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Master Builders Australia has called
out new ACTU Secretary McManus for claims that it is unjust for union officials
to have to provide 24 hours’ notice to enter building sites when lives are at
“State and territory WHS laws provide
union officials the right to enter worksites to inquire into safety
contraventions,” Shaun Schmitke, National Director Industrial Relations said.
“The claim from ACTU Secretary Sally
McManus that union officials have to provide 24 hours’ notice is misleading and
seeks to deceive the public into believing building unions are prevented from
protecting their members,” he said.
Union officials are required to show
their entry permits and produce simple documentation to gain entry to a
worksite to look into safety issues. If union officials are concerned about
lives being at risk State and Territory WHS regulators can be called. The CFMEU
are not safety regulators. Government agencies exist in every state and
territory with trained specialists whose job it is to respond and investigate
safety concerns. These agencies are run by Government and paid for by
taxpayers. They have 24 hour contact lines for emergency safety concerns.
Rather than breaking the law, the first step is to tell a specialist agency
with trained professionals, emergency response capacity and authority to
prevent and shut down dangerous work practices.
“Rules about safety on building sites
should not be used in a deceptive way,” Shaun Schmitke said.
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