Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union
A hearing of the Royal Commission is scheduled to take place on Level 5, 55 Market Street, Sydney on Friday 3 October, between 8.30am and 4.00pm.
The witness list in alphabetical order is:
- David Atkin
- Maria Butera
- Darren Greenfield
- Brian Parker
- Lisa Zanatta.
An unusually full hearing room this morning - someone's expecting fireworks.
Brian Parker, state secretary NSW for the CFMEU is the first witness.
At 10.45PM last night the Commission received an urgent application from companies associated with Mr O'Neill. The Commission this morning heard brief oral submissions about that application.
Ms Heath for LisCon made some cryptic submissions which centred on real fears of threats of violence from a certain named person known to the Commission - the Commissioner said "let's call a spade a bloody shovel".
At 8.40AM Brian Parker, State Secretary CFMEU was sworn.
Mr Stoljar asked Mr Parker "when was the last time you spoke with Mace Hirani?
Parker said about 2 or 3 weeks ago.
Mr Parker recalls meeting with George Alex at his home several times. He doesn't think that Darren Greenfield was present.
The Commissioner appears to be taking a particular interest in the demeanour of this witness.
Mr Parker agrees that the CFMEU generally tries to keep phoenix operators and employers who don't pay workers entitlements out of the industry and certainly not party to EBAs with the CFMEU.
Mr Stoljar, "There'd been an ongoing failure by companies associated with Mr Alex and Mr Hirani to pay workers on time?"
Mr Parker agreed there had been problems.
Mr Stoljar has produced a folder of documents for Mr Parker to examine, Mr Agius made some enquiry about the folder that was in audible, Mr Stoljar responded in beautifully authentic Australian style, "It's all on the doover, on the screen, but anyway...."
We are now intently examining the doover.
The eyes have it.
Mr Parker can't recall if he spoke to George Alex in August this year, just over one month ago. Mr Parker stated, "My memory is not the best."
George Alex and his friends apparently have that effect on people.
Mr Parker states he is having trouble hearing, "I'm sorry, my ears are a little bit blocked."
Mr Stoljar put to Mr PARKER that he had called a Mr Barios a dog for going to the Royal Commission. Stoljar put to Parker that he'd said he would bash Barios, and put Barios in hospital for going to the Commission. Parker denied the allegation.
Stoljar, "Was George Alex conferring any favours on you, was he making any payments to you?"
Parker, "Absolutely not."
The Commission then heard a truth-inducing telephone intercept of a conversation between Brian Parker and a Mr Kira, Mr Parker said, "I've just gotta stop myself from fucking bashing the other bloke today" who was that "Barios".
Mr Parker stated, " I was in a heat of rage."
Mr Parker denies ever calling Mr Barios a dog. Stoljar puts it to him again quite specifically. Parker denies it again. Stoljar introduces another telephone intercept - it's Parker talking to his daughter.
Mr Stoljar introduced into evidence a phone call from Sparkles Parker to Mace Hirani and then Mace calling him back.
Yet another intercept - time now is 10AM and Mr Parker has been in the box for an hour and a half.
This intercept is Mr Parker and "that dog" Barios.
Somebody might be delivering a reminder to Mr Parker about what side his bread is buttered on.
Mr Parker denied on his oath having ever received a payment from George Alex or anyone associated with one of his companies.
Mr Parker recalls seeing some "tough looking characters with beards" at the George Alex house.
Mr Parker recalls stating that George Alex was extremely professional. Mr Stoljar pointed out that it wasn't "extremely professional" to be conducting business with all those tough looking characters with beards lounging around on the back verandah.
Mr Parker was shown this article:
Murdered standover man Joe Antoun, his Sydney business associate and bikie George Alex, and Melbourne underworld identity Mick Gatto allegedly forced the boss of high-profile Queensland hire firms, Kevin McHugh, to sign over contracts, according to NSW Supreme Court documents.
Mr Alex, an undischarged bankrupt under investigation for owing over $60,000 to the tax office, has also been linked to the Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy Union NSW for providing men to muscle up a CFMEU picket line in October 2011.
At the time, CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker was quoted as saying that Mr Alex had always acted "in a professional manner'' and paid his workers on time and the necessary penalties.
"George comes across as extremely professional," Mr Parker was quoted as saying.
"George is a person who gets involved in all sorts of things. I found him relatively decent to deal with. He sticks to his word."
It comes amid reports in Fairfax that a union official resigned over claims he received kickbacks in return for access to lucrative construction work.
Mr Parker thinks this quote may have come from an interview in 2011.
The Commission is now hearing evidence about the death threat to Mr Fitzpatrick who is seated at the far left of the image as you face it - with Big Jim Byrnes.
Mr PARKER was shown phone records which show a 2 minute phone call between Mr Parker and Mr Greenfield, just before Mr Fitzpatrick received the death threat telephone call.
AT 1045 THE COMMISSION ADJOURNED FOR 15 MINUTES
AT 11AM THE COMMISSION RESUMED - MR PARKER IS NOT PRESENT
Mr Stoljar points out that Mr Jim Byrnes is present in the hearing room, he is a person of interest to the Commission and Mr Stoljar has asked that he give evidence today. Mr Byrnes has been called.
