Ark Tribe not guilty – but the ABCC still threatens building workers’ right to silence

Building worker and unionist Ark Tribe was found not guilty last week in an Adelaide court of failing to appear before a hearing of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. However the Commission retains its powers to summon building workers to hearings, without the right to silence, and anyone who refuses to appear may still be sentenced to six months’ jail.

Mr Tribe was found not guilty on a technicality. Magistrate White said in his judgment last Wednesday a notice to appear issued by the ABCC to Mr Tribe was invalid because the Commissioner had not delegated his functions to the Deputy Commissioner, but only his powers. If the Commissioner had also delegated his functions, which he is allowed to do, it follows that the magistrate could have found Mr Tribe guilty.

Mr Tribe had been summoned to appear before the ABCC to be questioned about a union meeting held on an Adelaide building site in 2008.

The ALP promised before the 2007 Federal Election, and again in 2009, to abolish the ABCC. However in February the Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, announced that a new Building Industry Inspectorate would have the same powers to force building workers to give evidence about union activity.

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2 Comments

Filed under Zedlines

2 responses to “Ark Tribe not guilty – but the ABCC still threatens building workers’ right to silence

  1. Pingback: David Jackmanson » Blog Archive » Zedlines – nov 29 2010

  2. Pingback: Ark Tribe not Guilty, but the ABCC Still Has Enormous Power Over Building Workers – Two Interviews | 4ZzZFM NEWS

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