Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    Fighting to retain building industry regulation

    17/02/2012 12:00 AM
    • Strong argument to keep building industry laws
    • Building industry needs tough policing
    The Western Australian Government has told the Senate Standing Legislation Committee it strongly advocates the retention of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and the current effective Federal building industry specific laws.

    Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said the building industry laws had led to a more peaceful and productive building industry.

    “The Federal Government’s intention to water down these laws should be of great concern to all West Australians,” Mr O’Brien said.

    The comments come as the Federal Labor Party succeeded in passing legislation in the lower house to abolish the ABCC.

    In a submission to the Senate Committee, the Minister has urged the rejection of portions of a Bill that abolishes the ABCC, reduces penalties for unlawful strike action and will see the ABCC’s replacement stripped of its compulsive powers of interview in three years time.

    “We have a building union in WA where a senior official has been found to have breached the law more than 60 times - and he appears intent to continue to do so,” Mr O’Brien said.

    “We need a tough cop on the beat - like the ABCC - to put a stop to unions and their officials who disregard the rule of law.”

    This is the WA Government’s third submission to Federal Government-initiated reviews of building industry regulatory and enforcement arrangements.

    “The State Government will do everything in its power to stop the Federal Government winding back the clock and returning the building industry to its previous climate of fear and intimidation,” the Minister said.

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    Minister's office - 9213 6400