How many extra deaths have there been since former prime minister Tony Abbott promised to boost construction activity in Australia by cutting regulations? The answer appears to be around six each year for the last three years.

Crikey was first alerted to this issue early in 2015 after a spike in construction fatalities following Abbott’s two powerful pre-election boasts: that he would be “an infrastructure prime minister who puts bulldozers on the ground and cranes into our skies” and that he would cut industry regulations.

On the latter, he frequently affirmed that “red tape is feeding into poor multi-factor productivity” and “a more productive economy is a less-regulated one” and “every year ... two sitting days will be dedicated to the repeal of redundant legislation and review of regulations”. Current PM Malcolm Turnbull has repeated and reinforced this philosophy.