The ABCC has filed Federal Court proceedings against the CFMMEU and one of its officials, Stephen Parker, for alleged breaches of right of entry laws in the Fair Work Act 2009 at the NEXT DC P2 Project in Perth in December 2019.
The ABCC alleges the CFMMEU official contravened right of entry laws, refused to comply with reasonable OHS requests to be escorted on site, and obstructed workers from unloading doorframes from a truck.
In its statement of claim filed in the Federal Court on 24 August 2020, the ABCC alleges:
- On Thursday 5 December 2019, Mr Parker attempted to enter the site through a service gate, for which no pedestrian access was permitted.
- A security guard asked Mr Parker to enter via the visitor entry. Mr Parker insisted he should be permitted to enter through the service gate, as he had a right of entry. Mr Parker pulled the service gate to open it and when it became ajar, the following discussion took place:
Mr Parker: “You know you’re breaking the law, you have to let me in.”
The security guard: “You are at the wrong gate, you have to go through at the other gate.”
- The site manager and the lead security guard approached Mr Parker and asked him to meet them at another entry point. After walking away from the service gate, Mr Parker forcefully entered through the visitor entry and was told:
Site manager: “We are just commencing our safety walk to check the site is safe with regard to the inclement weather. You are hindering our safety protocol. You have to leave.”
- Following a conversation with the site manager, Mr Parker walked past the Security Hut and onto the site.
- After a short time, Mr Parker returned to the Security Hut and signed the visitor register, whereby the lead security guard said:
“To enter the site you need to have a … representative escort you.”
- Mr Parker returned onto the site without an escort accompanying him. After about 20 minutes on the site, he proceeded to stand in between workers and a truck, while the workers tried to unload doorframes.
- Mr Parker was asked on numerous occasions to move from where he was standing but refused to comply.
The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 is $63,000 for the CFMMEU and $12,600 for the official. The ABCC is seeking the imposition of personal payment orders on Mr Parker.