The ACCC puts the construction industry under the spotlight

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has put the construction industry on it’s priority list for 2017, to enforce fairness and accountability.
The construction industry will find itself under the magnifying glass this year, but not simply because the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is underway.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will also put pressure on law breakers in the construction industry – by cracking down on unfair contract terms and misconduct, as part of its key enforcement and compliance priorities for 2017.
The ACCC has even set up a new commercial construction investigation unit, fuelled by fresh concerns about anti-competitive conduct.
“A newly established team will focus on competition issues in the commercial construction sector across Australia. We have continuing investigations in that area and we will put additional resources towards new ones,” said Rod Sim, Chairman of the ACCC.
Mr Sims has indicated the ACCC will focus on tackling unfair contracts. This is good news for small construction businesses, especially since this renewed interest comes on the tail of new laws that were introduced to protect small businesses in 2016.
“What that means is that large companies can no longer have unilateral terms in their standard contracts that put small businesses at a significant disadvantage,” Mr Sims said.
As Australia’s peak consumer protection and competition agency, this independent government authority promotes competition and fair trading among businesses, while protecting consumers. It enforces laws by issuing administrative and infringement notices, as well as launching legal proceedings, when the occasion calls for it.
There’s no shortage of industries demanding the regulator’s attention. The ACCC creates its priority list after assessing the pressing issues affecting Australians, and this is reviewed on a regular basis.
The construction industry is going through significant changes, especially in light of the Senate passing the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) at the end of last year. There’s growing demand for stronger regulation of the building sector, as reflected by the ACCC’s priority list for 2017.