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
23 December 2015
State/Territory
VIC
Breach(es) found
Non-compliance with right of entry laws
Status
Current
Link to liability judgement

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

Full Court appeal Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

VID306/2017

Link to Federal Court appeal judgement

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

Summary of court decision

Justices Dowsett, Tracey and Charlesworth overturned the dismissal by Justice North of the ABCC’s* application and found that Mr Tadic had contravened section 500 of the Fair Work Act by acting in an improper manner towards a Worksafe Victoria inspector at the Castlemaine Police Station construction site in Castlemaine, Victoria on 13 June 2014.

The Full Court stated:

“Whilst there, Mr Tadic directed coarse and sarcastic criticisms to a person who he had personally called to the site for the purpose of discharging an important statutory function under the OHS Act. The criticisms were directed not only at the state of the site, but toward Mr Sharples personally. To say that the swear words used by Mr Tadic were “sentence enhancers” is to state the obvious. What is important is that the “enhancements” were used liberally and loudly and they were not good humoured. They heightened the tenor of the criticisms he expressed toward the site and toward Mr Sharples whilst Mr Sharples performed his statutory task, and all in a context where he had been requested, reasonably, to refrain from voicing his opinions until the end.”

The Full Court found that the propriety of Mr Tadic’s conduct was to be assessed having regard to the circumstance that he had been granted rights by statute to enter and remain on private property for limited statutory purposes.

Mr Tadic contravened right of entry provisions by intentionally hindering a WorkSafe Victoria inspector and acting in an improper manner whilst exercising a right of entry.