The ABCC has started Federal Circuit and Family Court action against the CFMMEU, CEPU and two officials following alleged right of entry breaches at the 264-apartment residential tower project at 443 Queen Street Brisbane.

The $375 million luxury apartment development, adjacent to Customs House, was originally due for completion in 2020. A new completion date has now been set for 2023.

At the time of the officials’ 15 December 2021 incursion onto the project site, each of the three access gates in use had signs directing all visitors to report to the site office.

The ABCC is alleging in its statement of claim filed in the court, that CFMMEU official Matthew Vonhoff and CEPU official Wendel Moloney contravened section 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009 by:

  • acting in an improper manner when they unlawfully entered the construction site while ignoring safety requirements for all visitors to attend the site office and sign in,
  • did not show their entry permits when requested to do so,
  • failed to give notice of their entry, and
  • held unauthorised discussions with the subcontractor’s employees.

The ABCC’s statement of claim further claims Mr Moloney behaved in an abusive and intimidatory manner towards the senior site manager when he responded to a query about what was going on by saying words to the effect:

“If you f***ing speak to anybody it will be the last time you work in the EBA industry.”

The ABCC is seeking personal payment orders against Mr Vonhoff and Mr Moloney. Such an order would require Court imposed penalties to be paid personally by the representatives and not paid or reimbursed directly or indirectly by the CFMMEU or CEPU.

The maximum penalty for a contravention of the Fair Work Act is $66,600 for a body corporate and $13,320 for an individual.

 

Media Release
5 September 2022