Another win for CFMEU against Fair Work Building Commission

Published: 8 May 2016

The CFMEU had yet another win in the Federal Court in Brisbane on Friday over a Fair Work Building Commission (FWBC) Notice to Produce.

Justice Logan ruled that the Notice was invalid and was highly critical of the FWBC saying that the notice was ‘woefully deficient’ and failed to ‘describe a matter at all, much less a building matter.’

CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan this case is yet another in a long line of ill-conceived actions against the union.

“A pattern has emerged whereby the FWBC is launching legal actions in a slapdash way.

“They are using taxpayers’ money to mount case after case against the union in order to paint the picture of a crisis in the industry created by the CFMEU – in order to fuel the Turnbull Government’s propaganda machine,” he said.

The Notice to Produce was received by the union in March 2016. The CFMEU questioned the validity of the Notice, only to be told that if it did not comply they would be sued.

The decision on Friday follows another judgment by the Full Court on April 29, where the case against two Queensland CFMEU officials was thrown out, the action of the FWBC labeled as ‘unhelpful’ and ‘misconceived’.

In yet another win for the union on April 7 in the Federal Court, the FWBC director’s case was criticised for being ‘an abuse of process’ and ‘unjustifiably vexatious.’

Mr Noonan said these same cases had been raised in Parliament as examples of CFMEU ‘lawlessness.’

“It is clear that the FWBC is abusing process through false accusation and launching cases on spurious grounds – the very same cases that are used by the Prime Minister and members of his Government to justify the need for the ABCC,” he said.

“The conduct of the FWBC shows they can’t be trusted with the coercive powers they have now, so why give them more?” he said.