Release type: Media Release


Government passes ABCC legislation


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

The Gillard Government has delivered on its election commitments to abolish the ABCC. 

Those election commitments have this evening been delivered with the passage of the Building and Construction Industry (Transition to Fair Work) Bill. 

The legislation which passed the Senate tonight, follows the key recommendations of Hon Justice Murray Wilcox. 

Under the legislation, the Australian Building and Construction Commission will be abolished. The ABCC will be replaced by a new body, the Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate. 

Penalties for breaches of industrial law will be brought into line with those in the Fair Work Act 2009. 

Compulsory examination notice will be retained, however they will now be subject to a number of significant safeguards proposed by Justice Wilcox.  The powers will sunset after 3 years, but only after a comprehensive review.  In addition, the legislation creates an office, the Independent Assessor who may make a determination that the compulsory examination notice powers will not apply to a particular project. 

The Government believes this legislation balances the requirements to ensure compliance with the law and the fair treatment of individuals in the building and construction industry. 

The Gillard Government has always supported a strong building industry regulator and a strong set of compliance arrangements for the building industry.  The legislation passed tonight meets this commitment. 

The Government has consistently stated that anyone who breaks a law should feel the full force of the law.  The Government will not tolerate an environment in which people choose which laws to obey and which ones to ignore.  This goes for all industry participants.