The Australian's Cut and Paste is on to the "do as I say" leaders of the CFMEU
Mohammed now off-limits for Charlie Hebdo magazine - Islam officially beyond satire

TURC CFMEU ACT hearing day 2, week 3 commences 10AM - click here to watch and comment

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10AM has been and gone.   10.05 and we're away.

3 statements from Fihi Kivalu were tendered and received into evidence.

The first witness is Sam Delorenzo.

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Here's a link to Mr De Lorenzo's LinkedIn page.

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Mr Stoljar's brief questions related to Mr De Lorenzo's work history and the adoption and tender of his statement.

At 10.08 Mr Agius commenced his cross-examination of Mr De Lorenzo.

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Mr Agius quizzed Mr De Lorenzo about "lockdown days" - a term I was unfamiliar with until today.   Here's the calendar for RDOs/Lockdown Days for the year in question, 2014.

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The MBA has more about lock-down days here:

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Mr De Lorenzo stated that he does not recognise CFMEU lockdown days.

Mr Agius is now presenting the familiar routine of photographs of Mr De Lorenzo's construction site with what the CFMEU contends are safety breaches.

Mr De Lorenzo agrees that an extension cord placed on a milk-crate represents a safety issue - however he states that he was unaware that anything like that occurred at his site.

He states that he wasn't present when the photos were taken - he agrees that the photos represent safety issues.

Mr De Lorenzo's evidence is very straightforward - yes, no answers.  He recalls one incident involving extension cords - he states they were only in the situation photographed briefly, he corrected it on the day.

The entirety of Mr Agius's cross-examination of Mr De Lorenzo thus far consists of showing photographs that are said to be of unsafe situations (mostly involving extension cords) on Mr De Lorenzo's construction sites.

Mr Lorenzo's statement apparently contains a claim that there were no safety issues brought to his attention on his construction sites.   You have to wonder what the point is of taking photographs of allegedly unsafe situations only to hold them for production to the construction company manager at the Royal Commission, rather than as the purportedly unsafe situations arose.

At about 10.30 Mr Agius completed his cross-examination.

Mr Morison is now examining his witness Mr De Lorenzo.

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Under questioning from Mr Morison, Mr De Lorenzo stated that CFMEU officials visited his site on one occasion and some safety issues (minor) were mentioned on the day.   There was no follow-up action from the CFMEU after the visit - prior to the entry onto the site Mr De Loreno was not informed of any safety issues either.

Mr De Lorenzo felt intimidated by the CFMEU officials on the day.   He was unsatisfied with the permits produced by the officials, they appeared to be photocopied pieces of paper folded in the officials wallets, Mr De Lorenzo could not read them.

At 10.39 Mr Morison completed his re-examination of Mr De Lorenzo.

Mr Stoljar asked, "What do you mean by the phrase in your statement 'Dean, this is a construction site, you'll find safety risks if you look hard enough'".

Mr De Lorenzo explained about safety and risk management.   He was the Chair of the Commercial Council of the Master Builders Association for 8 years, he has been in construction for 40 odd years and has considerable experience in construction.   He stated that at any moment passing hazards may be found, the process of safety management involves managing hazards and managing risks.  Construction involves moving things, lifting things and the like - house-keeping photographs may show things that need attention at a moment in time and Mr De Lorenzo states that on sites under his control his policy is that those types of issues are attended to.

The Stoljar/De Lorenzo chat about safety was quite useful to laymen and newcomers to the construction caper (like me), Mr De Lorenzo's commentary about safety is sensible, measured and very much safety first.  One thing emerges - safety is a pressing, immediate issue, not an issue upon which points should be scored particularly long after the event.

Mr Stoljar is now revisiting the Agius/CFMEU photographs and eliciting a narrative from Mr De Lorenzo in a constructive and real-world fashion.   This is markedly at odds with the Agius presentation of the photographs which was accusatory and point-scoring.

Mr Stoljar's approach to the evidence this morning will be helpful as he comes to write his submissions on the matter of safety, in particular legitimate safety issues versus the invocation of "safety" by the CFMEU as a means to potentially extract other outcomes.

Mr De Lorenzo is a very knowledgable and straightforward witness and not at all defensive, it's a pleasure to listen to his conversation with Mr Stoljar over the past 20 minutes or so.

