Turnbull Government lies about construction industry revealed in global report

Published: 1 Mar 2017

A global report on the construction industry cites Australia as a case study of improved productivity and directly contradicts the Turnbull Government’s continued falsehoods about the industry in Australia that were used to justify the return of the ABCC.

In the report, Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity, the McKinsey Global Institute identifies the high unionisation rate, well paid workers and the union’s role in maintaining safe workplaces as positive hallmarks of the industry that have contributed to increased productivity.

The report also points to low levels of corruption in Australia and the importance of skills training.

National CFMEU Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said that the ABCC laws are about destroying the very things that make the Australian construction industry a standout in comparison to many other developed countries.

“The ABCC laws ban the union from negotiating on wages, safety, work hours and skills training – which the report says makes us more efficient.

“The Turnbull Government has been spreading fake news about the industry. They have maintained that the industry is in crisis, rife with corruption, where workers are paid too much and that the ABCC is needed to improve productivity.”

Mr Noonan said that the McKinsey report confirms what employers and workers in the industry already know.
“Those who actually work in the industry and build our cities have seen the changes that have brought about improved productivity.
“They don’t relate to the picture painted by the Turnbull Government, aided and abetted by the Master Builders Association,” he said.
Mr Noonan said this was reflected in comments made earlier in the year by an executive in the industry who criticised the MBA for continually depicting the industry in a negative light in order to serve the Turnbull Government’s ideological agenda.

“It’s no secret that employers complain that the MBA does not represent their interests or concerns.”

The McKinsey Report also pointed to the high wages and skills training in Australia as accounting for ‘better talent’ in the workforce.

“The Australian people have faith that their towns and infrastructure are quality built, due to a highly skilled workforce and the union’s perseverance that qualified workers do the job aligned with their skills and qualifications.

“The ABCC laws also prohibit the union from negotiating for apprenticeships. This doesn’t only affect construction workers and young people looking for work, but the community as whole.

“We all pay for the costs of falling standards as a result of bad government decisions that lead to unqualified people building our homes and cities,” he said.