The ABCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMMEU and eight of its officials after they allegedly entered the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing Project unlawfully.
The conduct of the officials resulted in the Queensland Police issuing formal “move on directions” for some entries.
CFMMEU officials Beau Seiffert, Te Aranui Albert, Blake Hynes, Shaun Desmond, Craig Davidson and Justin Steele are alleged to have unlawfully entered the site on several occasions between 30 April 2018 and 2 May 2018. The officials refused to show their federal entry permits when asked to do so.
CFMMEU officials Kurt Pauls and Michael Davis, who do not hold valid entry permits, are alleged to have entered the site in contravention of the Fair Work Act.
In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court in Brisbane, the ABCC alleges:
- On 30 April 2018, Mr Pauls and Mr Seiffert attended the site at around 11am and refused to produce their entry permits when asked on several occasions. The HR Manager told both officials they were not permitted to enter the site unless they produced their permits.
- While on site, Mr Pauls and Mr Seiffert walked along the main access road as trucks were entering and leaving and both refused several requests by the HR Manager to leave.
- On 1 May 2018, at about 8.30am Mr Pauls, Mr Seiffert, Mr Albert and Mr Hynes attended the site and refused to produce their entry permits when asked.
- Mr Pauls, Mr Seiffert, Mr Albert and Mr Hynes jumped a concrete barricade to get on site and walked four abreast along an access way at the Gore Highway section for four kilometres. The ABCC alleges this was unsafe as live works were happening at the time.
- Work stopped due to safety concerns occasioned by the unauthorised and uninducted entry by union officials who proceeded to walk around live construction areas. Queensland Police attended the site and escorted the officials off the site.
- On 2 May 2018, Mr Pauls, Mr Hynes, Mr Desmond, Mr Davidson, Mr Steele and Mr Davis attended the site at about 8am and refused to produce their entry permits on several occasions. After walking around the site, they left after a receiving a formal “move on direction” from a Queensland Police officer.
- Mr Desmond, Mr Davis, Mr Davidson, Mr Steele, Mr Pauls and Mr Hynes subsequently returned to the site in the afternoon and only left after receiving a formal “move on direction” from a Queensland Police officer.
The ABCC alleges the conduct in this case contravenes right of entry provisions in the Fair Work Act. The maximum penalty for a breach of the Fair Work Act in this case is $63,000 for bodies corporate and $12,600 for individuals.