Well might Mr Agius hang his head.

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Mr Stoljar, "Did anyone from the union send you these photos?"

De Lorenzo, "No."

Stoljar, "So you saw them for the first time here at the Commission?"

De Lorenzo, "Yes".

Stoljar, "Did you receive any rectification notices from WorkSafe or the union?"

De Lorenzo, "No, nothing."

Mr De Lorenzo explained that there could be an extension lead on the ground briefly - but the process of setting up would require it to be picked up properly.

At 10.59 Mr De Lorenzo was excused.

The next witness is Detective Sergeant Battye.

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Detective Sergeant Battye is with the Australian Federal Police in the ACT.  He has made a witness statement which he's adopted and it's been tendered into evidence.

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He was present at the "Beaconsfield" construction site in 2012 on the morning police were called.  He recalls seeing 3 union officials and being approached by a 4th who he now knows to be Mr Lomax.

He states that Lomax approached him "within his personal space", Lomax "flashed" a card in front of the detective's face, inches away from his nose.

The detective said "If you're using that card as the basis for being here, I need to see it properly as well as some identification".

Sergeant Battye states that he was there to investigate a trespass, he took Lomax's permit card and commenced to transcribe the details of it into his police notebook.   Lomax then snatched it back and hindered Sergeant Battye in his attempts to note the details on the card (my interpretation).

Sergeant Battye states that he felt that Lomax was intimidating him - he states that he instructed Lomax not to walk around the site intimidating people, he states that he told Lomax that he would be locked up if he continued to intimidate people at the site.

Sergeant Battye has denied using words apparently attributed to him in witness statements (presumably from Lomax and/or other CFMEU officials).

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Sergeant Battye states that he had a reasonable conversation with Mr O'Mara of the CFMEU.   He states that when he asked why the CFMEU was present on site he received circular, non-specific answers of a general nature.   He was not told at any point of specific safety concerns.

After speaking to both the construction site managers and the CFMEU (i.e. both sides of the dispute) Sergeant Battye states that he was not informed by any party of any specific safety issues.

At 11.09 Mr Stoljar completed his examination.

Mr Agius is cross-examining Sergeant Battye.

He starts by asking "What did you know of the law relating to union officials and their right of entry to work places?"

Battye, "Not much".

Sergeant Battye states that he has been a workplace union delegate himself, although he doesn't know much of the construction industry.

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Agius, "You had no evidence that any persons had been intimidated, did you?"

Battye, "Mr Lomax intimidated me".

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Sergeant Battye is a good professional witness - he is frank in his evidence that he and the other police onsite were confronted with an unusual and for them unprecedented situation.   Mr Agius has not shaken him in his cross-examination.

It's clear that the CFMEU considers the police to be hostile - Mr Agius is very much on the attack over the Sergeant's evidence.   If the CFMEU was present on the site for entirely legitimate reasons it's difficult to understand why the attack on the police.

Mr Agius to Sergeant Battye, "I suggest that if anybody was doing the intimidating it was you.   You were using your position as a police officer to intimidate those union officials."

Mr Agius wouldn't want to speed on the way home.

Sergeant Battye states that he considered arresting Mr Lomax for trespass and for common law breach of the peace.   Eventually Mr Lomax left.

Agius, "Did you ever consider that you were hindering Mr Lomax while he exercised his right of entry on that site?'

Sergeant Battye stated that WorkCover were attending and the presence of the union was not necessary given that the appropriate regulatory authority was present.

Mr Agius just kicked a very significant own-goal - he asked Sergeant Battye to "name one" of the breaches of the workplace safety act he thought Mr Lomax had committed.

Sergeant Battye said, "I'll name 5" he then proceeded to quote from the legislation with apparent authority.

At 11.41 Mr Agius completed his cross examination.   It's difficult to see what he achieved.

Sergeant Battye was excused from further attendance. 



Dennis Milin re-appears for cross-examination by Mr Agius.

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Mr Stoljar handed Mr Milin over to Mr Agius.

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The cross-examination consists of Mr Agius identifying propositions put by Mr Milin in his statement or evidence in chief, then putting to Mr Milin that the thing done or said never happened.

