Feedback Sought on Construction Code Guidelines

08/03/2013

Local State MPs want feedback on guidelines for the building and construction code of practice to prevent unnecessary time delays and cost blow-outs on major infrastructure projects.

State Member for Pine Rivers, Mr Seath Holswich, said he was concerned by ABS statistics for the September quarter which showed Queensland industrial action accounted for 46 per cent of working days lost to disputes in the country.

"To have almost half of all industrial action coming from Queensland is extremely worrying but when you look at incidents like last year's Children's Hospital dispute, it is not surprising," Mr Holswich said.

"That dispute alone accounted for an estimated 15,000 work days lost between August and October last year and cost the State Government an estimated $7.4 million."

"The building and construction industry is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and it is vital this industry is operating productively and efficiently."

"We will use the industry's feedback when drafting the final implementation guidelines, which will support the Queensland Code of Practice for Building and Construction."

State Member for Kallangur, Mr Trevor Ruthenberg, said the abolition of the Australian Building Construction Commission had led to an increase in disputes and the Government needed to act to fill the void.

"The new guidelines will let the Queensland Government enforce stricter controls over industrial relations practices on construction sites and prevent costly and long-running disputes," Mr Ruthenberg said.

"We will also establish a Building and Construction Compliance Branch, which will be responsible for industry education about the guidelines and assess tenders for compliance with the code."

"The Victorian Government introduced similar reforms last year and in December, New South Wales announced it intends to adopt a similar approach."

"The Government estimates that these guidelines will save taxpayers between 5 and 15 per cent on the cost of major public infrastructure projects in Queensland."

"This is about ensuring major infrastructure projects such as hospitals and schools can be completed on time and budget without unnecessary disruption or expense to Queenslanders."

The draft guidelines can be viewed at http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/corporate/community-consultation/community-consultation-activities/current-activities/implementation-guidelines-to-the-queensland-code-of-practice-for-the-building-and-construction-industry-consultation

Submissions are to be made by 5pm, Thursday 21st March 2013.