Victorian ETU boss Dean Mighell, whose union-fleet monster-truck is possibly the largest passenger vehicle outside of America’s truck-lovin’ Deep South, has told union members in his election campaign that giving cash to the anti-jobs Greens party was a “big mistake” and that he wouldn’t be doing it again.
Sources on Melbourne construction sites have told VEXNEWS Mighell has backed off from supporting the Greens because of the vehement reaction from his members at their antics. “He reckons he supported them because of the workplace relations policies but won’t be anymore,” one told VEXNEWS on condition of anonymity.
The Greens party snaffled huge sums of ETU members’ money – given to them by Mighell without any consultation with the union membership – and used it to get leverage against Labor to impose its agenda including a carbon tax that could leave many of MIghell’s members out of work.
Mighell has told comrades that he’s confident of beating off rivals in the internal poll but has “copped a great deal of sh*t” for giving the extremist Greens party hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially aimed at assisting Dr Adam Bandt, who has a PhD in Marxist jurisprudence, get elected to the federal seat of Melbourne.
Since Bandt’s election, many community groups in the inner-city Melbourne seat, have complained that “he’s too busy” and that they regard his electorate office as incompetent and unenthusiastic compared with the past Labor MP Lindsay Tanner.
Since the election, Mighell has re-oriented his political support to conservative country independents like Bob Katter, usually seen as a traditional enemy of the Greens on a wide range of issues.
The news comes as News Ltd’s Joe Hildebrand reports that Mighell’s passion for shooting and hunting has put him at odds with the Greens party high command which likes its meat organic or possibly – as previously raised on VEXNEWS – extracted from excrement or not at all.
The ETU Victorian secretary is a long-standing member of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, and told the SSAA’s magazine he owned several guns and loved pig-shooting.
"I love the outdoors and particularly hunting," he said. "Pig shooting is a favourite. However I could stalk a deer all day in the High Country and not take a shot and just enjoy the environment and the freedom of the country we live in."
But VEXNEWS understands that it’s not all scenery all-the-time for Mighell. He told the Australian Shooter also:
“Some of the firearms I own are great bits of Australian industrial and working history.”
Dean is a member of the Victorian Military Rifle Club and says he likes to get down to the range with his old bolt-action Lithgow .303, American M17 and Swedish Mausers.
Fair enough. Shooting’s a perfectly legitimate sport – indeed an Olympic-level one – but it is hard to reconcile these views with the anti-hunting Greens party of which Mighell was once a member and big donor. He told his fellow shooters in terms that would have gone down a treat at Australian Greens national convention:
“I enjoy the challenge of placing a little piece of metal exactly where I want several hundred metres away,” he said.
With fighting words like that, it is no wonder a contested election is a rare treat in the Victorian ETU, provoked as it was by Mighell’s slagging of interstate ETU officials who thought firing back was the least they could do.