Watchdog rolls out union-busting force
UNION-thug-busting cops will blanket Queensland worksites under a souped-up Federal Government plan to scuttle henchmen emboldened by a potential Labor election victory.
Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer will today reveal the construction watchdog will receive an extra $4 million - mostly to target lawlessness in Queensland.
In a scathing attack, Ms O'Dwyer has warned a union-led Labor Government would leave "Queensland ... beautiful one day, chaos the next".
Queensland has the highest number of investigations by the independent Australian Building and Construction Commission, which has five lawyers and 10 investigators employed in the state.
The ABCC is in the process of hiring two extra lawyers and an investigator for Queensland, with its existing resources, and the funding boost announced today will further increase frontline staff by three in this state.
It comes as controversial CFMMEU boss Michael Ravbar will seek re-endorsement on the ALP's national executive at Labor's national conference this weekend.
The CFMMEU is being accused of testing the limits of right of entry laws.
Ms O'Dwyer said the funding will allow the ABCC to focus more on Queensland
Mr Ravbar has the deciding vote on Queensland's Left executive committee.
Ms O'Dwyer said the ABCC also helped contractors get the money they were owed.
"Unlawful industrial action in Queensland is on the rise thanks to the militancy of the CFMMEU, which has been described by a Federal judge as 'the most recidivist corporate offender in Australian history','' Ms O'Dwyer said.
"This additional funding will allow the ABCC to focus more frontline staff in Queensland, where worksites are being subjected to increasingly militant, law-breaking behaviour.
"If left unchecked, the uptick in militant union action across Queensland's vital building and construction industry will cripple the sector."
Since the ABCC was re-established, it has received more than 200 complaints and undertaken more than 280 investigations across the country.
It has also returned more than $450,000 in owed entitlements to workers.
Almost one in 10 Australian workers are employed in the construction industry and small business make up 99 per cent of the industry.
"Most of these small businesses are at the bottom of the contracting supply chain, making them particularly vulnerable to the lawless behaviour of militant unions and poor treatment by the large construction companies."