Union fines show no lesson learned

The handing down of another $132,000 in fines against the CFMEU and its officials raises questions of whether the union is seriously committed to building a stronger South Australia, Master Builders SA says.

The Federal Court today penalized the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and officials $132,000 for breaching the Fair Work Act 2009 on several occasions in 2015. The breaches related to the Tonsley Redevelopment, the Southern Expressway Duplication, a redevelopment at Flinders University and two other projects.

Master Builders SA Director Policy, Communications Russell Emmerson said the repeated breaches raised questions over priorities.

“Another Federal Court judge has made it clear that the CFMEU doesn’t care about massive fines, and it doesn’t care about the laws put in place to protect people. Justice Collier even stated outright that the conduct of officials ‘demonstrates a demoralizing lack of respect for either the law or their roles as officials’,” he said.

“The sad part is that taxpayers will be forced to pay more for every infrastructure project as a result – working harder to pay more taxes for the CFMEU’s inability to follow the law.

“South Australia needs to focus on creating jobs, creating economic activity and creating confidence in the State. The CFMEU clearly doesn’t get the message or doesn’t care.”


This release relates to the decision of Justice Collier of the Federal Court of Australia handed down in Adelaide on July 19, 2016 comprising three cases: Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Bolton, Huddy, Pitt, CFMEU (SAD 59 of 2015), Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Cartledge, Bolton, CFMEU (SAD 60 of 2015) and Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v McDermott, CFMEU (SAD 61 of 2015).

This release can be downloaded here.