Union left red-faced over secret recording

by Chloe Taylor24 Sep 2015
A senior member of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) was secretly recorded telling Queensland president Dave Hanna that his removal would allow union officials “a chance to be legit”.

The ABC reported that police made the covert recording when Hanna and the union’s national assistant secretary (Leo Skourdoumbis) met at Brisbane Airport a month prior to Hanna’s resignation.

A full transcript was released on Tuesday night after the trade union royal commission used the conversation as evidence in its investigation of Hanna.

In the recording, Hanna told Skourdoumbis that he was not concerned about the police investigating the work that had been done on his property by contractors.

Last week, the commission heard evidence that Hanna had benefited from up to $100,000 of free work being completed on his home after tradesmen billed work to a developer associated with the union.

The conversation reportedly implied that Hanna was in a power struggle with the CFMEU’s Queensland secretary following the 2013 merger of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) and the CFMEU.

“I'm sure people would become sick of [CFMEU secretary] Ravbar, but I've got to say that the particularly former BL guys see it as a clean break,” Skourdoumbis said.

“Not quite a breath of fresh air but a clean break, a chance to be legit.”

On Tuesday, Hanna told the commission that Ravbar had ordered the destruction of seven tonnes of CFMEU paperwork after the union was ordered to produce documents early last year.

It was also heard that Hanna told a CFMEU bookkeeper to “get rid of” an invoice for the truck used to dispose of the material.

The commission is examining whether Hanna fraudulently benefited from the work done on his house, as well as whether or not criminal offences were committed by the destruction of the documents.

Being found to have committed this crime carries a jail term of up to five years.
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  • by Terry 24/09/2015 11:00:05 AM

    Corrupt unions. No surprises here

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