“The community are the winners from the new laws to improve the effectiveness of the Australian Building and Construction (ABCC) which passed the Senate yesterday,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
“The lawlessness, intimidation and industrial thuggery that happens on building sites isn’t just an industry problem– it is everyone’s problem – because taxpayers foot the bill for the delays, blowouts and days lost to strikes causing construction costs to be about 30% higher than they should be,” he said.
“The new laws reduce the current Code transition period from two years to nine months and mean the community will gain from more schools, hospitals and roads sooner and small building businesses and tradies will be protected from building union bullies,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.
“Master Builders commends that Senator Hinch has listened to his constituents, recognises the transition has caused unintended problems for builders, and had the courage to return to Parliament this year seeking to make things right,” he said.
“Senator Hinch, along with Senators Xenophon, Kakoschke-Moore, Griff; Hanson, Roberts, Burston, Leyonhjelm and Bernardi, are to be applauded for having seen through the building union campaign of lies and untruths,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.
“These Senators, along with Minister Cash and the Turnbull Government, have taken a stand. They have voted yes to the rule of law and no to union bullying on building sites. They have voted yes to supporting small business sub-contractors and no to intimidation and thuggery. They have voted yes to ensuring taxpayers get value for money and no to delay and cost blow-outs,” he said.
“After three Royal Commissions, dozens of reviews and inquiries, and countless court decisions, it is clear that the construction industry had unique problems and that tougher industry specific rules were needed and this is exactly what the ABCC does,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.
“The successful passage of laws to improve the implementation period of the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (the Code) is a very positive outcome for the building and construction industry,” he said.
“The building and construction sector is the second largest part of our economy and builders are looking forward to getting on with what they do best – building the things the community needs and creating jobs,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.