“Buy Queensland” is Code for “Buy Union” Under Rushed Procurement Policy Aimed at Business: CCIQ
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) have called upon the Palaszczuk Government to clarify its position of best industrial relations practice for government projects over $100 million as a matter of urgency.
Head of CCIQ Advocacy, Kate Whittle said the politicisation of the tendering process, changes without consultation with the business sector and preferential treatment for politically aligned organisations to the State Labor government are particularly troubling.
Buy Queensland’ policy initiative which effectively preferences local business for government work is now encompassing a ‘Buy Union’ policy as well.
This move by the government is aimed at ensuring a union workforce is in place for businesses undertaking government work,” Ms Whittle said.
CCIQ maintains that businesses should be able to retain choice in the make-up of their workforce and it not the role of government irrespective of politician persuasion to insist on a preferred model of industrial relations.
Feedback received from business to date has been confusion around how the criteria will be applied, and a genuine fear that unions will have a greater say in what businesses should be awarded which contracts when it comes to the assessment of tenders.
“The Chamber is also increasingly concerned that this government is in the business of developing policy on the run, while giving lip-service to Queensland’s business community on proper consultation; we saw this at its worst with the announcement of the waste levy,” Ms Whittle said.
With major works across Queensland on the horizon, the Queensland Government must urgently get its house in order and issue directives as to what it means by ‘best practice industrial relations’ or better still, abandon such arbitrary criteria in favour of the strict requirements already in place for tendering for government contracts.
As a member of the Procurement Industry Advisory Group (PIAG), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) said it would raise its concerns directly with the responsible Minister.