Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), called on the Australian Government to review its decision to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) or face the potential of lawlessness returning to job sites.

The Prime Minister told caucus yesterday about plans to introduce legislation to replace the ABCC.

NECA’s Chief executive officer, Mr James Tinslay, said the ABCC has been effective in making the building industry more accountable and its removal is a worrying sign for electrical contractors and all businesses involved in the building and construction industry.

“The ABCC has cleaned up the building industry and made it more compliant since it was established following the 2003 Cole Royal Commission into problems in the building and construction industries. The findings and recommendations from that inquiry remain relevant today,” Mr Tinslay said.

“Lawlessness is still exhibited in the industry today but the ABCC has been effective in removing the worst instances. Removing the ABCC or emasculating its powers will see increased inappropriate behaviour and this will lead to the costs of projects blowing out.”

“The building industry has certainly improved and is more accountable since the ABCC was established. This improvement has enabled the electrical and communications industry to work alongside other industries on a level playing field when working on construction or building projects."

The building and construction industry has at its heart the specialist subcontractor model. The push by the union movement to restrict specialist subcontractors supplying goods and services to the industry will result in a significant increase in building costs for business and residential customers.

“The Fair Work Act has seen unions gain greater powers to restrict employer flexibility on employment issues. This in turn can stall potential productivity growth. Removing the building industry regulator or its core responsibilities will contribute to the stalls in productivity which in the long term will cost businesses and their customers.”

“This decision will impact negatively on the building and construction industry and NECA calls on the Government to review its decision.”


Contact Profile

National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA

NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
Dominic Feenan - Media and Communications Manager
P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328


NECA ABCC Gillard Government building industry regulator Australian Building and Construction Commission national electrical and communications association unions



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