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Created Thu 6/02/2014, Last Updated Thu 6/02/2014

Napthine out of order with construction workers drug slur

The CFMEU is calling on the Napthine Government to stop singling out construction workers in response to media reports regarding drug testing on government funded projects.

No evidence
Victorian Secretary John Setka said there is no evidence in any study on drug and alcohol use that construction workers have a bigger problem than the general community.

“There is no epidemic of drug taking on construction sites," he declared.

“Our on site health and safety representatives are not reporting a problem.”

CFMEU proactive
Mr Setka said the union had developed a drug and alcohol policy in conjunction with employers more than 20 ago and was proactive in this area.

“Safety is such a crucial issue in our industry and we don’t want anyone putting themselves or others at risk on a site.”

Mr Setka said the report is another attack on construction workers.

CFMEU Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Dr Gerry Ayers said that there is no evidence of accidents on building sites due to rampant drug use.

“If the government is going to make policy in this area, it should be founded on robust, empirical and peer reviewed, academic and scientific evidence,  not on unsubstantiated claims and accusations.

“If the police have information about bikies selling drugs on sites – as is claimed in the press – then they should investigate and act on illegal activity,” said Dr Ayers.