The supposed benefits of a reinstated Australian Building and Construction Commission are based on flawed evidence, a new parliamentary report says.
Abolished by Labor in 2012, legislation to bring back the ABCC has passed the lower house but has hit a snag in the Senate where on Thursday a report recommended it should not proceed.
“The government has completely failed on every single test to give any credible factual evidence to support the reintroduction of harsh laws which go to the very heart of peoples’ human rights,” Labor senator and trade union official Sue Lines told the upper house.
The Labor-dominated Education and Employment References Committee found the coalition’s proposal “would infringe on common law rights and privileges” by delegating law-making power to the commission.
It said a legislation committee probe in late 2013, which found in favour of bringing back the ABCC, had been given just 18 days to consider the matter, with only one 3.5-hour public hearing.
The more recent committee has heard “quite different” evidence, Senator Lines said.
But Liberal senator Chris Back said referring the ABCC bill to the second committee had been an abuse of process.
“This references inquiry really … ended up being worse than a farce,” Senator Back said.
The coalition stands by its plan to reintroduce the ABCC which it claims will loosen the sometimes wayward union stranglehold on the construction industry.