ABCC construction watchdog will be replaced in IR bill dealership

Details on the new agency and its powers are scarce, but it appears to be a strengthening of the forum that was first announced at the September jobs summit as a way to “bring together industry and unions to address issues such as mental health, safety, training, productivity, culture, diversity and gender equality”.

Labor Relations Minister Tony Burke made more concessions in his Industrial Relations Bill.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

It will also oversee payment security between large companies and small contractors in the sector, which has been praised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The change to the forum is part of a list of amendments to the bill that the government hopes to bring to parliament on Tuesday in the hope of getting the legislation passed before Christmas.

Labor campaigned for the abolition of the ABCC during the election and in government introduced measures to restrict the operation of the organization after accusing it of prosecuting union members for trivial matters instead improve the industry as a whole.

Independent Senator David Pocock, another potential crucial vote, suggested the government should advance multi-employer bargaining for low-paid workers and opt-in flow for small businesses “to deliver raises urgently.” wages to the lowest paid workers”.

Pocock welcomed the new agency but stopped short of supporting the bill.

“With the significant changes proposed to Australia’s industrial relations framework and the way construction is to be regulated, it is essential that the government ensure that construction sites are safe and productive places,” he said. declared.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke (right) speaks to members of the crossbench including Allegra Spender (far left) in Parliament on Monday.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke (right) speaks to members of the crossbench including Allegra Spender (far left) in Parliament on Monday.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Opposition industrial relations spokeswoman Michaelia Cash has accused the government of handing over the construction industry to ‘Australia’s most militant union’, the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union .

Comments were sought from Lambie.

The CFMMEU declined to comment.

Australian industry group Innes Willox said the new forum was “not a comparable replacement for the ABCC and the vital role it has played in policing the sector”.

Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn described the announcement as “another government sleight of hand in an attempt to justify abolishing the ABCC”.

A growing number of lower house crusaders are now joining members of the Senate in calling for the bill to be split. This would allow the less contested parts of the bill to pass sooner while allowing for more scrutiny of the more controversial parts of the bill.

Spender told that masthead that the bill was “the most far-reaching industrial relations reform since John Howard’s labor picks.”


“Many fear the economy will soon contract as the government conducts a nationwide, model-bargaining experiment,” Spender said.

Standard bargaining involves unions trying to roll out model agreements from one employer to another and is limited in Australia.

Independents Helen Haines and Dr Sophie Scamps followed Spender and Western Australian independent Kate Chaney in an attempt to split the bill, with Haines saying there was a worrying contrast between government consultation on his legislation on climate change and integrity and the current bill.

South Australian independent Rebekha Sharkie spoke out in support of opposition push to set up a new parliamentary committee on the legislation, and in a government vote to reject the motion, several independents, including Sharkie and Dr. Monique Ryan, sided with the opposition.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said his party was still digesting the bill and discussing it directly with the government.

With James Massola

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, opinion and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up for our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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