Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Tawa Harris & Ors
Known as
Joondalup Multi-Storey Carpark
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

WAD397/2015

Applicant

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Respondent(s) at time of filing

CFMEU, Tawa Harris

Date filed
3 August 2015
State/Territory
WA
Breach(es) found
Non-compliance with right of entry laws
Status
Finalised
Link to liability and penalty judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Harris [2017] FCA 733

Summary of court decision

The ABCC* commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and official Tawa Harris in the Federal Court for breaching right of entry provisions at the Joondalup Multi-Storey Car Park construction site.

The trial listed for 31 May 2016 was vacated after Harris admitted his contravention.

Penalty decision handed down on 29 June 2017. Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Harris [2017] FCA 733 - Siopis J declared that the first respondent had contravened s 500 of the Fair Work Act - ordered that the first respondent pay a $2,000 penalty. Application against the third respondent was dismissed.

On 25 May 2015, Mr Harris attended the Joondalup Multi-Storey Car Park construction site unannounced, advising that he was there to talk with workers regarding not being paid their full wages for the previous week. The site manager had told Mr Harris in an earlier conversation that in transitioning to a new payroll system there had been a payroll error and the balance would be credited to the workers that day.

The Site management advised the official that they hadn’t lodged an entry notice and were not permitted to enter the site. This was ignored by the official and he entered the site.

The official ignored further requests to leave the site and conducted a meeting with the workers. The site manager called the police.

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

Penalities

Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded

Tawa Harris

$2,000

Total

$2,000

Total penalities

$2,000