Australia

Setka must go after conviction: Albanese

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says John Setka's conviction for harassing his wife proves he is bringing the Labor Party into disrepute.

Anthony Albanese is adamant John Setka must be expelled from the Labor Party after the controversial union boss was convicted for harassing his wife.

Mr Setka is refusing to step down as head of the Victorian construction union, while members of the Labor national executive prepare to meet next week to officially sever his party ties.

"He will be gone on July 5," Mr Albanese told 3AW Radio on Thursday.

Mr Albanese said the CFMMEU state secretary would have a chance to make his case to stay in the party at the meeting.

"But I think it is open and shut," he said.

"We are an organisation that has the capacity to determine our own membership. As far as I'm concerned we'll be doing that."

Mr Setka, 54, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to harassment and breaching a court order with his wife Emma Walters confirming she was the victim.

Mr Albanese said the magistrate had made strong statements about the union leader's behaviour, which was described as nasty and having used misogynistic language.

The Labor leader said it was extraordinary to send more than 40 text messages and make dozens of phone calls.

"The nature of those messages clearly does constitute harassment, which is why he pleaded guilty," he said.

"If you look at the statements that were put in the text messages and indeed some of the graphics as well that were done, were clearly designed to be behaviour that is just unacceptable from anyone in 2019."

Mr Albanese said he wanted Mr Setka expelled from the ALP for a series of issues, noting he had threatened to reveal the addresses of construction watchdog employees and used his children in a social media protest.

"I want him out due to a history of many years of bringing the party into disrepute," he said.

But the Labor leader defended his party's links to the CFMMEU despite the organisation being whacked with millions in fines and repeatedly accused of breaking the law.

"Do I support ongoing engagement with the construction union? Yes I do."

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