Council brakes slow recovery

Original article by Rebecca Urban, Damon Johnston
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 11-Jun-20

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says local councils should fast-track development applications in order to stimulate economic activity in the post-coronavirus world. He says the state and federal governments are helping to boost the construction sector, and local governments should do so as well. It takes an average of 70 days for development applications to be approved in Victoria – well above the statutory requirement of 60 days – and this had blown out to at least 120 days for some councils prior to the pandemic. The average number of days to approve a development application in New South Wales is 84 days.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Near $1bn boost for building kicks off targeted stimulus

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Jun-20

The federal government is expected to release details of its coronavirus stimulus package for the construction industry on 4 June. It is tipped to include cash grants of between $20,000 and $50,000 for people buying a new home, in order to avert a decline in construction activity towards the end of 2020. The government is also expected to provide cash grants for home renovations. A stimulus package for the arts and entertainment is also said to be on the government’s agenda.

CORPORATES

CFMEU slugged $486k for blockade

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 3-Mar-20

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has been fined $404,500 for organising an unlawful blockade at the Barangaroo project in Sydney. The Federal Circuit has also ordered five current and former union officials to pay fines ranging from $7,500 to $22,500. The industrial action was aimed at forcing concreting firm De Martin & Gasparini to sign an enterprise agreement. The CFMMEU and its officials have now been fined $9.62m in total since the Australian Building & Construction Commission was reinstated in 2016.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, DE MARTIN AND GASPARINI PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION

Home building hopes turn positive

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 16-Jan-20

The latest quarterly survey of the construction sector by the ANZ Bank and the Property Council of Australia suggests that building activity in the residential market will improve in the second half of 2020. The index of expectations for housing construction over the next 12 months has risen by 14.6 points in the survey for the March 2020 quarter; it is the largest quarterly gain since the three months to December 2013. PCA CEO Ken Morrison says the latest survey indicates that housing affordability will continue to be a key issue in 2020.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Construction the drag on productivity

Original article by David Marin-Guzman, Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 4-Dec-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s analysis shows that the construction sector was the biggest contributor to the decline in the nation’s labour productivity in 2018-19. The central bank’s Statement on Monetary Policy notes that this may be due to construction firms retaining idled workers in the hope that the residential development sector will rebound. However, the RBA’s analysis could weaken the CFMMEU’s recent proposal for annual pay rises of five per cent for New South Wales building workers.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Construction falls for fifth quarter running

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 28-Nov-19

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that residential construction activity fell by 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September, to $18.3bn in seasonally adjusted terms. Meanwhile, engineering construction declined by 0.2 per cent in the September quarter, to $21.1bn, although non-residential construction increased by four per cent to $11.4bn. Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says the residential construction sector continues to be a drag on the economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Setka not going anywhere, says union

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Oct-19

The CFMMEU’s national conference in Adelaide has passed a motion calling on Labor to oppose exploitative free-trade agreements. Dave Noonan, the head of the union’s construction division, has criticised Labor leader Anthony Albanese for agreeing to support ‘sell-out’ free trade deals. He also said the CFMMEU’s Victorian secretary John Setka had the full support of delegates at the national conference and he will not resign. Noonan added that Setka’s resignation from Labor will have no impact, arguing that many of the CFMMEU’s leaders have not been party members.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Setka exit deepens Labor rift

Original article by Phillip Coorey, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Oct-19

The federal government’s hopes of passing the Ensuring Integrity Bill have been boosted by John Setka’s refusal to step down as Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union. Setka’s resignation from the Labor party on 23 October has pre-empted an upcoming meeting of its national executive, which had been expected to expel him from the party. However, independent senator Jacqui Lambie maintains that she will back the legislation unless Setka also resigns from his CFMMEU role. Setka’s resignation has been welcomed by Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who led the push to have him expelled.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

CFMEU branded a serial offender

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Oct-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union and Victorian shop steward Kevin Pattinson have been fined $69,000 in total for preventing an apprentice and an electrician from working on a Melbourne construction site. The court was told that Pattinson had barred the two workers from the site because they were not members of the CFMMEU. The Federal Court’s Justice John Snaden noted that the union is a "serial ­offender" with regard to its lack of compliance with workplace laws.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Tools down if workers hot, sticky

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 11-Oct-19

The Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane is among the construction sites in southeast Queensland that will be subject to a new hot weather policy. The agreement between the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union and Multiplex will allow building workers to stop work temporarily when the temperature reaches 28C and humidity tops 75 per cent at least three hours before the start of a shift. Master Builders Queensland CEO Grant Galvin says the policy will be an occupational health and safety nightmare, and he warns that it could be exploited by the CFMMEU.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, BROOKFIELD MULTIPLEX LIMITED, MASTER BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING WORKERS’ UNION, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION