Dodgy builders under a spotlight - Media Release


Dodgy building firms who deliberately avoid paying workers will be forced to face the consequences of their actions under a Shorten Labor Government.

If elected to government, Labor will work with states and territories to cancel the building licenses of companies which have been caught phoenixing, a practise where dodgy directors deliberately burn companies in an attempt to avoid their obligations to employees, government and honest businesses.

Not only does phoenix activity hurt hard working Australians, their families and their communities, but it costs the economy billions of dollars. On one estimate, phoenixing costs the Australian economy in excess of $5 billion per year, which is more than $200 for every person in Australia.

Today’s announcement builds on anti-phoenixing measures already announced by Labor:

  • Tradie Pay Guarantee: Labor will establish a new requirement for large Commonwealth construction projects that would see project bank accounts established that use cascading statutory trusts. This will ensure that if tradies do the work on time, they will get paid on time.
  • $7 million Tradie Litigation Fund: Labor will create a fund to give the Australian Securities and Investments Commission the ability to run more difficult court cases without draining the corporate watchdog’s resources.
  • Director Identification Number: Labor would require all company directors to obtain a unique Director Identification Number with a 100-point identification check, as well as increase penalties associated with phoenix activity.
  • Name and Shame: Labor would allow the Commissioner of Taxation to name individuals and entities as a penalty for the most serious tax offences. They could also apply to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to have them formally seek disqualification orders for directors who engaged in or oversaw serious non-compliance.

Just about every tradie in Australia will have experienced the frustration of not being paid on time, or not being paid at all. Late payment and non-payment harm the financial and mental health of thousands who work in the construction sector. It’s a drag on productivity, and yet another form of unfairness on the job.

Labor will stop dodgy bosses ripping off subbies, workers and taxpayers.

If you’ve deliberately ripped off subcontractors, employees and taxpayers, you should lose your building licence. It’s as simple as that. 


Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.