Simple as ABCC

Bad Laws Cost Lives

Since the ABCC and Building and Construction Industry laws came in during 2005, there has been a massive increase in deaths and serious injuries in our industry.

The number of deaths has gone up:
from 3.14 per 100,000 workers in 2004 – before the ABCC started –
to 4.8 per 100,000 workers in 2007 and 4.27 in 2008.

The construction laws and ABCC have taken us back to the terrible situation of, on average, one construction being killed on the job every week.

Limits on right of entry for union organizers have made safety worse.

 Union sites are safe sites

 Research shows again and again, when there is a strong union presence on construction sites, with active union members, safety is better.  The number of deaths and injuries decrease and workers’ entitlements are not ripped off.

The ABCC and  special construction laws make it harder for construction workers to stand up for safety on site. 

We work to live, not to get killed. Every worker has the right to come home safely.

Demand the end to the ABCC and construction laws.

Demand better national OH&S rules – not second rate safety – that get workers killed and injured.

Campaign for Rights on Site

Australia’s construction unions have joined together to campaign against the Building and Construction Industry laws and the ABCC, under the banner of Rights on Site.

The campaign has raised awareness of the unfair treatment of construction workers in the wider community. Over 10,000 people have pledged their support for one law for all Australian workers.

Legislation currently before Parliament abolishes the ABCC and replaces it with a Building Industry Inspectorate. But the Inspectorate still retains the ABCC’s coercive powers, with some restrictions.

There is a possibility in 2011 that the laws may be finally changed.

Take Action to abolish the ABCC in 2011

Ark Tribe was found not guilty of breaching the laws in December, but other workers can still be hauled in for questioning under the ABCC's coercive powers or risk facing six months imprisonment.

Six Reasons Why the ABCC must go in 2011

  1. The powers of the ABCC are unworkable
  2. The ABCC is discriminatory
  3. The powers of the ABCC are unjustifiable
  4. These laws are made for big companies
  5. A waste of taxpayer's money
  6. Australia is in breach of the ILO Conventions


  • The number of deaths have gone up since 2005: from 3.14 per 100,000 workers in 2004 – before the ABCC started – to 4.8 per 100,000 workers in 2007 and 4.27 in 2008.
  • Threats of fines, interrogations by the ABCC and imprisonment make it harder for construction workers to take a stand over poor safety.
  • Construction workers have to be able to prove that ‘there was an imminent risk to their health and safety’ to avoid fines for stopping work over safety matters.
  • The ABCC has a track record of pursuing workers and Occupational Health and Safety Authorities for court investigations where workers take action to defend their safety.
  • The ABCC has never taken an employer to court over breaches of Occupational Health and Safety laws.
  • Research has shown that where there is a strong union presence at construction workplaces, there are fewer serious injuries and deaths.
  • Construction remains one of Australia’s top four most dangerous industries, accounting for 24% - the highest number - of work-related fatalities in 2008, according to the latest available Australian Safety & Compensation Commission report.
  • Australia's Construction Industry Laws have been condemned six times by the International Labour Organisation.
  • The ABCC will cost Australian taxpayers $165.4 million for the period 2007-08 to 2011-12, under budget forward estimates.

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