Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commission v Scott Adams & Ors
Known as
New Children’s Hospital site
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link


Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
  • Scott Adams, 75 other employees of Crown Construction Services Pty Ltd
Date filed
Breach(es) found
Industrial action
Date finalised
Link to liability judgment

Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Adams [2015] FCA 828

Link to penalty judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Adams [2018] FCA 1520

Summary of court decision

The ABCC* commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against 76 employees for allegedly taking unlawful industrial action on the New Children’s Hospital site in Perth.

In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court, the ABCC alleges:

  • On 28 February 2013, Joseph McDonald (Secretary of CFMEU), Vincent Molina (CFMEU organiser) and other CFMEU officials attended the site during a prestart meeting.
  • The meeting went over the scheduled work start time by four minutes and CFMEU officials sought an assurance from the head contractor's management that workers would not have their pay docked.
  • The head contractor couldn't provide this assurance as the workers were not directly employed by the head contractor and CFMEU officials encouraged workers to withdraw their labour.
  • The 76 employees of Crown Constructions Services withdrew their labour.

The Fair Work Commission had previously issued an Order (19/2/13) preventing further industrial action by employees of Crown Constructions Services for a period of six months.

The ABCC alleges that employees were in breach of the Fair Work Act by engaging in industrial action before the enterprise bargaining agreement expired and breaching the terms of an order issued by the Fair Work Commission not to engage in industrial action.

The head contractor commenced separate proceedings against the CFMEU and its officials for their conduct in organising the industrial action (WAD133/2013).

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

Total Penalties

The Federal Court imposed total penalties of $105,000 against 75 workers - the workers were penalised $1,400 each.

Historical content

11 Oct 2018 - Court imposes $105,000 in penalties for unlawful industrial action at Perth Children’s Hospital