Release type: Media Release


Deliberate delay to vote on ABCC Bills


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Western Australia

In a move to deliberately delay a vote on the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission Labor, the legislation to restore the ABCC was today referred to yet another Senate Committee.

This is despite having already been the subject to two Senate committee inquiries and considered by other Parliamentary committees since the last election.

Labor and the Greens have made their position on the ABCC abundantly clear – they will not support its restoration.

They are now engaged in nothing more than gratuitous delaying tactics.

If the Bill was in any way different to how it was previously considered by the Senate there could be some rational justification for referral to another committee for yet another review. But it is not.

Senate Committees play an important role in considering legislation; however the ABCC Bill is in exactly the same form as it was when it was last introduced in the Senate. As such, it is inexplicable as to what more could be gained by the Senate by subjecting it to yet another Committee process.

The longer the Bill is delayed in a Committee, the less time the Senate will have to consider the Bill and the various amendments that have already been foreshadowed.

The Australian people are entitled to certainty as to whether the Bill to reintroduce the ABCC will be supported or rejected.

Just some of the examples of the thuggery and intimidation that could be prevented by the restoration of the ABCC – but what Labor and the Greens seems so intent on preserving;

• A female employee of an equipment hire firm in Queensland, who when declining to sign a union EBA was told by a BLF organiser: “You think it’s (expletive) funny, if you don’t (expletive) sign this, I guarantee you won’t be working on the Indooroopilly shopping centre site”.

• In 2014, two FWBC inspectors attended the Barangaroo South construction project in Sydney. During this inspection, CFMEU official Luke Collier told one of the inspectors “You’re a f***ing grub. Why are you here, go away. You’re lower than a paedophile you grub”.

• In 2014, an FWBC inspector at an Adelaide building site was threatened by CFMEU official, John Perkovic, who stood directly in front of him, pushed him, and made a number of threatening comments, including:
o “You f***ing maggot, what are you taking a photo of me for, you piece of s**t?”

o “You f***ing coward. I’d f***ing take you to school, you f***ing piece of s**t.”

o “You f***ing piece of s**t, you’re going to have a heart attack. Look at you, you’re s***ting yellow you piece of s**t…”

• In 2014, six FWBC inspectors visited Barangaroo. CFMEU officials including Mr Collier, Michael Greenfield, Mr Parker, Darren Greenfield and Mr Kera were at the site entrance;

o CFMEU official Luke Collier abused a female inspector, calling her a   “f***ing slut”.

o Collier also blasted a megaphone centimetres from the ears of two inspectors and yelled the mobile phone number of one of them to an assembled crowd through the megaphone. He then told him “You think all I got is your phone number?” and then spat at the inspector’s feet, telling him “Lick it up you f***in’ dog”.

• During the Grocon blockade by the CFMEU, a minibus driver, who was suffering from cancer, and was attempting to leave the area, had his van surrounded by CFMEU members, who punched the windscreen and yelled abuse. The CFMEU’s Victorian State Secretary, John Setka, yelled out: “I hope you die of your cancer.”

It is time to rid Australia’s vital building and construction industry of this type of inexcusable behavior but this can only happen with the restoration of an effective regulator. The evidence is well and truly in and the time for talk is over.