Two CFMMEU officials are facing allegations in the Federal Court that they breached right of entry laws at the $222 million Monash Freeway upgrade project in 2017.

In the Federal Court, the ABCC alleges CFMMEU officials James Simpson and Peter Clark acted in an improper manner when exercising right of entry on four separate occasions on 29 and 30 April, and on 4 and 9 May 2017.

In a statement of claim filed with the Federal Court in Melbourne, the ABCC alleges:

  • During an overnight crane lift over the Eumemmering Creek on 29 and 30 April 2017, Mr Simpson entered the site without wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE) for night works on the project, including white reflective overalls.

  • Various site employees told Mr Simpson that he was not wearing the required personal protective equipment and requested that he leave the site. Mr Simpson refused to do so, and remained on site. 

  • When the site Safety Advisor told Mr Simpson “You can’t be onsite. You are not wearing the correct PPE”, Mr Simpson replied “I don’t have to”.

  • When the Industrial Relations Manager of the project told Mr Simpson that if he did not leave, the police would be called, Mr Simpson said “I don’t care”.

  • While on the site, Mr Simpson jumped over protective barriers onto the freeway and walked through an area of live construction works, despite being told that it was unsafe to be on the site without the appropriate personal protective equipment.

  • On 4 May 2017, Mr Clark attended the project exercising entry rights. After the site Superintendent took a photo of Mr Clark’s entry permit, Mr Clark pushed the Superintendent’s right shoulder, grabbed his mobile phone out of his hand and threw it on the ground.

  • On 9 May 2017, Mr Simpson entered the project exercising entry rights. When Mr Simpson tried to enter another area of the site, the Industrial Relations Manager told Mr Simpson that he had to stop as he was not authorised to enter that area. Mr Simpson pushed the Manager aside three times and continued walking through the site.

The maximum penalty for a breach of the Fair Work Act in this case is $54,000 for bodies corporate and $10,800 for individuals.