The head of the construction superannuation fund stands accused of complying with requests for confidential information from the secretary of CFMEU’s NSW chapter.
The head of industry superannuation fund Cbus is alleged to have leaked confidential information to the construction union at the behest of the beleaguered ex-head of its NSW chapter Brian Parker.
Jeremy Stoljar, counsel assisting the trade unions royal commission, alleges that in 2013 Parker likely requested the help of Cbus CEO David Atkin in procuring personal information on Lis-Con staff during efforts by the union make up its superannuation arrears.
According to Stoljar the commission should conclude “on the balance of possibilities” that Atkin agreed to Parker’s request, and indicated that he would arrange for “someone from Cbus to provide the information requested.”
Stoljar alleges that Cbus manager Maria Butera was subsequently entrusted with delivery of the requested information to Parker.
“The Commission is not in a position to find, with certainty, that Mr. Atkin did know about and participate in disclosure,” said Stoljar. “However the available evidence does indicate that, on the balance of probabilities, he did.”
Stoljar pointed to the close association between Cbus and CFMEU as being a source of “cultural” issues for the superannuation fund that urgently require redress.
“There are serious cultural problems within Cbus arising from its relationship with the CFMEU, and these problems need to be addressed by means of vigorous prsuit of the recommendations made by Mr. Samuel to the Cbus board,” he said.
Police are investigating former CFMEU secretary Brian Parker for his involvement with organised crime figure George Alex, who is alleged to have run an illicit labour hire company. The investigation follows the release of phone taps at the union royal commission revealing Parker’s close association with Alex.
Stoljar also called for the trade union royal commission to recommend that the government prosecute Parker for “deliberately giving false evidence” during hearings.
Cbus has given its public support to Atkin the wake of Stoljar’s allegations.
“The CEO has done an excellent job maintaining the focus of the fund on the needs of our members,” said Cbus chairman Steve Bracks. “No evidence has been provided in the commission has altered the strong support of the board for Mr. Atkin’s performance.”