The construction of the 2018 Gold Coast Games’ centrepiece venue is on track despite industrial action causing delays, Queensland’s government says.
Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe maintains the Carrara Sports and Recreation project will be completed a year ahead of the April 2018 event despite work stoppages, which have now been curbed by a court injunction.
But the Liberal National Party says “militant CFMEU activity” is threatening the timely delivery of the venue and wants the Labor government to stand up to union bosses.
The federal coalition has used the union disruption to reiterate its calls for the urgent re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
Mr Hinchliffe conceded stoppage delays but said he was looking forward to the site getting back to “full work” following a court injunction limiting industrial action.
“The advice I have is that there have been certain delays as a consequence of some of the industrial action that’s been taken,” he said.
“But my advice is that we’re on track to see the 2018 Commonwealth Games event competition venues all in place 12 months ahead of the games being hosted.”
Gold Coast Organising Committee (GOLDOC) chairman Peter Beattie has said any delay in the construction of facilities was of concern.
The former premier said GOLDOC wanted industrial issues resolved quickly, which could only be achieved by negotiations between the parties or by Fair Work Commission intervention.
The commission has commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and two of its officials over the work stoppages.
It alleges the $126-million taxpayer-funded project has been disrupted by twice-daily, two-hour-long union meetings organised by the CFMEU.
The Federal Court on Friday ordered that no more than one meeting a week be held until a trial begins on July 25 to determine whether the union used the stoppages to “coerce” the head contractor into signing a new enterprise agreement on its terms.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has urged Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to heed Mr Beattie’s calls for a resolution.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to take action to ensure these games are delivered, taxpayers funds aren’t wasted and jobs aren’t being lost,” Mr Nicholls said.
Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the CFMEU’s actions highlight the need to re-establish the ABCC.
“The fact taxpayers money is being wasted and Australia’s international reputation put at risk, makes the CFMEU’s actions even more galling,” she said in a statement.