15 Oct 2012

Qld govt wants union leaders to reveal pay

12:02 pm on 15 October 2012

The Queensland government is considering laws to force union bosses to reveal their pay and perks.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has confirmed that legislation is being considered to expose how money from union members is spent.

The Courier-Mail reports that under the proposal, union officials would have to declare an array of personal professional interests, such as credit card statements, similar to state MPs.

Individual unions could also have to publicly account for all spending, with particular emphasis on political party expenditure.

Mr Bleijie said union members had a right to know how their fees are being spent.

AAP reports the state government has faced a relentless campaign by the unions over austerity measures, particularly a decision to shed thousands of public sector jobs.

But Mr Bleijie denied the move was political payback. He said the problems the government was trying to resolve were highlighted in the Cooke inquiry more than 20 years ago.

"It recommended aligning accountability standards for unions and corporations," Mr Bleijie told the paper.

"However, successive state Labor governments refused to introduce these accountability measures recommended by Marshall Cooke, QC."

The Courier-Mail said it was understood the government might not press ahead with legislation if unions agreed to adopt a voluntary code and have independent auditors review their books.