CFMEU Penalised For Breaching Right Of Entry Laws 19 April

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a total of $135,186 in penalties against the Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) and three of its officials for unlawful conduct at a construction site in Queensland.

The penalties are the result of legal action commenced by the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC).

The CFMEU has been penalised $113,886, Dean Rielly has been penalised $15,000, Matthew Vonhoff has been penalised $3,750, and Margues Pare has been penalised $2,550.

The three officials, and through them the CFMEU, admitted breaching the right of entry laws in the Fair Work Act in October 2021 at the Yatala South Interchange upgrade project, which involved upgrades to the Pacific Motorway (M1) south of Brisbane.

The unlawful conduct involved the officials failing to sign the visitor register at the project while seeking to exercise entry rights as a permit holder, despite being requested to do so by the occupier.

Under federal legislation, responsibility for the case transferred from the ABCC to the Fair Work Ombudsman in December 2022.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said court penalties are important to affirm the seriousness of breaching right of entry laws.

“Improving compliance across the building and construction industry is a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman, and we will investigate reports of non-compliance and hold to account those who act outside the law,” Mr Campbell said.

All building and construction industry employers and employees can seek sector-specific workplace information, advice and assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

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