The ABCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the CFMMEU and six of its officials alleging multiple right of entry contraventions and the disruption of work at the Logan and Gateway motorways extension site in Brisbane.
The ABCC alleges that CFMMEU officials attended the site on four separate days, refused reasonable requests to produce their right of entry permits and disrupted work by entering and remaining on site without authorisation.
The CFMMEU officials in question are:
- Mr Beau Seiffert
- Mr Te Aranui Albert
- Mr Blake Hynes
- Mr Shaun Desmond
- Mr Anthony Harding
- Mr Craig Davidson
In its statement of claim filed in the Federal Court on 30 June 2020, the ABCC alleges:
- On Tuesday 15 May 2018, Mr Seiffert and another CFMMEU official entered the site without being inducted and ignored requests from site managers to leave the active work site, despite being told:
“You are trespassing on our site. You do not have permission to be on this site. If you do not leave now, I will take the next course of action”.
- On Friday 18 May 2018, Mr Seiffert and another CFMMEU official refused reasonable requests to produce their right of entry permits and proceeded to enter and walk around the site unaccompanied and without having been inducted.
- On Wednesday 13 June 2018, Mr Seiffert, Mr Albert and Mr Hynes refused reasonable requests to produce their right of entry permits and proceeded to enter and remain on site without authorisation. Mr Hynes walked through a delineated exclusion zone. Their actions on this day resulted in the Safety Manager directing excavation works to cease operations so as to ensure the safety of those on site. Queensland Police attended the site and directed each of the officials to leave site.
- On Thursday 14 June 2018, twelve CFMMEU officials attended the site, including Mr Seiffert, Mr Albert, Mr Desmond, Mr Harding and Mr Davidson and refused reasonable requests to produce their right of entry permits. The CFMMEU officials proceeded to enter and walk around the site unaccompanied and without having been inducted.
The ABCC alleges the CFMMEU officials’ conduct on 15 and 18 May, as well as 13 and 14 June 2018 at the Logan and Gateway motorways extension site contravenes section 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
The maximum available penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act in this case is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual. The ABCC is seeking personal payment orders to be awarded against each of the six officials.
A personal payment order is a court order that requires the pecuniary penalty imposed on an individual respondent to be personally paid by that individual.