A senior FWC member has taken aim at the process involved in issuing entry permits, describing a perceived requirement that applications need to be made within three months of training about rights and responsibilities as a "misapplication" of the Commission's powers.
WorkSafe Victoria is "considering its options" after expressing disappointment at Friday's full Federal Court finding that a CFMEU official needed to have a federal entry permit to assist a health and safety representative when invited onto a Victorian construction site.
A full Federal Court has found a CFMEU official called onto a Victorian construction site to assist a health and safety representative is not protected by the state's OHS laws and should have had a federal entry permit.
A full Federal Court has described as "astounding" a CFMEU argument that it should not be held liable for organisers' unauthorised entries to building sites because the alleged contraventions should be viewed as an exercise of "power", rather than of a "right" defined by the Fair Work Act.
BHP Coal is seeking special leave from the High Court to challenge a ruling that allowed the CFMEU to hold discussions in the crib room of a coal mine's dragline, but the union says permit holders could be left with nowhere to meet with workers if the company's interpretation is accepted.
The FWC has issued a new entry permit to a CFMEU official despite his "serious lack of diligence" in misplacing his old one, while it has granted a fresh permit to another of the union's officials – a former acting national secretary of the FSU - after finding it need not "rigidly apply" a general rule that applicants have completed entry training within the previous three months.
In continuing fallout from an unlawful CFMEU visit to two Adelaide construction sites in 2013, the FWC has refused to renew a veteran organiser's entry permit, despite union claims that he wouldn't re-offend after being "chastised" by his wife for his actions.