Labor MHR Craig Thomson is under investigation for misuse of a union credit card.CANBERRA – The federal coalition has stepped up pressure on a government agency to conclude a two-year investigation into the alleged misuse of a union credit card by Labor MP Craig Thomson.
Nanjing Night Net

Fair Work Australia said in December it expected its investigation into the Health Services Union, which Mr Thomson headed from 2002 to 2007, to continue into the new year despite being at an advanced stage.

The New South Wales federal MP faces allegations his HSU credit card was used to pay for prostitutes and make cash withdrawals, which is the focus of police investigations in Victoria.

The workplace watchdog started looking at the allegations in April 2009, but a formal investigation did not start until March 2010.

Former industrial registrar Doug Williams, the public servant who began the investigation, criticised its longevity on Thursday.

“Over two years, in the overall scheme of things, is unaccountably protracted,” Mr Williams said.

“I would have been exceedingly reticent to allow proceedings to drag on.”

Mr Williams’ comments were fresh ammunition for the coalition, who renewed its calls for an urgent end to the investigation.

“Mr Williams’ unprecedented intervention is very serious,” opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz said.

“When you have the former industrial registrar saying he wouldn’t allow this investigation to go on for as long as it has, you know that something is amiss.

“Fair Work Australia must prioritise and finalise their investigation.”

Senator Abetz said the issue would be a focus at Senate estimates in February.

“Members of the Health Services Union are entitled to answers and the public are entitled to know the outcome of the investigation into somebody that is allowing the Gillard government to limp on,” he said.

His resignation from parliament would put pressure on the Labor minority government, but would not lead to its fall.

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