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Back, Sen Chris
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Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee
(Senate-Friday, 3 February 2012)
Content WindowEducation, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee - 03/02/2012
CALVER, Mr Richard Maurice, National Director Industrial Relations and Legal Counsel, Master Builders Australia
HARNISCH, Mr Wilhelm, Chief Executive Officer, Master Builders Australia
Committee met at 08:59.
CHAIR ( Senator Marshall ): The committee will now commence its inquiry into the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011. Welcome. Thank you for your submission and your attendance at today's committee hearing. I invite you to make some opening remarks to the committee, to be followed by questions.
Mr Harnisch : Thank you very much. Master Builders welcomes the opportunity to appear before the committee. Before I start I, for the record, ask you to withdraw paragraph 6.7 of our submission. We misunderstood the provision that we referred to in that paragraph and, on that basis, we would withdraw that from our submission. It is not that material to the argument that we will be putting here this morning.
CHAIR: Because the submission has already been published, the secretary has requested that I ask if you could write to us withdrawing that so we could then attach that written request.
Mr Harnisch : We can certainly do that.
CHAIR: Thank you.
Mr Harnisch : The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011, which will create the office of the fair work building industry inspectorate will bring with it much-reduced powers now contained in the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005. Master Builders is not satisfied based on factual evidence that circumstances have changed materially to justify the watering down of the current ABCC powers when the fair work building industry inspectorate is put in place. To propose the repeal or amendments of many of the BCII provisions is premature and can only pose a grave risk to achieving lasting change to the culture of unlawful industrial behaviour.
Justice Wilcox in his report to the government in March 2009 made a number of powerful and telling conclusions. The Wilcox report accepted that the Cole royal commission got it right and there were special features of the commercial building industry that merit a specialist regulator. The most powerful conclusion by Justice Wilcox lies in the following:
… the ABCC’s work is not yet done. Although I accept there has been a big improvement in building industry behaviour during recent years, some problems remain. It would be unfortunate if the inclusion of the ABCC in the OFWO led to a reversal of the progress that has been made.
Master Builders shared those alarm bells then and does so today based on the facts that still confront the industry. Sadly, the problems alluded to by Justice Wilcox remain and are encapsulated further in a judgment by Justice Tracey in the infamous Melbourne Markets case. In our written submission paragraph 5.13 extracts from paragraph 84 of his judgment highlight that the problems of unlawful industrial behaviours have not lessened over time even with the current powers of the ABCC:
The BCII Act Commenced operation in 2005. Since then the CFMEU and its officials have been found, in 28 cases, to be liable for contraventions of that Act.
What is telling in the judgment is:
… pecuniary penalties totalling $2,711, 150 have been imposed on the CFMEU under the BCII Act.
These are two compelling examples of why Master Builders calls on the parliament to oppose the watering down of the ABCC laws and powers.
There are, of course, equally compelling economic arguments for why the current arrangements should stay. The Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard, in her address to the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday this week reinforced the importance of a high-productivity economy. The building and construction industry is one of the largest sectors in the economy, employing over one million workers, and should not be exempted from putting its shoulder to the wheel in improving productivity.
Master Builders contends that this will be the grave risk for the industry and the economy should the transition bill pass the parliament. In our written submission lodged with the committee Master Builders has emphasised the productivity benefits which flow from the work of the ABCC and the related reforms. The abolition of the industry-specific laws puts at great risk the productivity dividend from the work of the ABCC. Our grave concerns are based on independent analysis conducted by Econtech, now trading as Independent Economics. That firm has produced five reports, of which stage 1 of the last report has been attached.
The highlights of the first stage of the 2012 report, recently completed, show that the productivity performance of the construction industry has strengthened. Specifically it finds that construction industry labour productivity has outperformed predictions based on its historical performance relative to other industries by 12.4 per cent. The Productivity Commission's analysis of ABS data has found that multifactor productivity in the construction industry was no higher in 2000-2001 than 20 years earlier. In contrast, the latest ABS data on productivity shows that the construction industry total factor productivity accelerated to rise by 14.5 per cent in the nine years to 2010-11. Recently published research on total factor productivity shows the productivity in the construction industry grew by 13.2 per cent between 2003 and 2007 whereas productivity grew by only 1.4 per cent between 1998 and 2002. In short, what the various analyses show is that the ABCC and industrial relations reforms have improved productivity in the building and construction industry. Combine this with the case study of the Melbourne Markets in the Master Builders submission and it becomes clear how projects can be adversely affected by systemic unlawful behaviour.
