Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Michael Ravbar & Ors
Known as
Legacy Way and Port Connect
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link


Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
  • CFMMEU, Michael Ravbar, Peter Close, Steve Toyer, Andrew Sutherland
Date filed
Breach(es) found
Coercion, Discrimination
Link to liability judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Ravbar [2018] FCA 1196 (10 August 2018)

Summary of court decision

On 15 April 2019, the Federal Court in Brisbane imposed $58,500 in penalties against the CFMMEU, its State Secretary Michael Ravbar and union official Andrew Sutherland over their unlawful action on the Legacy Way Port Connect Project in 2012.

The penalty followed the CFMMEU, Mr Ravbar and Mr Sutherland, attempting to coerce Brisbane-based crane hire company Universal Cranes into entering into an enterprise agreement with the union.

At the time of the unlawful action Universal Cranes was working on the $1.5 billion Legacy Way Project linking the Western Freeway at Toowong to the Inner City Bypass.

Universal Cranes was also involved in the Port Connect Project upgrading the existing motorway from the Gateway Arterial Road to the Port of Brisbane.

In an earlier liability decision on 10 August 2018, the Federal Court found that in October 2012 Mr Ravbar directed CFMMEU organisers to follow cranes from the crane company’s yard and stop them from operating when they arrived at their destination.

The Court also found that Mr Sutherland had parked a car behind a crane which blocked it from operating at a building project.

At the time of the liability decision Justice Reeves found the conduct contravened the adverse action, coercion and discrimination provisions of the Fair Work Act.

The Court dismissed the remaining alleged contraventions and proceedings against the second and fourth respondents.

Justice Reeves in his penalty judgment said:

“… the conduct was deliberate and pre-planned and that it involved a large number of CFMMEU organisers acting in concert.”


Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded



Michael Ravbar


Andrew Sutherland




Total Penalties


Historical content

15 Apr 2019 - CFMMEU and officials penalised $58,500 following attempts to coerce crane company into enterprise agreement