Mr Byrnes gives evidence that he has attended at Mr Alex's house between 8 and 15 times over a 2 year period. He saw Mr Greenfield from the CFMEU at Mr Alex's house - he states that Mr Alex told him that Mr Parker was present at various functions held by Mr Alex.
Mr Byrnes states that he saw Mr Alex hand cash to a union official. He saw a white envelop with a window in it containing cash - Mr Byrnes saw Mr Alex throw the envelope to Mr Greenfield.
Mr Byrnes states that the "usual band of misfits and muslim extremists" were present at the Alex house.
Mr Alex said, "There you go" when he threw the envelope to Mr Greenfield.
Mr Byrnes states that he saw a hundred dollar bill through the window of an envelope, the envelope was slightly less than half an inch and the envelope had $3,000 written on the front.
It was about this thick:
Mr Byrnes states that Mr Alex boasted that he had the CFMEU in his pocket.
Mr Byrnes states that Mr Alex caused 3 shots to be fired into his house.
Mr Byrnes gives evidence that he was in gaol for 20 months over malicious wounding and deemed supply in the 1980s. He has convictions for assault and wilful damage to a solicitors office.
Mr Byrnes states he was bankrupted in 1992.
At 1111 Mr Stoljar completed his examination.
Mr Agius is now cross examining Mr Byrne.
Mr Agius put to Mr Byrne that his evidence about the envelope of cash handed to Mr Greenfield was untrue. Mr Byrne reiterated it was truthful evidence.
Mr Agius put to Mr Byrne that he is present at the Royal Commission "for his own notoriety".
Mr Byrne states he is definitely not.
Mr Agius has instructions that Mr Byrne's story about the envelope for Greenfield is entirely false.
Mr Byrnes reitereates that he saw it happen.
Mr Agius asked Mr Byrne whether he was a friend of former detective and regular prisoner Roger Rogerson. Mr Byrne said he has been a friend of Mr Rogerson since the time he was a policeman.
At 1125 Mr Agius finished his cross examination - for now.
The Commissioner has asked if any other legal representatives wish to examine Mr Byrne.
Mr Morrison can't help himself.
Mr Morrison asks if Mr Byrne ever had an interest in a race horse - he did, his wife and Mr Parker's wife were co-owners.
Mr Byrne was allowed to leave the witness box at 11.35 - he will be served with a summons and will b required to return to the witness box for further cross examination by Mr Agius.
The examination of Mr Parker continues.
Mr Parker was asked whether Mr Greenfield said he had told Mr Fitzpatrick "if you come after me I'll fucking tread on your toes, starting tomorrow".
Mr Parker agrees that Mr Greenfield may have said that. He agrees that if so that would constitute a threat.
The Commissioner asked Mr Parker what he did recall of Mr Greenfields statements towards Mr Fitzpatrick, he recalls Mr Greenfield called Mr Fitzpatrick a fat f'in c**t.
Mr PARKER is now being asked about CBUS related matters. He was asked about CFMEU employees ringing up CBUS superannuation account holders posing as CBUS employees - he was asked whether or not that would constitute gross misconduct. He answered that if it happened it would - but he states it did not happen.
Mr Parker was asked about the evidence given by Fair Work inspectors.
He states that it is unacceptable for CFMEU officials to call Fair Work inspectors dog, or fucking sluts, or fucking grubs.
Mr Parker states it's unacceptable, he however states that Fair Work inspectors were hindering CFMEU officials.
Mr Stoljar asked if it was acceptable for a CFMEU officer to spit at the feet of a Fair Work inspector and say, "lick it up dog".
Mr Parker states that he has interviewed the CFMEU officials concerned, he has spoken to them, they deny it but not disciplinary action has been taken.
At midday Mr Stoljar completed his examination of Mr PARKER.
Mr Morrison wanted to hop into Mr Parker.
Mr Parker states that the Royal Commission is a witch-hunt by the Liberal Party against the Labor Party and the unions.
Mr Parker agrees that he organised a CFMEU function and invited Mr Alan Jones along.
Mr Parker states that he invited Alan Jones because Alan Jones offered his services to be the MC of the function.
Mr Morrison referred to Mr Parker as "Sparkles". The Commission reacted somewhat.
Mr Morrison with the race horses again. Mr Parker states that he hasn't owned any race horses since he became secretary of the CFMEU.
Mr Parker states that he might be a bully. He states that when he was in a bit of a rage he can be a bit offensive.
At 1220 the cough and flu have disappeared.
The Commissioner just complimented Mr Morrison on the trenchancy of his cross examination, however he added that perhaps Mr Parker might be allowed to answer those magnificent questions.
Mr Morrison to Mr Parker, "You're corrupt, right?"
Mr Parker, "That's not right."
Mr Agius has some re-examination of his client Mr Parker, Mr Agius apparently receives his instructions via text message.
Mr Agius and Mr Stoljar just had a little tete-a-tete, to which Mr Agius responded, "Well I've just sat here as you let one obvious question after another roll past."
I think the pressure of an 8.30AM start without a substantial break - the time is now 1255 - is taking its toll on all players.
Just on 1PM Mr Parker was excused.