Construction faces hard Labor

LABOR is committed to abolishing the Building and Construction Industry Task Force. This raises the issue of what steps it will take to address the current industrial action in the construction industry.

Upon Labor achieving Government, the two remaining members of the Task Force were instructed not to visit construction sites. In the absence of the Task Force, unions have embarked upon a campaign to impose a “no-ticket, no-start” regime upon con-struction sites. This has resulted in confrontation on some sites and work stoppages.

The Property Council, and other industry bodies including the MBA, have asked the Minister for Labour Relations, John Kobelke, to urgently establish a replacement team of Government officers to address the current disputation.

This team will need the right personnel with knowledge of industrial and criminal laws to visit construction sites facing industrial confrontation.

While the Government decides what it will do, the industry and the WA community pay the price.

Property Council members, which include property owners and developers, are suffering financially. Further, WA’s reputation as an industrially stable economy is under threat. To attract interstate and international investment, we need to show that WA is not set to return to the industrial confrontation of the 1970s and 1980s. The community will count the cost of the lost investment through lost jobs.

When Geoff Gallop was elected, he promised to govern for all Western Australians. The current industrial disputation is a test of that promise.

n Joe Lenzo is the Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia (WA Division).

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