A Fairfax Media investigation
revealed that the union’s national president Dave Hanna – who is also the Labor factional boss and former president of the union’s Queensland branch – has resigned from his CFMEU position while a criminal investigation looks into claims he accepted illegitimate payments.
Sources from the union reportedly told Fairfax that questions had been raised around the existence of a fund linked to Hanna’s tenure at the Builders Labourers Federation, which underwent a merge with Queensland’s CFMEU.
He is now the subject of a joint state and federal police inquiry into allegations of bribery and the operations of a union fund, Fairfax reported.
In a statement, Hanna said he had taken no benefits, and was involved in “no mismanagement” of any union fund.
He reportedly claimed to have stepped down for health reasons arising from a motorcycle accident.
Meanwhile, the most senior bosses of the CFMEU’s Victorian construction division are also under the spotlight.
Heracles, a Victorian Police taskforce, recently took witness statements from a number of figures within the state’s construction industry.
According to Fairfax, this was part of an endeavour to charge Victorian CFMEU secretary John Setka and his deputy, Shaun Reardon, with blackmail in connection to the union’s campaign against concrete firm Boral.
It was also reported that the CFMEU’s NSW secretary Brian Parker is also under police investigation after phone taps revealed he had a close relationship with organised crime figure George Alex.
If the investigations lead to charges and convictions, it is thought that the impact on the union could be fatal – consequences for the union could include deregistration or collapse into administration.
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Senior CFMEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union) leaders are reportedly under investigation by three separate state police forces following allegations of criminal corruption.