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AWU and HSU response to media commentary from Leader of the Labor Party Jodi McKay

March 15, 2021

As part of our ordinary program of research, our unions commissioned polling concerning community attitudes to a number of policy matters relevant to our members.

The research included questions about the management of the COVID pandemic, political leadership, and the political position of the major parties.

Our unions believe the elections of Labor Governments are in the interests of our members and working people more broadly. We care about this party.

Assertions by the current Opposition Leader Jodi McKay that this polling constitutes a malicious attack are completely untrue.

We made the decision to publicly discuss the research to raise the point that the Party is NSW is objectively not travelling well and needs to change direction. Labor cannot and will not win an election on its current trajectory. The Western Australia experience tells us what happens when oppositions fail to act in time.

Neither of our unions has called on Jodi McKay to resign. Nor have we made comment personally attacking the Opposition Leader or her leadership.

For the Leader of the Labor Party to suggest our actions are akin to those of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi – both of whom have been subject of extensive ICAC inquiries – are ridiculous and should be retracted.

And to draw parallels between a sober, rational and objective discussion of Labor’s polling woes and violence against women is particularly obscene and offensive.

To use the term ‘coward punch’ – associated with the tragic deaths of young Australians – when responding to fair and reasonable political debate is deeply regrettable for someone aspiring to be Premier of New South Wales.

Our unions have donated money and time to Federal and State Labor campaigns. We have put members on booths, letterboxed, door-knocked, supported and conducted research. We have never rejected a request from a Federal or State Labor Leader for assistance.

Nobody in public life should be exempt from fair and measured scrutiny. It comes with the terrain for all of us.

View the joint media statement here.

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