The honest have nothing to fear at Royal Commission

ONLY the honest will have nothing to fear from the Royal Commission into union corruption.

Accused of being a political stunt by the Coalition Government, the Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar hinted that Commissioner John Heydon's lines of investigation could shift at any moment.

Mr Heydon's main targets will be how unions operate "slush funds" and how their officials behave.

"No honest working man or woman has anything to fear from this Commission," Mr Stoljar said.

"Nor does any honest union official."

Unions have received no shortage of damaging headlines in 2014.

In January, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union were accused of corrupt dealings at construction sites in New South Wales and Victoria.

In March, former Labor MP Craig Thomson was jailed for defrauding the Health Services Union.

In a warning to those gleefully waiting for revelations of union wrongdoing, Mr Stoljar said the commission was not interested in examining only one side of corruption.

"Corrupt receipt implies corrupt payment," he said.

"Someone else must have been involved.

"This Commission will look at both sides of the transaction - slush funds only operate if there are slush fund contributors."

Mr Stoljar said there would also be thought given to whether unions deserve to be as scrutinised as those in major corporations.

Those who want to make a claim or anonymous complaint to the Commission can phone 1800 221 245.


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