Occasionally Mr Agius imputes a motive on behalf of Mr Milin - "you did that because......".

Thus far Mr Milin hasn't altered his evidence.

At 12.19 Mr Agius completed his perfunctory cross-examination.

Mr Chin has a couple of questions.

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At 12.25 Mr Milin was excused from further attendance.




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John Greybeard

Did the cross-examinations of 2 wirnesses yesterday undermine the prosecution case against the two persons arrested last week?

I have tried to find the answer given by the Commissioner to a witness about a week or so ago about the use of evidence presented to the TURC in other cases in other jurisdictions. I cannot find it in the transcript can anyone help?


This laborious questioning about possible miniscule safety issues is in no way detracting from the fact that the CFMEU are dangerous thugs and thieves. It's just painful.


Michael, the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption is asking for submissions by 21 August on their “Discussion Paper – Options for Law Reform.” The paper takes the form of their next likely report.

See at

The paper examines the new Union Rights of Entry and worries over how to improve the current system. Earlier in the paper the Commission sets down the historical formation and role of Trade Unions, noting that things have changed since then. However, the Commission fails to note that even before Trade Unions were recently given Rights of Entry, government OH&S inspectors and Fair Work Inspectors as well as police forces have had and exercised rights of entry to workplaces.

So, why do Trade Unions need rights of entry at all, especially if they cannot be held accountable? The Commission does not address this basic question and overlooks the truism that absolute power (power without accountability) corrupts.

The paper notes the role of Trade Unions, with the ALP, in supporting the election of Labor governments. It worries over political donations and how to control them. However, the Commission does not address the greatest potential, if not, actual source of corruption – government grants by Labor governments back to Trade Unions, once elected. Why not? Isn’t this an enquiry into Trade Union corruption?

The paper touches on Secondary Boycotts but does not examine the corporate beneficiaries of such Trade Union actions or the close relationship between some trade union officials and millionaire businessmen. Why not?

The paper tails off lamely on whether to look at some legislation like America’s “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.” Dismissively, the paper says only one submission has been received to that effect (from Boral) and if anyone wants to take the idea further they should submit draft legislation. I thought that was the TURC’s job, especially given its title and resources.

I live in hope, but I fear yet another bureaucratic report that will gather dust on shelves in Canberra. Still, it has kept many public servants in employment and perhaps that’s what these reports are all about.

John Greybeard

My transmission failed again at the instant Mr Morrison tried to ask a question. ARE THE GREMLINS PAID UP MEMBERS OF THE CFMEU?

Turc ~ best show on the net

What nightlife is there in Canberrastan?? Scooby is nodding off on screen.

Harry Jenkins

The CFMEU conducts safety training and site inductions in the ACT. Why then are their trained apprentices and members so slack when it comes to the safety of themselves and their work mates.

Perhaps Contagious can answer that.


These extension lead photos are a BS matter Mr Agius! If any lead is damaged they can be repaired or replaced on the spot they are all inexpensive items. Damaging a lead can also be done in a few seconds then immediately photographed at any time.

Are these facts beyond the intellectual capacity of the CFMEU to comprehend? Obviously, doing these so called safety inspections on concrete pour days & stopping the pour from proceeding is the standard agenda of the CFMEU!

Gillard & Shorten have much to answer for here by putting in place the industrial legislation that has allowed the CFMEU the legal ability to extort this on site rort.


Well .. Didn't Mr De Lorenzo well and truly sink all of the thug protecting Mr Agius's cross examinations into safety issues on construction sites. An exceptional presentation of the reality of a construction site and the exposure of the dirty tricks that CFMEU officials will pull.

Glen Judo Chop

For factual correctness (as I know many of us are now fans of his work) the Barristers name is spelled 'Adam Morison'.


sounds like Mr Agius and the Unions want businesses to use Risk Aversion, instead of Risk Management.

Businesses put in controls (processes and work instructions) to deal with common issues.
stuff like the power cable is ad hoc and cannot be prevented.
Too many times, i've been involved in safety issues that are caused by the workers - I'm in IT and do our best to ensure there are no trip hazards with cables etc, but you will always find that someone else (the user) makes there own changes then screams OHS issue that you have to fix - you look at it and see they've change what you've done ... but OHS is the magic word you can't get around ...

