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Woodside, CFMEU reach settlement

WOODSIDE has reached an out-of-court settlement with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union that will remove the union from the LNG Train 4 project.

As part of the settlement Woodside agreed to pay part of the union’s legal costs. It is understood that payment was $100,000.

Woodside senior adviser external affairs Tony Johnson said that, while he could not confirm the figure, the payment was in relation to costs the union incurred to answer some legal questions Woodside had posed in the lead up to its September 1 Federal Court case.

That case was to be between Woodside, Train 4 contractor CBI, the CFMEU and CFMEU assistant secretary Joe McDonald and related to the union’s access to the project site.

“Those questions were probably not necessary to the proceedings and whichever way the case went the union would probably have had a claim for those costs,” Mr Johnson said.

He said the settlement meant the CFMEU would not pose any further problem to its Train 4 project and headed off the risk of any further legal proceedings and costs over the project.

“It means the project team can now concentrate on more productive matters,” Mr Johnson said.

The settlement was signed on August 14.

Mr Johnson said the settlement only related to Train 4 and would have no bearing on Train 5, if that project ever goes ahead.

Mr McDonald confirmed that a settlement had been reached with Woodside but would not elaborate further, referring all questions to union secretary Kevin Reynolds, who the union says cannot be contacted.

It is understood the CFMEU has also done a coverage deal with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

AMWU president Colin Saunders said the two unions had agreed to cut each other in on projects one or the other had coverage over.

“We have an agreement between as to how we will deal with each other in the future,” he said.

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