Parliament recalled to get Australia moving

Media Release

DC022/2016

21 March 2016

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed today's announcement by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Parliament will be recalled on 18 April to consider the Australian Building and Construction Commission Bills.

Mr Chester said the legislation needed to be passed to help improve jobs growth and prosperity in regional Australia including Gippsland.

“The unions, Labor, Greens and the crossbench in the Senate have been playing games with Australian jobs by blocking legislation to reinstate the ABCC to regain the competitiveness Australia needs in the construction sector,” Mr Chester said.

“The restoration of the ABCC is critical for the economy. It will result in more investment, more jobs and better infrastructure.

“Australians will not be able to afford the infrastructure of the 21st century, unless the rule of law returns to the construction industry.

“Australian governments, business and industry, need certainty to remain competitive and to do this we need to be able to get on with the job of building the infrastructure of the 21st century without fear of industrial action or being held to ransom by the unions.

“As the Prime Minister outlined, the additional costs of construction due to the frequency of industrial disputes and standover tactics by militant unions, are a serious handbrake on economic growth in Australia.

“When the Australian Building and Construction Commission was in force, productivity in the sector grew by 20 per cent. Since it was abolished by Labor days lost to industrial disputes have increased by 34 per cent.”

The Prime Minister has called upon His Excellency the Governor-General to recall both Houses of Parliament on April 18, to consider and pass the Australian Building and Construction Commission Bills and the Registered Organisations Bill. The Senate has already once rejected the Bill to re-establish the ABCC and twice rejected the registered organisations legislation.

The Prime Minister has announced the Senate will have an additional three sitting weeks to pass these important laws. If it fails to do so, Australia will go to a double dissolution election. To provide for this option, the Government will bring the Budget forward to Tuesday 3 May.

“This is about getting on with the job of delivering our economic plan and promoting the leadership Australians expect from the Government,” Mr Chester said.