The ABCC has taken Federal Circuit and Family Court action against the CEPU and two of its officials alleging they obstructed work from occurring at the $500 million Founders Lane development in Braddon, ACT in March 2021.

The ABCC is alleging the two officials, James Darnton-Turner and Brian Windsor, were involved in several incidents while onsite resulting in work being delayed.

In its statement of claim the ABCC is alleging Mr Darnton-Turner prevented formworkers from undertaking their work by standing in front of an electrical distribution board, which he claimed was non-compliant and had to be shut down.

When told the electrical inspector for the ACT Planning and Land Authority had earlier certified the distribution board as being compliant, it is alleged Mr Darnton-Turner refused to move until the electrical inspector came to the site so Darnton-Turner could ‘school him’.

In a second incident the ABCC is alleging Mr Darnton-Turner deliberately pulled a power lead from its socket damaging the lead, which had to be replaced.

The ABCC is alleging during the incident a discussion with site representatives to the following effect took place:

Darnton-Turner:           “Look this one is broken, it's faulty”.

(Supervisor):               “That's because you broke it and yanked on it. You're not meant to be touching our lights and our leads.”

Darnton-Turner:           “You need to replace the lead because it's broken.’’

(Supervisor):               “Yes Jimmy, I do have to replace the lead, because you broke our lead. Now I have to replace it.”

(Site manager):           “You tampered with our lights, you can't tamper with our lights.”

Darnton-Turner:          “Tampered. Ha ha ha.”

A third incident involving Mr Windsor is alleged to have resulted in fire safety workers being delayed when laying sprinkler pipes when Mr Windsor directed them to stop work and then stood in a position that prevented the workers from carrying out work for about 20 to 30 minutes.

The ABCC is alleging Mr Darnton-Turner hindered and obstructed work and acted in an improper manner in contravention of section 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009. Mr Windsor is also alleged to have hindered and obstructed work in contravention of section 500 of Fair Work Act.

The ABCC further alleges the CEPU is liable for the conduct of its officials.

The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 is $66,600 for a body corporate and $13,320 for an individual.

When completed, the $500 million Founders Lane urban precinct will comprise 781 apartments, units and townhouses, along with commercial spaces.