John Greybeard

Now Agius SC is questioning the integrity of the Police Sergeant on the basis of a statement not yet in evidence by Mr Lomax.


It is reasonable to assume that Detective Sargent Battye was acting within the law.


Mr Agius thinks everyone other than the Union is lying. Builder's, (and their wives), workers, police, MBA representatives - all liars making up their testimony as they go along. Only the Union thugs can give us an honest account of their exemplary efforts to ensure everyone's safety.



Gee, Mr Agius, how can one really expect to recall events of two and half years ago.


There is a False and Misleading Representation in that RDO and Public Holiday Roster. Notice the use of the 'ACT Government' Logo - purposefully done to imply authority and endorsement. I am quite sure the 'ACT Government' does not authorise the use of it's logo without strict rules, if at all.

John Greybeard

Mr Agius has modes of questioning which confuse witnesses, probably to deliberately to confuse witnesses. He then proceeds to cross examination on details of the confused answers.

This is not the first time but it is probably the first time Mr Stoljar has objected.


Mr Agius has to much leeway to intimidate the witness, when he [Mr Agius] talks about intimidation. Well, Mr Stoljar is not helping. He lets Mr Agius get away with to much.

Harry Jenkins

The MBA also conducts safety training in the ACT per

Does the CFMEU conduct any courses to counter Bullying and Harassment in the workplace or do they concentrate on fostering it? Rhetorical question!

The NSCA also run safety courses in the ACT.

Unions ACT contact safety training as well.

If all this training is carried out, without going into detail on the private groups that do it as well, why is there such a "safety problem" for the CFMEU in the industry they say they "look after".

There are reasonable answers to the question as explained by DeLorenzo and WorkSafe do a good reactive job as well in policing workplaces.

Perhaps it's time to rescind the right of entry to other than well trained safety experts and put a stop to the use of safety issues as a path to the abusive scams in the industry. There is a better way to do this than the current mess which costs the industry so much in so many ways.

Unions suffer from a relevance deficit disorder and it's apparent they will do whatever it takes to rectify that.

A good start would be to assign the Worksafe authorities as the only ones able to issue a breach to close a site down.


Mr Stoljar is so weak!

Harry Jenkins

Just doing what he always does JG.

Business Battler

scooby needs to seek absence of leave he is not there.


Mr Agius you are bloody ignorant, when it comes to questioning this witness.


It is "too much." bear?


That's how it works. Both sides adopt the "My client and only my Client could possibly be right" approach and then set about to destroy the credibility of the oposing side. Thismismwhy going to Court for justice is not always the outcome you get...sadly, its all we have. Aguis is doing a good job - for his client. He's just on the wrong side.

However, it's better to have a stromg oposing side that is unsuccessful than a weak adds weight to the winning team's credibility. Stoljar will be pleased and his points scored far outweigh the others combined.

Jeff of FNQ

I had to give evidence in the High Court of Australia in 1973.

During my cross examination the barrister asked me if I had read about the issue in the NT News over my morning cup of tea.

When I answered no he asked me again was I sure that I hadn't read the NT News on the morning in question.

I answered no again and then informed him that at that particular time the paper was an afternoon/evening edition only.

Somewhat deflated he ended his cross examination.

All you have to do is stick to the truth and don't let them confuse the issue and eventually they give up.

Johnny B. Goode

See p. 55

Just Thinkin'

You never know, GP.

It is not a LNP government there.
With ALL the other connotations.

St. George

JG - I touched on that yesterday, Agius has a habbit of asking the same question in the negative, following shortly later by asking the same question in the positive, i.e. looking for a single word Yes or No answer.

In programming terms, it is basically a "If then else" statement followed by an answer that True or False. I.e. True or false or yes or no could be correct answers to the statement (question). It depends on how the question or query is put.

If he was one of my programmers, I would fire him instantly.

John Greybeard

The only answer to the time wasting mode of questioning of Mr Agius is to ask him "to rephrase the question so I can understand it.."

He constantly suggest things which is introducing evidence and he needs to be stopped.

Business Battler

wish i worked those hrs

Michelle Two

He was probably up reading transcript and lawyer stuff half the night.. it could be the Agius effect too much of him can make you yawn..


