Case name
Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Mining and Energy Union & Anor
Known as
Castlemaine Police Station Case
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

VID955/2015

Applicant
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
Respondent(s) at time of filing
CFMMEU, Alex Tadic
Date filed
State/Territory
VIC
Breach(es) found
Non-compliance with right of entry laws
Status
Finalised
Date finalised
Link to liability judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union [2017] FCA 197

Link to penalty judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (Castlemaine Police Station Case No 2) [2020] FCA 202

Full Court appeal Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

VID306/2017

Link to Federal Court appeal judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Castlemaine Police Station Case) [2018] FCAFC 15

Summary of court decision

The Federal Court in Victoria on 27 February 2020 penalised the CFMMEU and its senior official Alex Tadic a total of $59,500 for abusing a Victorian WorkSafe official.

The case related to the 2014 construction of the Castlemaine Police Station.

  • The CFMMEU was penalised $51,000 – 100 per cent of the maximum available penalty.
  • Mr Tadic was penalised $8,500 – 83 per cent of the maximum available penalty.

The Court found Mr Tadic intimidated and abused a WorkSafe Inspector while he was attempting to perform his duties investigating the health and safety of workers.

The ABCC successfully appealed an earlier Federal Court decision dismissing its case against Mr Tadic and the CFMMEU.

The Federal Court stated:

“The permit Mr Tadic had to enter the site was not a license to bully, intimidate or threaten [the WorkSafe inspector], or anyone else for that matter…”

“In my view Mr Tadic abused that power by his conduct towards [the WorkSafe inspector]. Such conduct would not be tolerated in a workplace as between employees or as between an employer and employee.

“Mr Tadic’s behaviour, by any measure, amounted to bullying and intimidation.

The Federal Court also found that Mr Tadic’s unlawful conduct was “within or close to the worst category of cases for contravention of… the FW Act.”

“Intimidating and abusive behaviour by a Union official permitted to enter a site for the vital purpose of protecting the health and safety of workers on the site must be condemned in the strongest terms.

In relation to the CFMMEU’s recidivist behaviour, the Federal Court stated:

“I have no wish to add my voice to the chorus of condemnation of the Union’s systematic unlawfulness, for there is nothing of substance to add to what has already been said repeatedly.

“Indeed the Union’s unabated recidivism is reason to infer that the more often condemnation to the same effect is repeated with no apparent deterrent effect, the more emboldened the union may become in its defiance.

Mr Tadic’s history of offending includes:

  • Unlawful industrial action and coercion on the Monash Project site – penalty: $8,000.
  • Unlawful industrial action on the Eastlink Freeway Project site – penalty: $2,500.
  • Obstruction and hindrance on the Bendigo Theatre site, where he used profane and indecent language and acted in an aggressive manner – penalty: $7,500.
Total Penalties
Penalties awarded against Penalties awarded
CFMMEU $51,000
Alex Tadic $8,500
Total $59,500
Historical content

27 Feb 2020 - Maximum penalty handed down against CFMMEU for abusing Victorian WorkSafe inspector