Release type: Media Release


Building and Construction industry reaping the benefits of the Coalition's strong action


The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
Minister for Women

In a rebuke of the blatant misrepresentations peddled by the Labor Party and militant unions, an independent review has found a “near identical” proportion of employers and employees/unions were the subject of investigations undertaken by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

The independent review of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (the Review) also found that higher penalties applying to the building and construction sector must be retained.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said it provides yet another strong endorsement of the Coalition’s decision to re-establish the ABCC.

“The Coalition Government is committed to addressing the lawlessness and intimidation in the building and construction industry. That’s why we re-established the ABCC and implemented a strong building code,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“Complaints by militant unions about the ABCC should be called out for what they are – nothing more than a sad, sorry excuse for not addressing their own thuggish, law-breaking culture.”

The Review considered and made findings on several matters, including the ABCC’s performance of its ‘full service regulator’ activities, oversight of its compulsory examination powers and the deterrent impact of the higher penalties applicable under the Act.

Key building and construction industry stakeholders, including employer and employee organisations and government agencies, participated during the Review’s consultation period, with the notable exception of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU), who declined to participate.

“The building and construction sector is vitally important to our community and economy, employing close to 10 per cent of the nation’s workforce.”

“Since the Coalition came to office, the rate of industrial dispute has more than halved – down by around 60% compared with the Labor years between 2007 and 2013,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.

The review fulfils the Government’s commitment to the Senate cross-bench to examine the operation of provisions in the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016. The Review and the Government’s response is available on the Department of Jobs website.