Mr Agius did not fare so well against the steadfast copper Sergeant Battye.

Might be best to not put this encounter on his CV.

Hard to see overall just how this senior barrister is helping the CFMEU case by projecting his client's bullying and blustering tactics into the Commission.

Political speedbump

Its just a time wasting technique Helen , often used by lawyers who know their client is guilty , its to muddy the waters ,mitigate responsibility and slow down the introduction of new incriminating evidence in a forum with a finite time schedule like the TURC .
One only has to listen to the drivel from Aguis and Docking to realise this , the repetitive questioning ,the childish nitpicking , the pathetic logic , The theatrics of always looking sideways to their peers as they ask question in the vain hope of a "gotcha" response or revelling in some pretend daydream of "Rumpole moment" , and all this charade is usually on the most useless and inconsequential matters ,its quite an embarrassing trainwreck to watch them .


It seems to me that all this argument about whether the unions found actual safety problems, or occasionally even managed to improve safety is moot. Is Mr Agius leading or being led down a blind alley? Or is he already preparing a criminal defence by wasting the RC's time on issues that in the end are irrelevant. It is simple maths. There are X number of builders & contractors in the ACT, some portion A have EBAs with the union, and B are those that do not. How many safety "walks" did A get compared B. Surely any, even nominal, attempt at rigour would mean in a genuine safety program all sites and contractors of similar size would suffer a similar number of visits. If not then the purpose of the visits was clearly something other than safety. And from the evidence so far most of the business people we have seen have been very conscientious in their adherence to safety regimes. Probably not because of the union but rather as a business owner they can be held directly personally liable for a failure.

Roger Stirling

John Agius SC was the Counsel Assisting the Cole Royal Commission. His antics to me in this Royal Commission is one of someone whom "appears" to be representing CFMEU but is deliberately sabotaging his client. I think it would be turning his gut having to represent this bunch of thugs and his recent actions in the Commission points to some very half hearted thrusts and quite deliberate questions that elicit responses that paints his clients as the thugs that they are.

Agius SC is not a stupid man and is one of the top silks in the country, his style is annoying and deliberate. Michael commented of the own goal today by Mr Agius, I do not think it was. Agius is doing the country a service, highly unethical in relation to the people he is representing.


It is what he has to do in the interests of his client. If he did not, he would be negligent. It is what we would all want our lawyer to do; that is, to put our case to the witness who is contradicting what we said or would say.


Michael. Whilst there are some interesting responses to the above, one can agree with the response posted by Roger Stirling. Having tuned into today's proceedings; is John Agius SC becoming frustrated with those witnesses who perhaps may not be giving the Union what they want and as a example, the way he questioned the Federal Police Officer whose line of questioning saw a objection raised by Counsel Assisting the Commission and there was something quietly said by Angius which saw a response from Stoljar. Counsel for the Union was perhaps attempting to score a point on the Officer but I too, was impressed with the Detective Sgt. Another interesting observation was the Officer referring to his Statement re various laws etc. Another key question that needs to be raised is; will the Commission call Lomax?

Turc~ best show on the net

haha, I go for the A-Gee-us effect. Maybe Scooby is dreaming of his new jeep?



They leave themselves wide open by having a loose and lax system of governance.

Some points to ponder:
1. the fact that union elections are costly and it is beyond the realm of an average worker's capacity to afford without requiring factional backing needs to be addressed.
{A fair dinkum union would conduct such matters at minimal expense to members and save their funds towards representing member interests.}

2. the fact that there is no probity or transparency in union governance to the point officials can write their own redundancy packages
{I recall unpleasant allegations that were allegedly distributed on a "shit sheet" claiming a senior TWU official and ALP figure wrote his own overly generous redundancy package. These allegations dismissed, not (allegedly) because it didn't happen but because there were no rules preventing the practice. Members should have some peace of mind that there are safeguards in place to prevent this from happening and ensure that their money is effectively used to represent their interests. It would also be nice to see some retrospective laws to recover any money that has been siphoned by flagrant abusers of privilege.}

3. Tender processes for union work need to be reviewed to prevent money being siphoned in excessive fees and charges.

4. Auditing procedures need to be reviewed. Forensic scrutiny of past audits needs to occur.

5. Forensic scrutiny of all registered EBA's needs to occur to evaluate whether the stat decs supporting over all fairness can be relied upon as true and accurate evaluations.