In closing, Master Builders reiterates its grave concern that it would be premature for the parliament to reduce the current powers of the ABCC and to rip up the underpinning laws. The industry's unlawful culture must change, and that needs a strong cop on the beat.
CHAIR: Thank you.
This is a bill that it is my understanding is materially identical to a bill that was put to the parliament around 10 September. I think our report into this bill was 10 December. Are you able to identify any changes from that bill to this bill?
Mr Harnisch : My understanding is there are some minor changes, but Mr Calver would have greater understanding of the technicalities.
Mr Calver : The main change is the reduction in the period of review from five to three years. The balance of the bill is materially the same, with minor changes about matters of procedure. For example, with regard to the paragraph we have now withdrawn there was a comment on the fact that a ministerial direction was not a legislative instrument. That was a matter we misconstrued. There are minor changes of that nature. I think there were seven minor changes that we identified, with one of those seven the substantive change from five to three years for the review period.
CHAIR: My understanding is that that change is to give effect to the same review date as the original legislation. Do any of the other minor changes cause you any concerns? I understand your position on the whole of the bill. This is just in terms of those changes. Would you describe them as cosmetic, or do they materially change the bill?
Mr Calver : The substance of the bill is the same. The changes that have been made really, as you articulated, bring it up to date in historical terms. Having said that, we opposed the 2009 bill and, with regard to the 2011 bill, that opposition has sharpened.
CHAIR: Thank you.
Senator BACK: Gentlemen, thanks for your submission. You made reference to Justice Wilcox's report to government in 2009 following his studies in 2008. Can you tell us what observations you have made over the last three years in terms of any change of culture in the building industry following the presentation of that report?
Mr Harnisch : That is why we referred particularly to the Melbourne Markets court case, but there is also the Westgate incident, so to speak. There are other matters that are being dealt with by the ABCC and the courts which demonstrate to us that, sadly, things have not changed materially since those comments made by Justice Wilcox that 'the ABCC's work is not yet done,' that 'problems remain'. Our experience has been that, sadly, that is the case; hence we are saying that the watering down of the provisions is premature.
Senator BACK: One of the proposals in the changes deals with the concern that there is a reduction of the independence of the whole process, particularly that of the regulator. Can you specify the concerns that you or your members have in terms of that removal or reduction of the independence of the regulator?
Mr Harnisch : The overall concern expressed is that it will become bureaucratically clumsy. Part of the effectiveness of the current operation of the ABCC is its ability to act quickly. There are now proposed measures which we perceive could slow down the process, so the ability of the inspectors to go on site quickly to verify the allegations of unlawful behaviour is made more difficult. We accept that perhaps there should be measures there to protect the parties, but we would argue that it is important that the measures should not act as impediment, particularly upfront, to the new inspectorate acting as swiftly as the ABCC currently is capable of under the provisions.
Senator BACK: I go to issues associated with occupational health and safety. Submissions and comments have been made, as a result of the ABCC coming into existence, that occupational health and safety of workers on workplaces in the industry deteriorated. Have you got evidence either to support that or to deny that particular assertion?
Mr Harnisch : There are two comments I want to make. The first point is that the ABCC does not have as its remit to look at workplace safety. Having said that, of course the industry is very mindful of making sure that there are safe outcomes on building sites. Specific studies have shown that, while there still unfortunately remains industrial death and injury on building sites, that rate is declining, not increasing. Perhaps Mr Calver can cite the specific data sources for that.
Mr Calver : Section 7 of our written submission deals with occupational health and safety and confronts the allegations that the ABCC has acted to the detriment of safety. That is denied in its entirety. There is some comment in the combined unions' submission that unionised workplaces are generally safer, but there is no articulation of any statistics or any substantive evidence of that. We find that, as is set out in paragraphs 7.2 and 7.3 of the written submission, safety is often used as a means to advance industrial interests. The case that we cite in paragraph 7.3 in fact shows the conduct of three union officials who went to the construction site in Manly and engaged in practices to put at risk their own safety and the safety of workers, including driving a car into a gate and climbing on scaffolding, that was dangerous to undertake. We have cited the comments of a judge in a 2009 case of the ABCC against the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. The judge found that the union had hidden behind spurious concerns as to the health and safety of employees to advance 'as I infer, their own unspecified industrial aims.' We do not like safety being used as a stalking horse. We have evidence that it has been.
