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ABCC rallies show need for immediate change

The Australian Greens have put their support behind rallies against the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) in both Perth and Melbourne today, pointing to the immediate need for the abolition of the ABCC.

"The ABCC represents the former Government's Work Choices agenda at its most extreme, but the current ALP Government is yet to address these injustices," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The charges against CMFEU organiser Noel Washington have been dropped, but these unfair laws still exist, and we could see the same situation appear tomorrow."

With the ALP failing to act on the ABCC, the Greens introduced a Bill into the Senate that will repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII) and abolish the ABCC.

"The Senate Inquiry report into the Bill agreed with most of the Greens' concerns, and yet the Government Senators did not support urgently repealing this legislation. Evidence to the Inquiry confirmed that the ABCC is fundamentally flawed, breaches the rights of workers in this particular industry, and is grossly unfair."

"It is unacceptable to have workplace relations laws that take away the right to silence, deny people their choice of lawyer, provide powers to compel evidence with the possibility of gaol for non-compliance, and impose severe restrictions on the rights of workers to organise and bargain collectively."

"There is a large amount of community concern about the powers of the ABCC, and it's time the Rudd Government lived up to its promise of helping working families by abolishing this punitive, undemocratic reminder of John Howard's rule," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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