Sat 15 Feb 2020

CCF NATIONAL URGES PASSAGE OF ‘ENSURE INTEGRITY BILL’

The Federal Government is looking to reintroduce the ‘Ensure Integrity Bill’ (“the Bill”) into Parliament following the Bill’s defeat in the Senate late last year. The Government needs the support of the Senate crossbench to get the Bill through.

Civil Contractors Federation National put forward a submission last year supporting the Bill and continues urge the Senate to vote in favour of the Bill.

Rogue union behaviour, and that of individual union officers must be brought to account and the Bill seeks to address that as follows:

  • By including serious criminal offences punishable by five or more years’ imprisonment;
  • By including a discretionary regime that allows the Federal Court to disqualify officials from holding office in certain circumstances;
  • By making it an offence for a person to continue to act as an official or in a way that influences the affairs of an organisation once they have been disqualified;
  • By allowing the Federal Court to cancel the registration of an organisation on a range of grounds including in relation to unlawful or otherwise improper conduct of the affairs of the organisation;
  • By expanding the grounds on which the Federal Court may order remedial action to deal with governance issues in an organisation and expressly provide that the Federal Court may appoint an administrator to an organisation or part of an organisation;
  • By introducing a public interest test for amalgamations of registered organisations.

Australia’s $100 billion pipeline of civil infrastructure projects needs a level of assurance and protection from costly delays and interruption caused by unscrupulous and unlawful individuals and unions who repeatedly exploit gaps in the current regulatory framework, which in many cases occur without the consent of their members and are not in the best interest of their members, or the general public.

The CCF acknowledges that the Government was re-elected with a clear mandate to implement its commitment to effectively deal with registered organisations that are dysfunctional or not serving the interests of their members, and therefore CCF supports the passage of the Bill through the Parliament.

Chris Melham

Chief Executive Officer

Civil Contractors Federation National

January 2020