New government, new attitudes towards construction sector

The abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission will have a significant impact on our sector’s productivity and project costs.

The changing of the federal government always results in changes to workplace industrial laws and, this time, the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) by the Albanese Labor government is live, and will have a massive impact on the construction sector. 

Master Builders Australia engaged Ernst and Young to perform an economic analysis to assess the cost impacts from abolishing the ABCC.

The April 2022 report found that: “Businesses highlighted that the ABCC had reduced the amount of disruptive industrial action in the industry, improved safety at worksites, and positively impacted industry culture. 

“Further, businesses emphasised that abolishing the ABCC could lead to increased project costs and would likely hinder worksite productivity.”

Combined with inflationary pressures and skills shortages, the construction sector in Australia is experiencing challenges from multiple fronts.  

It is important for CICA members to be aware of CICA Assist, a service your membership provides that gives you access to the following.

Free advisory Help Desk

CICA Assist provides members with free access via email or phone to workplace relations and safety advice on issues such as:

   Pay and conditions

   Leave entitlements

   Award compliance

   Bullying and discrimination

   Fair Work compliance

   Pay disputes



   Misconduct and performance management


   Employment contracts

   Policies and procedures

   Directorships and shareholding


24/7 Incident Response Service

CICA Assist gives CICA members free access to a 24/7 hotline service to contact a lawyer in the event of a serious work health and safety accident/incident, a workplace regulator intervention, or any unlawful union right of entry/ industrial action.

The CICA Assist hotline is 1800 HR LAWYER (1800 475 299 31) or, alternatively, CICA members can email:

CICA members will receive initial free legal advice on how to manage the incident. If members wish to engage a lawyer through the CICA Assist help desk, then discounted rates for legal services will apply through our partner law firm Holding Redlich.

CICA has secured discounted rates for members if they engage Holding Redlich to provide workplace relations and safety legal services. 

It is as important as ever to ensure that your business and assets are protected.

CICA recently hosted an information session with Edmund Burke from Holding Redlich about how to correctly undertake performance management.  Although Edmund presented at a Queensland meeting, the invitation to attend online was extended to all CICA members.  

Online accessibility is one of the few positive legacies of the Covid-19 pandemic and I’d encourage all CICA members to avail themselves of these opportunities to stay informed and keep your knowledge current. I know it’s challenging with everything else going on, but even if you can’t attend, consider having someone else from within your business attend to take notes and brief you later.

As a service, timely respondents for legal advice are important to all of us in the event something unforeseen occurs. But, as those of us who have lived through this before know, changes to workplace laws and the implications of these changes are external factors to us that we have very little control over.  

The best possible way to navigate through such change is to keep informed, and maintain good communication and relationships with your workers and clients to allow an opportunity to talk through any unforeseen circumstances which may arise. 

We are now only a matter of weeks away from the return of our annual conference, this year at the Adelaide Convention Centre from November 10–12. Come and join us to reconnect and get up-to-date on what we have missed out on in the three years since we last all met for our marquee annual event.

I hope you’ll enjoy this issue, remember to stay safe.

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