Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), said it was mystified as to why eleventh hour amendments were made to the Bill being considered by the Senate that could now encourage illegal activity to go unpunished by the proposed new government regulator of the building and construction industry.
NECA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Tinslay, said the last minute amendments meant illegal activity may not be pursued by the independent government regulator if a deal was brokered between two parties because they could now become immune from prosecution.
“The whole idea of the building industry regulator is to stamp out illegal activity and not encourage more of it by turning a blind eye,” Mr Tinslay said.
“NECA is concerned that the proposed new regulator will now simply have no choice but to bury its head in the sand and allow illegal practices to continue simply because the guilty parties have made a deal that renders them immune from prosecution. How could this possibly help stamp out illegal activity in the industry?”
NECA supports the retention of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and joins other peak industry associations in appealing to the common sense of individual Senators to reject the Australian Greens’ initiated amendments.
“NECA and its 5000 electrical contractor members across Australia have been calling for the retention of the ABCC since the Gillard Government announced plans last year to abolish it. The new proposed Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate will already have watered down powers and risks becoming a toothless tiger if these amendments are accepted.
“Many of the recommendations from the 2003 Cole Royal Commission into the building and construction industry remain relevant today. There were plenty of fines handed out last year which indicates illegal activity is still occurring.
“The law is the law and any new independent regulator must be able to assess each case on its merits and not have its hands tied behind its back because two parties have made a deal that makes them immune from prosecution.
NECA’s CEO Mr James Tinslay is available for comment.
National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA
NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide. For further information go to www.neca.asn.au.
Dominic Feenan - Media and Communications Manager
P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328