Right of entry permit for CFMMEU organiser suspended

Right of entry permit for CFMMEU organiser suspended

The Fair Work Commission has suspended the right of entry permit of Queensland CFMMEU official Beau Seiffert for three months, linked to his contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA) at Queensland’s Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project in 2018.

In the earlier decision, the Federal Court had found that on 30 April 2018 and 1 May 2018, Mr Seiffert had refused requests from the occupier of the project to produce his federal entry permit. He also refused to leave the sites despite repeated requests to do so.

Federal Court Justice Darryl Rangiah imposed fines of $8,000 upon Mr Seiffert. He also imposed fines on the CFMMEU, and seven other officials for their conduct on the project, amounting to a total of $121,000 for 36 contraventions of right of entry laws.

Following that decision, the Fair Work Commission undertook a review of Mr Seiffert’s entitlement to hold a right of entry permit, pursuant to the provisions of the FWA.

In reviewing Mr Seiffert’s conduct, Deputy President Val Gostencink noted, “It is relevant also that [the Court] found that both the CFMMEU and relevantly Mr Seiffert knew that they were risking contravening s 500 of the Act but decided to engage in that conduct regardless of the risk.”

“… as His Honour noted, the CFMMEU and Mr Seiffert can be described as having “taken the odds”. And as the Commissioner points out, correctly in my view… if a person “takes the odds”, the person must expect serious consequences if they miscalculate.”

The Deputy President expressed little hope that Mr Seiffert’s behaviour in this regard would change in the future.

As he noted, “… there is nothing … which would suggest that Mr Seiffert has learned to take a more risk-averse approach to disputes about entry rights. Mr Seiffert produced no statement nor gave evidence in this proceeding.”

Consequently, the Deputy President suspended Mr Seiffert’s right of entry permit for a three-month period. He also banned the issuing of any further entry permit to Mr Seiffert for the same period.

In the matter of the Entry Permit of Mr Beau Richard Seiffert – [2022] FWC 222

For questions about union officials, right of entry, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 925 529, 0417 622 178 or via email to dean.cameron@workforceadvisory.com.au

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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