CFMEU official allegedly directed work to stop on $163m Barangaroo site

FWBC puts CFMEU official Luke Collier before court

CFMEU official Luke Collier is facing court after he allegedly directed work to stop at a $163 million Barangaroo project.

FWBC also claims Mr Collier refused to obey occupational health and safety laws on site while conducting a right of entry visit.

Mr Collier visited the Lend Lease Barangaroo Headland Park Project on 5 March 2014. The project includes construction of a cultural facility, a 300 space car park and the building of a new harbour cove.

Mr Collier allegedly directed workers to stop work and attend a meeting in relation to alleged safety concerns. Under the law, Mr Collier was not authorised to direct workers to stop work. As a result of his alleged unlawful direction, about 30 workers either stopped work or were confused and stood around waiting for instructions. Five of the site management team were also interrupted who had to stop their work to deal with the interruption.

FWBC claims that Mr Collier signed the sign-on book upon entry, acknowledging that he had read and would comply with safety requirements on site. This included being accompanied at all times by a Lend Lease project representative who had completed a full site induction.

Mr Collier allegedly continued to walk around the site unaccompanied even after a Lend Lease representative asked him not to.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said this was the third court case his agency had started against the CFMEU within a month regarding CFMEU officials not complying with safety rules on site.

“All this agency asks is that union officials obey the law when they are conducting site visits,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

FWBC is alleging Mr Collier, the CFMEU and the CFMEU NSW branch breached the Fair Work Act three times each.

The maximum penalties available to the court in this case are $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation, including a union.

A directions hearing is scheduled in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney for 4 February, 2015.

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