Statement in relation to Victorian Branch Secretary John Setka

Published: 13 Jun 2019

STATEMENT BY RITA MALLIA, State President CFMMEU Construction and General Division, NSW Divisional Branch

The CFMEU NSW C&G Division is very concerned that comments made by John Setka Victorian Branch Secretary to a confidential meeting of the National Executive Committee have been taken entirely out of context. I was at the meeting last Wednesday where John Setka spoke.

In the interest of full disclosure to the Committee and apparently at some legal disadvantage to himself, John told of the events and emotional turmoil that his family and he had gone through since Christmas and what he and his partner Emma had been doing in trying to face their problems and put their family back together. John candidly spoke, of this personal experience and the ordeal of his family. In the course of that John spoke of the understanding he now had of men who are unable to tell their side of the story because of changes to the system. At no time did he cast blame for this on Ms Rosie Batty. I took this to mean a reference to his own inability to tell his side of the story whilst the media and others could freely speculate on what had happened. No-one at the meeting expressed their concern about what he said. I was not concerned. This was not a political speech, or a speech about men’s versus women’s rights, it was a bloke opening up to a meeting that was meant to be private about his family’s painful ordeal.

It’s disappointing to the extreme that afterwards unidentified people leaked details of comments made in confidence and latched onto one comment without acknowledging the full context. He and his family shouldn’t be dragged through the mud. The consequential trial by media without regard to the facts and by those who were not present at the meeting is a disgrace.

Darren Greenfield, State Secretary and the entire NSW Branch support John Setka and do not support calls for his resignation. We also call on the ALP to withdraw its calls for John’s expulsion for the ALP and check the facts.

Rita Mallia
State President