A former construction union official accused of soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes has admitted he took money from a subcontractor to help him win work.
But Halafihi "Fihi" Kivalu has denied he demanded the money or could guarantee contracts.
Mr Kivalu has become the focus of the first week of the royal commission into unions Canberra hearings, where it has also been revealed he received more than $32,000 in redundancy pay the day after he resigned from his union position.
The commission has heard evidence from a number of tradesmen who alleged Mr Kivalu demanded cash, which they paid, in order to work in the Canberra market.
On Monday, Elias Taleb, a formwork subcontractor, detailed payments of about $135,000 he allegedly handed Mr Kivalu and said he was forced to pay the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union fees and sign union enterprise agreements on behalf of his staff.
He alleged, on one occasion, he paid Mr Kivalu to win a contract to work on a Yarralumla building site.
"I understood from what he told me if I paid ... $50,000 I was guaranteed the job," Mr Taleb said.
Mr Taleb said he handed over the cash because to lose the job would "have had very bad financial consequences for me".
"Just from what I heard around town, obviously the union had a big impression on a lot of builders, pushing them around to get basically what they want."
Mr Kivalu is appearing before the commission to answer the allegations on Thursday.
Before he appeared, his lawyers filed witness statements and other material in preparation for his evidence.
In one document, Mr Kivalu admitted he had accepted about $60,000 from Mr Taleb over a period of time.
"I agree that I received a sum of money from Elias," the witness statement said.
"This was an amount of money that he offered to me with a view to me assisting his business to get work.
"It was my understanding that Elias hoped that I would use my contacts in the building industry to put in a good word for his company so that they would be better placed to win work."
He said the discussions occurred in a personal, not professional context, after the pair formed a friendship.
"I deny that any other member of the CFMEU had any knowledge of the payments that I received from Elias. Those arrangements were strictly between me and Elias," he said.
"I reject the suggestion that the timing of any payments to me coincided with any action by the union."
Mr Kivalu rejected claims he told Mr Taleb he could not work in the ACT unless his workers were CFMEU members.
He also denied he had a relationship with builders that would enable him to "influence them in any way concerning the appointment of subcontractors".
Mr Kivalu also admitted accepting four payments of $10,000 from a tiling company, MDS.
"Mick gave me this money in the same context that in the hope that I would help him with work here in Canberra. He voluntarily offered me these donations as a gift. Mick is a grown man and he's a businessman. I met him on a friendly environment also where I took some money off him," he said.
Earlier, Mr Kivalu told the royal commission he didn't know how he pocketed more than $32,000 in redundancy pay, despite resigning from the union.
He told the hearing in Canberra on Thursday that he resigned from his position due to personal reasons on November 10, 2014.
But when asked why he received a redundancy payment of $32,267 a day later, Mr Kivalu told the commissioner: "I don't know."
Meanwhile, lawyers for the CFMEU have denied they boycotted the first three days of the Canberra hearings.
The union's team turned up to the hearing on Thursday, having being absent since Monday.
Lawyer John Agius told the commission the CFMEU believed its presence could have only added atmosphere since the union hadn't been given notice of witnesses on the first three days relating to Mr Kivalu.