We also show in paragraph 7.4 and following the actual statistics about safety data. The long and short of it is that safety was never advanced by unlawful behaviour and never can be; therefore, making that correlation as has been done is illegitimate.
Senator BACK: Thank you. I just have one other question. It goes to the interesting concept of a process called 'switching off'. Do you know of any precedent where a switching off provision does exist? Can you tell me, in the event that a switching off capacity was introduced into the legislation, what impact this might have on harmony in the workplace and the overall performance of the construction industry?
Mr Harnisch : I am certainly not aware of it. My learned colleague may well be. Our proposition is that it is a bit like other legislation: you are either on the right or wrong side of the law. If you are on the right side of the law, there is no need to switch off that law. We would contend that, if there were lawful behaviour by all industry participants, there would be no need to take any special measures to so-called 'switch it off'.
Mr Calver : From our research there is no precedent for the bureaucratic agency determining that a law should not apply. At one level that breaches the fundamental tenets of the rule of law. It should only be parliament that determines when a law applies and when it does not apply. The Wilcox report did not recommend the creation of the office of the independent assessor. This seems to have come out of left field. In that sense it sits oddly with the balance of the bill. It shows the undue focus on the information gathering powers of the ABCC. These have been used to mask the other substantive laws that exist. To have a bureaucratic agency that on application has the capacity to determine whether or not a compulsory information-gathering power should or should not be used on a particular site seems to us to be a clumsy, bureaucratic process. It seems to be a waste of government funds and an uncalled for safeguard in the face of other agencies applying similar powers. The agencies we have mentioned having similar powers include ASIC and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Indeed, the ombudsman who will now oversee the ABCC has powers to compel information as well. So the whole notion of having a switch on and switch off for these information-gathering powers seems an unnecessary and dangerous precedent.
Senator BACK: Thanks.
Senator ABETZ: To follow on from the capacity to switch on and off: one could assume that that would only be occasioned if there were—I will use some pejorative language—possibly a sweetheart deal between an employer and a union where they go along and say, 'Look, everybody's been behaving themselves, so these powers should be switched off.' Can you foresee that happening?
Mr Calver : Yes. In our written submission we foreshadow that it may well be a condition of enterprise agreements that the contractor or the principal agrees that the powers will be switched off as the condition of that. We raised that question of whether or not that would be within the terms of a matter that can be encompassed in an enterprise agreement under section 172 of the Fair Work Act. The legal arguments will go to a single member and then probably a full bench, creating disputes about that very question, so the whole notion to us appears a nonsense.
Senator ABETZ: And just as much as there might be disreputable union operatives in the industry I would suggest to you there may also be disreputable employers in the industry.
Mr Harnisch : They are not members of Master Builders, though.
Senator ABETZ: I am sure. And, of course, if those two get together, there is every likelihood that a disreputable agreement might be made which then may well have flow-on effects to other industry participants if they are willing to do sweetheart deals behind the scenes.
Mr Calver : That is a scenario that would have cogency under this legislation, yes.
Senator ABETZ: You raised the matter of disclosure of information in section 9 on page 63 of your submission. I was wondering whether you might like to amplify that and your concerns about it. In brief, as I understand it, as it currently exists the ABCC is unable to disclose certain information, but under the proposed legislation there would be that entitlement. Of course that would potentially prejudice a whistleblower or somebody who is willing to cooperate with the inspectorate saying that there is illegality. That person then, for all his or her troubles, can have their name circulated. If, let us say, it is a disreputable employer and one of the employees makes a complaint, that employee's name can be floated with the employer by the inspectorate, which may not enhance their career prospects—let us put it mildly. Is that your concern?
