ACT Government Backs Big Unions Over Small Business

Posted 26 October 2018

ACT Government Backs Big Unions Over Small Business

Master Builders ACT is disappointed that the ACT Government has ignored the recommendations made on behalf of Canberra small businesses and has instead responded to a bullying campaign run by local Unions, in passing the Government Procurement (Secure Local Jobs) Amendment Regulation 2018 and ACT Secure Local Jobs Code today.

Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said "The MBA, other industry groups, and local small businesses have spent tireless hours working with the ACT Government to improve the draft Code."

"A number of key concerns from industry, including the conflict between the new ACT laws and Federal Procurement Rules remain unresolved, meaning local Canberra businesses will start 2019 not knowing whether they can continue to tender for lucrative ACT Government contracts and comply with Federal building requirements", said Mr Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins said, "It is clear that in this case the ACT Government has backed the interests of big Unions over small business."

"The MBA had requested government extend the commencement date for the new laws by 6 months to give small business time to prepare for the new procurement rules, which include mandatory audits, a requirement to hold a Code certificate and submission of a Labour Relations, Training and Workplace Equity Plan, however this request was ignored", said Mr Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins said, "the new regulations will apply in addition to the existing ACT requirements to maintain an IRE certificate, comply with the Local Industry Participation Policy, maintain annual ACT Government pre-qualification, participate in active certification audits, and Federal obligations to maintain certification with the 2016 Building (Procurement Code) and submit a Workplace Relations Management Plan."

"At the end of the day, every requirement of the new ACT procurement rules is already covered by an existing law. This new legislation is simply a law to comply with existing laws, which is the very definition of red tape. The new ACT procurement rules will add uncertainty, time and cost to the process of tendering for ACT Government work, meaning many Canberra based small business will simply not bother", said Mr Hopkins.

For further information please contact Master Builders ACT:

Michael Hopkins, CEO, 0418 984 594

Karen Freer, Marketing Manager, 0437 955 923

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