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Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Page: 1063

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (19:09): Minister, we have been trying, patiently, to get some information as to what the implications of this bill will be in the context of competition and in the context of capability—that is, having the companies that can go out and do the work. Given that you have indicated that only 16 per cent of the 100 companies that were surveyed have a clause that goes to renegotiation, it means that even in those 100 companies there are many companies that would have to go through a full process of seeking to have, first of all, negotiations with the unions that are party to the agreement and then get the agreement before the commission and go through the whole process in the context of delivering a bargaining outcome. That is the issue: getting a bargaining outcome. What you are saying is that you do not have a clue about how many companies do not have an agreement. That does lead to what Senator Marshall has indicated—chaos in the industry, a position where competition is diminished in the industry and where companies that may have been financial donors to the Liberal Party are advantaged against companies that have simply abided by the law and negotiated agreements under the Fair Work Act. Minister, have you got any idea of the number of companies that will have to go through a process of renegotiation in the building and construction industry? If you do not know, why have you supported this bill? Why are you proposing this bill when you obviously do not understand the implications for competition and continued efficiency in the industry? Why?