Powers and functions of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
The ABCC is led by the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABC Commissioner). The ABC Commissioner has powers and functions under legislation to help promote better workplace relations for building work and to make sure that building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively. These functions include education and advice, investigation and enforcement.
Educative and advisory functions
The ABC Commissioner promotes fair, efficient and productive building work and workplaces by providing education, assistance and advice. This helps building industry participants1 get a better understanding of the relevant building laws and how to follow them.
The ABC Commissioner can investigate the actions of any building industry participant if they are believed to be against the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act), a designated building law (which includes a Commonwealth industrial instrument) or the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code). The ABC Commissioner also has the function of monitoring compliance in the building and construction industry.
The ABC Commissioner can enforce the BCIIP Act or any designated building law in relation to the actions of building industry participants by bringing the issue to court or applying to the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
Power to intervene and make submissions in court proceedings
Disputes in the building and construction industry sometimes lead to court action between the parties. The ABC Commissioner has a right to:
- intervene in court proceedings related to the BCIIP Act and certain other laws, that involve a building industry participant or building work
- intervene in or make submissions in proceedings before the FWC that involve a building industry participant or building work.
The ABC Commissioner will intervene in court proceedings when they believe it is in the best interest of the public.
If you’re a building industry participant and you would like the ABC Commissioner to make a submission to the FWC or intervene in a case before a court, you should contact the ABCC. We will then seek details of the case and the ABC Commissioner will decide whether to intervene or not.
Under the BCIIP Act, the ABC Commissioner is also an Australian Building and Construction Inspector2 and can exercise the powers of an inspector.
Need more information?
Contact us directly for more information or advice about your individual circumstances:
1To learn more about what defines a ‘building industry participant’ and ‘building work’ please refer to the ‘Our jurisdiction’ fact sheet, available at abcc.gov.au/resources.
2To learn more about the powers of Australian Building and Construction Inspectors, please refer to the ‘Powers of Australian Building and Construction Inspectors’ fact sheet, available at abcc.gov.au/resources.