Tough stand on construction - the right decision
Free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, today welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government that it would establish and to enforce industrial relations principles on its construction sites. This follows a report in The Australian newspaper this morning foreshadowing the move.
Victoria is the state with the worst record of industrial relations lawlessness in the construction industry.
Over recent years state government projects have been targets for union thuggery. Conduct on projects such as the Royal Children's Hospital, the Westgate Bridge, the Epping Fresh Produce market and the Desalination plant has delayed projects and resulted in hefty court imposed penalties.
The Desalination plant has been plagued by exorbitant wages and allowances, low productivity, go slows, bans and strikes. The spread of its cost regime and practices to other Victorian projects would be disastrous.
John Lloyd, Director, Work Reform and Productivity at the IPA said:
"The Victorian Government is to be congratulated for taking this stand.
"However, serious challenges have to be addressed to make the principles work. Major contractors must stand up for lawful conduct and efficient practices on their sites. In the past, some contractors have conceded too readily to union intimidation.
"The Gillard Government's policy to abolish the Office of Australian Building and Construction Commissioner and replace it with a watered down inspectorate is a move in the wrong direction. Other states should join with Victoria to fill the void of leadership at the federal level.
"The Victorian economy requires a productive, lawful and cost competitive building industry. Any reluctance to resist strong arm union tactics will diminish future opportunities for the Victorian economy to grow. Victorian taxpayers will bear the cost if excessive claims and practices persist," said Mr Lloyd.
The report in The Australian can be found here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/union-cops-to-police-state-building-sites/story-fn59niix-1226134327175
For Media Comment: John Lloyd, Director - Work Reform and Productivity Unit, 0417 130 634, firstname.lastname@example.org