Mr Calver : That is very well encapsulated. The current legislation in section 66 has some very good and tight protections on the disclosure of information. The replacement section is limited to protecting disclosure of material gathered at examination or via the issue of an examination notice. That means that participants in this industry would be reluctant to come forward, as you have rightly pointed out, if they face the possibility that their complaint or their personal information will become public. That danger, as I said, is currently recognised in section 66 of the legislation and that protection is not carried over into the bill. Disclosure of information, other than the protected information which I have touched upon, is permitted by this legislation. We are concerned that that is a matter which will stop people from coming forward and will stop their complaints being heard. Part of the reason—
Senator ABETZ: Who would that favour, then? If people are reluctant to come forward with information, that would really favour the disreputable employer and the disreputable trade union boss.
Mr Calver : Those who wish to break the law, yes.
Senator ABETZ: The position of those who wish to break the law, on either side of the employer-employee relationship, is enhanced by this provision.
Mr Calver : Absolutely. It favours those who wish to threaten reprisals against complainants. The context of the compulsory information-gathering powers, the context of the capacity to protect the names and identities in the information that the complainants are putting forward, arose because the statistics that were published by the building industry task force that was set up prior to the passage of the BCII Bill showed that just over 50 per cent of people who made a complaint to that task force withdrew their complaint for fear of the consequences. The new regime from 1 October 2005 eliminated that fear. What we are suggesting is that the new regime could reintroduce that, that the security of potential witnesses could be undermined and that that fear of making a complaint will return.
Senator ABETZ: Just to repeat that statistic: 50 per cent of complainants withdrew their complaint.
Mr Calver : Yes.
Senator ABETZ: You believe that it is because of the concern—
Mr Calver : The building industry task force at the time said it was 52 per cent, and they were the ones who recorded the statistic of the reason for the withdrawal being fear of reprisals. Our concern is that that culture, which is unfortunately still around—but getting better—will return if the provisions about compulsory information-gathering powers are watered down along the lines proposed in the bill and if the disclosure of information provisions are enacted. As you can have indicated, Senator, we put a whole section about those provisions in our submission because we are concerned about it.
Senator ABETZ: So the government is about to legislate something which they must know will reduce the likelihood of complaints against illegal behaviours by either employers or employees?
Mr Harnisch : That is certainly a consequence of it, yes.
Senator ABETZ: There has been reference made to Mr Wilcox. He is a Federal Court judge, but just to balance things up let us not forget that he described the former Howard government as an 'elected dictatorship', which is hardly the sort of judicial language one would expect from a judicial officer and which would indicate a particular slant. Nevertheless, he was, surprisingly, commissioned by the Labor government to have this report into the existing ABCC. He said at paragraph 3.24 of his report, amongst other things:
One of the most impressive aspects of the ABCC’s work ... is the speed with which the ABCC responds to requests for assistance ... once the ABCC inspector explains the parties’ legal positions, the dispute often resolves itself.
I assume you can confirm that that often does occur?
Mr Harnisch : I did say that in my response to one of the other questions in terms of the new—
Senator ABETZ: So the speed is important.
Mr Harnisch : Correct, absolutely.
Senator ABETZ: But of course what he has skated over is not only the speed of the response but outlining the legal position.
Mr Harnisch : Correct.
Senator ABETZ: In your experience, does the legal position, when that has been outlined, include advising certain people of the potential penalties that might apply if they do not comply with the law?
Mr Harnisch : Perhaps Mr Calver might know.
Mr Calver : Very much so. One of the things that the Wilcox report noted is the speed and the visibility issue. The other of course is 'speak softly and carry a big stick', and the big stick in this context is the penalties—the appropriately high penalties because, in the face of those penalties, as is illustrated in the Melbourne Markets case summary that we put in our submission, unlawful behaviour of that kind does continue. If you reduce the penalties to the levels in the Fair Work Act, what you are doing is reducing the capability to stop that unlawful industrial action.
Senator ABETZ: We are being fed the disingenuous argument that one of the great things about the ABCC was its promptness of response, and there is nothing in this bill that would stop the promptness of the inspectorate responding. But of course it is not only the promptness of the response; it is the official being able to say, 'These are the legal consequences' and, when you have penalties three times as high as they otherwise would be, describing that as the 'legal position' is to try to sideline the importance of these penalties in helping to resolve situations.
Mr Wilcox did admit that there had been some improvement in the culture. Were there any factors other than the establishment of the ABCC that you can point to that led to this improvement in culture CC?