6. The relationship between unions and labour hire organisations needs to be scrutinised. Labour hire is the antithesis of the union ethos - This cannot be viewed as a healthy partnership designed to represent member interests.

A good barrister is paid (a lot usually) to represent his client's best interests even though he may not necessarily agree or even sympathise with that client's position or behaviour. It's sometimes easy to forget this important principle. Don't shoot the messenger.

Doubtful John

A bad lawyer can drag things out for ages. A good lawyer even longer. Day rates don't make for short matters.

John Greybeard

Thank you (I don't know how I missed it.)

John Greybeard

That would be reasonable had Lomax had his statement sworn into evidence and also been cross examined. It is the Blewitt and Wilson situation again.

John Greybeard

I agreed with you. I would not only fire him but I would also fire Stoljar and Scruby. I am disappointed also in the Commissioner in not requiring Mr Agius to ask direct questions.

Steve J

It wasn't a good day for the Union.
On top of that we have the sergeants evidence of their intimidatory tactics using safety issues to gain access.
But the really big issue for me is how De Lorenzo happened to get this information into evidence as a result of an off hand answer to one of Morrison's questions.
The RC staff have known from the time of first receiving statements from the Union that their main line of defence would be that their foremost concern with these activities was Safety and not ulterior motives.
Would it not therefore have been reasonable to lead expert evidence about how safety programmes are designed and audited. This could then have been given context by similar expert evidence about the practicalities of running a construction site.
The Union witnesses so far could then have been questioned about how their activities made allowances for these systems of management.
Maybe the RC has bitten off more than they can chew and need more staff but this situation is not good enough.
It is lacking professionalism at best and incompetent at worst.

Up The Workers!

Ignorance is contAgius!

Up The Workers!

Is Agius a "senior barrister", or merely a fossilised 'Junior'?

Does anybody know whether he is any better at making cups of coffee, than he is at launching interrogations of witnesses?

Maybe there is a spelling error in his Job Description and he is actually an antique "barrista" from the coffee stall downstairs?

"One lump or two?"


After his detailed waffle debacle..I dont think even unions will engage him. How on earth he thinks he's cutting through is no longer laughable..its rather sad


Barking Mr Agius reminds me of my old white haired little maltese terrier, she often snaps out at people that she does not like.

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

Well, yes. The lawyer for the MBA couldn't remember if he had spoken to his lawyers the day before, so two and a half years is out of the question. And that would make all the witnesses, on both sides, unreliable too, wouldn't it?


It seems to me that SAFETY on the job site should be delegated to one and only one Authority, being a former member of the MBA I have paid enormous amounts of money for numerous work place safety folders, all well documented and well presented. I’m talking about thousands of dollars.

The right of entry should be by one Authority for any safety issue and in general it is only sloppy builders who allow trip hazards and electrical lead problems, and there are many, many of them, more than what this TURC evidence and unions have uncovered.

In NSW we have the problem with untidy builders that never spend enough time onsite doing house cleaning. If a lay person was to look at these sites they would determine safety issues before they walked through the site fence.

I would suggest that the TURC make it mandatory that there must be a single authority police, randomly checking development approvals and make flying visits to job sites to issue safety breach forms similar to on the spot fines.

Maybe in the government approval process there could be a form developed for specific site safety and all the construction affiliated bodies could produce documentation and training manuals on how to keep these areas safe, not just for the site worker but for the walking public and visitors.

All that is needed is a single safety inspection system, not numerous, as the more there are the more confliction enters the arena.

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

"On top of that we have the sergeants evidence of their intimidatory tactics using safety issues to gain access."

I admit I had time for only a brief glimpse of some the cross-examination of the sergeant, but it seemed to me that the sergeant was called to the site after the unionists had gained access. If so, how can the sergeant have given any evidence of what tactics were used to gain access and whether those tactics were intimidating?

Is this another application of the Steve J hearsay rule - if a policeman relates (under oath) what someone told him that can be used to establish the truth of what the policeman was told? Tell it to the Supreme Court.

