The Australian Government will introduce the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011 into Parliament which will abolish the Australian Building Construction Commission (ABCC).
Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Workplace Relations, said the Government remained committed to replacing the ABCC with a new body to provide a balanced framework for cooperative and productive workplace relations in the building and construction industry.
“The Labor Government has always supported a strong building industry regulator to ensure lawful conduct by all parties,” Senator Evans said.
“The new regulator will have the powers and responsibilities to ensure employers, their organisations, employees and trade unions abide by their obligations under the law.
“The Australian Government carried out extensive consultation with industry and with state and territory governments as part of developing the legislation for the new regulator.”
Justice Murray Wilcox QC was appointed to consult and report on matters related to the creation of a new building industry inspectorate to regulate the construction industry.
Justice Wilcox recommended the new regulator should retain coercive information gathering powers while removing the existing higher penalties for building industry participants for breaches of industrial law and introducing safeguards in relation to the power to compulsorily obtain information and documents.
The Government moved to abolish the ABCC and establish the new regulator in accordance with the recommendations of Justice Wilcox’s report in the last Parliament.
The Gillard Government committed to reintroduce this Bill after the previous Bill lapsed when the Parliament was prorogued for the last election.
“The new Building Industry Inspectorate will continue to regulate the industry fairly and effectively,” Senator Evans said.
“The new regulator will provide information, advice and assistance to all building industry participants regarding their rights and obligations under the law, as well as seek to improve the standard of occupational health and safety in the building and construction industry.”