Mr Harnisch : The establishment of the ABCC in itself gave the industry participants, particularly employers, confidence to deal in an effective way with the unlawful behaviour. Certainly that was the most important element of the ABCC. It gave confidence to the industry that there were effective powers in place that would be acted upon and which have subsequently been shown to be ineffective. That was the most effective effect of the ABCC rather than, perhaps, other legislation.
Mr Calver : The Cole royal commission said that project managers were spending three-quarters of their time on industrial relations issues. So if you are spending only 25 per cent of your time on the other issues—the day-to-day efficiencies, the running of the site—then obviously, when industrial relations concerns are ameliorated, you can spend more time sticking to the knitting. That consequence of industrial relations being less because of a daily pressing urgency means that other factors can be given greater devotion.
Senator ABETZ: Unfortunately time is short, but I simply note for the record the economic analysis that you have provided, which shows huge savings to the taxpayer and the increased productivity that has been gained for not only the players but for the total Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers. I just note that for the record.
It has been suggested that we do not need industry-specific penalties because there are other important areas of our economy, such as the telecommunications industry, transport, gas, electricity, emergency services, police, ambulances and hospitals. That may all be right, but I assume that you—especially you, Mr Calver—look at matters industrial relations across the board generally within the community and not just for the building sector. Is that correct?
Mr Calver : I have been employed by Master Builders for nine years, so my focus is on the building and construction industry industrial relations. But obviously you have to look at the context in which that occurs and understand other sectors' industrial relations.
Senator ABETZ: Given that, to your knowledge have any of these other sectors—such as police, ambulances, hospitals, telecommunications, electricity or gas—been subjected to the sort of behaviours that the Cole royal commission found existing in the building and construction sector?
Mr Calver : No, but obviously the police sector has industry-specific legislation. They have got offices of police integrity and the way that they conduct themselves is subject to highly-specific regulation, mostly because they are the police.
The Cole royal commission, despite the criticisms that are made of it, was one of the highest inquiries that you can have. With all of the strictures of the Royal Commissions Act, it found the need for industry-specific legislation. In the face of that, to argue that that legislation is not needed when Mr Wilcox, as Mr Harnisch has quoted, said that the work of the ABCC from Cole had not yet been done, that the Cole royal commission's findings, in the words of Mr Justice Wilcox, 'are compelling', means that the arguments against industry specific legislation seem to fail in the light of all of the official inquiries suggesting that it is necessary, that it is necessary for it to continue, that it would be unfortunate if it were part of the Fair Work Ombudsman's Office, that it was not industry specific, and the calls for it to be abolished are not only premature but also fly in the face of all of those inquiries.
Other sectors in industrial relations do have specific rules, but the extent to which they have separate carved-out regulators is unique to the building and construction industry, for the reason that the Cole royal commission found that to be necessary to change the culture in the industry. As Mr Harnisch emphasised in his opening remarks, there is a lot more work to be done to change that culture. Justice Wilcox said there is a lot more work to be done to change that culture. Master Builders Australia is reiterating the message that that culture has not yet sufficiently changed.
Senator THISTLETHWAITE: Gentlemen, in your submission you refer to some of the litigation history in more recent times in the industry. You would agree, would you not, that the overwhelming majority of cases that have been brought against officials of the unions and other people in the industry in more recent times have been brought under the Industrial Relations Act and the Fair Work Act, in terms of penalties, rather than the building and construction industry legislation. That is true, isn't it?
Mr Harnisch : Yes, it would be true that a number were obviously prosecuted under the previous act, but the ABCC has taken action under the Fair Work Act as well, so it would not be true to say that they are purely relating to the previous provisions.
Senator THISTLETHWAITE: That is my point. The ABCC has taken the actions but they have been under the provisions of the Fair Work Act, or indeed the Workplace Relations Act prior to that, rather than the penalties that are available under the building and construction industry legislation. In other words, the Fair Work Act is much more effective legislation when it comes to prosecutions and penalties in the industry.
Mr Calver : If you look at our Melbourne markets test case, you will see that the fines that were handed down by the judge relate to a number of heads of power. The judge relied on the BCII Act and also relied on the general legislation, but certainly the other use of powers was the contempt powers. The ultimate issue here is that all three incidents of the law available to the judge were applied and that, because there was the $110,000 fine, the judge did apply a much higher fine than would otherwise have been available if it were merely the Fair Work Act.
