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Australia – Federal Government Takes First Steps To Re-Establish The ABCC.

21 October, 2013

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – Construction & Real Estate

 

Summary

 

  • The Federal Government announced on 17 October 2013 that Nigel Hadgkiss has been appointed as the new Director of Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (FWBII).
  • In addition, the Hon. John Lloyd PSM has been appointed as the Chair of the FWBII Advisory Board.
  • These appointments mark the first step by the Coalition to deliver on its pre-election proposal of re-establishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
  • If the Coalition is successful in implementing its pre-election proposals in this area, further changes, including legislative amendments to abolish the FWBII and restore the former ABCC and its associated powers, will follow.
 

On 17 October 2013 the Federal Government announced the appointment of Mr Hadgkiss as Director of the FWBII.

 

The Federal Government also announced the appointment of the Hon. John Lloyd PSM to the position of Chair of the FWBII Advisory Board.

 

Mr Hadgkiss has extensive experience in the construction industry, having served six years as the Deputy Commissioner of the ABCC. Mr Hadgkiss’ most recent role was head of the Victorian Construction Code Compliance Unit at the Department of Treasury and Finance.  

Mr Lloyd was the ABCC Commissioner from 2005 to 2010. Prior to that, Mr Lloyd was a Senior Deputy President with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and held several senior roles in workplace relations for the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments.

 

The appointments mark the first step by the Coalition to deliver on its pre-election proposal to re-establish the ABCC. In a press release1 from Minister for Employment Eric Abetz on 17 October 2013, Senator Abetz stated ‘The Government has committed to the re-establishment of the ABCC and Mr Hadgkiss and Mr Lloyd will steer the FWBII during the transition…we need a strong watchdog to maintain the rule of law and improve productivity on Australian building sites and construction projects’.

 

The Coalition’s May 2013 policy Improving the Fair Work Laws2 states that the Coalition will formally abolish the FWBII and re-establish the ABCC in order to address ‘workplace militancy’ and improve productivity in the building and construction industry.

 

The Coalition maintains that the re-establishment of the ABCC will result in significant improvements in the industry, including increased workplace productivity; reduced days lost due to strikes; the consistent administration of a national code and guidelines to govern industrial relations arrangements for Government projects, and the promotion of uniformity between the national and state codes.

 

Endnotes

 

  1. View press release from Minister for Employment Eric Abetz here
  2. View the Coalition’s May 2013 policy Improving the Fair Work Laws here

 

herbert smith Freehills

 

For further information, please contact:

 

John Cooper, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
[email protected]

 

Herbert Smith Freehills Construction & Real Estate Profile in Australia

 

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