Prosecution against CFMEU dismissed after case collapses

Published: 14 Sep 2022

ABCC witness warned over self-incriminating evidence

The ABCC has abandoned a prosecution against the CFMEU NSW and two union officials after the regulator's chief witness was warned against self-incrimination over their evidence.

The case collapsed spectacularly in the Federal Court in June when the ABCC’s lead witness was confronted under cross examination with video footage directly contradicting their evidence that the union officials had unlawfully entered a building site operated by Richard Crookes Constructions.

Quotes from Darren Greenfield, CFMEU NSW Secretary:

“This case was a shambles from start to finish and the only reason it ever proceeded to court is because the ABCC is ideologically committed to attacking the CFMEU, even when the evidence contradicts their false narrative.”

“The ABCC had no choice but to agree to dismiss these trumped-up charges after video evidence showed union officials were prevented from signing into the site because the Richard Crookes manager literally took away the sign-in book.”

“When this same manager was confronted with inconsistencies in their evidence the judge warned them against self-incrimination. Yet the inconsistencies between the evidence of the ABCCs chief witness and the contemporaneous police report into the matter were readily apparent and should have raised red flags for the ABCC long before it went to court.”

“Richard Crookes has a notorious reputation for poor safety in the industry and a belligerent and obstructive attitude to workers and unions, yet the ABCC has never launched a single prosecution against the builder. The CFMEU NSW will now consider bringing its own proceedings against Richard Crookes over the unlawful frustration of our officials’ Right-of-entry in this matter.”

 Quotes from Dave Noonan, CFMEU National Construction Secretary

“The ABCC's conduct in this case is just the latest in a series of false allegations against the union that have fallen apart in court, prompting serious criticism from Federal Court judges. It is outrageous behaviour from a statutory body which uses its extraordinary powers to investigate and prosecute workers and unions.

‘’The video evidence disproving the ABCC claims in this case is similar to videos of a workplace safety inspection by a Victorian CFMEU official which completely disproved assault claims made by the ABCC earlier this year in a false and politically motivated attack timed to coincide with the launch of the Federal Election campaign.”

“It raises questions about how many other ABCC prosecutions have been tainted by false evidence and the malicious behaviour of this sham regulator. Any allegations made by the ABCC against the CFMEU at this point should be treated with extreme scepticism.”

“In these and other cases the ABCC published these bogus allegations when they launched the prosecutions and have failed to correct the public record in the face of clear evidence that they are false.”