The ABCC has commenced Federal Circuit Court proceedings against the CFMMEU and three of its organisers following alleged right of entry breaches on the Cross River Rail project on 15 April this year.
The 10.2 kilometre rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills is valued at $5.4 billion and is Queensland’s largest infrastructure project aimed at improving public transport and growing jobs.
The ABCC is alleging CFMMEU organisers Andrew Blakeley, Matthew Parfitt and Luke Gibson repeatedly ignored requests from representatives of CPB Contractors Pty Ltd to show their federal right of entry permits when accessing the Boggo Road site.
Permit holders are required by law to present their federal right of entry permit, if requested, when attending construction sites.
In its statement of claim, the ABCC is alleging the CFMMEU organisers:
- ignored established requirements that they report to the site office and undertake a mandatory site induction – a standard safety procedure on most construction sites;
- subjected staff to aggressive and highly offensive behaviour;
- filmed several of CPB Contractors’ staff without their approval;
- that Mr Blakeley deliberately blocked the path of a truck;
- when asked by the site supervisor to return to the pre-start area, Mr Gibson said words to the effect of “what do you think I am, a dog? You want me to pull my pocket out and lead me around like a dog?” Mr Gibson then turned out his pockets from his pants.
The ABCC alleges the conduct of the CFMMEU organisers on 15 April 2020 at the Boggo Road site contravenes the right of entry provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Mr Blakeley and Mr Gibson are each facing up to three contraventions and Mr Parfitt two contraventions of the Fair Work Act. The ABCC further alleges that the CFMMEU is liable for the conduct of the CFMMEU organisers.
The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act is $63,000 for the CFMMEU and $12,600 for each organiser.
The ABCC is also seeking personal payment orders against the three officials requiring that they be personally liable for paying their own penalties.