May 22, 2018 Last Updated 7:58 AM, May 18, 2018

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CFMEU ordered to pay numerous fines

AusBN – The Royal Commission has ordered the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) to pay a US$2.76 million fine to Grocon.

The CFMEU has been fined after the events of a union organised protest in 2012, which turned violent.

The protesters blocked the construction of Grocon’s Emporium building in Melbourne and police were forced to use horses and pepper spray to subdue the crowd.

Construction company Boral is also seeking a $21 million compensation fee from the union after it intentionally boycotted the company.

A further $423,000 was paid by the CFMEU after it blocked the construction of a housing development for Australia’s homeless in Brisbane.

CFMEU members will have to pay $30 for the unions legal fees.

CFMEU national secretary Dave Noonan said: "It's not a great use of members' money, it's just a fact that when there is an issue of occupational health and safety as serious as this at stake, workers and the union will take a stand.

"(Grocon) has by far the worst occupational health and safety record in the construction industry and the situation is that the money that's been paid is paid with great reluctance.”

Grocon head Daniel Grollo said: "For well over a decade Grocon has advocated that the law should be upheld by all participants in the construction industry -- employers, employees and unions alike -- as it is in other industries in Australia." 


Bunge expands Australian operations

AusBN – Construction has started on Bunge’s first WA grain storage facility in Kukerin.

Around 200,000 tonnes of grain will be stored at the new Kukerin facility.

The company has also already opened a new facility at Bunbury Port, which has exported seven shipments of 250,000 tonnes of grain so far.

Bunge Australia general manager Chris Aucote said: "It's going to be an increase over time and we're certainly looking to increase the number of cargoes we've done this year and hopefully look to increase that by 50 to 100% over the next 12 months.

"For us Western Australia is a very important part of what we're doing here in Australia."

Aucote added that the shiploader capacity at the Bunbury Port was about 1 million tonnes but there is room to expand the facility.

"We're sharing the shiploader with woodchips and over the last 12 or 18 months the woodchip market has improved as well so really our exports are probably capped out at 1 million tonnes per year.

"There's certainly room to expand here [Bunbury Port] but for us it's about trying to build the volume and offer a good alternative for the farmer to sell their grain.

"I think everyone is just looking at the numbers and as the market continues to evolve farmers are very focused on trying to reduce costs and at the end of the day what we hope to provide the farmer is a cheaper cost to the port.”


Shadow Minister calls for TfNSW transparency

AusBN – The Shadow Minister for Transport Ryan Park has renewed calls for the CBD and South East Light Rail construction schedule to be released.

Construction on the Transport for NSW (TfNSW) project is scheduled to begin around spring and will become one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the world.

Park has called for full community awareness surrounding the project so that people are informed of the exact disruptions it will cause.

Park said: “This is something that can’t be done just once with an ad in the paper.

“It’s got to be done regularly and frequently, all the way up to and including during the time when major construction is set to start.”

A TfNSW spokesperson added: “The alignment will be divided into individual zones and work will be carried out in stages to minimise the impact to residents, businesses and commuters.

“There will be additional fees should ALTRAC occupy any zone for longer than the agreed schedule and incentives for them to finish early.

“The NSW government has detailed plans in place to communicate the changes to the public and coordinate traffic and public transport changes throughout the construction process.

“The construction process will have a significant impact but the benefits will last for generations to come.”


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