Statement on Announcement of Royal Commission

“All Australians, including union members, ought to be alarmed at the recent allegations concerning union corruption and criminal behaviour, and want them dealt with comprehensively,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“We welcome the Australian Government’s decision to act now, and given the serious and broad nature of the allegations coming forward about the conduct of officials in key unions, it is clear a wide-ranging investigation is warranted,” Ms Westacott said.

“As well as looking at the specific allegations which have come to light, the Royal Commission must investigate the systemic governance and accountability failures which have given rise to such serious misconduct, criminality and corruption.

“While the investigation will take some time, the parliament can act now to begin the process of stamping out bullying, corruption and misconduct on building sites by urgently passing the legislation to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

“Everyone in the workplace has the right to conduct their jobs in a safe, productive and non-threatening manner, and any officials engaging in or sanctioning corruption, bullying, intimidation and standover tactics are denying both employers and employees this right.

“Every union member also needs to feel confident that there are proper governance and accountability arrangements in place to oversee and properly manage their member funds,” Ms Westacott said.