Feedback sought on construction code guidelines

Published Monday, 04 March, 2013 at 08:40 AM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

The Newman Government wants feedback on guidelines for the building and construction code of practice to prevent unnecessary time delays and cost blow-outs on major infrastructure projects.

Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie said he was concerned by ABS statistics for the September quarter which showed Queensland industrial action accounted for 46 per cent of working days lost to disputes in the country.

“To have almost half of all action coming from Queensland is extremely worrying but when you look at incidents like last year’s Children’s Hospital dispute, it is not surprising,” Mr Bleijie said.

“That dispute alone accounted for an estimated 15,000 work days lost between August and October last year and cost the State Government an estimated $7.4 million.

“Queenslanders shouldn’t have their hard-earned taxpayer dollars wasted on disruptions to vital projects because of union militancy.

“The building and construction industry is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and it is vital this industry is operating productively and efficiently.

“We will use the industry’s feedback when drafting the final implementation guidelines, which will support the Queensland Code of Practice for Building and Construction.”

Mr Bleijie said the abolition of the Australian Building Construction Commission had led to an increase in disputes and the Government needed to act to fill the void.

“The new guidelines will let the Queensland Government enforce stricter controls over industrial relations practices on construction sites and prevent costly and long-running disputes.

“We will also establish a Building and Construction Compliance Branch, which will be responsible for industry education about the guidelines and assess tenders for compliance with the code.

“The guidelines will also indirectly apply to private infrastructure projects, as successful tenderers need to demonstrate an ability to manage their industrial relations across all worksites in Queensland.

“The Victorian Government introduced similar reforms last year and in December, New South Wales announced it intends to adopt a similar approach.

“The Government estimates that these guidelines will save taxpayers between five and 15 per cent on the cost of major public infrastructure projects in Queensland.

 “This is about ensuring major infrastructure projects such as hospitals and schools can be completed on time and budget without unnecessary disruption or expense to Queenslanders.”

 [ENDS] 4 March 2013    

Media Contact: Matt Johnston 0432 535 893