Additional resources for the construction watchdog highlight the stark reality of the drain on employers and the national economy from unions’ recidivist law-breaking behaviour, says Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA.

Employers commend Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer for taking action to incentivise compliance with Australia’s workplace laws by strengthening the resources of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

The Australian Government today announced $3.7 million over four years from 2019-20 in additional funding and resources to boost the ABCC’s capacity in upholding workplace laws.

Note: In 2017-18 alone, the CFMMEU contributed $5.3 million to consolidated revenue as a result of court penalties. (Source: ABCC)

AMMA has been a strong supporter of the ABCC since it commenced operating in 2010 and was reinvigorated in late 2016.

The ABCC has successfully prosecuted countless cases against the CFMMEU, with almost $10 million in penalties ordered by the courts since 2016, demonstrating the need for this important public service.

Figures show that nine out of 10 cases prosecuted by the ABCC, resulting in court penalties, involved the CFMMEU.

“The ABCC has been important to restoring critical investor confidence in Final Investment Decisions for major projects,” AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott said.

“The announcement of further resources for the ABCC is welcome in working towards a more productive and harmonious building and construction industry in Australia.”

“This will better safeguard the Australian community from the intimidation, thuggery and contemptuous disregard for our nation’s workplace laws commonly witnessed on Australia’s building and construction sites.”

Mr Knott said that without an independent watchdog to hold the CFMMEU to account, small business owners and individual Australian employees would be left to pay for their own litigation or suffer the bullying.

“The sad reality is that more public resources are necessary to hold certain building industry participants to account for their repeated, recidivist breaches of Australia’s workplace laws,” he said.

“Just last week the Federal Court ordered a significant $250,000 penalty against the CFMMEU who not only breached Australian laws but showed no remorse for the impact on small business owners for their law-breaking thuggery.”

“Regular and nonchalant law-breaking is simply part of the CFMMEU business model and more needs to be done to protect Australians from their disgraceful and reckless conduct.”

“AMMA is pleased the Minister has stood up for everyday Australians, protecting their businesses and the country’s interests by promoting legal compliance and upholding workplace laws.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Thompson, 0409 781 580

Click here for a PDF of this release.