The ABCC commenced proceedings against the CFMMEU and its official Richard Hassett alleging that they breached Federal right of entry laws at the Cattle Hill Wind Farm project site in Lake Echo on 16 January 2019.
In its Statement of Claim filed with the Federal Court, the ABCC alleges:
- On 16 January 2019, Mr Hassett walked past site representatives and entered the wind farm construction site despite not holding a federal right of entry permit.
- While on the site it is alleged Mr Hassett advised the head contractor’s health, safety and environment coordinator that although he had surrendered his federal permit he “had a right to enter under state law.”
The Fair Work Act prohibits union officials from exercising occupational health and safety rights under State or Territory laws unless the official holds a federal entry permit.
If a union official enters a site or premises under a right conferred by a State or Territory OHS law, the official must hold a federal permit and comply with relevant provisions of the Fair Work Act, as well as any applicable requirements in the relevant State or Territory OHS law.
The maximum penalty for a contravention under the Fair Work Act is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.