Qld govt orders audits on construction projects

THE Queensland government has promised a crackdown on sham contracting in a bid to eliminate the illegal practice from the state.
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Industrial Relations minister Cameron Dick

Staff Reporter

Making the announcement today, Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said regular audits on state government funded construction projects would become standard to ensure sham contracting did not take root in Queensland.

The audits are just one of several recommendations in a report into the practice by the Industry Reference Group which Minister Dick called for in May.

"Sham contracting has no place in Queensland industry," Dick said.

"Thankfully, the Industry Reference Group found no evidence of systemic sham contracting practices on Queensland worksites.

"However, the group recommended a high level of vigilance to ensure the practice does not creep in, and this is why we will be implementing all the recommendations in the report."

The Department of Public Works is expected to introduce a regular auditing process of the industrial relations provisions for selected major projects in early 2012.

The IRG report, carried out by senior union and employer representatives and industry experts, recommended the government:

  • undertakes a formal review of employment-related provisions in contracts for government-funded construction projects
  • ensures compliance with industrial relations obligations on Government funded projects
  • undertakes an audit program on significant construction projects
  • liaises with the Commonwealth Government via the Fair Work Ombudsman and Australian Tax Office to ensure that building and construction industry workers are receiving their proper superannuation entitlements
  • establishes a project monitoring group to provide industry stakeholder input into the implementation of the IRG report recommendations.

The Industry Reference Group included representatives from the Australian Workers Union; the Builders Labourers Federation; the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union; the Housing Industry Association and the Master Builders Association; the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman; and related Queensland Government agencies.