AMMA welcomes the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) continuing with active investigation and prosecution of workplace law breaches.

In the latest of the CFMMEU’s recidivist law-breaking, the ABCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against the union and eight of its officials after they allegedly entered the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing Project unlawfully.

The conduct of the officials resulted in the Queensland Police issuing formal “move on directions” for some entries.

CFMMEU officials Beau Seiffert, Te Aranui Albert, Blake Hynes, Shaun Desmond, Craig Davidson and Justin Steele are alleged to have unlawfully entered the site on several occasions between 30 April 2018 and 2 May 2018. The officials refused to show their federal entry permits when asked to do so.

CFMMEU officials Kurt Pauls and Michael Davis, who do not hold valid entry permits, are alleged to have entered the site in contravention of the Fair Work Act.

In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court in Brisbane, the ABCC alleges:

  • Two union officials attended the site on several occasions and refused to produce their entry permits and were told by the HR Manager they were not permitted to enter the site unless they produced their permits.
  • Three union officials jumped a concrete barricade to get on site and walked four abreast along an access way at the Gore Highway section for four kilometres. The ABCC alleges this was unsafe as live works were happening at the time.
  • Work stopped due to safety concerns occasioned by the unauthorised and uninducted entry by union officials who proceeded to walk around live construction areas. Queensland Police attended the site and escorted the officials off the site.
  • Despite being escorted off-site by Queensland Police, union officials subsequently returned to the site and only left after receiving a formal “move on direction” from a Queensland Police officer.

The ABCC alleges the conduct in this case contravenes right of entry provisions in the Fair Work Act. The maximum penalty for a breach of the Fair Work Act in this case is $63,000 for bodies corporate and $12,600 for individuals.

This case is another example of why it is crucial the ABCC remains in place to ensure building and construction industry participants’ compliance with Australia’s workplace laws.

As a consistent supporter of the ABCC since it was first recommended by the Cole Royal Commission in 2003, AMMA recently provided input into a review of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act), reiterating industry’s support for the regulator’s retention.

Further, AMMA continues to support the passage of the “Ensuring Integrity Bill“, which contains various measures seeking to lift the standards, behaviours and transparency of all registered organisations including trade unions and registered employer groups.

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