CFMEU fined again for building-site lawlessness

Media Release
  • Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation

In yet another example of the endemic lawlessness of the CFMEU the Federal Court has today handed down fines totalling $817,500 against the union and its officials after they were found to have illegally shut down two major Brisbane worksites in 2013.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy MP, said this was another example of the CFMEU’s complete disregard for the law.

"In handing down its decision, the court said the union had shut down the two sites in a ‘deliberate, flagrant and systematic’ campaign for the goal of forcing the sites’ head contractor to sign a CFMEU enterprise agreement," Minister Laundy said.

"This flagrant abuse is just another example of economic sabotage at the hands of the CFMEU."

Work stoppages took place over several months in 2013 at two construction sites – the $777 million Enoggera Army Barracks and $60 million QUT Kelvin Grove Campus.

In its judgment, the Court said there was no place for such coercion and intimidation, and it would not be tolerated. Justice Rangiah said the union’s conduct showed, ‘no evidence of any attempts by the CFMEU to take corrective steps to ensure that officials and agents comply with the law’.

"This shows why it was so crucial the Turnbull Government was successful in re-establishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission," Minister Laundy said.

"Unfortunately these matters occurred before legislation to reinstate the ABCC came into effect, which could have seen these penalties tripled.

"In recent years the courts have imposed fines of more than $13 million on CFMEU-related unions and officials for proven breaches of industrial law. As at 31 December 2017, there were 77 CFMEU officials before the courts.

"We simply cannot afford this blatant lawlessness of the CFMEU, holding our businesses and economy to ransom."

For more information, see the ABCC legal case summary page:

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