The ABCC has commenced legal proceedings against the CFMMEU and one of its Queensland officials, Roland Cummins, after he allegedly called a Queensland Work Health and Safety officer a “f****ing dog” during a disagreement at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre.

At the time of the incident the Cairns Performing Arts Centre was undergoing a major $71 million redevelopment - including construction of a 940 seat auditorium and 400 seat studio theatre to benefit the local community and performers.

The ABCC alleges Mr Cummins and the CFMMEU contravened section 500 of the Fair Work Act by acting in an improper manner and hindering and obstructing a Queensland WHS Inspector from undertaking his lawful duties.

The Statement of Claim filed by the ABCC alleges that:

  • Queensland WHS officers attended site on 4 April 2018 to investigate an alleged safety breach
  • In the course of attempting to undertake their investigation, a WHS officer was hindered and obstructed from performing his duties. 
  • Mr Cummins approached the officer, put his face a matter of centimetres away from the WHS officer and repeatedly shouted “You’re a f ***ing dog”.

The ABCC is seeking a personal payment order against Mr Cummins over the incident.  If successful, a personal payment order would prevent Mr Cummins from seeking or accepting funds from the CFMMEU to pay the penalty imposed on him.

The maximum penalty in this case is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.

Media Release
15 January 2019