Our jurisdiction

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) monitors compliance with, and enforces the workplace relations laws that apply to the building and construction industry. The ABCC’s jurisdiction covers those who are, by statutory definition, a ‘building industry participant’. A ‘building industry participant’ is someone who is involved with ‘building work’. 'Building industry participant' and 'building work' are terms defined by the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act).

Who is a ‘building industry participant’?

The BCIIP Act defines a ‘building industry participant’ to be any of the following:

  • a ‘building employee’,
  • a ‘building employer’,
  • a ‘building contractor’,
  • a person who enters into a contract with a building contractor where building work is carried out or arranged,
  • a ‘building association’ (e.g. union or employer association), or
  • an officer, delegate, or other representative of a building association.

A number of these terms are, in turn, specifically defined by the BCIIP Act.

What is ‘building work’?

The BCIIP Act contains a relatively broad definition of ‘building work’, which encompasses a number of things::

Any of the following activities, in so far as they relate to buildings, structures or works that form, or will form, part of land (including land beneath water), whether permanently or temporarily, being

  • construction,
  • alteration,
  • extension,
  • restoration,
  • repair,
  • demolition, or
  • dismantling.

The same activities listed above, in so far as they relate to railways (not including rolling stock) and docks.

The installation of fittings, such as

  • heating,
  • lighting,
  • air-conditioning,
  • ventilation,
  • power supply,
  • drainage,
  • sanitation,
  • water supply,
  • fire protection,
  • security, and
  • communications systems.

Any operation that is part of, in preparation for, or in completion of, any of the work described above, including

  • site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling or boring,
  • the laying of foundations,
  • the erection, maintenance or dismantling of scaffolding,
  • the on-site or off-site pre-fabrication of made-to-order components, and
  • site restoration, landscaping or the provision of roadways and other access works.

The transportation or supply of goods to be used for any of the work mentioned above, directly to building sites (including any resources platform) where that work is being, or may be, performed.

It is, however, important to note that building work DOES NOT include:

  • activities associated with drilling and excavation, namely the drilling for, or extraction of, oil or natural gas, or
  • the extraction of minerals, including tunnelling and boring, or construction of underground works for, the extraction of minerals.

Activities associated with domestic housing, namely

  • the construction, repair, or restoration of:
    • a single-dwelling home
    • a building, structure, or work associated with a single-dwelling home (e.g. a shed, or a pool),
  • the alteration and extension of a single-dwelling home, which remains so after the activity is completed, or
  • a multi-dwelling development involving the construction of four single-dwelling homes or fewer.


Need more information?

For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or enquiry [at] abcc.gov.au.