National

Watchdog probes Vic building site attack

Watchdog probes Vic building site attack

The national construction watchdog is investigating a Melbourne developer after two union workers were allegedly attacked while visiting a job site.

The officials, from the Victorian branch of the CFMMEU, were allegedly set upon at a construction site on Toorak Road in Hawthorn East on Tuesday.

The head of the union's construction division John Setka said the duo were on the footpath filling out paperwork to enter the site when they were assaulted.

"No one should go to work and be brutally attacked," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Of course, emotions are running high within the construction industry, as these young officials were simply doing their job when met with an organised assault by a group of cowards.

"The attack was so violent, with one of the officials hit across the head with a lump of timber and knocked unconscious. We are all disgusted."

Mr Setka said the officials went to inspect the site after concerns were raised about the developer, named in media outlets as Raman Shaqiri.

Mr Shaqiri was fined alongside developer Stefce Kutlesovski after they knocked down the 159-year-old Corkman hotel in Carlton without permission in October 2016.

"These are the developers that pulled down the Corkman hotel and dumped all that asbestos in Caroline Springs in that residential area," Mr Sekta told 3AW.

"There have been residents ringing up and complaining that they block off the traffic, they set up concrete pumps with no permit, residents can't walk past the footpath.

"So not only construction workers are in danger, the general public is in danger."

In a statement, the Australian Building and Construction Commission said it has launched an investigation into some of the allegations.

"The investigation will examine whether any building industry participants have contravened any designated building laws," a spokesperson said.

"It will be seeking the cooperation of all parties involved in the incident."

CFMMEU members gathered at the construction site on Wednesday morning to protest the attack, drawing a much larger crowd than anticipated.

Victoria Police said the organiser has been fined $1652 for breaching COVID-19 rules. No further fines will be given in relation to the protest.

Mr Setka said the protest was reduced to a group of 10 in order to meet COVID-19 rules.

Police are investigating the alleged assault.