News & Views

12th July 2016

Re-elected Government now has a mandate to re-establish the ABCC

12 Jul 2016

The Federal Government has been re-elected and it is now clear that a mandate for the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has been delivered, says the CEO of the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), Mr Suresh Manickam.

“Whilst the outcome of the 2016 Federal Election was close and the final results of the Senate are yet to be determined, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the trigger for the double dissolution of both houses of Parliament was the previous Senate’s second rejection of the ABCC legislation and Registered Organisations Act,” Mr Manickam said.

“At the start of the election campaign in May, we said that the outcome of this election was a litmus test for Australia’s Building and Construction sector and future prosperity and the present industrial landscape was harmful to Australian families.”

“Now that the Government has been returned, a mandate exists to implement these reforms and NECA is encouraged by the Government’s commitment to the passage of this legislation and suggestions that a joint sitting of both houses could still deliver this critically important outcome for our sector.”

Under section 57 of the Australian constitution, if the ABCC legislation or Registered Organisations Act fails to pass the newly elected Senate, the Government may hold a joint sitting of both the Senate and House of Representatives as a single legislative body to determine these laws whilst requiring a simple majority of 114 out of 226 votes to pass this legislation.

“NECA strongly supports the return of the ABCC as a measure to stamp out illegal workplace activity by trade unions. Electrical contractors across Australia expect a safe and transparent workplace where the rule of law is upheld and we believe that the re-establishment of this industry watchdog will deliver upon this promise whilst fostering enhanced sector productivity, said Mr Manickam.

“Whilst we await further updates on the counting of the Senate, NECA will maintain its active involvement in support of this legislation and will meet with current and new representatives to argue the case for the passage of these critical laws for Australia’s electrical contractors.”




Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications


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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.
  8. For further information go to


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