Master Electricians Australia has called upon the Senate not to obstruct the Abbott Government’s efforts to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

MEA workplace relations manager Jason O’Dwyer said the Federal Government had been elected with a clear mandate to reinstate the ABCC, and recent media allegations of industry extortion underlined the need for the Commission’s return.

According to O’Dwyer, the building industry is vulnerable to standover tactics and outright corruption due to the value of the projects and the critical time compulsions. Recent revelations by ABC Television and Fairfax Media indicate that the industry has returned to the bad old days since the ABCC was abolished by the previous government.

MEA commends efforts by a range of governments – notably the Queensland Government – to combat the infiltration of organised crime into the construction industry. These efforts to prevent criminal elements from gaining trades licences in the building industry are a step in the right direction. However, MEA believes this is an issue that must be tackled at the national level in order to achieve widespread and long-lasting success.

The best solution is a standing Commission with genuine power to investigate and stamp out corruption and criminality in the building industry. This was a promise made prior to last year’s election, and supported by the Australian people at the ballot box.

MEA calls on the Opposition and minor parties in the Senate to allow the Government to honour its commitment to cleaning up the building industry.