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    Senate refuses to water down ABCC powers

    Branko Miletic

    Master Builders Australia says that it welcomes the Senate's decision not to weaken the powers of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

    According to Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn, "Builders are very happy to see that the ABCC can continue its job to change the culture of the building unions so construction sites can be like normal workplaces and building unions behave in line with community standards.”

    Any watering down of the ABCC’s powers says Wawn, would have abolished a key part of the ABCC framework, the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016, commonly known as the 2016 Building Code. 

    "The other Code rules, such as compulsory drug testing, specialist safety accreditation, stricter rules on using overseas workers, and higher penalties for sham contracting, collusion and worker underpayments, would also have vanished,” she says. 

    “After three Royal Commissions, dozens of reviews and inquiries, and countless court decisions, it was clear that the construction industry had unique problems, tougher industry specific rules were needed and this is exactly what the ABCC does.”

    “The retention of ABCC and Code means more schools, roads, hospitals and other crucial public infrastructure can be delivered sooner and more efficiently,” Wawn says. 

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