'Misogynistic dinosaur' claim just a 'nepotism' distraction
KAWANA MP Jarrod Bleijie has laughed at Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace's claims he is a "misogynistic dinosaur", saying the insult was an attempt to distract from the Government's "nepotism".
Mr Bleijie slammed new appointments to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission yesterday after it was revealed 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.
Ms 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."
Mr Bleijie said he was calling on the Government to release details of the application process for the QIRC appointments and state who was on the selection panel, "so the Queensland community can have confidence that they weren't political appointments".
"It can't be misogynist, it's a fact," he said. "She's the wife of a Labor MP.
"Nepotism's nepotism, whether it's a man or a woman, nepotism is nepotism. This is what it is."
Mr Bleijie said he believed the "misogynist" comments were an attempt to "distract from the real issue".
"I couldn't care less about the gender of persons appointed to the industrial commission," Mr Bleijie said.
"What I do care about is a government appointing a Government MP's spouse to a job paying $360k per year until they are 70-years-old."
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.
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.