Industrial disputes in construction holding our economy back

Joint Media Release
  • Treasurer
  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister for Women
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Senator for Western Australia

Latest ABS data reveals working days lost in the construction industry jumped by 50 per cent in the June quarter and accounted for 66 per cent of working days lost, highlighting once again the need for the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

A huge 16,200 working days were lost during the three month period – far more than any other industry.

While unions are encouraging employees to walk off the job, the construction sector is trying to keep up with strong demand from the residential sector, with an 11.3 per cent jump in the number of residential dwelling approvals in July.

At a critical time for our transitioning economy we shouldn’t be doing anything to discourage investment.

The construction sector is not immune from the headwinds of falling mining investment.  Over the June quarter capital expenditure on buildings and other structures fell by 10.6 per cent.

The Turnbull Government wants to create the best possible environment to spur investment, create jobs and boost economic growth in our transitioning economy. A strong construction watchdog will help to achieve this. It is why the Government remains committed to re-establishing the ABCC and building code.

The ABCC laws will ensure that Australia’s building and construction industry is not hampered by unnecessary and costly industrial action, as well as bullying, intimidation and unlawful behaviour that promotes inefficiency and pushes up costs.

Unlawful conduct on building sites around Australia is costing jobs and is making local infrastructure more expensive.

Master Builders Australia estimates that important infrastructure like schools and hospitals cost taxpayers up to 30 per cent more, due to the extraordinary level of industrial action.

The reintroduction of a strong and effective ABCC with an ABCC Building Code will result in better value infrastructure and more jobs for hardworking Australians.

For more information

Media line: (02) 6240 8667, media@employment.gov.au