"Lambies" to the slaughter

Posted 24 June 2015

The final battle has commenced for the full reinstatement of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). This is looking distinctly like a case of "Lambies" to the slaughter. So Jacqui, who won't waste her time with anyone who is not serving military or Tasmanian, is quite happy to meet with her CFMEU friends to put them straight.

Frankly, some of the politics in this country is becoming laughable and the rest of the world is taking note. Worse still, the number of investors (Australian and International) turning their backs on the country because of the woeful industrial relations environment should be worrying future generations.

The trouble is most of generation next are either blissfully unaware of the untold damage being done to our economy because of rising infrastructure costs, or they refuse to believe that bad people are controlling large parts of the building and construction industry.

The logic in denying the return of the ABCC is frightening. Four Royal Commissions in thirty years should give cause for alarm at a political level but because many just don't have the courage to tackle the real problems they are prepared to consign future generations to try and repair the damage. History is not going to treat this current cohort of political operatives very kindly. 

Each of the Royal Commissions have found horrendous behaviours within the industry. Many of the illegal and violent behaviours have been perpetrated by the unions, and yet we can't see our way clear to try and deal with the problems with methods designed to reflect elements in an industry who don't behave like the rest of society.

It is very interesting to see a person like Martin Ferguson who has been at the heart of the union movement calling for the reinstatement of the ABCC. Why? Because he's been around long enough to know that unless something is done that future generations will be left trying to fix something that just has to be fixed now. The country's future prosperity and well-being is absolutely tied to the presence of an ABCC.

All of the data that was produced pre and post the ABCC Mark I tells of an undeniable shift in both behaviour and reduced costs. Here we are again, arguing for something that most normal people would find a no brainer. This is a classic example of a political system that fails the community it is meant to be serving. The only serving that is at work here is the self-serving interests of those who stand to gain the most out of the wreck being created.

On the back of a recent campaign undertaken by Master Builders Australia to have the ABCC reinstated, further commentary has fuelled the critical need for this body. With the industry watchdog out of the way totally, a return to the bad old days of the building and construction industry is guaranteed. And yet those to whom the industry and the community were reaching out to simply deny that a problem is there to be fixed, or the system that failed to fix it before can fix it now.

In the meantime the industry is pinning its forlorn hopes on Jacqui Lambie to quell the unions and save it from being hammered.

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