Canberra 22 January 2015. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has this week guaranteed that the Victorian construction industry will return to the bad old days of delays, cost blowouts and union militancy for which the state was notorious under its last Labor Government.
Premier Andrews has this week confirmed that he has abolished the state Construction Code and is disbanding the Construction Code Compliance Unit. The Code, introduced by the Coalition Government in 2011, ensures that taxpayers receive value for money on state-funded building projects by requiring contractors to eliminate inefficient workplace arrangements and ensure that work takes place in a productive, safe and lawful manner. It has ensured that projects such as the Regional Rail Link were being delivered on time and on budget.
Premier Andrews has failed to make a formal announcement of the abolition of the Code. Instead, he has tried to sneak through the abolition with one line in a press release relating to childrens’ whooping cough vaccinations (attached).
“Abolishing the CCCU under the guise of a whooping cough announcement is a typical example of cynical Labor spin. It is like a script from ‘The Hollowmen’”, Minister Abetz said today.
“Premier Andrews knows he is doing the wrong thing. If he was proud of his actions he would make a formal announcement, rather than being sneaky and tricky by trying to hide behind an unrelated media release.”
The abolition of the Construction Code will cost Victorians hundreds of millions of dollars in higher construction costs, money which could otherwise have been spent on new hospital beds, classrooms or ambulance stations. Daniel Andrews knows all this is true, but his loyalty is to John Setka and the CFMEU, not the people of Victoria.
The Code also requires drug and alcohol testing on building sites, which is vital in ensuring higher workplace safety. The fact that Daniel Andrews is prepared to compromise safety shows just how far he will go to gratify his favourite union.
The Abbott Coalition Government is committed to introducing a new national construction code to protect the interests of Australian taxpayers and to re-introduce the Australian Building and Construction Commission to enable building sites to operate in a lawful and peaceful manner. Now - more than ever - it is imperative that the Senate pass legislation to re-establish the ABCC.