The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has appointed a new head following the resignation of  Nigel Hadgkiss in September 2017 after breaching the Fair Work Act.

Stephen McBurney will begin a five-year term as commissioner from 6 February 2018.

Mr McBurney served as an assistant commissioner (legal) for the ABCC from 2006 to 2008 and spent the last nine years investigating organised crime for the Victorian Office of Chief Examiner.

Mr Hadgkiss, a former police officer, was forced to resign in 2017 after he admitted to breaching the Fair Work Act for recklessly misrepresenting unions’ legal rights to enter workplaces.

The appointment comes as the Australian Government’s new building code came into full effect in 2017.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said Mr McBurney’s extensive experience will ensure the ABCC continues to be a highly effective regulator.

“Ai Group looks forward to working with Mr McBurney over the years ahead to achieve a more productive building and construction industry, while maintaining high standards of safety,” Mr Willox said.

“Lawbreaking, coercion, bullying and intimidation by construction industry unions need to be stamped out, and it is patently obvious that there is a lot of work that still needs to be done before this is achieved. All political parties need to strongly support the vital role that the ABCC is carrying out and express their public support for the maintenance of this essential regulator.”

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