ABCC pours more money into going after workers while subbies in Queensland owed millions

Published: 13 Dec 2018

The Morrison Government has demonstrated once again it is in the pocket of property developers and building industry employer groups by pouring even more resources into going after workers while it does nothing about phoenix companies.

Yesterday the Government revealed it would give its partisan attack dog regulator, the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a $4 million Christmas gift to go after workers in Queensland.

At the same time, it has sat on its hands on the recommendations to fix the problem of phoenix companies owing millions to their sub-contractors and employees.

A recommendation to legislate for statutory trusts to protect the payments owed to subbies and their employees was made to the Government by an independent inquiry in May – which it has ignored.

Queensland is rife with recent cases of construction company collapses owing subcontractors millions. One of the largest was the recent Cullen Group collapse, owing more than $42 million to more than 600 creditors.  Other recent local collapses include Sommer and Staff and JM Kelly Builders.

“When it comes to attacking unions and going after workers, the Federal Liberal Government has all the resources in the world,” CFMEU Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said.

“But they let developers and their mates in the banks off the hook.

“They beef up the partisan construction industry attack dog, the ABCC, to enforce laws against construction workers that do not apply to any other Australian.

“At the same time, they turned a blind eye to the banks robbing their customers blind.

“They stripped the bank regulators – ASIC and APRA – of resources while they pour millions into the ABCC.

“The Morrison Government – like the Turnbull and Abbott Governments - is in the pockets of the big banks and property developers.

“The rules are well and truly broken when they can go after workers while letting banks and developers off the hook.”