“Master Builders Association of Victoria supports the reintroduction of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 (ABCC Bill) in Federal Parliament this week, as a matter of priority,” Master Builders Association of Victoria CEO, Mr Radley de Silva said on Monday, 1 February.

“Master Builders is very encouraged that the Turnbull government has indicated its commitment to continue to press for this crucial reform. We have been calling for the re-establishment of the ABCC, to bring back the rule of law to ensure the strength of our industry.

“The numerous accounts of lawlessness and thuggery that have been occurring on our worksites have been highlighted through the Heydon Royal Commission findings into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

“Every single Victorian should be concerned about this problem.

“As a central economic pillar of the state delivering more than 200,000 jobs, it is vitally important that a pipeline of skills for Victoria’s building and construction sector is developed and maintained.

“Young people suffer when bad behaviour is allowed to create a negative impression of the industry – they see fewer options for a rewarding career and the sector misses out on great candidates.

“Intimidation and bullying tactics drain critical construction projects of time and money required for the roads, hospitals, aged care facilities and schools on which our community depends. Every single Victorian loses.

“Something needs to be done to stop this consistent breach of laws. There is no justification for any person to act lawlessly, and if a special organization is needed to ensure that people behave within the law, then that should be established as a matter of urgency.

The ABCC Bill has a specific focus on unlawful industrial action, coercion, discrimination and industrially motivated pickets, including increased maximum penalties. It will give effect to the Building and Construction Industry (Fair and Lawful Building Sites) Code 2014 – prohibiting contractors, wishing to perform federally funded work, from having enterprise agreements or other arrangements that contain restrictive work practices or discriminatory provisions.

“Master Builders welcomes the commitment by the government to reintroduce the ABCC Bill and urges the independent senators to support the Bill at the next opportunity,” Mr de Silva said.

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