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Master Builders calls for IR reforms


“Master Builders welcomes Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s commitment to consult widely in framing industrial relations reform in Australia following the release of the Final Report of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the workplace relations framework,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“Master Builders, during the consultation, will emphasise the major reforms that need to occur in the building and construction industry. Master Builders will make the following key points,” he said.

“Industrial relations is not an end in itself and neither is industrial relations reform. It is an integral part of future proofing Australia and maintaining our living standards,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“It is about making sure that we can create rewarding jobs for our young people,” he said.

“It is about making sure we maintain our attractiveness as an investment destination.  It is about making sure that companies in Australia stay in Australia and not move offshore,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“Master Builders will also emphasise that if we are to be a high wage country then we need to be highly productive,” he said.

“What is important to the building and construction industry is removing industrial barriers that act as roadblocks to improving productivity. The evidence shows that pattern bargaining does not work in the building and construction industry.  Pattern bargaining has led to unproductive work practices being entrenched and has entrenched the power of the CFMEU,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“Restrictive work practices such as inflexible RDO rosters also cause unnecessary and costly disruption that drives up the costs of schools, hospitals, childcare centres, and other community facilities,” he said.

“It is about unions behaving lawfully.  It is about unions not bullying at the workplace.  It is about unions behaving like normal and law abiding people just like others in the community.  These simple changes can make a huge difference,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“In the short term, however, the building industry looks to the Senate in passing the Governments Bills to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC),” he said.

“These are common sense approaches that can future proof Australia and the building and construction industry,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

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