CFMEU Sues Police over ACT Office Raid 3

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Thursday, September 17th, 2015
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The construction union is taking federal police to court over a 13-hour raid on its Canberra offices.

Officers seized computers files and hardware in August, following the arrests of a CFMEU organiser and former organiser in the wake of evidence given to the royal commission into trade union corruption.

The CFMEU claims the search was unlawful and is seeking an urgent injunction to stop police from examining or using the material until its case can be heard.

The union’s national construction secretary Dave Noonan says the raid was both unnecessary and unlawful.

Staff had complied with a huge volume of commission notices to produce documents.

“If the royal commission police taskforce wanted further material, the royal commission could have issued further notices rather than storming our office,” Mr Noonan said in a statement on Wednesday.

Officers obtained a second warrant to continue the search after 9pm on the basis it was to to “prevent the concealment, loss or destruction of property”.

“We say that warrant was invalid because there was no evidence to justify that finding,” Mr Noonan said.

The CFMEU will seek orders that police return all seized material.

Organiser John Lomax and former organiser Halafihi “Fihi” Kivalu have pleaded not guilty to blackmail charges and are on bail.

The raid and the charging of Mr Lomax were part of a coordinated campaign to use the police against the union’s legitimate industrial work, Mr Noonan said.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he wasn’t aware of the legal action.

“But I will say that we have zero tolerance in Labor for any wrong doing, any corruption – it doesn’t matter if it’s an employer, the big end of town or a union representative,” he told reporters in Canberra.

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3
  1. General Jason

    The CFMEU must recognise that the general public does not have faith that the Union behaves itself at all times. Most people have a friend or associate who works within the Construction Industry so they hear directly about what lengths the CFMEU has and continues to go to, to get their way all under the premise of "worker safety and conditions". The CFMEU, instead of hiding behind lawyers, needs to be proactive about cleansing itself of its executive & organisers who seek to enrich themselves because of the power available to them to make the progress of a project nigh on impossible, if their demands are not met. This is not the way to do business in 2015. Dave Noonan, gladly use the findings of the Royal Commission to rid yourselves of those in the CFMEU who seek to operate in an unlawful, unconscionable and beneath public standards way in the name of your organisation. Do not turn a blind eye or seek to play the victim. Rout the Black sheep out and lead the way in making the standards of the construction industry and the behaviour within something that we can all be proud about.

  2. Antony Fendt

    LOL! 7 tons of documents removed and destroyed in Brisbane by the CFMEU to avoid the spotlight of the Royal Commission. Methinks that the CFMEU has the wrong 'man' in its sights.

  3. lou

    Something to hide Dave ?