A Mirvac executive has denied the ASX 50-listed property developer built an ex-union boss's plush Queensland home while the CFMEU waged war on developers at construction sites across Brisbane.
Former CFMEU Queensland senior vice-president David Arthur Hanna, 55, and former Mirvac project manager Mathew Jason McAllum, 43, are on trial for alleged corrupt activity related to the construction of Hanna’s home in 2013.
They’re accused of giving and receiving a secret commission for work done to complete the five-bedroom, three-bathroom Cornubia home using tradies paid for by Mirvac.
Both men deny the charge, which the Brisbane District Court has heard stems from $290,000 worth of building works between February and November.
On Friday, Mirvac’s chief investment officer Brett Draffen told the jury the company didn’t take on small building projects, such as a single home, unless it was for a charity project.
If Mirvac did take on such a project, it would have generally been authorised at a national executive level to ensure the project fitted with the Mirvac brand, he said.
Asked by prosecutor Mark Whitbread if the company had green-lit building Hanna’s home or contributed to it, Mr Draffen replied: “Not to my knowledge.”
“Mirvac didn’t undertake one-off type building contracts … it was not cost-efficient to build individual houses for individual people,” he said.
The court has heard Mirvac’s tradies supplied concreting, bricklaying, plastering, tiling and interior design after Hanna used family friend, Shane Dalby, to build the shell of the 480 square metre home.
McAllum allegedly instructed sub-contractors to submit false invoices for construction work that these tradies were legitimately doing for Mirvac at a project known as Orion stage two at Springfield shopping centre.
McAllum then allegedly described the invoices associated with Hanna’s home as cost variations from the original quote for the Orion project, for which he was the project manager.
But, the court had been told by numerous witnesses that McAllum was only permitted to authorise variations up to $10,000.
All decisions related to construction activities at a cost level equivalent to Hanna’s home would have been handled by McAllum’s now deceased former boss Adam Moore, the head of the company’s Queensland construction division in 2013.
Mirvac’s general manager of project design and construction, Jason Vieusseux, said Mr Moore was also responsible for the management of Mirvac’s interaction with unions in Queensland.
“The state manager was responsible for all aspects of construction in their state,” he declared.
But an email shown to the jury from Mr Moore to Mr Vieusseux, stating that the CFMEU was battling Laing O’Rourke at another major Brisbane construction project, suggests he was told what was happening with unions in Queensland.
Dated March 6, 2013, it stated the union was “at war” and “smashing all other projects” and warned of “disaster” at a Fortitude Valley project.
Asked what it meant, Mr Vieusseux said the developer was “struggling” with the union.
The trial continues.