Andrews caught out with false claims about Construction Code

Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, has again resorted to falsehood to try to defend himself.

On top of claiming that no compensation would be payable for tearing up the East West Link contract, Mr Andrews is now falsely claiming that the Victorian Building and Construction Industry Code is unlawful.

Mr Andrews is reported in today’s Australian Financial Review as saying:

“Let me be very clear about this, I made announcements a couple of years ago about a code that has been found by the court to be unlawful.”

In fact, the full Federal Court has expressly rejected a claim by the CFMEU that the Victorian Construction Code and guidelines were invalid and unlawful. The CFMEU’s attempt to appeal against that decision to the High Court has also been thrown out.

“Daniel Andrews knows full well that the Construction Code and the Compliance Unit are vital for the fight against the thuggery and intimidation of the CFMEU on Victorian building sites,” Minister for Industrial Relations, Robert Clark, said.

“Daniel Andrews’ commitment to abolish the code and the compliance unit will give open season to his key backers and supporters in the CFMEU, at the cost of soaring building costs and growing lawlessness on Victorian building sites.

“The fact that Daniel Andrews is prepared to resort to blatantly false claims to try to defend the indefensible shows the desperation of his attempts to conceal the truth from Victorian voters.

“With Daniel Andrews repeatedly uttering such blatant untruths, how can anyone believe a word he says?”

Mr Clark said that industrial relations experts and commentators around Australia are warning of the dangers of scrapping the Construction Code. As former judge and Royal Commissioner Terence Cole has said in today’s Australian Financial Review

“Only a political party in thrall to the building unions would contemplate abolishing a state’s building code.”

The Code:

  • applies to all on-site public building and construction work undertaken in Victoria
  • is binding on all contractors in relation to their future privately funded work
  • prohibits parties entering into sham contracting arrangements or arrangements designed to avoid strike pay, right of entry and freedom of association obligations
  • prohibits coercion or pressure to make over-award payments
  • requires tenderers for major projects to submit detailed plans which identify their approach to various matters including workplace safety, dispute resolution, management of subcontractors
  • requires contractors to take all reasonable steps to bring any unlawful industrial action to an end, including by pursuing legal action where possible
  • identifies practices that are inconsistent with freedom of association and require contractors to adopt policies to promote the right to join or not join a union
  • requires random drug and alcohol testing on all major Victorian Government projects
  • requires all major Victorian Government construction projects to have best practice security measures such as CCTV monitoring, biometric scanning or smartcard technology
  • requires all tenderers for Victorian Government construction work to commit to not take part in secondary boycotts and to report to the CCCU any requests or demands by others for them to take part in a secondary boycott.

“In pledging to scrap the construction code and the compliance unit, Daniel Andrews is once again putting the interests of John Setka and the CFMEU ahead of the interests of Victorian taxpayers and the community.

“We’ve had a damning litany of evidence of corrupt and illegal conduct and links to organised crime given in the Royal Commission, we’ve had counsel assisting the Royal Commission calling for criminal charges against the State secretary of the CFMEU, we’ve had the CFMEU fined $1 ¼ million for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court, and we’ve had reports of the CFMEU having a convicted drug importer as a shop steward at the desalination plant, and yet Daniel Andrews still wants to keep the CFMEU as one his key backers and supporters if he ever becomes Premier.

“How can Victoria ever risk having a Premier where the CFMEU will be pulling the strings around the Cabinet table and applying the law of jungle on almost every construction site across Victoria?” Mr Clark said.