ABCC pursues CFMMEU official for safety non-compliance during Right of Entry at Cross River rail

ABCC pursues CFMMEU official for safety non-compliance during Right of Entry at Cross River rail

Australia’s construction industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has commenced action in the Federal Circuit and Family Court against a Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy (CFMMEU) official, alleging right of contraventions linked to the official’s refusal to follow safety directions.

In July 2021, the Queensland CFMMEU official, Dean Reilly, entered Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, a new $6.88 billion train line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, including twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and the CBD.

The ABCC alleges that the official:

  • Refused to reply to reasonable requests to sign the visitor register, to complete a visitor induction, and to confirm details of his COVID-19 inoculation status;

  • Ignored requirements that he be escorted throughout the site by a company representative;

  • Refused to remain outside a restricted work area and refused to comply with safety signage;

  • Unlawfully entered a restricted work area at the Albert Street Station construction site;

  • Ignored instructions given by an accredited traffic controller to report to the site office; and

  • Climbed scaffolding stairs leading to the tower crane pad whilst ignoring verbal directions not to do so.

The ABCC alleges that both the official and the union contravened the requirements for permit holders under s 499 and s 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Under the legislation, the maximum penalty for each contravention is $66,600 for a body corporate and $13,320 for an individual.

As has become its recent standard practice, the ABCC is pursuing personal payments against the officials and therefore circumventing the ability of the union to pay penalties imposed or reimburse the officials either directly or indirectly.

CFMMEU official Dean Rielly faces court for right of entry incursion at Cross River Rail project

For queries about union officials, right of entry, or any other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 WAL LAW, 0417 622 178 or via email to

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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