May - June 2016 Industry Update

Message from the Director

Welcome to the May and June edition of FWBC’s Industry Update, covering the agency’s actions from 1 May to 30 June 2016.

In this edition, our usual wrap up of FWBC’s action in the Fair Work Commission and the courts over the past two months includes the Federal Court’s ruling in Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (No 2) [2015] FCA 1462 prohibiting the CFMEU from paying penalties ordered against Victorian official Joseph Myles, or from reimbursing Mr Myles in anyway. FWBC welcomes the court’s decision and will be seeking similar penalty orders in future cases.  

As I have previously stated, court action initiated by FWBC appears to be having no impact on the CFMEU’s attitude where penalties are simply brushed aside and seen as the tolerable cost of doing business. We therefore believe our only option to restore the rule of law in the industry is to try to affect change at the individual level by pursuing personal accountability. While we doubt that our strategy will be a total panacea to make life better for building workers, if we can achieve similar results in other matters, then at least the threat of being held personally accountable for any penalties may cause individual CFMEU officials to think twice before committing unlawful behaviour.

This edition also includes useful information on the security of payment processes from state to state. While the Building Code 2013 does have repercussions for head contractors who fail to make lawful payments to subcontractors, affected parties need to pursue these matters through the relevant state or territory authorities before the Building Code applies. A helpful guide has been included in this newsletter.

If you have any industry-related ideas you’d be interested in hearing about, please send us your direct feedback via the contact details below.

FWBC website: www.fwbc.gov.au

FWBC Hotline: 1800 003 338

Direct feedback contact: Yasmin at media[at]fwbc.gov.au

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