The Coalition Government is strengthening the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) with $3.7 million over four years from 2019-20 in additional funding and resources to boost its ability to enforce the rule of law on building and construction sites.
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said that since it was re-established, the ABCC has received over 470 complaints and carried out 355 investigations.
“The Coalition Government is committed to addressing the lawlessness, thuggery and intimidation in the building and construction industry,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
The construction industry is our second largest contributor to GDP and provides jobs for almost one in 10 Australian workers, with many of these jobs found in the small businesses that make up 99 per cent of the industry.
"Most of these small businesses are at the bottom of the contracting supply chain, making them particularly vulnerable to the lawless behaviour of militant unions and poor treatment by the large construction companies.”
"This additional funding means more inspectors and investigators for the ABCC to support small businesses and sub-contractors when head-contractors unlawfully withhold payment.”
The ABCC also plays a key role in safeguarding workers’ entitlements. Since being re-established, more than $450,000 has been returned to employees following ABCC intervention.
"This additional funding will allow for more frontline investigators to make sure that workers are receiving all their wages and entitlements correctly. It will also help small businesses in the industry to understand their obligations.”
The additional funding will also allow the ABCC to employ more frontline inspectors in Queensland, where work sites are being subjected to increasingly militant, law-breaking behaviour.
"The ABCC ensures that work on construction sites is carried out fairly, efficiently, safely and productively for the benefit of workers, businesses and the Australian economy,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.
To date, more than $20 million in penalties has been awarded in cases brought by ABCC and its predecessors against the CFMMEU, other building industry unions and employers.