On the issue of intimidation. If the only thing making sure that sites were safe (and we heard evidence that there are "thousands" of safety issues on a typical site) was the possibility of surprise visits by official (government appointed) inspectors, I would hope that the Government inspectors were intimidating. Just as we hope that random breath tests and speed guns and highway patrol cars are sufficiently intimidating to promote safe behaviour on the roads.

If the Government is not prepared to give sufficient resources to surprise visits by inspectors, and instead decides (under the workplace health and safety laws) to out-source the inspection function to a back-up group of highly motivated inspectors (duly registered of course) I expect the contractors might find the enhanced chance of being "caught" rather intimidating. But that appears to be the law?

No doubt the Commissioner is turning his mind to this knotty problem of potential (or ease) of abuse of the legally-bestowed surprise inspection power. But to pretend it is not a difficult problem, as though there is only one side to the argument, seems wrong to me. Especially given that there is some suggestion this is happening in a jurisdiction that until recently had an unusually high rate of fatalities on construction sites.


It's how they DELIVER the message and REACT to the answers that gets up the nose of people. They have a to be accountable as well as the witness.

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

"Too many times, i've been involved in safety issues that are caused by the workers - " They deserve to die, right? I remember my dear old dad complaining about the money spent on making roads safer - "why don't they just drive more carefully instead of making the government waste all this money?"

It is a difficult issue.

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

He is "putting" the accusation to the policeman as he is required to do if Mr Lomax's statement is to be put into evidence. The policeman gets the chance to deny it, to give his side. A rule of fairness.

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

Chicken and egg. Didn't the policeman make some claims about what Lomax did or said? If Lomax came first, Stoljar would have to say to Lomax "Policeman X is going to say that you did so and so. What do you say to that?" Would there be a deafening silence by JG about the alleged unfairness of that?

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

" ... at that particular time the paper was an afternoon/evening edition only"

And at that time it was illegal to read the evening edition on the morning after, I suppose? Did he ask you then if you had read about it in the paper the night before?

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

If the two persons arrested did not give evidence at the RC the issue does not arise - it is only their own evidence at the TURC which cannot be used against them (while we still have the right to silence in criminal trials).

The two witnesses who gave evidence at the TURC, if it is evidnce against the two arrested people, can be called to repeat that evidence in the criminal court. Whether the transcript of their evidence at the RC can be used without calling the witnesses to repeat that evidence is another matter I think.

The witnesses at the TURC are protected against self-incrimination. And I don't think that stops the prosecution finding other evidence (if it exists) to prove what the prosecution already knows from admissions made at the TURC.

Edward James

Sometimes watching Agius it seems to me he is just wasting his clients money and TURCs time! Edward James

Michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

“There are X number of builders & contractors in the ACT, some portion A have EBAs with the union, and B are those that do not. How many safety "walks" did A get compared B. Surely any, even nominal, attempt at rigour would mean in a genuine safety program all sites and contractors of similar size would suffer a similar number of visits”

That is a very interesting suggestion. It might not be too easy to gather the evidence and the analysis might be worth a PhD study in statistics. The problem is that it could be that not all sites are equally safe, and some smart-arse could suggest that there may be a correlation between a non-EBA site and a not-so-safe site.

Consider this, we have heard evidence from contractors who feel that having an EBA means the “union is running my business”. Might not such a contractor feel that abiding by safety laws means “the government is running my business”? It is possible that such a person might be just as reluctant to reduce profit margins by paying “higher than necessary” wages as they would be to reduce profit margins by having what they see as “higher than necessary” standards of safety (especially if the enforcement regime is slack)?

It is certainly possible that such a boss might influence the workers not to agree to an EBA and not to join the union. Such a contractor may even strike a bargain (in effect) with the workers to split the monetary gains made by having a riskier site than a competitor’s site. In effect, the workers just need to accept a slightly greater risk, so the profit margin will be greater and the contractor can afford to pay higher wages, provided those wages doesn’t erode entirely the gains from lower safety standards.

St. George

JG - my great concern is that we are now back to the Gillard days. Bob Blewitt was very unfairly treated.

Look for heavens sake, the CFMEU is an absolute lay down mizaire for deregistration, and I suspect both the AWU and the HSU have a lot of skeletons to be further uncovered.

