One of the militant unionists spearheading the push to expel Martin Ferguson from the ALP has repeated his conspiracy claim that the “official story’’ of the September 11 terrorist attacks does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.
Kevin Bracken, the Victorian secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, last week lodged disciplinary action against Mr Ferguson, arguing the former Labor minister was not acting in the interests of working Australians or the party.
Senior Labor figures are incensed that the former ACTU president now works for big business, backed the return of the Howard-era building watchdog, and has thrown his support behind electricity privatisation.
During the NSW election, Mr Ferguson — who has been a member of the ALP for 40 years — accused NSW Labor leader Luke Foley of “rank opportunism” and “blatant scaremongering’’ over the push to privatise the state’s poles and wires. The Liberal Party used the comments in election advertising.
Mr Bracken said yesterday that the motion to expel Mr Ferguson was an “opportunity for the ALP to define what sort of party they are’’.
Mr Bracken made headlines five years ago when he was Victorian Trades Hall Council president. He told the ABC’s Jon Faine that he believed the World Trade Centre’s twin towers had “imploded’’.
“I believe the official story is a conspiracy theory that doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny,’’ Mr Bracken said in 2010.
“The fact is that aviation fuel doesn’t get hot enough to melt steel and no high-rise, steel-frame building before or after September 11 has ever collapsed.’’
He said he was not speaking on behalf of either the MUA or Trades Hall.
Then Labor prime minister Julia Gillard dismissed the comments as “stupid and wrong’’ and said Labor did not “dictate what people think’’.
Mr Bracken yesterday told The Australian he stood by the comments. “I am happy to debate it with anyone,’’ he said. “Anyone (just) needs to look at building seven to see the official story doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. I ask anyone to google building seven to understand what I am talking about.’’
Mr Bracken said “we need to go back and have a look and see what really happened on September 11 and have a true, independent inquiry into the events of that day’’.
In 2006, Mr Bracken told The Australian the anti-terror laws introduced by the US and its allies, including Australia, in the wake of the al-Qa’ida attacks on the twin towers were similar to the “civic controls’’ imposed by Adolf Hitler in 1933.
NSW federal Labor senator Sam Dastyari has branded Mr Ferguson a “rat” who committed “high treason” with his “bastard act” during the state campaign.