- Andrew Blakeley
- Michael Ravbar
- Non-compliance with right of entry laws
The Federal Circuit and Family Court on 3 February 2022 penalised the CFMMEU, its State Secretary Michael Ravbar and official Andrew Blakeley $138,528 after they breached right of entry laws at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex (QPAC) construction site in November 2020.
The penalty of $119,880 awarded against the CFMMEU is a near maximum penalty for its two contraventions of the Fair Work Act.
Mr Blakeley and Mr Ravbar admitted to acting in an improper manner in contravention of section 500 of the Fair Work Act at the QPAC site on 5 November 2020.
- entered the site without providing the required 24 hours’ prior notice of entry required by the Fair Work Act and in direct contravention of requests of the head contractor’s representatives,
- failed to comply with the site's occupational health and safety requirements that prohibited unauthorised access and required visitors to report to the site office,
- remained on the site in circumstances where they had no lawful basis to do so and despite being asked to leave and conducted an unauthorised meeting with workers on the site.
Mr Blakeley also facilitated entry onto the site by a group of 10 to 12 people who were not workers on the site and had not undertaken a site induction in circumstances where he knew that those people were not authorised to be on the site.
In assessing penalties against the CFMMEU, Judge Egan said:
…[T]he CFMMEU’s appalling and disgraceful record of established contraventions continues, unabashed and unabated. There can be no doubt that the CFMMEU is a rogue union untroubled by its ongoing bad behaviour. It seems that it prides itself on its recidivism.
Commenting on the actions of Mr Ravbar, Judge Egan said:
Insofar as Ravbar was concerned, it is of significance that he was, at the time of the contravening conduct, the National Vice President of the CFMMEU National Executive Committee and Secretary of the CFMMEU Construction and General Division – Queensland and Northern Territory Divisional Branch. He was well aware of the need for compliance by him with provisions of the FWA, but he chose to pointlessly flout his obligation to do so.
Note: In September 2021 Mr Ravbar abandoned his application with the Fair Work Commission to renew his Federal right of entry permit and is no longer authorised to exercise entry rights in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009. The Australian Building and Construction Commissioner Stephen McBurney intervened in the proceeding arguing Mr Ravbar was not a fit and proper person to hold a permit.
In opposing the application for the permit, the Commissioner submitted that under Mr Ravbar’s watch the QLD Division and its officials had contravened industrial law on 175 occasions in 28 separate proceedings.
|Penalties awarded against||Penalties awarded|
|Total penalties awarded||$138,528|