Earthmoving Industry Insight, Opinion

CCF warns of flaws in Closing Loopholes Bill

The Civil Contractors Federation says the Loopholes Bill could negatively impact upcoming infrastructure projects

Australia’s peak civil construction industry body says it is concerned that the labour hire provisions of the Closing Loopholes Bill No 1 that have passed through Parliament today may be flawed and have unintended consequences such as higher construction costs, lower productivity and fewer jobs.

“As CCF and other industry groups have continued to highlight, this sweeping legislation deserves careful consideration and detailed consultation,” Civil Contractors Federation national president Mick Boyle says.

“CCF is concerned that the new Regulated Labour Hire Arrangement Orders, contained in the legislation rushed through today, will cause widespread disruption across the construction sector.

“The CCF submission to the Senate in October 2023 pointed out that the administrative and financial burden on businesses dealing with multiple orders will have cost and productivity impacts. The legislation appears to give unions the unrestricted right to apply for orders regarding any employee they are entitled to represent.

“The federal government, which is a major funder of nationally significant infrastructure projects, should be working with industry and the unions to improve productivity in the sector for the benefit of all Australians. CCF is concerned that the labour hire loophole provisions will cause significant increases in wages in the civil construction industry, cost taxpayers billions of dollars and reduce the amount of infrastructure the country can afford to deliver.

“The CCF is relieved that the balance of the measures previously proposed as part of the Closing Loopholes Bill will be contained in a separate statute, The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No.2) Bill 2023 (Closing Loopholes Bill No 2), which will include amendments dealing with even more complex and controversial measures.

“The CCF looks forward working with the Senate’s Education and Employment Legislation Committee inquiry in the New Year.”

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