In paragraph 5.10 of our submission, we say why that is the case. We quote a High Court case which shows that, if you reduce maximum penalties, the courts following the High Court guidance will reduce the maximum fine that is applied. The extract from Markarian v The Queen at paragraph 5.10 comes to the nub of the answer to your question, in that, if you reduce the fines from the BCII Act to be level to those of the Fair Work Act, you will have fines which are inconsequential compared with those currently levied by the courts and which will not be a sufficient deterrent, in our view, to the taking of unlawful industrial action.
Senator THISTLETHWAITE: I want to read from the department's submission and ask whether you agree with this or not. At paragraph 4.9 of their submission they say:
… an analysis of the ABCC's litigation history shows that a significant percentage of the court cases in which the ABCC successfully obtained penalties were brought under the Workplace Relations Act … or the Fair Work Act alone. The maximum penalty rates available under the BCII Act were irrelevant to these cases; as they will be for future cases brought under the Fair Work Act.
You would have to agree with that analysis, wouldn't you?
Senator ABETZ: Can I just ask a supplementary question on that, Senator Thistlethwaite. What do you mean by 'significant percentage'? Are we talking 10, 20 or 80 per cent of cases?
Senator THISTLETHWAITE: It does not say, but the department is appearing this afternoon. Perhaps we can tease that out with them.
Senator ABETZ: Let us not mislead the witnesses by suggesting that 'significant' is a huge number.
CHAIR: Senator Abetz, there is no suggestion that anyone is being misled. Senator Thistlethwaite quite clearly is referring to the department's submission and he is taking it out and quoting directly from it, as he should. There is no intention of anyone being misled.
Mr Calver : We would commend getting the exact percentage from the department. That is all very well, but the point is that, if you reduce the maximum fines available for unlawful industrial action, you are sending the wrong message to the courts. The prior history of the litigation is all very well and good, but in the Melbourne markets case it was the high penalties for the unlawful industrial action which meant that the consequences of that were appropriate.
In addition, there are a number of the provisions of the Fair Work Act which we say water down the law considerably from the law as it is stated in the current Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act. For example, there is the difference between section 38 of the BCII Act and section 417 of the Fair Work Act. Section 38 will no longer be available to prohibit unlawful industrial action, and the problems with enforcing section 417 in its place are a minefield when you have an industry such as ours where there are large numbers of employers operating in one workplace. It is a question where we would say (1) perhaps the 'significant' issue should go to the department, but (2), from our point of view, you are sending the wrong message to the courts if you are reducing the penalties available to them.
Senator THISTLETHWAITE: Perhaps you could take this on notice. Do an analysis of the cases that have been taken since the inception of the act and look at whether they agree with that or not. If you could present evidence that refutes that or demonstrates that that submission is wrong, then perhaps you could provide that on notice to the committee.
Mr Harnisch : If I could take from what I understand the department have said, in our view it only strengthens the argument as to why the existing power should remain and the existing penalties should also remain—they have been very effective in dealing with unlawful behaviour.
Senator THISTLETHWAITE: We do not have much time, so I will move on. I take issue with the, I think, Econtech analysis of productivity in the industry, in particular some of the claims that are made on page 5 of that analysis. For example, there is the claim that labour productivity in the industry is 12.4 per cent higher than predictions based on relative historical performance. It is easy for organisations to manipulate figures associated with productivity. The point that I take on this analysis, and perhaps you could respond to this, is that the historical analysis goes back, I think, to 1985—it is 1985 to 2002—to get a benchmark, and then you have compared that to what has occurred in terms of labour productivity in the industry since the BCII Act came in. I would argue that a more relevant analysis would be from perhaps 1994 onwards, when enterprise bargaining came into the industry. That is when the big leap in labour productivity occurred, not only in this industry but also in the industry more generally throughout Australia.
What I am saying is that you are comparing apples and oranges when really the comparison should be from 1994 for the historical reference. That is when you got big increases in labour productivity in the industry—and that, not the inception of the BCII Act, was a major contributor to increases in labour productivity over the last 15 to 20 years. Perhaps you could ask Econtech to have another look at that and provide that information to the committee.
Mr Harnisch : We will certainly take that on-board.
CHAIR: Thank you, Mr Harnisch and Mr Calver, for your submission and your presentation to the committee today.