Statement on the Australian Building and Construction Commission

By Catherine Sturman
“The Business Council of Australia applauds the Federal Government for working with the crossbenchers to pass the legislation to re-establish the...

“The Business Council of Australia applauds the Federal Government for working with the crossbenchers to pass the legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC),” Business Council Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Four Royal Commissions over 40 years have provided unassailable evidence that the building and construction industry needs its own regulator. We are pleased the Senate recognised the inadequacy of current arrangements and took action to fix this problem.

“Today’s decision shows that the parliament can work together to pass important legislation that improves Australia’s competitiveness, a critical factor in driving our ongoing prosperity and creating meaningful jobs in a volatile world.

“We would like to pay particular tribute to Minister Cash for her steadfast efforts to pass the legislation and her willingness to engage with business and the community to find a solution to issues that are of national significance.

“As the third biggest employer in the Australian labour market, a well-run and efficient building and construction industry is vital for the Australian economy. The Business Council is pleased we now have a mechanism to ensure the poor behaviour of a few workers cannot continue to disrupt the hard work of many.

 “We believe all Australians have a right to feel safe in their workplace. The ABCC will be empowered to deal with the systemic corruption and unlawful conduct identified in the industry. It will be an impetus for cultural change and ensure workers, unions and employers are all responsible for ensuring their workplaces operate lawfully.

“It will restore community confidence in our workplace relations system and help ensure the construction industry has the capacity to continue to make a valuable contribution to growing the national economy.”

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