Industry Update

Former CFMEU organiser fined for obstructing FWBC investigator

Obstructing a Commonwealth public official such as a FWBC investigator has serious consequences.

A former CFMEU organiser was recently convicted and fined $1000 for obstructing an FWBC investigator at the site of the New Children’s Hospital in Perth.

It was alleged Matthew Balde approached a FWBC investigator who was filming CFMEU officials addressing a crowd of construction workers in a park near the site.

It was alleged Balde stood so their chests were touching and obstructed the investigator in his work of gathering evidence of possibly unlawful activity.

Balde refused to step away when directed by a police officer.

Balde pleaded guilty to obstructing a Commonwealth official and was sentenced earlier this month in the Perth Magistrates Court.

The maximum penalty for the offence is two years imprisonment.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said it was “absolutely disgraceful” that government officials are subjected to such behavior in the course of going about their job.

“Unfortunately this is not uncommon and we have several similar matters currently with police,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

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