Currently a new building and construction law is being debated before Federal Parliament. The bill entitled The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment Bill 2011, will effectively replace the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) with the Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate.
The bill will also obtain information or documents relevant to investigations and it will be on a compulsory basis.
Federal Independent MP Bob Katter has taken issue with the bill over the coercive power provisions withi it. He stated in parliament that he would like to see amendments to remove such requirements and reinstate the right to silence.
He offered support to a various aspects of the bill and stated that the exciting laws brought in by the Howard Government were difficult for workers to complain about.
The Australian Greens have also taken issue with the coercive aspects of the bill.
The ALP claims that certain safeguards within the bill, such as the right to representation and the right to refuse to give information, will ensure that people are not taken advantage of. The coercive powers are subject to a 3-year sunset clause.
The Opposition is in favour of retaining the ABCC.
The bill will appear before the Senate on Feb.29.
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