November 2013 Industry Update

Message from FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss

On 21 October 2013, I started as the Director of Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC).

I am delighted to take on this role, for what promises to be an opportunity to bring about much needed reform.

As many of you would know, I served as the Director of the Building Industry Taskforce (BIT) from its inception in October 2002. I was then appointed as Deputy Commissioner when the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) commenced in October 2005. Three years later, in October 2008, I took up the post of Executive Director of the NSW Office of Public Prosecutions. In March last year I was appointed the Director of the Victorian Government’s Construction Code Compliance Unit, a position I held until I started as FWBC Director.

On 14 November 2013, the Government introduced the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 to the Parliament. This Bill seeks to reintroduce the ABCC.

The Bill prohibits unlawful industrial action, unlawful picketing, and coercion and discrimination. It includes the ability for the courts to impose significant penalties for individuals and organisations that participate in unlawful action. A wide range of remedies such as injunctions will also be available to the ABCC and persons affected by unlawful behaviour.

The Senate referred the Bill for inquiry and report by 2 December 2013. Submissions to the inquiry closed on 22 November 2013.

You can access the full Bill here.

On Saturday, 23 November 2013 I gave my first speech, as Director of FWBC, at the Industrial Relations Society of WA’s State Conference.

This speech focussed on the importance of all industry participants respecting the rule of law on Australia’s building sites. I talked about the Cole Royal Commission into the building and construction industry, industrial disputation, working with unions, compulsory examination powers and state building code guidelines.

A copy of my speech is available here.

For further information, or to seek advice please contact us on the following:

FWBC website: www.fwbc.gov.au 
FWBC Hotline: 1800 003 338

We value your feedback on our Industry Update. Provide feedback or tell us what you would like in your update at: publicaffairs [at] fwbc.gov.au or contact Damien O’Meara on 03 8509 3041.

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