CFMEU calls on ABCC to reveal how much they waste on ideological battle against union

Published: 13 Dec 2016

The CFMEU is calling on the Australian Building and Construction Commission to reveal how much taxpayers’ money they have wasted in courts in their latest ideological battle against the union.

National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan made the call after the Full Court of the Federal Court yesterday dismissed an ABCC submission to take away the Right of Entry permit of the CFMEU Queensland Secretary, Michael Ravbar.

“This is their third attempt at trying to take away Mr Ravbar’s Right of Entry. They lost a case, not once, not twice, but three times.

“The community deserve to know how much money is being expended on what appears to be nothing but an ideological vendetta against Mr Ravbar and the CFMEU,” he said.

The first attempt to thwart Mr Ravbar’s Right of Entry was in June 2014 after the CFMEU applied to the Fair Work Commission for right of entry permits for some of its officials, including Mr Ravbar.

The director of the FWBC, Nigel Hadgkiss opposed the decision, but the permit was granted. The FWBC took an appeal to the Full Bench where it lost again.

When handing down their decision, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission said the appeal process was not intended to provide an avenue for parties to re run their case and that the FWBC’s application was ‘riddled with unsubstantiated hyperbole.’

“Not content to leave it at two attempts, they launched another case in the Full Court. All of this has taken two and a half years and considerable resources, resources that should be devoted to dealing with the real problems in the industry,” said Mr Noonan.

“On three occasions it was found that there was no basis for Mr Hadgkiss’s intervention. He was trying to stop Mr Ravbar from being able to do his job.

“It is further proof of the partisan behaviour of Mr Hadgkiss, now the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, whose decision making seems to be based on political prejudice against unions.

“The ability to go on site is crucial to Mr Ravbar’s role in representing workers in the construction industry in Queensland.

“The Fair Work Commission, the Full Bench and now the Full Court of the Federal Court all agree that he has a right to do that.

“Mr Hadgkiss has shown again, that he does not accept the legitimacy of unions in the industry.”