Opposition warns of return to 'draconian' ABCC


Opposition warns of return to 'draconian' ABCC

The Opposition has again taken a dig at the government's bid to restore the ABCC, saying it offers fewer protections against improper behaviour and undemocratic processes.


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Recent reports of improper behaviour and potential breaches of civil rights by the Director of Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) call into question the government’s push for the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), says Brendan O'Connor, Shadow Minister for Employment.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has questioned the behaviour of Liberal appointed director of the FWBC Nigel Hadgkiss, saying he breached the confidentiality of people he was interviewing and used questionable interviewing techniques.

Shadow Minister O'Connor said: "This is in addition to previous claims by the Federal Court and the Fair Work Commission that Mr Hadgkiss was 'unjustifiably vexatious' in his attack on the union movement and prone to 'unsubstantiated hyperbole'."

He said he was concerned the ABCC would have even fewer protections against improper behaviour and undemocratic processes. 

"If re-established, the ABCC will have coercive powers to compel workers to secret interviews, be denied legal representation and threatened with imprisonment if the person exercises their democratic right to not participate," he said.

"The Liberal government and Mr Hadgkiss have regularly used unproven allegations, stated them as fact, and cited them as justification for a return to the draconian ABCC."

The Minister for Employment, Michaelia Cash, was unavailable for comment at press time.
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