Statement on Allegations of Construction Union Criminality

“The re-emergence of criminal allegations in Australia’s building and construction sector underscores the need to urgently re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission with at least its former powers,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The Australian Parliament must stand up for a safe, productive, and law-abiding building and construction industry – and the rights of all those who work legitimately in it – by passing the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 without delay,” she said.

“Law enforcement agencies should be given full resources to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union officials so that steps can be taken to stamp out inappropriate behaviour in the sector.

“The allegations underscore the importance of a strong and effective Australian Building and Construction Commission to enforce appropriate behaviour and refer potential criminal matters to the police.

“Not only does criminal conduct in the building and construction sector risk increasing the already high cost of major projects, but it undermines the right of people in the workplace to conduct their jobs in a safe, productive and non-threatening manner.

“These latest allegations also highlight the time has come for a wide-ranging investigation into corruption and criminal conduct by officials in some of Australia’s key unions so that union members and the community more broadly can have confidence in governance and accountability arrangements.”

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2603 | Mobile 0403 241 128