News & Views

5th January 2016

Royal Commission findings reinforce need for ABCC return

05 Jan 2016

The findings of the final report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption reinforce the need for the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), says the Chief Executive Officer of the National Electrical and Communications Association, Mr Suresh Manickam.

Commissioner Dyson Heydon AC QC’s six-volume report found the labour movement contained “widespread” and “deep seated” misconduct within its ranks, refers 45 individuals for possible criminal charges or civil action and makes 79 key recommendations to the Government for legislative reform across a range of Parliamentary Acts.

Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister for Employment, Senator Michaelia Cash have indicated that many of the recommendations would be adopted in future legislation, calling on the Senate not to block reform.

“NECA notes Recommendation 3 of the Commission’s key findings that calls for the establishment of an independent, stand-alone regulator to monitor unlawful activity, as well as the Government’s commitment to the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission to oversee workplace relations across the sector,” Mr Manickam said.

“In light of the recommendations outlined by the Royal Commission, we urge the Senate to support workplace relations reform by reinstating the ABCC.”

“We believe that the ABCC will be a positive catalyst for change in the building and construction sector. The ABCC will ensure greater levels of transparency, encourage lawful activity through harsher penalties and reduce corrupt activities. Such a positive influence will then surely result in the ability for industry to deliver of key infrastructure projects coupled with greater economic productivity. It goes without saying that greater levels of transparency and productivity will flow through to greater levels of employment.”

“Given the view of the Commissioner, that the behaviour uncovered by the Royal Commission was not simply “isolated” or the work of a few “rogue officials”, it’s clear that without reform, the present unacceptable behaviour will continue.”

“In August 2015, NECA joined with a range of industry bodies across the building and construction sector in calling upon the Senate to pass the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013.”

“Today, our position remains unchanged and we again encourage the Senate to embrace and pass key reforms that will provide certainty for businesses within this sector,” said Mr Manickam.




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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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