“Over 300,000 small construction businesses and subcontractors, along with over 1 building million workers, will be relieved to learn the Government has put the Ensuring Integrity laws back on the agenda,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
“The changes proposed in the introduced today, will ensure registered organisations in building and construction are more transparent and accountable to their members, the law and the community,” she said.
“Four Royal Commissions, countless reviews and inquiries, and hundreds of Court Judgements have all forensically documented what everybody knows – we are home to a culture where some organisations and their officials think they are above the law and this has to be stopped,” Denita Wawn said.
“The new laws will boost the existing system that governs all registered organisations, including both unions and employer groups. Registration under these laws gives organisations and their officials’ special rights and privileges, in return for which comes responsibilities and obligations, including to comply with workplace laws,” she said.
“Nothing in these proposed laws should worry organisations that represent members in compliance with the law, which is the case for the overwhelming majority” said CEO “but those who do break the law, don’t deserve those privileges,” Denita Wawn said.
“The Ensuring Integrity laws will fix clear problems with the current rules and see new powers vested in tribunals and courts, ensuring the law is administered independently. Variations to the earlier Bill will streamline and enhance deregistration processes, and protects affected members right to be represented by creating alternatives to the narrow ‘nuclear option’ in the current framework,” she said.
“Building unions have racked up almost fines for breaking workplace laws totalling over $8 million dollars in the last few years, with half of that coming in less than twelve months,” Denita Wawn said.
“Despite this, they’re able to benefit from the protections and privileges given under the same system of laws they break on an almost daily basis. There is clearly a problem and the laws need to change,” she said.
“Along with the ABCC, ROC and Corrupting Benefits laws, the proposed Ensuring Integrity laws represent a crucial step in improving industry behaviour and culture,” Denita Wawn said.
“Put simply, if you aren’t going to play by the rules, you shouldn’t expect to be in the game,” Denita Wawn said.