Labor clarity needed on future of regulator

Master Builders Australia calls on Mr Shorten and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to clarify their position about the future of Fair Work Building Construction (FWBC) under an elected Shorten Government.

“FWBC was established by Mr Shorten when in Government and Master Builders understood that agency would be retained by an elected Shorten Government. However, reports today indicate that this position has changed and that FWBC will be abolished under a Federal Labor Government as part of an arrangement with the CFMEU,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“If the reports are true then this represents a material change in the policy of the ALP and should be clarified ahead of 2 July 2016.  The question that needs to be answered following today’s reports is will the FWBC be abolished or retained?

“While the building and construction industry supports the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to replace FWBC, it is essential that FWBC be retained in the absence of the ABCC. Master Builders will oppose the abolition of FWBC and any reduction in its powers, resources or changes to role and function.

“Master Builders would be disappointed if the wishes of militant unions were given more standing than those of the third largest industry in Australia that provides jobs to one out of every ten workers and the interest of the community.

“Master Builders has consistently held the view that the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) must be re-established to tackle the industry culture of lawlessness, thuggery and coercion identified by three Royal Commissions. This culture causes the cost of construction to be up to 30 per cent higher than it ordinarily would which means the community pays more for much needed schools and hospitals.

“The ABCC worked before and it will work again. It will help the community to get much needed public infrastructure sooner and cheaper.”

The full release is available here. You can find out more about Master Builders Australia’s policy framework at Strong Building, Strong Economy.