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Nigel Hadgkiss right man to restore rule of law in construction industry

Providing Influence and Industry Advocacy since 1918

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17 October 2013

Statement by Steve Knott, chief executive
AREEA (Australian Mines and Metals Association)

AUSTRALIA’S resource industry employer group, AREEA, strongly welcomes today’s appointment of Nigel Hadgkiss as chief executive of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (FWBII).

Resource employers are looking for the restoration of the tough industry watchdog that was the ABCC, to stamp out rising unlawfulness on Australia’s onshore and offshore construction sites and provide improvements to productivity and workplace harmony.

From 2002-2012 the work of the Building Industry Taskforce and the ABCC delivered strong, measureable outcomes in the construction sector including a 9.4% increase in building industry productivity and $7.5 billion of extra value added into the Australian economy.

Through restoring an effective building industry regulator these proven economic benefits can once again be shared among employers, employees and all Australian people.

While there may well be backlash from some elements of the union movement, it must be noted that any responsible union that complies with the laws and regulations applying to the construction industry would have nothing to fear.

The Coalition Government appointing the right person to lead this industry improvement and clean up our building sites is just as important as implementing the appropriate institutional and legal arrangements to bring back the ABCC.

Strong continuity has been achieved in appointing the previous deputy head of the ABCC to lead the current FWBII through this transition.

Mr Hadgkiss is a well respected, tough and consistent operator. He has the runs on the board from his time with the ABCC, in leading Construction Code Compliance Victoria and through his time with the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Australian Federal Police.

AREEA also welcomes the appointment of the former head of the ABCC, Mr John Lloyd PSM as chairman of the FWBII Advisory Board.

Mr Lloyd was a highly effective leader of the ABCC prior to its unwarranted abolition by the previous government. He was critical to the implementation of the Cole Royal Commission recommendations, which found widespread disregard for the rule of law on Australian building sites and an industry too often subject to a culture of lawlessness.

The Coalition could not have been clearer in its plans to bring back the ABCC, nor could the endorsement by the Australian people have been any clearer.
We are pleased to see the Abbott Government has committed to introducing legislation to achieve this in its first sitting week of parliament.

For a PDF of this release including relevant media contact, click here.

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