The Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate will replace the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) affecting the building and construction industry.


The bill is known as the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012.


The new inspectorate retains coercive powers to compulsorily obtain information or documents relevant to investigations. Some safeguards, however, will be put in place, such as the right to have a lawyer present and the right to refuse to give information on the grounds of legal professional privilege and public interest immunity.


The ACTU supports the change despite the coercive powers.


Employer representative Ai Group opposed the bill.  It wants the Government to consult industry on the appointment of the Independent Assessor, who will have the power to switch off the Inspectorate’s compulsory interrogation powers for particular projects, and the appointment of members of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate Advisory Board.


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