Tue 19 Apr 2016

The peak industry body representing the Civil Construction industry says that the defeat of legislation that would have seen the reinstatement of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) was not unexpected but will ultimately hurt taxpayers.

The Civil Contractors Federation said an ABCC-type body is desperately needed to wipe out, for all time, behaviours in the building and construction industry that are totally unacceptable and anachronistic in today’s society, as well as costing taxpayers across the country hundreds of millions of dollars in lost infrastructure.

“CCF has a policy supporting the presence of a strong ABCC. It is well documented that the gains made during the first iteration of the ABCC were substantial and served to ensure that all sides of industry were on notice to behave in a far more acceptable manner in conducting business,” said CCF National Chief Executive Officer, John Miller.

“The defeat of the Bill in the Senate is a victory for politics over the greater interests of this nation and regrettably a very large proportion of the population is blissfully oblivious to the additional costs they face as taxpayers without the ABCC operating to control behaviour in the industry identified in both the Cole and Deyson-Heydon Royal Commissions.

“Productivity gains and cultural change that were evident before the original ABCC was wound back and the findings of two eminent legal minds have all been ignored in this decision by the Senate and it is going to impact on all taxpayers wanting more hospitals, schools and homes.

“Four Royal Commissions into the building and construction industry over the past 30 years should have been sufficient evidence that the industry needed a strong independent regulator with well-defined powers that can’t easily be hijacked as has been the case in recent times.

“The failure in convincing the Senate of the impact on taxpayers must be seen as a concern and much more needs to be done to ensure that the general population understands exactly what this decision means as taxpayers wanting and needing more infrastructure and as current and future home owners trying to manage costs associated with their investment,” concluded Mr. Miller.