The ABCC has commenced action in the Federal Court alleging the conduct of the CFMMEU and three of its officials led to work being halted during a critical bridge construction stage on the upgrade of the Bruce Highway from Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway.
In its statement of claim, the ABCC is alleging:
- On 23 July 2018 Queensland CFMMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar and organisers Te Aranui Albert and Blake Hynes attended the worksite while night time construction was underway.
- At around 8.20pm the organisers, accompanied by the project’s nightshift health, safety and environment advisor travelled in convoy to where a bridge was being constructed.
- At about 11.35pm a truck loaded with concrete girders to be used in the construction of the bridge arrived in an area where an exclusion zone and warning sign had been established.
- A short time later the CFMMEU organisers disregarded the warning sign and entered the exclusion zone while a concrete girder was being attached to a hoist and lifted into place.
- Defying repeated requests to leave the exclusion zone, the three officials then positioned themselves behind a reversing truck preventing it from delivering its load of concrete girders and resulting in only two of the seven girders being unloaded.
- Following further refusals to leave the exclusion zone the site was shut down at 2.00am.
- Mr Ravbar, Mr Albert and Mr Hyne returned around 8.20pm the following night and asked to inspect westbound work on the project, where road widening was underway on Caloundra Road.
- Again, after repeated requests the three CFMMEU officials refused to leave another exclusion zone resulting in the site being shut down because of safety risks posed by their presence.
The ABCC is alleging the CFMMEU, along with Mr Ravbar, Mr Albert and Mr Hynes, contravened sections 499 and 500 of the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with an occupational health and safety requirement and hindering and obstructing or otherwise acting in an improper manner.
The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.The ABCC will be seeking personal payment orders against Mr Hynes and Mr Ravbar.