Adelaide Federal Magistrates Court to Decide Flinders University Dispute

Below is an ABCC prepared background statement: Flynn v CFMEU & Feehan.

Allegations in the ABCC’s statement of claim:

1. John Hindmarsh (South Australia) Pty Ltd was the head contractor for a construction site at Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia.
2. On 30 May 2008, a representative of the CFMEU, Mr Justin Feehan visited the site.
3. Mr Feehan met with Hindmarsh site management and made several demands including that union officials should be allowed unrestricted access to the site and should be allowed to conduct meetings with union members at any time of their choosing.
4. Mr Feehan’s demands were rejected by Hindmarsh site management and he was directed to leave the site.
5. Mr Feehan refused to leave the site. Hindmarsh site management called the police and the police attended the site.
6. Shortly after the attendance of the police Mr Feehan organised a meeting outside the entrance to the site with employees of several contractors engaged at the site.
7. Mr Feehan spoke to the employees and actively encouraged them not to return to work at the conclusion of the meeting. The employees did not perform work at the site for the remainder of the day, disrupting the performance of work at the site.
8. As a consequence of both the stop-work meeting and the absence of the employees from work for the remainder of the day, the employees failed to perform the work that they were engaged to perform on the project. The employees engaged in two instances of unlawful industrial action.

Alleged contraventions

9. The ABCC alleges that the CFMEU & Mr Feehan were involved in two instances of unlawful industrial action on 30 May 2008.

ABCC Prosecution

10. Both instances of industrial action contravened s.38 of the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act).
11. The ABCC filed proceedings in the Federal Magistrates Court in Adelaide on Friday, 29 May 2009. The first directions hearing is scheduled for 30 June 2009. Penalties
12. The maximum penalties for each contravention of s.38 of the BCII Act are $22,000 for an
individual and $110,000 for an organisation.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of