Class action to target training provider Vocation; Grocon expected to plead guilty to OH&S charge over building site deaths: Midday Roundup

Class action to target training provider Vocation; Grocon expected to plead guilty to OH&S charge over building site deaths: Midday Roundup

More than 30 institutional investors from both Australia and overseas are backing a class action being planned by law firm Maurice Blackburn over disclosure practices at training provider Vocation.

The class action follows Vocation being forced to forfeit $19.6 million in government funding earlier this month.

Maurice Blackburn is launching an online registration page to allow retail shareholders to sign up to be part of a class action according to Fairfax.

Grocon expected to plead guilty to OH&S charge over building site deaths

Building giant Grocon is expected to plead guilty to one charge of failing to maintain a safe workplace over the collapse of a wall at one of its Melbourne sites that killed three people.

Grocon said in a statement today one arm of the Grocon group, Grocon (Victoria Street) will plead guilty in relation to the charge if an application by the Victorian Workcover Authority to have its charge against Grocon heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is granted. 

If the application is granted, WorkSafe has also indicated it will withdraw a number of other charges against two other arms of the Grocon group, Grocon Pty Limited and Grocon Builders (Vic). 

The continuing charge relates the collapse of a wall at the CUB Brewery in Carlton, which killed three people on March 28, 2013. Grocon executive chairman Daniel Grollo said in the same statement that while WorkSafe does not allege the OH&S breach caused the wall to collapse, the company accepts it can “improve our procedures to ensure the safety of the public, and our employees, is further protected, including on vacant sites”.

Grocon said a plea hearing in relation to the charge is expected to be heard “in the near future”. 

Shares down on open

Rivkin global investment manager Tim Radford says early trading in equities has been subdued with the US bond market unofficially closed for Veterans Day yesterday.

“We should expect another flat session on the Australian market today following a lack of direction on Wall Street overnight,” Radford says.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.6%, or 31.8 points, to 5485.3 at 12.20pm AEST. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.01%, or 1.16 points, to 17614.9 points.

*This article was updated at 4.50pm on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, to reflect a statement provided by Grocon. 

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