Mar 27, 2012

Bitter resentment remains at abolition of ABCC

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has been abolished, writes Ava Hubble, a freelance journalist.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission was abolished in the Senate last Wednesday. It was set up in 2005 by the Howard government to curb claims of lawlessness and coercion on construction sites. Those adjectives conjure up iron bars, but the ABCC was authorised only to ensure industrial law. Violence and other criminal activities have always been matters for the police.

So how many prosecutions did the commission instigate during the six-and-a-half years of its existence? What type of offences led to those prosecutions and what was the total amount of the fines imposed for breaches of  the regulations?

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “Bitter resentment remains at abolition of ABCC

  1. Michael

    Ava congratulations! Yours may be the first sensible article ever written on Crikey.

  2. michael crook

    Last para a bit unnecessary and did not contribute anything to an otherwise interesting, if a trifle simplistic article. But I acknowledge that without hands on experience on construction and other industrial sites it is difficult to understand the realities of this kind of work.

    The ABCC was a monster, intended to destroy the construction unions. But the union movement in Australia was already in decline aided and abetted by its supposed allies in the state Labor governments. Because of the disconnect of ALP leadership with its grass roots (as discussed in other articles in todays Crikey) ALP state and federal governments allowed sham contracting, long working hours and unsafe working practices to flourish. In this scenario unions were often forced to go along with unsafe practices such as 12 hour shifts or lose the little support they had from the depleted membership.

    State ALP governments, forgot that Australia had signed up to the United Nations International Labor Rules on workplace safety and allowed the spread of unsafe practices illegal under ILO conventions. These flourish to this day with little comment from unions, who are not game to proactively protect their members.

    This is just as important as the ABCC issue, and is killing and maiming more workers.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details