Welcome End to Illegal Blockade - But Lawlessness Problem Remains
The building and construction industry has welcomed the decision by the CFMEU to cease their illegal blockade of building sites across Melbourne.
Chief Executive of Master Builders Australia, Wilhelm Harnisch said Master Builders was pleased to see an end to three weeks of illegality and lawlessness by the CFMEU.
“But the fact is – it should not have been allowed to get this far in the first place. Their behaviour was illegal.
“Despite the welcome lifting of the illegal blockade the construction industry remains very concerned that the legislative framework is incapable of responding to illegal activities. The industry is concerned similar illegal actions will occur on other sites across Australia unless the law is changed.
“The fact that the CFMEU was able to defy Supreme Court orders for so long is clear evidence the Fair Work Act is deficient.
“Further, the Fair Work Building and Construction inspectorate, the replacement body for the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), did not have the legislative capacity to intervene and bring the illegal blockade and acts of intimidation to an early resolution. It is clear the industry needs a return of the ‘tough cop on the beat’ to curb the militant CFMEU.
“The industry must not be held at economic ransom by the CFMEU or any other union. Grocon is a well-resourced company and was able to stand up to the illegal action of the CFMEU. However, not all construction companies would have been able to afford to stand up against similar illegal action.
“The Government must act to curb illegal behaviour. The building unions over the last three weeks have shown that they are incapable of behaving responsibly and lawfully.
“The CFMEU has asked to be treated the same as others, but the last three weeks have shown why they were singled out and why special powers were necessary to stamp out violence, intimidation and thuggery in the industry. These powers must be returned,” Mr Harnisch concluded.