Chris Grant v Michael Lane

Applicant: ABCC Inspector Chris Grant

Respondent(s): Michael Lane

Date filed: 28 November 2007

Commission Findings:

SDP Watson ordered that CFMEU Organiser, Michael Lane's right of entry permit be suspended for a period of four months under Part 3-4 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). This order was not to take effect unless Mr Lane, within a 12-month period from the date of the order, was found to have again abused his entry rights under Part 3-4 of the FW Act.

The ABCC was seeking the revocation or suspension of Mr Lane's entry permit due to his conduct at the Conrod Straight construction site at Mt Panorama, Bathurst. It was alleged that on 19 April and 16 May 2007 Mr Lane as a permit holder abused the rights of entry conferred by Part 15 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act) while on site.

Commission Outcome:

SDP Watson ordered that Mr Lane's right of entry permit be suspended for a period of four months under Part 3-4 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). This order does not take effect unless Mr Lane, within a 12-month period from the date of the order, is found to have again abused his entry rights under Part 3-4 of the FW Act.

SDP Watson dismissed the ABCC’s application on the basis that he was not satisfied that Lane was purporting to rely on rights conferred by Part 15 of the WR Act when he visited the Conrod Straight site on the two occasions. SDP Watson found the fact that entry notices had been issued by Lane under s.760 of the WR Act before each visit was not enough for that purpose. It was held that the occupier of the site consented to Lane uplifting copies of employment records to show to the Immigration Department.

On 19 November 2008 a Full Bench of the AIRC upheld an appeal by the ABCC. The Full Bench found (the) right of entry under s.760 is for a specific and limited purpose and is subject to the limitations set out in Division 6 of Part 15.