be appointed.