Inquiry launched into Australian construction industry

By Helen Wright17 September 2012

The government of the Australian state of Victoria has launched a wide-ranging inquiry into the state's construction industry, including an investigation into the use of violence, intimidation or harassment within the industry.

The Victorian Coalition Government has instructed the Construction Code Compliance Unit (CCCU) to report on the current state of compliance with the law and applicable codes of practice in the Victorian building and construction industry.

The CCCU has also been tasked with investigating the possible involvement of organised crime elements within the industry.

The inquiry adds to the work already being undertaken by the CCCU to provide the government with an urgent report on matters relating to the Grocon blockades. In August this year, members of Australia's Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU) illegally blockaded a construction site in Australia run by contractor Grocon, in a dispute over union membership.

The CCCU is to provide an interim report by 15 October, and a final report by 31 March next year.

Victorian Minister for Finance Robert Clark said, "If Victoria does not have an efficient and law-abiding building industry, our state will simply not be able to afford to build the infrastructure we need."

Mr Clark added, "Recent events have demonstrated that certain elements of the industry appear to consider themselves above the law. The coalition government is determined to ensure that all participants in the building industry abide by the rule of law and the same standards of behaviour that apply to everyone else. Unlawful blockades, intimidation and harassment should have no place in any Victorian workplace."

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