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ABCC legislation will help Gilmore

ABCC legislation will help Gilmore

The Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, is celebrating the passage of the ABCC Legislation.

“As they come to understand the full benefits, our whole community will also celebrate,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“Many people living in Gilmore will recall the unacceptable behaviour of a middle level contractor going into administration and cheating many of our local construction sub-contractors from being paid,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“The legislation passed last night has been a long time coming, and Mark Nelson has been a continuing advocate on this matter.

“I am proud that the Government has taken on board all my letters and enquiries when negotiating with the cross-bench Senators.”

Restoring the ABCC will see a strong regulator in the construction industry and a strong building code, so companies tendering for Commonwealth-funded building work will have to meet certain standards, including in relation to subcontractors.

By contrast, Labor abolished the ABCC in 2012 when Bill Shorten was Minister, and watered down the building code so that it had no real teeth.

The Government’s proposed code presents an opportunity for the Commonwealth to leverage its significant buying power to ensure higher standards are met by construction companies, Mrs Sudmalis said.

“They must comply with all relevant laws including workplace laws, security of payment laws, tax laws, health and safety laws and immigration laws.

“If companies do not comply with these laws then they can be excluded from tendering for Commonwealth-funded building work.

“This means that employers who underpay workers, fail to pay subcontractors on time, breach safety requirements or employ staff who do not have a valid work visa can be excluded from working on projects funded by the Commonwealth,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“These requirements will also protect smaller subcontractors from unfair practices by head contractors.”

Amendments to the Bill, proposed by Senator Xenophon, will establish a Working Group to monitor and make recommendations to the ABCC and Minister about security of payment matters.

The Working Group will consist of the ABC Commissioner, and at least one representative for each of employees, employers and contractors.

“I will be consolidating and referring all the material submitted to me from our affected sub-contractors to help the new Working Group to make sure there is a strong checking of the sub-contractor statements of payments, so a company cannot fraudulently represent to the lead contractor that the sub-contractors have been paid when in fact they have not,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“Finally, the passage of this legislation will stop my local contractors being kicked off local work sites because they don’t employ union labour, and then more expensive union members from out of area are brought in to take their place.” Media Release Below: photo of trucking operator Mark Nelson speaking to Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash.

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