How can a TURC be so inconsistent in their endeavours to get to the truth. It is almost like they are hamstrung, particularly when they get too close to uncovering obvious and criminal corruption. They should have been tapping everyone's phone since the first day of the TURC, including Trades Hall and federal and state politicians. Good grief they have to rely upon a benolavent witness (Teleb) to get a couple of CFMEU bagmen in the dock, and to top it all off, by allowing Agius to rant on, they may have even prejudiced their own efforts.

IMO - The TURC is absolute amateur hour. They are not getting down and dirty and certainly not 'looking' to close out avenues of enquiry to their natural ends. E.g. Michael's suggestions on further leads in the AWU=WRA in WA and VIC.

They haven't even got back yet to the CFMEU in Qld and VIC = Setka and Co. They should have an absolute field day in VIC with Boral's support.

It is such a shame to waste this opportunity to once and for all, put some truth and integrity into the union movement and the industries they work in. Lets not forget the Companies (THeiss, Leytons et al) who play it from the other end to their own commercial advantage.

Disappointing indeed and you know what, there is really only 5 working months to the end of the TURCs extension. 5 months will just disappear before we know it. Then again, that is more likely what Labor/Unions and the LNP actually want!!!!

St. George

JG - missed most of today, too many meetings. So I really do appreciate everyone's comments together with Michael's commentary.

Did the TURC bother to check the integrity of the photos presented by the CFMEU? Whether they were 'photoshopped' or whether they were of the actual construction site in question? E.g. a photo of an electrical lead lying on the ground doesn't mean it is actually on the site visited. hell I could find that photo in five seconds on the WWW.

I say that because back in the early days of the TURC, I think Kathy Jackson (could be wrong) gave evidence that a one union secretary entered their national conference to the Rocky theme. The Union countered with a video of the entrance, (minus the Rocky music). Howeveer someone at the TURC got the original and found that the music track had been suspressed. So Kathy's evidence was correct, but the Union got away with lying to the TURC and purjering their own testimony.

The likes of the CFMEU will do absolutely anything to benefit their case. If I were the TURC, I would not permit submission of printed digital photos without copies of the original digital image file. Same goes with provision of paper based minutes from union meetings.

Jeff of FNQ

You have no idea what the matter before the High Court was about so I will treat your comment with the contempt it deserved.

Steve J

They used safety excuses to gain access and then engaged in intimidatory practices.
If you only saw a brief part of the Sergeants evidence why don't you read the transcript before you open your fat mouth.
Don't know where you get my so called hearsay rule from.
I'll explain one more time just for you.
The same statement can be hearsay for one purpose and admissible for another.
It depends on its relevance to the issues to be decided.
Even a jerk like you should be able to see the difference between an apprehension of a speeding fine and behind stood over by a 120kg thug.
As usual you make various incorrect assumptions and then use them to construct the result you want.
Can you prove that Unions have these powers because of some government cost cutting exercise.
Didn't think so.
Do us all a big favour and get lost.
I have better things to do than respond to wankers and you would have to be the best example I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.


Bravo...Tell it like it is.

St. George

UTW - you are very clever....... and funny!!

John Greybeard

First the photos were used by Agius before they were attached to Lomax's Statement which is yet to be sworn. There is no evidence that the digital photos have had their properties sworn, These give considerable details including time of taking and sometimes reveal if the photos have been 'fiddled' with.
As regards that foll Michael(TDA) Mr Lomax is not able to make amendments to his statement to counteract the testimony of the police. This is a repeat of the Blewitt and Wilson charade.
No Barrister should be allowed to appear for a party (or related party) until a swon statement has been received into evidence. That includes a Barrister who appears for a Union NOT BEING ALLOWED to appear for anyone else who has not lodged a statement whether they are employed by the Union or not.

John Greybeard

Your post is 100% on the ball.
I have suggested that CA is presenting his work almost as an application for a seat on the bench.
The Bar Associations in every State and Territory should make a statement that no CA will be supported for a Judgeship for a minimum of 3 years after the conclusion of any Royal Commission or similar inquiry.

John Greybeard

Would you drink a coffee made by that man?


Truth is relative, and can be found difficult to be discerned.

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