Building and construction Bill under Senate scrutiny until early 2004

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Building and construction Bill under Senate scrutiny until early 2004

The draft Federal Building and Construction Bill 2003, along with the Cole Royal Commission findings and other matters relevant to the building industry, were referred to a Senate Committee inquiry late yesterday.

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The draft Federal Building and Construction Bill 2003, along with the Cole Royal Commission findings and other matters relevant to the building industry, were referred to a Senate Committee inquiry late yesterday.  

Democrat Senator Andrew Murray moved the motion for the wide-ranging inquiry and was supported by the ALP.

‘The issues covered by the Royal Commission were multi-faceted and complicated', Murray said.

Workplace relations, criminal law, tax law, competition law, corporations law, insolvency law and States OHS laws were affected. 

’We prefer to have all the issues from Cole for consideration so that it can be dealt with speedily and just the once,’ he said.

‘Given the complexity of the Coalition’s reform agenda, it is vital that the Senate take the necessary time to thoroughly consider and discuss the Government’s draft legislation and achieve improved outcomes for the industry, for both employers and employees.’

According to the Shadow Federal Workplace Relations Minister Craig Emerson, the Senate inquiry was a ‘big set back for the Howard Government’.

The Federal Government was looking for a short committee hearing that dealt solely with its draft legislation and not the Royal Commission or other matters - ‘The Government doesn’t want to shine a light on these issues’.

The Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee will investigate the following building and construction matters and table a report in the second sitting week of Federal Parliament 2004:

  • the draft Building and Construction Industry Improvement Bill 2003 or any other version put forward by the Government;
  • whether or not the building and construction industry requires industry-specific legislation and the proposed new regulatory body;
  • related functions and powers of the AIRC;
  •  the Government's response to the Cole Royal Commission;
  • sham corporate structures;
  • non-payment of workers' entitlements;
  • security of payments;
  • evasion of workers' compensation premiums;
  • tax evasion;
  • the influence of political donations;
  • mechanisms to manage criminal activity;
  • skill shortages and the apprenticeship system;
  • the impact of individual and collective employment arrangements on labour practices, bargaining and labour relations; and
  • independent contractors and labour hire.

    

 

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