Bill to Reintroduce Australian Building and Construction Commission Again Defeated in Senate, Sparking Possible Double Dissolution Election

As discussed in our January 2016 Update, the government has been attempting to pass legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission ("ABCC") after it was abolished by the Labor Government in 2012. However, in a special sitting of Parliament in late April 2016, the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 (No 2) failed to pass for a second time in the Senate.

This result has had far-reaching implications for the Government and the country, as the Prime Minister has previously indicated that if the Bill failed to pass once more, he would consider dissolving both houses and calling a double dissolution Federal Election (expected to be held on 2 July 2016). Thus it appears unlikely that the ABCC will be resurrected in the near future, with the Government likely hoping it will be able to retain power so that it can submit the Bill to a joint sitting later this year.