Friday, October 31, 2014

Criminals for Hire - Labour hire firm KPI has staff with criminal convictions working on $1 billion Melbourne Airport project

Kevin Ramsay
Kevin Ramsay
A LABOUR hire firm with criminal links has been contracted to work in secure airside areas of the $1 billion Melbourne Airport redevelopment. 

Matching of court records with CBUS superannuation contributions made by construction company KPI shows that KPI staff have serious criminal convictions.

These include armed robbery, making threats to kill, assaulting police, and drug cultivation.

The Herald Sun understands that the Royal Commission into union corruption, which has been granted a 12-month extension, has been investigating KPI.

KPI company director Kevin Ramsay, who has convictions for stalking and unlawful assault, told the Herald Sun to “f--- off” when asked about his staff’s criminal history.

“I’m trying to run a business,” he said.

Construction under way at Melbourne Airport. Picture: Angie Basdekis
Construction under way at Melbourne Airport. Picture: Angie Basdekis
The lists of KPI’s CBUS superannuation contribution lists, seen by the Herald Sun, are dated August 2013 and March 2012, and include dates of birth.

A search of court records revealed up to 10 KPI staff members employed during those months had faced court.

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Leighton Contractors has hired KPI to work on both the airside development of terminal four, which will be home to Tiger Air’s new base, and the car park redevelopment at Melbourne Airport.

KPI has links with the CFMEU and has rapidly expanded since it began its first lucrative job at the Victorian desalination plant in 2010.

Aaron Ramsay at court
Aaron Ramsay at court
Mr Ramsay’s son Aaron, a former Williamstown VFL premiership player, works for the business.

Aaron and his cousin, Collingwood player Dane Swan, were involved in the bashing of a security guard in Federation Square in 2003.

Both were given community-based orders after pleading guilty to affray.

KPI has also hired career criminal Daniel Heaney, who has convictions for armed robbery, assaulting police and stabbing a woman in the lung and pancreas in 2004.

Heaney was jailed for nine years with a minimum of six years for the stabbing.

Senator Eric Abetz has raised concerns about the revelations.
Senator Eric Abetz has raised concerns about the revelations.
“The wound to the abdomen passed into the pancreas ... The pancreas is situated just in front of the spinal column,” a Supreme Court judge said in sentencing him.

Heaney was also sentenced in 1984 to 13 years’ jail for nine armed robberies.

Under Victoria’s tough state construction code, construction contractor McConnell Dowell has been banned from State Government jobs for using KPI.

The Federal Government’s own hard line construction code is still awaiting Senate approval.

Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz said: “The Government is extremely concerned at these latest revelations, which once again demonstrate the disturbing links between the CFMEU and criminal elements in Victoria.

“These revelations once again show the urgent need to have strong building industry regulators to deal with dubious conduct in the industry, such as the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Victorian Construction Code Compliance Unit.

“KPI Labour has previously been the subject of adverse findings by the Victorian Construction Code Compliance Unit.”

Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said contractors who regularly worked “airside” were required to obtain an aviation security identification card.

“For a KPI employee to gain airside access, they would have had to go through the stringent Federal Government security process,” she said.

Leighton Contractors declined to comment. 30 Oct 2014

Australia is truly a country run by criminals.

As long as the police are catching (road) criminals, you know, the ones who 'drive' 5km/h over the speed limit, that's all that matters.

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