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Emerson calls for Andrews to scrap Abbott's building Bill.



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FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WORKPLACE RELATIONS

1 October 2003

EMERSON CALLS FOR ANDREWS TO SCRAP ABBOTT’S BUILDING BILL

The new workplace relations minister, Kevin Andrews can show that he is committed to positive outcomes in the construction industry by abandoning Tony Abbott’s punitive draft bill and starting afresh.

While the construction industry in Australia is productive and profitable, there are serious issues that need to be addressed. Non-payment of sub-contractors, tax evasion and non-payment of employee entitlements such as superannuation and workers compensation are widespread.

Mr Abbott’s draft bill does not address these issues. It is only aimed at weakening construction unions and their ability to represent their members.

This sort of legislation, forced on an industry following a biased $60 million inquiry is a recipe for greater conflict, not greater cooperation.

A more wholistic approach to reform in this industry is required. Mr Andrews’ appointment provides an opportunity to start afresh. The new minister should call together all of the parties in this industry to seek their cooperation on a better way forward.

The ACTU made a similar offer to Mr Abbott but he rejected it. Mr Andrews now has the opportunity to show that he is not from the same far-right ideological mould as his predecessor.

Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386 or Nada Delavec 0419 584 241