'Gravely concerned': CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan leaving the royal commission earlier this month. Photo: Joe Armao
The national construction workers union has asked federal police to investigate how evidence from the royal commission into trade unions was leaked to the media before it was publicly heard.
CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan said the union was alarmed at the information leaks.
The CFMEU first raised its concerns about media outlets reporting on private hearings and other evidence before it was heard at the royal commission.
“We have raised these concerns in the royal commission. Commissioner Dyson Heydon dismissed them out of hand and suggested we go to the police, so we are taking his advice,” Mr Noonan said.
“If confidential information is being leaked from the royal commission it is a matter that deserves to be taken very seriously.”
The union said it has given the federal police a sworn statement from an employee of construction industry superannuation fund Cbus. It raises concerns that witness Brian Fitzpatrick had been briefed on the direction of the commission’s hearings and individuals to be subpoenaed before subpoenas were issued.
“We are gravely concerned about the conduct of this royal commission,” Mr Noonan said.
“I urge the Australian Federal Police to take this matter seriously and investigate the management of information within the trade union royal commission as a matter of urgency.”
The chief executive officer of the Office of the Royal Commission, Jane Fitzgerald, rejected any alleged suggestions by the CFMEU that the commission had been “leaking information about the direction and conduct of hearings”.
Ms Fitzgerald has previously said she wrote to Mr Noonan in early July to say the Royal Commission has not briefed journalists about operational matters. She said all media outlets are given equal access to the same information.