Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
The newly elected Abbott Government is vowing to honour its
election promise to abolish the Fair Work Building and Construction
Inspectorate (FWBCI) and reinstate the Australian
Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) within
100 days of its election, despite the likely obstacle of a hostile
The ABCC was established by the former Howard government in 2005
to regulate industrial relations in the building and construction
industry by monitoring the application of the National Code of
Practice for the Building and Construction Industry
(Code), which required businesses tendering for
federally funded construction work to be certified compliant with
strict workplace relations guidelines aimed at reigning in the
influence of trade unions on the collective bargaining process.
Under subsequent Labor governments, the scope of the ABCC's
investigative and enforcement powers was reduced and the Code
amended to reflect the new Fair Work Act 2009
(Act), eventually resulting in the abolition of
the ABCC altogether and the creation of the FWBCI to monitor
compliance with the Act and revised Code.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz has confirmed the government is
on track to introduce draft legislation required to implement the
return of the ABCC in the first sitting week of parliament.
However, Labor and the Greens have maintained their opposition to
the government's proposed course of action and are expected to
prevent any such legislation from passing the Senate before the
make up of the Upper House changes on 1 July 2014.
To counteract the anticipated opposition to its legislation, the
government is reportedly considering implementing a range of
measures that do not require parliamentary approval, with the aim
of instilling the hardline approach of the Howard-era ABCC in the
current FWBCI. Such measures include:
replacing the current chief executive of the FWBCI with a
candidate that will implement the government's reform
assigning some of the FWBCI's current responsibilities for
enforcing compliance with the National Employment Standards in the
Act to the Fair Work Ombudsman, to better equip the FWBCI to
investigate alleged unlawful industrial activity within the
amending the Code and implementation guidelines to more closely
reflect the position under the Howard government; and
reversing $24 million in funding cuts to the FWBCI over the
next 4 years, as proposed by the Labor government in the 2013
A strengthening of the Code as it applies to the influence of
trade unions on industrial relations would also bring the federal
system into line with equivalent guidelines in place in
jurisdictions such as Queensland and Victoria for construction and
infrastructure projects funded by State governments.
Employers in the building and construction industry should
closely monitor the Abbott government's initiatives to
implement its reform agenda over the first 100 days of its term, to
ensure they are aware of any changes in their industrial
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The process for obtaining planning permission for development of property in the Cayman Islands has been updated as a result of the latest revision of the Development and Planning Law and accompanying regulations (July 2015).
In principle, when the parties agree to arbitrate, they shall be
bound by that agreement. It should therefore follow that when a
party initiates arbitration proceedings, the other party - the
respondent – will avail itself of the opportunity to present
its case and participate in the proceedings.
It is interesting to look at what is happening in Dubai's construction industry, which has been exposed to economic pressures as a result of the plunge in oil prices since mid-2014.
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