Case name
Australia Building And Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union & Ors
Known as
Perth Children’s Hospital
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

WAD135/2014

Applicant

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Respondent(s) at time of filing

CFMEU, David Noonan, Joseph McDonald, Michael Buchan, Tawa Harris

Date filed
26 May 2014
State/Territory
WA
Breach(es) found
Coercion
Status
Finalised
Link to liability and penalty judgement

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Perth Children’s Hospital Contraventions Case) [2017] FCA 491

Summary of court decision
  • Declarations of admitted contraventions made by court on 30 November 2015. A penalty hearing took place on 21 October 2016.
  • On 11 May 2017 the Federal Court handed down penalties totalling $107,500.

The ABCC* commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMEU and its officials David Noonan, Joseph McDonald, Michael Buchan and Tawa Harris for allegedly organising and controlling a blockade of the Perth Children’s Hospital construction site on 18 July 2013. It was alleged the blockade was intended to stop a critical concrete pour in a bid to coerce John Holland to agree to the union’s enterprise agreement demands.

It was alleged that by 8.30 am on 18 July, approximately 600 people were gathered at the main entrance to the site and access to the site was completely blocked preventing the concrete pour.

It was further alleged that after the meeting the crowd moved to a nearby park where Buchan, McDonald and Noonan of the CFMEU stood on the back of a ute and addressed the crowd. Buchan allegedly said “We send a clear message to everyone around here that’s here today that we can pull the numbers whenever we f***ing need them and we’ll do whatever we need to do.” Noonan allegedly said “This is not over, we are not finished with John Holland.” McDonald allegedly said “We don’t go back to work today” “we will come back and we will come back and we will come back” and “we are the union and we called the shots today.”

*This matter was originally filed by Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC). On 2 December 2016, FWBC became the ABCC.

Penalities

Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded

CFMEU

$88,000

Joseph McDonald

$7,500

Michael Buchan

$6,000

Tawa Harris

$3,500

David Noonan

$2,500

Total

$107,500

Total penalities

$107,500

Related content

Media release – Court penalises CFMEU leaders in $277,000 Perth Children’s Hospital decision