The real reason Australia needs a union watch dog

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital has been plagued by union disputes during construction.
The Sunshine Coast University Hospital has been plagued by union disputes during construction. Contributed

TAXPAYERS would be saved from exorbitant construction costs for infrastructure following the passing this week of the Australian Building and Construction Commission bill.

Fisher MP and former construction industry barrister Andrew Wallace said the point had been reached where the cost of employing a labourer on unionised sites had reached $163,000.

Mr Wallace said major builders were to a degree complicit in the cost blow out with Lend Lease agreeing to a 20% salary increase over four years on its sites.

"Who pays for this?'' he asked.

Mr Wallace said tier one builders were unconcerned about rising costs, simply passing it down the line.

He said the new bill would put a stop to the CFMEU calling two by two-hourly stoppages in the middle of a day, stopping concrete pours with behaviour intended to bring building contractors and subbies to their knees.

"This bill gives the ABCC the ability to haul in unions and fines will be trebled,'' Mr Wallace said.

He said he had spoken with the managing director of a business that provided traffic control and security to work sites who Mr Wallace said had been black listed by the CFMEU because he was prepared to work on Grocon sites.

"He was muscled to remove his workforce,'' he said. "When he refused he was black banned from every Australian work site except those run by Grocon with who the CFMEU is in dispute.

Mr Wallace expressed disappointment at builders who "fold at the knees” when pressured by the union.

He said under the ABCC's coercive powers, builders could be brought in and questioned as to why they terminated contracts.

"For every illegal CFMEU action there is someone allowing it to happen,” Mr Wallace said.

Topics:  abcc andrew wallace cfmeu construction lend lease wages

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Success continues for Noosa alive!

Blake Bowden performs in the world premiere of Straight from the Hart at Noosa alive! this year.

Noosa's cultural festival in its 17th year

Don't cross with 'Pomona power' as QR listens

POMONA WINS: Don't Divide Pomona makes a huge statement about is rail crossing that has paid off.

Pomona's people power wins the day

Local Partners