Release type: Media Release


Legislation to abolish the ABCC introduced to Parliament


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Legislation to create the new Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate to regulate the building and construction industry was introduced into Parliament today.

Minister for Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, said this honours the Government’s election commitment to reintroduce the bill and abolish the existing ABCC.

“The bill contains only one significant amendment to the original legislation. This amendment changes the sunset provision relating to compulsory information gathering powers from five years to three years,” Senator Evans said.

The bill is based on the recommendations of Justice Wilcox QC who said 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.

“Labor has made it clear that industrial lawlessness and thuggery will not be tolerated and we are committed to maintaining a strong regulator of workplace relations for the industry,” Senator Evans said.

“We believe the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) needs to be replaced with a body that is part of the mainstream Fair Work system.

“The Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate will operate in accordance with community expectations of a fair and just workplace relations system.”

The new regulator will provide information, advice and assistance to all building industry employers and employees 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.

“It will have the powers and responsibilities to ensure employers, their organisations, employees and trade unions abide by their obligations under the law,” Senator Evans said.

“Only considered, fair and balanced laws will create the sort of long-term change that the industry needs if it is to create jobs and make a positive contribution to national productivity and prosperity.”