February 2014 Industry Update

Arrest brings Right of Entry back in the spotlight

Right of Entry (ROE) provisions are in the spotlight after a union organiser was arrested at the Regional Rail Link project site in Melbourne last week. The organiser allegedly attended the site without their ROE permit. Police were called and arrested him for trespassing.

The arrest on the Regional Rail Link project site highlights the importance of correctly following ROE provisions. This includes ensuring a valid permit is presented when attending a site.

Key rules for ROE include:

  • there must be 24 hours written notice of entry, unless entry is under state occupational health and safety law;
  • a valid permit must be presented. If there is no permit, there should be no entry;
  • there are a number of reasons and requirements for entry, a full list of these can be found here; and
  • if all requirements are met, you must not refuse or unduly delay entry.

The Master Builders Association of Victoria has sent images of union officials whose ROE permits have lapsed, to building site managers around Victoria and Tasmania as a new tool against unlawful entry.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said he had been considering similar action since taking up his appointment in October 2013.

“FWBC is giving consideration to posting the names and photographs of officials who do not have valid Right of Entry permits who regularly try and access worksites on the FWBC website. Building site managers should always ask to see a valid Right of Entry permit from union officials before they are permitted to enter their site,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

FWBC also provides Right of Entry information for industry participants.

This includes:

Right of Entry provisions allow lawful and fair access to workplaces. Possible breaches should be reported to FWBC.

If you believe someone is on your site and has not been invited, or does not have a legal right to be there, and they refuse to leave, you have a right to contact the police.

To report a Right of Entry breach, or for more information, please contact 1800 003 338 for a confidential discussion.

We value your feedback on our Industry Update. Provide feedback or tell us what you would like in your update at: publicaffairs [at] fwbc.gov.au or contact Damien O’Meara on 03 8509 3041.

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