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  • 18 Mar 2016

Push For Stricter Building Industry Laws

The Government's push for stricter building industry laws have been bolstered by recently released statistics, showing a rise in industrial disputes in the construction industry.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that the number of industrial disputes was up, with the construction industry responsible for 67% of working days lost in the December quarter. The worst performing state was Queensland.

The figures could now be used to bolster the Government's bid to reintroduce the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

A Senate committee report was released by the government-dominated education and employment committee, recommending the Senate pass the necessary bills as "union officials in the building and construction industry continue to flout the law and deny that an industry-specific focus is required to combat this serious and persistent unlawful behaviour".

Coalition members said the inquiry was an "excessive indulgence", given that a previous inquiry had looked at the bills in depth.

However, a Labor dissenting report said the commission was unnecessary given the powers of other law-enforcement bodies, unfairly singled out one industry and would have no productivity benefits.

It could also breach Australia's obligations as a member of the International Labour Organisation.

A Greens dissenting report said a national anti-corruption body should be set up.

If the ABCC bills are defeated for a second time - as expected - it will provide Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with a double-dissolution election trigger.