THE resource industry is breathing a sigh of relief this morning after Parliament supported the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), however employers are disappointed that the Senate once again failed to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

“It beggars belief that the Senate could get it so right on abolishing the RSRT and yet so wrong on the ABCC – choosing to continue to turn a blind eye to lawlessness, militancy and thuggery in Australia’s construction industry,” says AMMA executive director Scott Barklamb.

RSRT:

“Rarely is it a good idea to conflate safety with the self-serving workplace relations agendas of highly political organisations such as the Transport Workers Union (TWU),” Mr Barklamb continues.

“AMMA supports existing safety regulators being provided with any additional resources necessary to properly address safety issues for the road transport sector. We never supported an unnecessary new tribunal that was always going to try to force owner-drivers out of business and boost the TWU’s membership.

“The RSRT can now be consigned to history as a flawed and misguided experiment that was shut down before permanent damage was done. With oil, fuel and gas transport scheduled to be next on the tribunal’s rate setting agenda, the resource industry is breathing a sigh of relief.”

ABCC:

“After years of misleading campaigns, hysteria and deliberate attempts by the CFMEU and the Opposition to confuse the debate, AMMA is hardly surprised that the restoration of the ABCC again failed in the Senate,” Mr Barklamb says.

“That the CFMEU yesterday resorted to exploiting the very serious and very emotive social issue of ice abuse shows how desperate the construction union is to maintain its deep-seated culture of law breaking.  This came as our courts yet again handed a significant penalty to a CFMEU official and described the union as having a “woeful history” of contravening workplace relations laws.

“We are disappointed Senate crossbenchers couldn’t see through the spin to recognise that this issue is simply about upholding Australia’s workplace laws, and ridding Australia’s building sites of unlawfulness, thuggery and militancy.

“Resource employers now look to the next Parliament to restore the ABCC and deliver positive outcomes for productivity and lawfulness across Australia’s building and construction sector.”

A national survey of more than 100 resource industry employers, released yesterday, shows 82% support the urgent restoration of the ABCC.

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