Welcome to the last Industry Update for 2017.

In this edition we take stock of the first 12 months since the ABCC was re-established on 2 December 2016. We have made significant progress in our core activities of education, compliance and enforcement and will continue to build upon this in the coming year.

In 2018, we will roll out a range of new initiatives to provide additional support to our stakeholders. One of these initiatives is a new website, due for release in the first half of 2018. We are now seeking feedback from users of our current website. The feedback will help us to ensure that the new website meets your needs. If you are willing to spend a few minutes answering ten short questions, please fill out our short survey now. We will accept survey responses until 15 January 2018.

We have advice in this edition on how code covered contractors can meet their reporting obligations with regard to disputed or delayed progress payments. In addition to this, the ABCC has published information to assist contractors who are experiencing coercion or undue pressure not to pursue their rights under state and territory security of payment legislation.

Our wrap-up of matters before the courts includes cases in Adelaide and Central Queensland. In the matter finalised in Queensland, the CFMEU and two of its officials were penalised $54,500 after attempting to coerce workers to join the union at a major construction site. As I said at the time, all workers have the right to work on construction sites without being forced to join a union. The ABCC will continue to work to ensure this right is protected.

This edition also outlines a significant ruling in the High Court last month that confirmed union officials must hold a valid federal right of entry permit when entering sites under state or territory OHS laws.

As always, with the exception of public holidays and weekends, our investigators will remain contactable over the festive season between the hours of 9am and 5pm on the ABCC hotline on 1800 003 338.

On behalf of the ABCC, I would like to wish you and your families happy holidays and a safe new year.

I look forward to a productive and prosperous 2018.

Cathy Cato
Acting ABC Commissioner