Darlaston v CFMEU, CFMEU (NSW), Parker, Hanlon, Kera and Mitchell

Applicant: ABCC State Director Peter Darlaston 

Respondent(s): CFMEU, CFMEU (NSW), Brian Parker, Rebel Hanlon, Robert Kera and Thomas Mitchell 

Date filed: 23 December 2009 

Outcome: 

The respondents were found to have contravened the Workplace Relations Act 1996 by the Court on 23 July 2010.

On 10 December 2010 penalties totalling $50,500 were imposed on the CFMEU, CFMEU NSW and four of its officials for engaging in dangerous and abusive conduct while exercising their rights as permit holders. The breakdown of penalties handed down was as follows: CFMEU ($15,000), CFMEU NSW ($15,000), Mr Parker ($8000), Mr Hanlon ($2500), Mr Mitchell ($7500) and Mr Kera ($2500).

Background:

Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd was the head contractor at St Patrick's Estate building project in Manly, Sydney.

On 3 and 4 December 2008 CFMEU officials Brian Parker, Rebel Hanlon, Robert Kera and Thomas Mitchell entered the project site, citing the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (NSW) and Part 15 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act).

The ABCC alleges that Mr Parker, Mr Hanlon, Mr Kera and Mr Mitchell contravened the WR Act during both visits by failing to comply with occupational health and safety and acting in an improper manner while exercising rights as permit holders.

On 23 July 2010 Flick J found that: 

Mr Parker, Mr Hanlon, Mr Mitchell and Mr Kera contravened s.758(3) of the WR Act by failing to comply with occupational health and safety requirements; 

Mr Parker contravened s.767(1) of the WR Act by hindering and obstructing while exercising rights as a permit holder; 

Mr Mitchell contravened s.767(1) of the WR Act by acting "in an improper manner" while exercising rights as a permit holder.