Under the microscope

WHEN the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry rolls back into Perth on July 22, industry observers can expect some further investigations into ‘old’ territory, and some new revelations.

During its visit to Perth in March and April, the commission uncovered some startling facts about ‘unlawful’ contributions from building companies to the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.

It investigated union activity on the WACA Ground redevelopment, the Woolworths CBD construction and building of the new Woodside headquarters.

It is understood the commission will be investigating the Murrin Murrin project, the Worsley Expansion in 1998-99, the Woodman Point work stoppages caused by a demarcation dispute between the CFMEU and the Australian Workers Union and the construction of the five flyover bridges on the Kwinana Freeway.

Construction of BHP’s hot briquetted iron plant at Port Hedland is also expected to come under close scrutiny.

Woodside HQ focus

THE construction of Woodside’s new headquarters on the corner of Milligan Street and St Georges Terrace is expected to come under further scrutiny when the Cole Royal Commission comes back to Perth.

Since the commission left Perth, Anderson Formrite has been dismissed from the project and its workers have been taken on by Baulderstone Hornibrook.

Anderson was using workers supplied by Workforce One, a labour hire firm linked to Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union WA chief Kevin Reynolds’ son, Clint.

It is understood Workforce One has filed a writ against Anderson Formrite to recover $1.7 million it claims it is owed.

The commission uncovered allegations that the CFMEU forced Baulderstone Hornibrook to employ workers that it chose.

Project manager Anthony Fletcher told the commission he was given a list by CFMEU assistant secretary Joe McDonald and told to employ the workers on it.

Workers on site agreed to back the CFMEU list. Ironically that meant that several voted themselves out of a job.

There were also claims made that Baulderstone Hornibrook illegally paid workers $500,000 in strike pay.

Mr Fletcher said he had been against the move but had been ordered to do so by one of his superiors.

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