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Health Minister applies to put union branch in administration

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Health Minister Bill Shorten says the federal government is applying to have a branch of the Health Services Union (HSU) placed into administration.

Shorten said while applying to the Federal Court to close the branch was a dramatic move, it was in the best interests of health workers.

But HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson has called Shorten’s move a cheap political stunt.

“We will get to the administration point whether we apply for it or he applies for it,” Jackson told reporters outside the court, according to the Australian Financial Review.

“This is a spiteful move … by the ALP. They should have taken action on [federal Labor MP Craig] Thomson and [suspended HSU boss Michael] Williamson earlier,” Jackson said.

“He wants to make sure he ends up in a position where he controls this union personally – not as the minister, but personally.”

The HSU is the subject of police probes in NSW and Victoria.

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