Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Campbell McCullough & Ors
Known as
Midland Hospital Project
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link


Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
  • Campbell McCullough, Michael Cullen, Noel Leahy, 97 others
Date filed
Breach(es) found
Industrial action
Date finalised
Link to liability judgment

Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v McCullough [2016] FCA 1291

Link to penalty judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v McCullough (No 2) [2017] FCA 295

Summary of court decision

On 2 November 2016, following a contested trial, the Federal Court held that 53 employees engaged in unlawful industrial action in contravention of s.417 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

On 22 March 2017 the Federal Court handed down penalties totalling $68,900 on 53 respondents.

The ABCC* commenced proceedings against the CFMEU, WA President Cam McCullough and 101 workers for allegedly undertaking unlawful industrial action. (Later reduced to Mr McCullough and 65 workers)

The ABCC alleged that on 18 July 2013:

  • The CFMEU conducted a rally at 6.30am outside a building project building being constructed by John Holland in Nedlands, known as the New Children’s Hospital (NCH).
  • Workers on the Brookfield Multiplex St John of God Health Campus project in Midland voted to go to the NCH to support workers on that site.
  • A total of 101 workers were alleged to have engaged in unlawful industrial actions. This was later reduced to 65 workers plus Mr McCullough
  • Some workers had taken a day off, others called in sick and other just did not turn up.
  • Midland Health Campus CFMEU site delegate and President Cam McCullough was known to be in attendance at the New Children's Hospital on 18 July 2013.

The action was not authorised by the workers’ employers and therefore constitutes unlawful industrial action under the Fair Work Act 2009.

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