18 December 2015 Industry Update

Summary of recent Right of Entry Permit activity

Right-of-entry permits allow union officials to enter building worksites under certain circumstances. Within the building and construction industry, holding a permit is deemed a privilege and it is important that the rules governing the use of right-of-entry permits are followed by relevant personnel.

FWBC often makes submissions to the Fair Work Commission to refuse, revoke, suspend or amend an individual’s right-of-entry permit if concerns are raised regarding whether an individual meets the ‘fit and proper person’ criteria for holding a lawful permit.

A summary of permit activity undertaken by FWBC since 27 November is below.

DECEMBER 4 – William Kane Lowth (CFMEU – Queensland)

The Fair Work Commission imposed conditions on William Kane Lowth’s right of entry permit following a submission from FWBC.

The CFMEU Queensland official was in possession of small laminated copies of his right of entry permits. The business card-sized copies made the information difficult to read and did not reveal the expiry dates for those permits. Mr Lowth was also found to have been in possession of an expired right of entry permit. The right of entry list that is kept in the CFMEU’s Brisbane office erroneously stated that Mr Lowth’s permit would expire in April 2016, when in fact the permit had expired in April 2015.

In his submission to the FWC, Mr Lowth said he had not intentionally misled an employer and was issuing right of entry notices under the misapprehension that he was the holder of valid permits.

The FWC imposed conditions on Mr Lowth’s permit requiring him to verify that his entry notice is current before he issues an entry notice and that he must carry his entry permit with him when he exercises those powers.

Information on Mr Lowth and all current union officials who have had conditions imposed on their federal entry permit is available on FWBC website here.

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