Session 2, day 4, TURC CFMEU hearings in the ACT - listen and comment here
Reports Fihi Kivalu arrested after his evidence at the TURC in Canberra today

Session 3, day 4, TURC CFMEU corruption hearing in the ACT has resumed

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Mr Agius explained that he has some questions for Mr Kivalu - Mr Kivalu will return to the witness box after the Commission has completed hearing Mr Jones's evidence.

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Mr Agius is quizzing Mr Jones about the costs incurred in dumping the concrete on that day.

AT 2.08PM Mr Jones was excused.

Mr Kivalu has returned to the witness box for cross-examination.

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Mr Agius asked Mr Kivalu about his statement that Mr Taleb was blackmailing him.

Agius, "You said, 'he was blackmailing me to my boss Dean Hall' and you said later in your evidence you had a telephone conversation with Mr Hall.   What did you mean hy that?"

Kivalu, "My understanding is that he came into the office to see Mr Hall, he had a recording that he wanted to play to Mr Hall or something but he backed off".

Agius pressed him on the question of precisely what the blackmail was.  He asked about the threat or retaliation from Taleb was - what was the threat?

Kivalu, "That's the only incident I know of, of the blackmail when my boss told me that".

And that was it.

At 2.13 Mr Kivalu was excused. 

Mr Stoljar tendered a further statement regarding a Notice to Produce issued to WorkSafe.

The next witness is Mr Marcantonio from Gunghalin Concrete

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At 2.35 after lengthy legal discussion Mr Marcantonio's examination began.

Mr Marcantonio has been in the construction industry since 2001 - he set up Ganghalun in 2008.

He states that in 2007 he started to receive visits from the CFMEU who would come on site and suggest that he needed to have an EBA.

He ended up signing an EBA.   He had no notice that they would come - a few times they stopped his company pouring.

The first few times they stopped  pour it was because he didn't have an EBA.

He states that he attended meetings organised by the CFMEU, he states the meetings (with other concreters) was organised by Jason OMara.

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Mr Marcantonio wasn't happy to sign the EBA, he states he signed it because he didn't think he had a choice.   He said, "I know the pressure the CFMEU could put on my company".

Mr Marcantonio remembers the phrase "level playing field" very well from the meetings with the CFMEU.  He states it mean "we were all paying the same".

At about 2.50PM my video feed stopped and attempts to refresh the TURC site deliver this

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Anyone else with the same problem?

At 3.10 odd the video resumed.

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At 3.17PM Mr Marcantonio was excused.

The next witness is his wife.

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The Royal Commission is a lot more interesting and revealing without Mr Agius and his objections to written statements. 

At 3.38PM Mrs Marcantonio's statement with Mr Agius's revisions was tendered and received into evidence.

Mrs Marcantonio presents as a confident and intelligent young woman.   She is the General Manager of the business and appears to know her way around very well.

Mrs Marcantonio states that she was very unhappy that her husband has signed an EBA with the CFMEU.  She states that it was signed effectively under duress.

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Mrs Marcantonio has given evidence that at least one (and apparently more) of her employees told her that they did not want their bank details to be linked to the CFMEU in any way.  They did not want deductions made from their bank accounts for CFMEU memberships.

At 3.45 Mr Agius commenced his cross examination.

The TURC lighting director has given special attention to Mr Agius.

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Mr Agius's cross examination is based on Mrs Marcantonio's written statement - it's a little difficult to follow without the statement in front of us.

That said Mrs Marcantonio is a most impressive person.   Mr Marcantonio has a great partner and general manager for their business.   It's galling to watch the CFMEU (through its paid barrister Mr Agius) cast scorn and doubt on these people.

At 4.07PM Mrs Marcantonio was excused.

The next witness is Richard Lewis.

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Mr Lewis took an affirmation - he has made a witness statement which with a few corrections has been adopted and tendered into evidence.

Mr Lewis has been with Gunghalin Conrete for about 2 and a half years.   He recalls being present at the CFMEU organised meeting with the ACT's concreters.   Jason OMara et al from the CFMEU were present, he recalls Mr O'Mara using the phrase "level playing field".

Mr Lewis states that he believed the phrase "level playing field" used by the CFMEU official referred to the wages paid to employees under the EBA.   Mr Lewis was at pains to point out that at no time did he or his company ever engage in collusive practices with other competitors or in any way participate in price maintenance.

(An earlier version of this report referred to price charged by Gunghalin and its  competitors as a result of the CFMEU EBA.  While other companies have spoken about collusive practices, Mr Lewis states his company did not participate in those discussions.   I apologise for any distress this may have caused Mr Lewis or his company.)

At 4.35PM Mr Lewis was excused from further attendance.

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The Commission is adjourned until 10AM tomorrow.

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