Published on Jan 17, 2017

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The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) will be re-established which is good news for small businesses in construction trades.

Building Commission

The passage of legislation clearing the way for the re-establishment of the ABCC, along with the Security of Payments Working Group, marks a new era of fairness and productivity in the building sector, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell said.

“For too long, many small businesses involved in the construction industry have had their livelihoods undermined by unproductive, inappropriate and heavy handed conduct at the hands of unions, who have used their power to either twist the arm of small business owners into signing unfair industrial arrangements, or worse still force the little guys off the project altogether,” Ms Carnell said.

“The re-establishment of the ABCC will ensure mum-and-dad small businesses have greater access to major construction projects, which will ultimately bring down rapidly rising building costs here in Australia.”

“For a small business, gaining access to a building site doesn’t mean anything unless you get paid at the end of the day.  The reality is, many small businesses in the building sector have been stung by rogue head contractors who either don’t pay their subbies on time, or worse still, the lead contractor goes bust and simply doesn’t pay their subbies at all,” Ms Carnell said.

It is hoped these changes will help stamp out this practice in the future, so small businesses get paid and on time.

The role of the new Security of Payments Working Group is being considered under the current Payment Times and Practices Inquiry. This inquiry is investigating the payment terms of big businesses and governments in relation to their commercial arrangements with small businesses. There will be measures investigated to ensure small businesses are paid on time.

For more information go to asbfeo.gov.au for the full story or Fair Work Building and Construction for more information on the transition and how this might affect you.