Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commission v Arturo Menon & Ors
Known as
Palmerston Police Station
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

NTD1/2019

Applicant
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
Respondent(s) at time of filing
CFMMEU, Arturo Menon, Roland Cummins, Paul Taylor
Date filed
State/Territory
NT
Breach(es) found
Coercion, Non-compliance with right of entry laws
Status
Under appeal
Summary of court decision

The Federal Court on 2 October 2020 penalised the CFMMEU and three of its officials $292,200 for attempting to shut down construction at the Palmerston Police Station site in May 2018.

At the time, the three CFMMEU officials demanded work stop on the $30 million law and order and community safety facility.

The Court found that when NT Worksafe officers arrived at the site, two of the CFMMEU officials – Arturo Menon and Roland Cummins behaved in an improper manner towards the officers.

In attempting to shut the site down Mr Menon falsely told workers they were entitled to go home on full pay.

In commenting on Mr Menon’s improper conduct towards the WorkSafe inspectors, Justice White stated:

“Such officers should be able to discharge their duties without being subject to aggression or any form of intimidation.” 

Justice White also went on to say of the three CFMMEU officials:

"They could have addressed those safety concerns with civility, without engaging in foul-mouthed language, without making threats, and without making statements which were false or misleading. Their improper conduct arises from the way in which they chose to deal with the matters of concern.

“There is no evidence of any contrition or regret by any of the respondents for their conduct. Apart from the formal admissions in the pleadings, there has been no acknowledgement by any of the respondents of the wrongfulness of their conduct.”

Justice White also commented on the behaviour of the CFMMEU:

“…The very persistence of the CFMMEU in the course of conduct indicates that its contraventions should be viewed seriously. This is reinforced by the fact that it sought by its course of conduct to achieve its objective of closing the Site by multiple means over an extended period. In addition, for the reasons given earlier, account is to be taken of the additional gravity of the conduct of the CFMMEU by reason of the increased culpability of its contraventions indicated by its long history of prior contraventions.

The CFMMEU filed an appeal on 30 October 2020 relating to penalties imposed against the union.

Total Penalties
Penalties awarded against Penalties awarded
CFMMEU $270,000
Arturo Menon $10,700
Roland Cummins $6,300
Paul Taylor

$5,200

Total $292,200

 

Historical content

02 Oct 2020 - CFMMEU officials penalised $282,200 over Palmerston Police Station intimidation