Over the following months, however, Mr Veron and his partner said they were the subject of several threatening phone calls from an unidentified male caller.

According to reports, the caller told Mr. Veron “you’re costing the builder a lot of money, you don’t know who they are and what they can do” and “you have a newborn on the way, so it is in your best interest to stop the work you are doing”.

A few months later, in September 2019, a site manager from another Watpac site found a mysterious unsigned, typed note on his desk, saying, “My name is Johno. I was paid by Terry Dixon to threaten Moss [Mr Veron] and his family. Terry is a liar and a thief. I was told the union threatened Terry and that’s why I did this on his behalf.

Watpac referred the note to the police and suspended Mr Dixon while he investigated the matter. However, because Mr. Dixon denied sending the note and “Johno” could not be located, Watpac concluded that the allegation was unfounded.

But after the CFMEU raised concerns about the investigation, Watpac agreed to appoint former Victorian detective Stephen Curnow to investigate.

Mr Curnow had previously been chosen by Victorian CFMEU secretary John Setka to investigate who in the state branch was leaking against him. Queensland MUA then hired Mr Curnow to sweep its offices for listening devices.

Mr. Curnow discovered that someone associated with Mr. Dixon was responsible for the note and had done so to discredit Mr. Dixon for personal reasons.

He concluded there was a “high probability” that Mr Dixon provoked the calls, which he said were threatening, intimidating and potentially illegal.

Although Mr Dixon verbally denied involvement, he failed to attend a meeting to justify why he should not be fired, submitting a medical certificate instead and initiating a workers’ compensation case.

Four months later, Watpac concluded that Mr Dixon had refused the opportunity to respond and fired him for gross misconduct.

Mr Dixon claimed the sacking was due to a campaign of ‘industrial intimidation and harassment’ by the CFMEU, which he said included a ‘confirmed’ allegation that he assaulted a union organizer and thereby violated his right at work not to be bullied.

He alleged that Watpac only agreed to appoint Mr Curnow as an investigator because of union pressure and argued that the report’s reasoning was flawed.

He also claimed, without evidence, that someone within the CFMEU told him the union had agreed to work at a Watpac site in Victoria over the Christmas holidays on the condition that he be fired from Watpac SA.

Watpac denied the allegations and said the fundamental reason for Mr Dixon’s dismissal was his “unlawful and intimidating behavior towards other staff”.

Judge Brown ordered the case to be settled for a five-day trial on March 20, 2023.