“Building and construction companies lost over 14,500 days due to industrial action over the three months to September 2016, the highest of all sectors, and more than three times higher than the next closest sector, coal mining,” Master Builders Australia’s CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“The latest ABS figures confirm that illegal strikes and stoppages on building and construction sites are a scourge on the building and construction industry, cause building costs to be higher than they should be, and show why the Federal Government has made the right decision to bring back the ABCC,” he said.

“Data from the ABS released earlier today shows days lost to industrial disputes in the building and construction industry more than doubled over the year-to September 2016, with the sector accounting for over 1 in every 2 days lost to industrial disputes across the economy over the past 12 months,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“The figures show a link between areas where building unions are at their most militant and areas where builders suffer the most loss or delays due to illegal strikes and stoppages,” he said.

“Queensland and Victoria continue to face the greatest challenges, recording the highest levels of days lost to industrial action in the face of hard line building unions. These include a number of high profile and unlawful strikes causing considerable disruptions across several major building sites, particularly in Queensland including at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital site,” he said.

“These figures show why the Parliament was right to bring back the ABCC as it worked before and builders expect it will work again,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“In the years before the ABCC, days lost to industrial disputes in the building and construction sector averaged 27,700 per quarter. When the ABCC was last in place, that average dropped to 6,700 per quarter and then increased by 34% in the time since it was abolished,” Wilhelm Harnisch said. 

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