It’s taken a number of years, but yesterday (November 29, 2016) it was announced that the Government has officially and successfully restored the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABBC) to the building industry.
So what does this mean?The commission was brought back to resume its role monitoring the building and construction sector, enforcing civil workplace laws such as restrictions on unlawful industrial action and industrial threats.
The Australian Financial Review outlined three key elements of the new ABCC which will affect the industry:
“The Australian Building and Construction Commission is a proven economic reform," Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said.
Mr Morrison called the ABCC “the industrial cop on the beat that our industry needs” to tackle lawlessness head on.
“The passage of this legislation is good news for the industry, for the economy, and for the workers who have suffered from bullying and intimidation on construction sites.
“The Royal Commission told everyone what we already knew – that we have a major problem of union lawlessness in the construction sector. Two thirds of all industrial disputes are in the construction sector and disputes are at the highest levels in six years,” Mr Morrison said.
“The last time we had an ABCC, our members reported productivity improvements of between 10 to 20 per cent. We can expect productivity improvements again.”
The Housing Industry Association also weighed in on the legislation return, saying “the restoration of the ABCC is important in restarting the process of ridding the industry of toxic, outdated industrial practices.”
“For too long the commercial building industry has been bridled by systemic industrial lawlessness, coercion, intimidation and flagrant misconduct,” HIA Managing Director Shane Goodwin said.
“This has been well catalogued by two Royal Commissions in the past 15 years and numerous other inquiries.”
“It is also in the interests of all Australians to have increased productivity on our building sites and lower costs in the construction of crucial public and commercial infrastructure,” he said.
The AFR also provided a list of the biggest compromises: