News & Views

17th May 2016

Election litmus test for building and construction

17 May 2016

July’s Federal Election is a litmus test for Australia’s Building and Construction sector and future prosperity for Australian families says the Chief Executive Officer of the National Electrical and Communications Association, Mr Suresh Manickam.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for a double dissolution of both houses of Parliament, following the rejection of the Australian Building and Construction Commission Bill and Registered Organisations Act.  These two pieces of legislation are critical to ensuring that illegal work site activities are curtailed and that the rule of law is upheld.”

“NECA strongly condemns illegal workplace activity and actions by trade unions that seek to contravene legally complying building codes and contracts,” Mr Manickam said.

“In the lead up to the Federal Election, NECA members are reporting spikes in illegal workplace activities such as bullying and harassment on building sites - this is clearly unacceptable. The current landscape isn’t positive and is ultimately harmful to working families. We call on regulators and the Police to enforce lawful activity on construction sites across Australia. We also think the time has come for appropriate and commensurate on-the-spot fines to be issued to those individuals found to be breaking the law, including those continuing to strike after being ordered back to work by the Fair Work Commission.”

“It is clear that the reported behaviour and tactics provides further evidence for the return of the ABCC and we are hopeful that the outcome of the Federal Election settles this matter once and for all,” said Mr Manickam.

“We call upon Bill Shorten and the ALP to clarify their position on illegal workplace activities and to outline their plans for a robust Building and Construction watchdog that would engender lawful and transparent activity as well as foster greater industry productivity.”

NECA continues to keep the Minister’s office updated about industry developments and will continue to work with other building industry players to ensure a fair and transparent outcome for those employed within the building and construction sector.



Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications


D 02 9962 6904

M 0457 767 328


Notes for editors

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its Legal firm, Group Training and the NECA Colleges (in WA) and EcoSmart Electricians – and has joint ventures with a superannuation company (NSW) and one of the national cabling registrars (ACRS).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.

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