Business Council statement on ABCC and Registered Organisations Bills

“The Prime Minister has given the Senate a final opportunity to do the right thing for productivity, growth and jobs by passing the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and Registered Organisations Bills,” Business Council Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement today that the parliament will be recalled on 18 April for three weeks provides plenty of time for the Senate to complete its deliberations and pass these bills without further delay,” Ms Westacott said.

“It is in everyone’s interest to keep unlawful and ultimately unproductive behaviour in our workplaces in check, and to ensure that the toxic culture of bullying and intimidation identified in the construction industry are brought to an end,” Ms Westacott said.

“Four different royal commissions in 40 years have all pointed to the same conclusions – that there are systemic issues within the building and construction industry which warrant the industry having tougher rules of behaviour and its own regulator.

“As the third biggest employer in the Australian labour market, a well-run and efficient building and construction industry is vital for the Australian economy, driving growth and productivity.

“A more productive and collaborative building industry means lower costs of construction, which will have flow-on effects that impact most Australians through increased jobs and growth.

“At the same time, the Registered Organisations Bill will increase the financial transparency and accountability of registered organisations by ensuring they are held to higher standards of accountability in relation to their conduct and use of members’ funds.

“Together, these bills are important mechanisms to help restore community confidence in our workplace relations system and the capacity of the construction industry in particular to continue making a valuable contribution to the national economy,” Ms Westacott said.