The High Court will next Friday hear special leave applications from WorkSafe Victoria and a CFMEU official who are challenging a full Federal Court finding that he needed a federal entry permit to assist a health and safety representative when invited onto a construction site.
The CFMEU has told the Federal Court that significant penalties are required against ABC Commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss for causing incorrect information to be published on union right of entry, and has urged it to consider his unlawful conduct as spanning the full period it remained online.
The Federal Court has imposed record fines totalling more than $2.4 million against the CFMEU national and NSW branches and nine officials over breaches at Barangaroo in 2014, but says that without "legislative action" even higher penalties currently available under the law might not deter the militant union.
The Federal Court has rejected CFMEU argument that the Fair Work Act's explanatory memorandum compels a finding that union officials are entitled to exercise their entry rights to hold discussions with members and potential members before their shifts begin.
An AMWU organiser penalised this year for his role in a strike over alleged safety issues looks set to win a new entry permit, on the condition that he undergo training on the interaction of IR and OHS statutes and when it is lawful to stop work.
The ABCC says it is "carefully reviewing" a Federal Court finding that two CFMEU officials who flagrantly disregarded requests to show their entry permits did not breach the Fair Work Act's restrictions on entry to worksites because they were not seeking to exercise their lawful rights.