Case name
Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Aaron Cartledge & ors
Known as
Flinders University
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link



Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Respondent(s) at time of filing

CFMEU, Aaron Cartledge, David Bolton

Date filed
31 March 2015
Breach(es) found
Non-compliance with right of entry laws
Link to liability and penalty judgement

Director, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Bolton (No 2) [2016] FCA 817

Link to Federal Court appeal judgement

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate [2016] FCA 1475

Link to High Court appeal judgement

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union v Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate [2016] HCA 41 (28 October 2016)

Summary of court decision

On 19 July 2016 the Federal Court handed down penalties totalling $48,000 on the respondents. At the same time, the Federal Court handed down its decision to refuse the CFMEU’s interlocutory application to withdraw its admissions in relation to liability under s.793 of the Fair Work Act.

On 28 October 2016 the High Court dismissed applications filed by the respondents seeking review of the Federal Court decision to refuse the interlocutory application to allow the CFMEU to withdraw its admissions.

On 12 December 2016 the Respondents filed an application in the Federal Court seeking leave out of time to appeal against the first instance decision of the Court. On 8 December 2016, the Federal Court refused leave to appeal.

FWBC launched proceedings against the CFMEU, SA Secretary Aaron Cartledge and official David Bolton in the Federal Court of Australia for breaching right of entry provisions.

FWBC alleged that on 22 May 2014:

Mr Bolton and CFMEU State Secretary Aaron Cartledge attended the Flinders University site and did not report to the Flinders University site office. The officials then proceeded to the site lunch rooms where they held discussions with workers for approximately one hour.

The Site Manager advised Mr Bolton and Mr Cartledge that they were not permitted on site without a right of entry notice or permits and that they had to leave site.

Mr Cartledge responded that they were there “to speak to employees about their EBA”, would “not be providing a notice”, were “under pressure from the national office not to provide right of entry notices” and that they would be “going on site to speak to the workers”.

Mr Bolton and Mr Cartledge remained on site for approximately an hour.

FWBC successfully alleged that through the above actions the officials acted in an improper manner in contravention of the Fair Work Act.


Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded



Aaron Cartledge


David Bolton




Total penalities