Malcolm Turnbull will take it on himself to introduce to parliament the contentious bills he used to call a double-dissolution election.

The prime minister also signalled he and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash are willing to consider crossbench amendments to legislation reinstating the building and construction watchdog in a bid to win parliament’s approval.

An eight-year sunset clause and restrictions on coercive powers are among changes being proposed.

“This is a fundamental economic reform that if it’s not enacted will continue to impose higher costs on Australians, reduce Australian standards of living,” Mr Turnbull told reporters at a building site in Canberra.

The new parliament  gets down to business with a dozen government bills set to be introduced in the lower house.

Mr Turnbull will introduce three major bills including legislation that reinstates the Howard-government Australian Building and Construction Commission, and tougher governance rules on trade unions and their officials.

Senator Cash said the ABCC bill would address an industry marred by bullying, thuggery and intimidation where the rule of law had been ignored and not applied.

“Well, today that all stops,” she told reporters alongside Mr Turnbull.

Master Builders chief Wilhelm Harnisch said it was time parliament stood up to the bullies in the industry.

  • How does union bashing (or any equivalent of the words) assist the majority of the construction industry ?.. bring on real reform to the real people and our industry …. not just political leverage and jabs between political parties…

    get real and start doing your job… as the constituents of the local electorates have shown their displeasure in the last election and wish to be correctly represented….

  • Hopefully this time there will be some common sense compromise.

    The government should look at compromising on some of the more oppressive aspects of the Bill like the one that denies workers who are the subject of the ABCC claim to the right of silence. The opposition should accept that it lost the election (again) and should back the Australian people's position that the ABCC should be reintroduced.

  • Tony Abbott's ABCC legislation is going nowhere. Its reasoning was fundamentally skewered with the ideological battle he and Eric Abetz have had with the unions for ever. Nigel Hadgkiss has done a great job flushing out the CFMEU and their unlawful behavior. But, surrounding him is an Industrial Relations Club that is happy to make the right noises about the need for reform as long as it does not affect them. Let there be no doubt that the major contractors do not want to get caught in the stouch that would be necessary if the ABCC Legislation got up. And a measurement resistant industry would not like to see the light of day of any form of seriously targeted productivity measures that should become the precursor to future wage deals. All the while the big end of town construction companies just sign up the next outrageous deal and pass the costs on to clients. Mostly the public clients and taxpayers through large PPP and infrastructure projects. These are the companies that have the ear of governments. The unions know that if you knock the big contractors over then each round of claims then flows out to the industry. Its making construction in Australia less affordable every time with mounting social and economic consequences. Everyday contractors are working out new ways of reducing future work on-site. The trouble is that when to off-site option presents it is quickly translated into off-shore. Future economic stimulus initiatives will have less and less of a domestic impact as this momentum grows. There are many domestic off-site innovators in Australia but they are growing up in a cost climate that is unsustainable. Mr Turnbull needs to rethink the problem. The solution does not need more legislation.

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