Plans by the federal government to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) have been strongly opposed by a peak industry body.
In a statement last week, the Master Builders Australia (MBA) renewed its call for the Gillard government to retain the powers of the ABCC and avoid replacing the body with a weak substitute.
"Master Builders urges the Government to re-think this measure and calls on the Independents and the Coalition to vote against the Bill that would see the end of the ABCC and a return to unacceptable industrial unlawfulness and a fall in productivity," MBA chief executive officer Wilhelm Harnisch said.
The bill – presented to parliament on November 22 – triggered debate amongst the country's major building and construction unions, many of which oppose the move.
According to Mr Harnisch, the removal of industry specific laws will see penalties for unlawful behaviour reduced by two-thirds.
"This will make the price of unlawful industrial action cheaper and will encourage unions to act outside the law, something which continues now in the face of much higher penalties," he said.