MBA’s junk ABCC numbers don’t pass the sniff test

Published: 30 Apr 2022

The Chicken Littles at the MBA have declared the sky will fall in the construction industry if the ABCC is abolished but their junk numbers ignore the widespread rorts that rob subbies and workers of millions every year.

“This report is a classic exercise in rank electioneering and junk economics from the Liberal Party activists and operatives who have taken over the leadership of the Master Builders,” said Dave Noonan, CFMEU National Construction Secretary.

“Even Ernst & Young, commissioned by the MBA to come up with their big scary number, added a disclaimer to the report warning it was prepared ‘for the benefit of the client’ and cannot be relied on by anyone other than the Master Builders.”

“They would have done well to speak to industry participants whose interests are broader than one day achieving preselection for a safe Liberal Party seat.”

“The report grossly overstates the influence and role of the ABCC in the construction industry and misunderstands serious issues in the industry related to the insolvency and collapse of builders.”

“Bizarrely, the E&Y report points to the recent collapse of builders like Probuild, Pindan and Condev, warning more will come if the ABCC is abolished. The reality, as anyone in the industry knows, is the ABCC is a worse than useless regulator on insolvency.”

“It does nothing to hold builders and head contractors accountable when they refuse to pay on time or at all. The result is subcontractors and workers in the industry are currently owed billions in unpaid invoices and wages.”

“The MBA itself has led the charge against important industry reforms that would ensure subcontractors are paid money owed for work already done. “

“They have lobbied their mates in the Morrison Government to reject security of payment laws that would require big builders and head contractors to hold the monies they owe to subbies in statutory trusts.”

“The Morrison Government has sat on these laws since 2017, refusing to act on the recommendations of the Murray Review. If Australia had these security of payment laws in place, we could have spared the devastating impact on the thousands of businesses hurt by the collapse of builders like Probuild, Condev and Pindan.”

“Australian builders who make up the membership of the MBA are rightly asking why the organisation works against the interests of its own members in service to the Liberal Party and their big developer donors. Employers in the industry deserves better representation.”