Building Professionals Slam Government Decision to Scrap ABCC

The Australian Institute of Building (AIB) today joined the recent comments by industry and other professional groups to condemn the Governments decision to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC).

The AIB strongly endorses yesterdays statement from Master Builders Australia that the planned abolition of the ABCC will result in a significant decline in productivity in the building and construction industry said Mr Robert Hunt, AIB Chief Executive Officer.

Since the establishment of the ABCC in 2005, building sites across Australia have seen a massive cultural shift. The level of industrial action has sharply declined to a level that is comparable with other industries. Clear rules were put in place that managers and workers understand, and all parties became clear about their rights and responsibilities.

Mr Hunt added, It is baffling and frustrating that the Government is legislating to dismantle a system that has been working so well. We urge the Government to reconsider, and for other parties to block this legislation in the Senate. Without strong sanctions against illegal behavior in the construction industry, and regulation to compel people to speak about such behavior that they have witnessed, then we will see a return to this behaviour. The ABCC also protects workers by enforcing that employers pay them the correct pay scales, so everybody benefitted.

The legislated changes will make life more difficult for our members in the construction industry and send the wrong message to those considering professional careers in the industry that the sort of behaviour seen in years in gone by is acceptable by watering down the sanctions against it.

Overall, this is a very bad move by the Government. The $100 billion construction industry will suffer, and therefore will have significant flow on effect into the rest of the Australian economy, said Mr Hunt.