ABC BRISBANE DRIVE
MONDAY, 25 MARCH 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s Tradie Pay Guarantee.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Steve, we look at this in two ways. First of all with our Tradie Pay Guarantee, which will set up cascading trusts for large Commonwealth projects. Basically means that if you do the work on time, you get paid on time. We'll start that with large Commonwealth projects and work with the states and territories to implement it with their government projects and then on major private sector construction contracts, because no one who does the work on time shouldn't get paid on time.
The second part is our Tradie Litigation Fund, giving an additional $7 million to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in order to go after the worst dodgy phoenix directors. We know they're a scourge on the industry and we know that by cracking down on them we improve trust right across the building sector.
STEVE AUSTIN: So why is litigation A, something that taxpayers should pay for and B, a desirable option? Wouldn't it be wiser to try to avoid litigation?
LEIGH: Part of it's making sure that we uphold the laws and we know that ASIC’s being stretched. That's come through the Royal Commission and the Royal Commission is asking for it to do a lot. But ASIC has had instances in the past where it had important legal wins which have been changed behaviour. It took a case called ASIC vs Somerville in 2009, against a lawyer that actually helped people set up dodgy phoenix schemes. Not only did they win in that case, but then they were able to go on the road and say to anybody else in the legal profession ‘if you're thinking about abetting dodgy phoenix directors, be aware that we'll get you’. So that sort of example is really important. This is policy, Steve, that's supported right across the ideological spectrum because no one wants to see dodgy phoenix directors getting away with ripping off subbies.
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.