Greater union transparency

The passing of essential laws creating a Registered Organisations Commission will improve transparency and accountability in the building and construction industry, Master Builders Australia says.

Chief Executive Officer Wilhelm Harnisch said the laws, passed by the Senate last night, were a win for protecting the interests of members of organisations as they will help drive positive cultural change for the sector. 

“The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption devoted almost one third of its final report to building industry unions and the construction industry”, he said.

“It found systemic corruption and unlawful conduct, including corrupt payments, physical and verbal violence, threats, intimidation, abuse of right of entry permits, secondary boycotts, serious breaches of fiduciary duty and contempt of court.

“The new ROC, along with measures to enhance financial disclosures by giving registered organisation members greater protections, will shine a light on the murky financial affairs of building unions and make them accountable to their members and the public generally.

“This will go a long way towards curtailing the unlawful and illegal behaviours for which building unions are renowned and this will lead to higher industry productivity and better infrastructure delivery.

“While the ROC is a positive step, a re-established ABCC is far more important to the building and construction sector. The ABCC will help make construction sites operate like all other workplaces and ensure building unions behave like normal unions and its official like normal people.”