Unions NSW is urging NSW Premier Mike Baird to distinguish his government from the Federal Coalition by choosing not to participate in the politically motivated decision to extend the Royal Commission into Trade Unions for an additional 12 months. 

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis announced the extension yesterday, despite being told by Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon that the Commission can complete its inquiry two weeks ahead of the original deadline. In a letter to Mr Brandis Commissioner Heydon explicitly pointed out he is not seeking more time.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said it was abundantly clear that the decision to extend the Royal Commission is politically motivated, and that Premier Baird had the power to ensure NSW opts out. 

“George Brandis has presented Mr Baird with an excellent opportunity to distinguish his government from the ideological warriors in Canberra,” Mr Lennon said.

“The Royal Commission requires the permission of individual states if it is to extend its power into that state’s jurisdiction. All Mr Baird has to do is say no. 

“The Federal Government has made it clear it is happy to abuse its power to call and define Royal Commissions. By refusing to play ball Mr Baird can show that he takes the responsibility of government more seriously. 

“I urge Mr Baird to show that he is a more collaborative and constructive leader than Mr Abbott by refusing to cooperate with the Prime Minister’s divisive political tactics.”

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