The new approach to enforcing the rule of law on construction sites announced by the construction industry watchdog will boost confidence in the construction industry and help ensure government funded community infrastructure projects can be delivered for a reasonable cost to taxpayers.
“Master Builders Australia welcomes Fair Work Building and Construction’s (FWBC) move to implement a new regime of site inspections and compulsory audits under the Building Code 2013, which was introduced by the Gillard Government, to target unlawful behaviour on the ground,” Richard Calver, Acting CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
FWBC is commencing this strategy after working with the industry throughout 2014 conducting voluntary audits.
“Despite the millions in fines imposed on the CFMEU for unlawful behaviour and current court actions launched by FWBC in response to the union’s allegedly unlawful conduct, their behaviour appears largely unchanged. The Interim Report of the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption cited the example of CFMEU secondary boycotts against Boral that continue despite court orders restraining the union,” he said.
“Master Builders continues to urge Senators to pass the legislation restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Building Code 2014 which will hold all participants in the building and construction industry to higher standards of behaviour resulting in a more productive industry and ensure the community benefits from more and better value hospitals, schools and roads,” Richard Calver said.
“However, while this pragmatic and evidence-based reform continues to be stalled in the Senate, Master Builders is concerned that instances of building union industrial thuggery go unchecked and FWBC is to be commended for making the most of its inadequate powers to target on-site conduct that is in breach of the current Code including in the areas of right of entry, freedom of association, requirements for sub-contractors to have a particular workplace arrangement and agreement making,” he said.
“Building and construction is a key growth industry and major employer that is increasingly helping to fill the gap in economic activity left by the waning resources boom. Ensuring that building unions follow the rest of the community in adhering to the rule of law ensures that the additional unwarranted costs of more expensive schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure will not be borne by taxpayers,” Richard Calver said.