Union boss ‘ordered cameras be covered during clean-up’
FORMER Queensland union boss David Hanna allegedly told colleagues to stay back after work one day and load up tonnes of documents that were later binned.
The then-president of the CFMEU's state branch is accused of deliberately discarding the papers to avoid the scrutiny of the Trade Union Royal Commission into alleged corruption.
He is on trial in the Brisbane District Court for destroying, concealing or mutilating documents in April 2014 that might have been needed as evidence during the probe.
Robert Charles Cameron, a former CFMEU official, recalled for the jury on Tuesday how Hanna had asked him to stay back one afternoon and help out in an office clean-up.
"We started loading them out into the back of the horse float," he told the court.
"It was a job to stay back after work and to get it done, so that's what we did."
He said it took him and two other people at least an hour to load seven tonnes of documents into the back of the trailer, at one point covering up CCTV cameras at the Bowen Hills office under Hanna's instruction.
From there, the court has previously heard, the files were taken to Hanna's home, south of Brisbane, where he asked two colleagues to burn them. But when the documents failed to catch fire he hired a truck to dump them at a tip near Ipswich, with a truck driver testifying he had carried out the job. Cheri Michelle Shaw, a former finance officer at the Queensland CFMEU, said Hanna had asked for $770 in petty cash to cover the cost of hiring an excavator.
"He told me it was for burying documents," she told the court.
"He did hand me a receipt and told me not to keep it. I can't remember the exact words but it was along the lines of 'Don't keep it'.
"I don't remember whether I looked at it or not. I do remember putting it in a box in my cupboard that I would put documents to be shredded." Hanna's lawyer, Mark McCarthy, questioned Ms Shaw's reliability as a witness, suggesting she was never told to get rid of the receipt.
Prosecutor Glen Rice QC argued Hanna deliberately set out to get rid of the documents after learning the royal commission would focus on the CFMEU.
"Were they simply part of an innocent office clean-up or were they linked to his awareness of the royal commission?" Mr Rice said on Monday.
It is unclear what was in the files.
The trial continues.