AIB Commends NSW Government on Procurement Guidelines for the Construction Industry

The Australian Institute of Building (AIB) today commended the NSW Government on the release of the draft Industrial Relations Implementation Guidelines to the New South Wales Code of Practice for Procurement: Building and Construction.

These guidelines announced by the NSW Government today are positive development, and will help to provide certainty and stability for the construction industry in NSW which is currently under pressure on a number of fronts, said Mr Robert Hunt, AIB Chief Executive Officer.

The principles of these guidelines compliance, productivity, safety and freedom of association are worthwhile and fair to all parties, and I applaud the NSW Government for taking a principled and practical stand on this issue.

Mr Hunt added, We urge all parties to obey the rule of law, and if disputes arise to deal with them in a negotiated and peaceful manner. Unlawful industrial action hurts businesses, causes cost blowouts and thus hurts future employment prospects of construction workers. It is destructive behaviour which tragically hurts all parties, and hobbles the building and construction industry in NSW.

Figures released today showed days lost to industrial disputes in construction in Australia reaching an eight year high, with 62.7 days lost per 1000 employees in the September quarter, which is almost ten times higher than the September 2011 quarter, with 6.5 days lost per 1000 employees. Also, it is estimated that it could cost between $130 million and $790 million over four years due to industrial action on construction sites in NSW.

These figures show clearly that the industrial relations situation in the construction industry in Australia is deteriorating, and in NSW will get worse if the situation continues on its current trend. We advise state and federal governments around Australia to implement the recommendations of the Cole Royal Commission, as NSW and Victoria have done.

We look forward to consulting with the NSW Government on these guidelines, said Mr Hunt.