According to the federal government officials in Australia, they have made an agreement with the Senate crossbench to strengthen construction laws.
The government has struck a deal with Independent Senator Derryn Hinch that would lessen the 2-year transition period for the country’s building industry code to only nine months. During this period, firms that have no compliant enterprise bargaining deals will not be given contracts by the government.
In November last year, Hinch had a significant role in helping the government pass the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) Bill. However, he has received criticism for the delay of its implementation.
Now, his recent move has garnered different opinions from his fellow senators and other government officials.
For South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, he praised Hinch for changing his mind on the construction bills. He stated:
“All credit to Derryn Hinch because he was presented with new facts, he spoke to people in the industry.
“As Keynes said ‘when the facts changed, I changed my mind’ and I think that’s what happened here and he deserves credit for that.”
On the other hand, head of Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, Dave Noonan, claimed that the changes in construction laws could complicate government procurement. He explained:
“You’ve got to ask what the situation with the tender of Government work then looks like and whether those companies who are not blacklisted will be in a position to increase their tender prices through lack of competition.
“This may be a case of the Government shooting itself in the foot and if that’s right, this wouldn’t be a good public outcome.”
Minister of Parliament Adam Bandt of the Greens party even said that the changes could cause chaos in the industry.
All in all, the construction laws in Australian are definitely going to undergo certain changes, and knowing its actual benefits and consequences will just be a matter of time.