The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), Australia’s national resource industry employer group, demands the Senate take immediate action to bring back the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
According to the media release by AMMA, this is needed so that the rule of law can be restored in the construction industry and alledged corruption and bribery within the Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU) can be addressed accordingly.
“Revelations of the last 48 hours should leave the Senate in no doubt that the bills to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) must be passed,” said AMMA Executive Director, Policy, Scott Barklamb.
“The Cole Royal Commission found a culture of union lawlessness in the building industry that included circulation of ‘approved contractor’ lists, illegal striking, ignoring industrial agreements and failing to regard the views of union members and other employees on-site. We don’t need another Royal Commission to know this is still happening.”
According to Mr Barklamb, the ABCC noticeably increased productivity, increased compliance with industrial laws and contributed greatly for a more just and harmonious Australian building industry.
“In less than two years, the ABCC’s demonstrated success in cleaning up the sector has seemingly been thrown out the window, following the previous government’s cynical and calculated decision to neuter the regulator and reduce penalties. This should be of no surprise. Industry strongly warned the former government that this move would see a return to industrial lawlessness and thuggery in our nation’s construction sector,” added Mr Barklamb.
“There may be many sound reasons to convene a wider Royal Commission into union corruption generally, but for the building and construction sector, the Senate urgently needs to respect the government’s mandate for the return of the ABCC, look at the evidence and pass the bills. This week’s allegations also underscore the opportunity to strengthen the referral of apparent criminality from the ABCC to law enforcement agencies.”
Regarding the CFMEU, Mr Barklamb said the Union should not oppose the restoration of the “watchdog” and support the interaction with the police.
“To genuinely protect the interests of its members, the CFMEU should be cooperating with the ABCC, not trying to stand in its way,” said Mr Barklamb.