Master Builders backs Royal Commission findings


Thursday, 14 January, 2016

Master Builders has released a statement on the Heydon Royal Commission findings, saying it is a damning indictment of the unlawful behaviours of the building unions, singling out the CFMEU in particular.

“The findings of the report are based on evidence given under oath and cannot be dismissed,” Master Builders CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“It confirms the existence of an ingrained institutionalised culture of unlawfulness that fosters an environment where criminality and corruption can flourish,” Harnisch said.

“The extraordinary findings of the Heydon Royal Commission conclusively show that the behaviours of the CFMEU are far removed from community standards and shines a light on the union’s ingrained culture of calculated and reckless disregard for the rule of law,” he said.

“Union claims that the commission was a conspiracy or a witch-hunt are tainted and hollow. It is a cowardly claim. It is a feeble attempt to hide behind the industrial veil in order to justify grossly unlawful, corrupt and immoral behaviour that should never be defended,” Harnisch said.

“The Royal Commission report provides evidence of institutionalised and gross unacceptable behaviours that can only be countered by an equally strong legislative and institutional response that is recommended by the Commission’s final report,” he said.

“The challenge is now for the parliament to stand up for the community and pass laws that can stamp out such behaviours. Master Builders Australia calls on the parliament to take action — failure to do so will condemn the Australian community to be forever hostage to a group of thugs who have no regard for the law and a group of thugs who think they are above the law,” Harnisch said.

“What is most urgently required are the powers which the government proposes be exercised by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). They should be supplemented by stronger accountability and powers proposed under the Registered Organisations Bill,” he said.

“The ACCC should be given unambiguous powers to prosecute secondary boycotts along with increased resources. Greater fines also need to be imposed to act as a further disincentive. These measures are necessary to counter an ingrained and institutionalised culture of industrial anarchy,” Harnisch said.

“The parliament cannot ignore the compelling evidence contained in Commissioner Heydon’s report,” he said.

Master Builders calls for a mature approach to putting in place the necessary legislative response and to do so urgently. It is cancer that the community needs to rid itself of and must be stopped,” Harnisch said.

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